B2B partnership: UCI embarks on a collaboration with marketing specialist Opia

UCI, one of the leading cinema operators in Germany, has started to collaborate with global marketing services provider Opia. This new partner will bolster UCI’s direct sales of electronic cinema vouchers to corporate customers.

Bochum: UCI’s parent company, ODEON Cinemas Group, has been partnering in the United Kingdom and Ireland with marketing services specialist Opia for over five years. This partnership will now be expanded to Germany.

As part of the collaboration, UCI is looking forward to Opia’s support with sales of electronic vouchers to corporate clients.

The UCI sales team will naturally continue to be available for sales of the familiar cinema vouchers and will furthermore advise corporate clients on B2B events and advertising opportunities.

Ramón Biarnés, Managing Director Southern Europe, which also includes UCI Germany, said,
“We’re delighted by the closer partnership with Opia and anticipate new impetus in the B2B business in Germany. Opia has already made an impression with its strategic ideas in the United Kingdom and Ireland. We will achieve our goals in the B2B sector together with the German sales team and Opia.”

First and foremost, Opia will specialise in winning new customers in the field of electronic vouchers. The company has a long history of successful provision of sales promotion services to leading brands and has experience in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer promotions.

Andy Stone, Head of Reward Sales with Opia, explains, “Everyone knows that cinema is a great attraction. A superb film can scare us, make us laugh or cry - or simply make us feel good. This is why incorporating the power of the cinema into your business-to-business or employee incentive programme is so effective. Everyone loves a good film!”

UCI cinema vouchers for corporate clients are used by businesses for a range of activities: to thank customers and as customer loyalty scheme rewards, as incentives and employee gifts. Corporate clients can find all the details of our B2B products and contact our sales team at uci-media.de.

Corporate clients can contact Opia directly on [email protected] for electronic voucher enquiries.

About UCI

In its 30-year-plus history, UCI’s numerous innovations have made it synonymous with pioneering spirit in the cinema industry. UCI operates 22 cinemas in Germany, with five IMAX cinemas and the first ScreenX cinema in Berlin’s flagship cinema, UCI Luxe Mercedes Platz. UCI is a member of the ODEON Cinemas Group, Europe’s biggest cinema operator, with 290 cinemas, 2,558 screens and more than 11,000 employees in nine cinema markets. The ODEON Cinemas Group is part of AMC Theatres®, the world’s biggest cinema chain, which operates more than 1,000 cinemas, with over 11,000 screens, in 15 countries.

Press Release: Sales Promotions Deliver Brand Loyalty and Not Just Sales

Sales Promotions can deliver sales, brand loyalty and help to shorten consumer renewal cycles says report from Opia

Effective use of sales promotions don’t just significantly influence the purchase of ‘slow-moving consumer goods’ such as consumer electronics or white and brown goods, they also deliver tangible customer engagement.

In the consumer electronics space in particular, highly engaging sales promotions drive earlier purchases of new models, shorten product refresh cycles, and even lead customers to buy a brand they may not have previously considered. These are among the key findings included in a new white paper from Opia, a global leader in strategic and tactical sales promotions.

In a sample of 500,000 claimed promotions designed and managed by Opia, 30% of people said that the promotion prompted them to purchase the product earlier than they had intended, while 27% were influenced to buy a product that they had not considered previously. A further 18% said they would not have purchased the product at all without the promotion.

Opia analysed data across more than 100 campaigns, such as Samsung, Dell, Google and LG, in order to determine customer perceptions and behaviours towards redemption-based promotions and how promotions can support product and category managers.

It presented the findings in the white paper, which reveals:

  • Customers appreciate buying a product with a sales promotion: 78% were satisfied with their promotion (33% very satisfied, 45% satisfied) and only 6% considered themselves to be dissatisfied.
  • Almost half (47%) of promotional claims lead to the customer signing up to the brand’s marketing preference, demonstrating an intention of brand loyalty.
  • ‘Gift with purchase’ promotions (e.g. a pair of high-end wireless headphones with an advanced smartphone) drive significantly higher engagement and sign up to marketing communications (close to 50%)
  • Consumer electronic brands attract even higher sign-up rates with 67% opting-in to future marketing communications.

Sales promotion experts at Opia believe that these positive results come from using in-depth knowledge of customer behaviour and market activity to design creative and intelligent sales promotion to the product manager’s objective: “What we know from experience,” says Laurent Kretzschmar, Commercial and Product Director at Opia, “is that sales promotions are often most effective when multi-layered, and tailored to a commercial need – and when they stretch beyond simply achieving sales volume.

“In a competitive market, real success requires more imagination and applied intelligence,” he adds.

