Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Crying Over Spilt Wine?

In in the past couple of days, a lot of media coverage has been devoted to the alleged miscalculation of an online promotion by Thresher's that has seen their 40% discount voucher go viral.

I'm not convinced that the analysis is correct. Either Thresher's were being very dumb in light of previous online voucher debacles (notably Starbuck's decision to withdraw an offer once over 1 million people had downloaded their voucher); or we can assume they are not losing money on the sales and given that they were doing 3 for 2 offers on wine anyway (i.e. a 33% reduction) that seems reasonable.

Then what are we left with?

1) Huge new footfall for a chain of small drinks stores that are under massive pressure from the supermarket behemoths.

2) Increased cashflow in the important holiday run-up.

3) Increased market share because a large proportion of the sales that occur during this promotion are sales that are not now occurring in the supermarkets.

4) Huge amounts of free publicity due to the media coverage of what is characterised as a fiasco.

Now, even if it may not have been planned to happen like this, that would only mean it wasn't a clever marketing tactic. But from where I'm looking, it doesn't look like a catastrophe. It's not a long-term strategic move, but it's nicely disruptive at a crucial sales time and goes to show that people react to recommendations from their friends far more than to traditional promotional advertising.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ed Lee said...

I've also heard that they'll be able to empty out their warehouses of older (but non-vintage) stock which is, apparently, a big problem in the wine industry...

Ed

9:29 AM, December 03, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...

Interesting point Ed - it's certainly the case that a lot of clothes retail sales events in the UK see the repeated resurrection of old stock season after season. I'll ask my wine experts about the possibility of this occurring at Threshers.

9:32 AM, December 03, 2006  

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