To date, the tremendous breakthrough of digital marketing tools has led to the emergence of new strategies and ideas on how to reach out to potential customers, fulfill their expectations and demands and turn them into loyal brand advocates. However, let’s keep in mind that these strategies are simply based on promotion fundamentals that have been much improved and actualized thanks to IT and digital advancements.
To vividly illustrate the issue, one can have a look at how time-proved loyalty programs, based on Under-the-Cap (UTC) codes, are enabled to boost customer engagement.
What Is a UTC code?
A UTC code is a character set underneath the package, enabling its owner to take part in a brand promotion. Marketing specialists treat UTC codes as a starting point in promotion engagement, as only after its registration and verification a UTC code holder turns into a valid participant, eligible for being rewarded.
However, development of a UTC-based promotion is a task for technical contractors, who often are the first to know the value of UTC code pattern and how it may affect the promotion success. While many treat it as a random selection of symbols, IT experts may detect a potential threat from promo hunters’ attack.
Specifically, it is done when analyzing UTC code conformance to the following attributes:
- Clarity determines whether a code holder may easily understand its combination and have no difficulties when reading or typing it (for example, the difference between the zero numeral and O the letter).
- Complexity reflects the code’s tamper resistance to any activities promo hunters may undertake.
- Uniqueness stipulates the absence of any matches between the code combinations used in both current and subsequent promos by the brand.
- Nonsequence implies usage of randomly set characters to eliminate brute force.
- Sufficiency means that the total number of code combinations corresponds to the targeted audience reach, and foresees the possibility of extra codes’ release.
Why Does Promotion Development Depend on a Marketing Concept?
As mentioned, UTC-based loyalty programs have advanced far beyond simple code registration. Various social trends and events, when incorporated into promotion mechanics, can trigger a huge thrill of the chase. Every now and then, big name brands eagerly set a row of UTC-based promos in member countries that target millions of potential participants. In this case the sufficiency attribute plays a great role, as the number of issued codes must be enough to cover the target audience.
From experience, an average nationwide campaign requires a platform that should be able to process millions of eight-digit codes. Code length and combination are designed considering tamper resistance and brute force ratio attributes, as well as the applied marketing strategy (potential participant reach, in particular).
In addition, the viral effect may be enhanced due to the enabling of several registration channels, such SMS, online forms and a mobile app, all of which contribute to the user-friendly nature of the entire promotion. Reasonably, the way participants can utilize UTC codes is also a point to consider, especially in terms of implementation in digital channels. In Ukraine, for instance, nearly 21 percent of promotion participants still use SMS to register their codes, and slightly less than that number prefer mobile apps. Such analytics invests in understanding of a digital channels efficiency, and thus the ways brands can adjust future promos.
Prior to campaign development, marketers should determine:
- What is the potential reach of the target audience?
- How long will the promo take place?
- What code registration channels should be enabled?
UTC Codes to Add Promotional Value
At present, UTC-based loyalty programs are reestablishing their popularity. Thanks to digital marketing’s progress, commonly recognized Instant Win promotions, with their quick code registration and immediate rewards, have advanced to digitally-rich loyalty programs.
Furthermore, the incorporation of UTC codes adds value by putting a user-friendly tool in participants’ hands to get them engaged. A few to clicks code registration enables users to tempt their fortune in any gaming or promotional mechanics, with a built-in tiered or point system, where each registered code acts as one step forward to the desired award.
Collect&Get and Gift Shop mechanics are no exception. A three-step promotional campaign (code registration, collection of points and selection of the award) can boost customers’ engagement from the very first days and result in registered users’ increase by several times.
UTC codes mechanics are easily incorporated into a wide variety of promotional campaigns, while it happens to be an entry point in brand-customer communication. Technologically, it requires well-adjusted development processes that can speed up the promotion launch and meet marketing strategy goals 100 percent.
Check out this handy UTC infographic, as well!
Evgeniy Solovyev is CTO at Kiev, Ukraine-based Miritec, a European IT-company engaged in digital production for nationwide promotions.