It’s rare that a marketer offers a deal that doesn’t draw traffic. Companies are pretty good at knowing whether a price off, or a two-for-one, or even a coupon (for God’s sake) will work, and at what price level.
Throwing in an additional incentive, like free airline tickets, is a bit desperate, but if the ROI is there, it can make sense in many cases.
So how to explain a deal like this one offered by the Philadelphia Media Network (PMN for short)?
“Customers who sign up for a two-year subscription to the package of apps [ed.: for 3 different news websites] for $ 10 per month will pay $ 99 for an Arnova 10 G2 Android tablets for a total price of about $ 339, a 65% discount.”
Eek. The kitchen sink and more. And the sink isn’t even a brand-name sink!
The News Bundle
The “package of apps” refers to The Philadelphia Inquirer, its companion website Philly.com, and sister paper The Philadelphia Daily News. The consumer can get any one of these as an app. What is the value proposition (other than price) of making me take all three?
The Bundle Price
If anyone was nutty enough to get all three apps, they’d be out $ 13. The guys in PMN’s accounting department must have thought a $ 10 bundle price was enough – “they’re getting a 23% discount!” The consumer sees it as a measly $ 3.00 off.
Not enough to push them over a new paywall. Compare it to The New York Times initial offer: 99 cents instead of $ 15.00.
The Incentive Product
“A tablet? Cool. You mean the iPad right? What? No? Oh, an Android one. OK. I guess that Samsung one, right? What? The Armada? Huh? The Terra Nova? What? What the f&ck is Arnova, dude?”
If you can’t give the best, you sow a big seed of doubt.
The Incentive Price
The “go to” price for an incentive is “free.” How can a consumer be expected to know if $ 99 is a good price for a tablet he’s never heard of? Especially when he sees companies all over the country giving away free iPads as incentives?
And putting that $ 339 total price in print is a Bozo No No. The shock of it will prevent the consumer from remembering this is over a two-year period, and the “65% discount” mention doesn’t even register.
Would you be surprised to know that, six weeks later, PMN still has half its inventory of 5000 Arnova tablets on hand?