Affiliate Marketing Tools

Rewarding a Customer with Sales and Marketing Alignment

By Jennifer Dodson

Today is the big day. PlayStation 4 (PS4) is going to arrive any minute. This is the story of unexpected surprises leading up to the sale.

Technology Overload

As soon as I heard about PS4, I knew we’d be getting one. My husband loves to play video games. A fact I accepted early in our relationship. Keep in mind; we already have Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS3D, Super Nintendo, and N64. Not to mention laptops, smartphones, ereaders, and tablets. I’m sure he’ll let me know if I missed something.

So when the time came to preorder, our group of friends searched high and low for the best deal. Of course, the companies offering pre-orders knew they’d sell out regardless of bundles, discounts, etc.

What influenced decision?


A few years ago I joined Amazon Prime. It’s the most cost-effective membership I’ve ever had. For a low fee, you get guaranteed 2-day shipping. Often for only a little more, it can be at your door in a day. Soon you can even get Sunday delivery. Of course, this means that he has to wait for the delivery to take place. He won’t be able to stand in a line and pick up first thing in the morning.

Big Data

We get emails showing us other products related to our. Their “customers also bought” section has contributed to higher credit card bills on a regular basis. They have the data and know how to use it to drive sales and help customers.


Amazon takes care of us. When the price on something falls, we get a refund or credit. When something goes wrong, they make up for it. They ask us what we think and do something about our feedback.

What does that all come down to?

Strong Brands Matter

While the items above influenced our decision, it really wasn’t much of a thought process. Amazon’s taken care of us for years. We trust they’ll take care of us.

Pay attention to your competition

A month ago, news leaked that Target was going to offer “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” on PS4 games. Sales on new released games, this far out of holiday season, are unheard of. So immediately, reminders were on our calendar. Notifications were set. It was a done deal games would be purchased from this sale. Or so I thought.

Not long after, Amazon matched the sale. On top of that, they offered anyone who pre-ordered with them, a “Buy 1 Get 1” deal. Needless to say, Amazon got our sale and we now have five PS4 games.

So why did they do more?

A long history of good service initiated to the original order. Matching the competition led to more sales. Amazon could have stopped there and didn’t. For the past week, I’ve been seeing coupon codes for free downloadable content. Something they didn’t have to do to get the sale.

Today, I got a coupon for $30 off a Kindle Fire. They know that people who like game consoles also like other technical things (did you see how many devices we own!). Magically, while I wasn’t in the market for a tablet, I started considering if it would be a good idea to get one.

Not to mention, all of these offers drove both my husband and I to the site more. Once on there, you see suggestions based on past purchases and things other customers have bought with it.

What can you do?

Here are a few tips on how your business can align sales and marketing:

  • Let marketing and sales data talk to each other. Use sales to drive marketing decisions. Let marketing drive sales.
  • Listen to your customers. Chances are they are telling you what they want. You just need to be prepared to listen and act on it.
  • Create an experience. The more memorable and enjoyable an experience, the more likely a person is to buy again. Your marketing is more effective. Your sales team doesn’t need to work as hard.
  • Constantly Evaluate. Sales and marketing alignment is an ongoing process. You can’t create a system and let it run its course. If you want success you need to constantly evaluate what’s working and what’s not. The sooner you can act on those items, the better.