If, for example, a brand is planning a new product launch then ‘buy and try’ or ‘free trials’ often works best with a strong ‘peace of mind’ message to new adopters; if it is a high value product then an expensive gift or generous cashback could be the most effective; and if the objective is to increase market share, then a trade-in of a competitor’s brand for your new model could be a route to competitive advantage (and one that can support corporate sustainability agendas).

“But whichever style of promotion you use,” says Laurent, “it shouldn’t be just about sales – it should be about protecting your margins and engendering customer engagement and brand loyalty for return business and future success. Whatever strategy we recommend we are always searching for consumer to sign-up to marketing preference after they have made their claim. It indicates strong brand engagement and that they want to be the first to know about new exciting products or exciting offers for these types of products in the future.”

Laurent agrees that sales promotions, like price discounts, have been described as the hard drugs of the retail sector, and are often misused: “They have a reputation for being a risky or expensive way of achieving sales volume,” he says. “They are often used to ease the pain in the short term but, as use increases, so does dependence and it becomes harder and harder to quit. But ‘quitting’ is not the solution,” he insists. “Instead, better understanding of how sales promotions work and the outputs you can expect are key to using them successfully.”

Laurent believes that some product manager’s thinking around sales promotions starts and ends with the many simplistic ‘cashback’ offers so frequently advertised, but even these are misunderstood:

“Cashbacks can be multi-layered and packaged as ‘Buy more save more’ campaigns based on purchase value thresholds designed using historical buying patterns. And alternatives such as ‘gift with purchase promotion’ for example, where a pair of high-end wireless headphones or smart speakers is given free in combination with the purchase or pre-order of a new smartphone model, performs extremely well,” he says. “They drive high engagement both from the visibility of the promotion and marketing message as well as from the potential future engagement of promotionally responsive customers who sign up to marketing communications – close to 50% – compared to cashback offers which result in 25%.

“The drawback with poorly designed cashback offers or complex trade-ins can be that while they appear to provide a differentiated marketing message, they are often seen by customers as unattractive and not different to small price discounts, failing to drive sales uplift as well as yielding long term engagement.”

Download the whitepaper here

Introducing Opia Cloud: The Innovative Platform That Makes Sales Promotions Easy

For product and category managers seeking to boost their sales and protect their margins, Opia offers a flexible, robust, and scalable solution that makes managing sales promotions easy to launch and more efficient to run. Opia’s newly released proprietary sales promotion software, Opia Cloud, brings together a full suite of digital capabilities to build the best and biggest promotions for its clients with minimal effort required on their part.

With over 15 years of experience as market leaders in designing and delivering highly responsive sales promotions for the world’s most successful companies, Opia knows what is needed to offer clients the most value from this software.

Adam Nicholson, Director of Technology, commented, "Our clients are always telling us that they love our flexibility and ability to create campaigns tailored to their needs. The truth is that Opia Cloud is the secret sauce which enables us to do that.”

From branded interfaces and claim processing all the way to reward payment and gift or trade-in logistics, Opia Cloud has the functionality to rapidly launch and run sales promotions that provide a seamless, on-brand customer engagement.

Opia Cloud creates omnichannel experiences using trusted customer interfaces over multiple touchpoints, such as mobile responsive microsites, apps and social media, voice assistants and smart devices.

Translating promotions and end-to-end customer notifications to run in multiple languages and localising the messaging to be market-relevant supports customer engagement worldwide. Furthermore, with a multilingual user-matched interface delivering 24/7 customer service, clients can have confidence in seamless promotion management wherever their customers interact.

Commenting on the thought behind the design, Adam continues, "The platform was designed from the ground up to be hyper-flexible, with an architecture of building blocks that can be re-assembled in various shapes and sizes to produce different end-solutions. And, as a result of re-using tried-and-tested platform features, we can guarantee a high-quality result every single time."

This approach is evident in Opia Cloud's choice of pre-defined and customisable mechanics, such as cashbacks, free gifts, trade-ins and referrals, proven in their success in delivering an optimum ROI. In addition, all promotions are set up with Opia’s recommended suppliers that make promotion management entirely hassle-free. From fast and convenient payment solutions, digital and physical gifts fulfilment and sustainable recycling of unwanted products, Opia Cloud guarantees an easy-to-use, high-quality experience for all users.

Opia Cloud gives brands complete visibility and control with an online dashboard providing real-time reporting of every metric of a promotion, from tracking claim and redemption volumes and status to monitoring retailer and reseller participation and performance. Capturing customer insights, marketing opt-ins and surveys, the cutting-edge technology behind this platform provides the analytics to drive optimum promotion results.

Trusted by the most demanding and complex brands, Opia Cloud encompasses the best in fraud prevention and data protection by design. Tailored to each client's unique requirements, there is the option for an entirely self-contained experience managed completely by Opia or a secure API integration with clients' internal systems.

