OPINION: Getting the most from your promotions

The effectiveness of promotional activity is massively underestimated by the licensing industry...
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There is also a general lack of knowledge on where to start should a licensor want to initiate a promotion using his property.

Over the last few months the momentum behind licensed promotions has diminished in the wake of regulations that prevent so called 'unhealthy' promoters communicating their use of licenses. As a result, the high profile cereal and snack promotions that were the mainstay of this communication tool and revenue driver, has become strangely muted.

However, the opportunities are still there and, to date, promotional activity has been the arena of some of the most innovative and effective utilisations of licensed properties in recent years.

Licensors, however, make the mistake of believing that promotional activity can, and should, be the driver of massive incremental revenue within the royalty forecasts. While on occasion this can be the case (particularly with properties that have a high consumer profile) licensors should also look at the spin-off benefits of associating with even medium-sized brands, and view the potential increase in revenue as only one of the potential advantages.

Such a promotion can give more profile to a brand than could possibly be achieved with merchandise, even with good distribution. The spin-off benefits are also not to be sniffed at: licensee confidence, competitive edge, retailer and consumer awareness. All of this means more value and revenue in the long run. Taking the long view on promotional activity, rather than just seeing the short-term gain, benefits the smart licensor.

But that's only half the story - why aren't promoters and their agencies falling over each other to associate with licensed properties to add value to their activity?

There are three key reasons:
1) They think it's going to cost them - and they don't know how much;
2) They think it's going to be a nightmare of complexity to deal with a licensor;
3) No one is talking to them and explaining the benefits.

So what's the solution? I believes that I can offer a solution, having worked in senior positions in both industries. I have a firm belief that any licensor can present their property as a viable promotional prospect if they are realistic about potential fees, can convince their promotional partners of the benefits of licensing using their property, and make things as easy as possible.

As a result, PKD has re-structured its courses to make them relevant and affordable to any licensor, regardless of the profile of their property. The training courses are designed to be relevant to licensors with properties at any stage of development, from high profile established broadcast characters to properties that are relatively new, with lower-key awareness platforms.

The training modules are also tailored to address specific business issues and can be fitted into any time slot, from just a couple of hours to a full day.

Originally the courses were based on a full day, however they have now been broken down into the modular format to reflect the differing levels of development and profiles of licensed properties. There are modules that cover the basics of promotional licensing for licensors who want to know where to start and more advanced modules to appeal to licensors who are used to the concept but would like to know more about how to drive greater revenue and awareness.

Recipients of the course modules so far have been delighted; they have said that course content is excellent value for money, very relevant for their future development and believe it has given them an excellent basis to move forward in the whole area of promotional licensing. They say it has helped them to understand the arena and understand how they can move forward.

If you would like to find out more information on the courses click here or call Richard on 01279 505455.

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