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Though the surge in the number of promos, these days can be partly traced to the global crisis which has left many economies in ruins in the past few years, and as a result compelled brand owners to adopt this strategy, who see this as one of the most cost effective means of pushing their product offerings to the buying public.
Though seen as a strategy, designed to achieve a short term goal, many believe it is a marketing tool that has come to stay due to its continued adoption, despite the fact that the dust raised by the global economic crisis is beginning to abate.
But despite the fact that brand owners have continued to explain that their motive for going into consumer promotions stems from the need to reward their consumers for their unflinching loyalty and patronage of the brands over a period of time, it is quite obvious that some of these promos have continued to leave the consumers poorer than they met them.
Though some brands have passed the integrity test by living up to their pre-promo promises, not a few believe that others have simply put such promos in place to rip off the unsuspecting consumers.
Unfortunately, these rewards and deceits cut across different sectors of the economy. For instance, Brands and Marketing’s findings revealed that though there seems to be a fierce competition between telecoms and the nation’s financial industry in respect of which of these sectors adopt this tool more, other sectors of the economy too have had their fair own shares.
Interestingly, a common ground is found in the fact that some of these promos are being used to impoverish the consumers, irrespective of the sector.
A reference was made to the vulnerability of the Nigerian consumer recently in Abuja, at a promo prize presentation by the Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Board, the body meant to ensure the integrity of consumer promotions in the country, Mr Peter Igho, who publicly expressed his Board’s intention to protect Nigerian consumers, by ensuring the authenticity of the avalanche of promos going on in the nation’s marketing space.
“The Nigerian consumer has been taken for a ride for far too long; and we at the Board are doing everything humanly possible to check this and ensure that lottery business grows in this country as obtains in developed economies,” he argued.
According to him, the Board now ensures that prizes earmarked for promos are verified and, at the same time, given to genuine winners.
Unfortunately, the regulatory body would need more than those rhetoric to bring back the public confidence in consumer promotions.
For instance, not a few Nigerians, perhaps due to past experiences, have expressed their scepticism about consumer promotion in the country.
“For me, I think Nigerians have genuine ground to suspect these promotions,” argued Makinwa Cole, a brand enthusiast.
“Sometimes some of these prizes are so outlandish that an average consumer would feel it would be virtually impossible for the brands to give out such prizes.
And, unfortunately, this is very common with the telecoms promos. When a telecom firm begins to promise an aircraft as the winning prize, then one begins to wonder whether it is actually real.
“It simply means the concept of using it as a reward initiative is no longer there.
What I see is ego. That is, the vain desire by a brand to outwit the other brand, not minding whether it would actually benefit the consumer or not.
“When you give an aircraft as a winning prize, it becomes a burden to the winner, who knows next to nothing about aviation technicalities,” he stated.
He believes this has a way of eroding public confidence in such promos from the onset, adding that the regulatory bodies in charge should not have allowed the promo to run in the first place.
“It is quite a Herculean task to vet every promo that runs on the nation’s marketing space due to logistics and other infrastructure challenges,” argued a source, who works at one of the regulatory agencies saddled with such responsibilities.
According to him, some of those promos are not even given prominence, thereby making it difficult for any regulatory body to track.
“Unfortunately, the consumers themselves, who have always been at the receiving end, are not helping matters. They will never come to intimate us here to enable us take necessary action. And until consumers themselves begin to do this, the massive rip off will continue,” he argued.Share