We will begin our initial ICS Roadmap Series with How to Launch an LTO…Successfully! A five-part breakdown that will discuss the different components needed to launch a successful Limited Time Offer (LTO) campaign. We will begin a discussion around one of the great services ICS is known for, launching an effective LTO:

To kick off the series we will discuss one of the most important fundamental elements of any LTO: accurately identifying and targeting your audience. This may sound like Marketing & Advertising 101 but missing the mark in terms of audience is likely to set any potential LTO up for failure.

Below are Key steps to help you get started:

  1. Consult your business plan. Look at the goals you’ve set for yourself and analyze the products and/or services you plan to offer during the LTO. Think about how your products or services fulfill a need or solve a problem for a potential customer. Next, think about what information you need to know and why. What do you need to know about your potential customers in order to reach them? How do they behave? What are their typical eating and drinking habits? What type of restaurants do they choose and how often do they visit?
  2. Begin researching. Start with secondary research. There are a lot of existing sources that can help you pull together information about your industry, the market, your competition, and the broad potential customer you have already identified. If you’re unable to identify secondary data that is useful for you and you have the budget to do so, you may want to conduct primary research. This could involve surveys, interviews or even focus groups.
  3. Develop a customer profile. After performing research, you’ll want to create a customer profile. This is more than a brief statement; it’s an in-depth description of who your typical customer may be and includes:
    • Demographic information: This may include age, gender, location, ethnic background, marital status, income and more.
    • Psychographic information: This type of information goes beyond the “external” and identifies more about a customer’s psychology, interests, hobbies, values, attitudes, behaviors, lifestyle and more.
  4. Find out where your audience is. It’s not enough to just say who your target audience is. Find out which websites they visit and which social networks they most frequently rely on.
  5. Monitor and evolve. The work doesn’t end after you’ve identified your target audience. It’s essential to continually perform research to stay current on market & industry trends and your competition. This information will help you identify patterns and possible areas of improvement, which will continually help your marketing efforts as your business matures.

Defining a target audience might feel limiting to you, but just remember that you’re not excluding anyone; you’re choosing where to spend your time and money. Selecting a target audience will help save you resources. Focusing on a portion of the people who might be interested in your products/services will allow you to communicate and engage with that segment more deeply and build brand loyalty.

This is part one of a 5 part series on How to launch a successful Limited Time Offer (LTO).

Part One: Accurately Identifying & Targeting Your Audience
Part Two: Understanding Trends & How to Use Them
Part Three: Creative Concepts
Part Four: Execution & Launch
Part Five: Review & Results