Notorious for its market disruptive approach, Opia has once again leveraged deep insight and imagination to develop a platform that delivers exceptional results for every aspect of its clients’ sales promotions.

Contact us today to discuss how our sales promotion software and bespoke redemption solutions can help your business to drive sales, increase brand loyalty and surpass the competition.

Forever Young: An Innovative Environmental Focus from Prénatal

Prénatal takes a first-of-its-kind environmental focus, promising to extend the life of its children's products by rewarding customers who choose to recycle within a designated time frame. The retail group, a European leader in children's products and clothing with 253 stores, is offering its customers a gift card reward of up to 50% of the purchase value when they take up this offer on their modular systems, strollers, car seats or cribs. This innovative promotion, Forever Young, provides not only a financial benefit for families but also a wider gain for the environment.

Launched in France in 1947 and opening its first store in Milan in 1963, Prénatal is now the point of reference for parents in Italy, Spain and Greece. Offering an extensive selection of the world’s top childcare products, the brand also has a wide range of dedicated specialised clothing for new mums, and bespoke clothes for newborns and children: all these exclusive creations are sold under the Prénatal label.

A leader in Europe in the retail of childcare products, Prénatal’s innovative campaign addresses a widespread, enduring problem. Families purchase brand-new children’s products, and their time-limited use means that most end up cast aside or stored away and forgotten in garages and attics. Prénatal’s goal is to extend the life of these under-used products, which remain in good condition.

The market-disruptive Forever Young promotion, running at Prénatal stores across Italy with plans to extend across Europe, is offering customers a 30-50% Prénatal gift card reward, when a product, purchased from their promotional lines, is returned within a 12-18-month window. The campaign is fully managed by creative sales promotions partner, Opia, who also take care of all the logistics, finding a new home or shape for the returned products through their managed recycling scheme.

With the sales promotion still running, the take-up is yet to be fully determined, but initial feedback is positive. Massimo Arioli, Business Unit Director of Prénatal, recognises that it is just the start of a journey that will remain ongoing. "In about a year, we will begin to see results; the first articles returned will be ready to come back to life and be useful in new contexts."

Remaining committed to a better shared future, helping families’ financial burdens and guaranteeing recycling that benefits the environment, he emphasises, “We are also eager to collaborate with third sector companies, who want to give further value to this ethical and sustainable process and therefore we will open a privileged channel for them.”

With Prénatal’s Forever Young video clearly conveying their commitment to these goals, we can look forward to a better future for unwanted children’s products, the children who have enjoyed them, their families, and the wider environment.

Find out how Opia can design innovative promotions that will drive your sales and optimise the lifetime value of your customers.

Unveiling the Opia Rebrand

The team at Opia is very excited to be launching our Opia rebrand this week.

Our mission is to be leaders in our industry and to continue to offer our clients innovative and cost-efficient sales promotions. To communicate how our strategies have continued to evolve to be new, unique and market-disruptive, we felt the time was right to refresh our brand, and with our refreshed brand, it made sense to launch a shiny, new website too!

Keeping consistent with our core values

Although we’ve undergone a brand refresh to showcase the new and exciting approaches Opia offers, our core values and approach to innovation and service quality remain the same.

We continue to put our clients at the heart of everything we do, ensuring mutual value for you and your customers across every one of our sales promotions. We remain committed to creating sales promotions that are unique and imaginative, yet built on data, market insights and proven mechanics, to consistently deliver our clients results.

What you’ll find on our new site

The Opia rebrand also means there is a lot of new content on our site. We go into more detail explaining our services, the mechanics behind them and the benefits they offer our clients. We’ve given more insight into our history, sharing the successes we’ve had in fulfilling our clients’ objectives, driving up their sales and widening their share of the market.

For over twelve years in the industry, we've been dedicated to remaining at the forefront of sales promotions and ensuring our campaigns deliver the best possible results for our clients. Our refreshed brand uses a clear, consistent voice to illustrate how we continue to strive to make a good thing better, offering a cost-effective solution to our clients that drives an uplift in their sales and supports long-term profitability.

What else is on the horizon?

We’ve recently started to roll out our new sales promotion solution, Opia Cloud. This digital platform centralises all aspects of our sales promotion delivery, enabling ever more innovation and client services, managing every step of your promotions in one place, more efficient and more accessible. Our teams will share further information to our clients soon as we roll out the solution, but in the meantime, if you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

What next?

The Opia rebrand was fuelled by our desire to stand out and highlight how our sales promotions are the smart alternative. We aim to show you how we can continue to increase your sales, protect your margins, and support your long-term success.

Please feel free to take a moment to browse our site and find out what we can offer your business, and if you’d like to know more about how we can build a customised solution to support your commercial objectives, just give us a call.