Source Code

Stuart Pritchard November 19, 2015



UK Operations Manager of the leading marking and coding specialist Markem-Imaje, MARTIN BAILEY, considers why promotional codes are becoming an increasingly common sight…

In today’s fiercely competitive retail environment any promotional tool that adds value beyond a short-term increase in sales has to be worth

How dairy: MU Yoghurt with promo coding

How dairy: MU Yoghurt with promo coding

serious consideration. While traditional tools such as discounting remain a staple in the retailer’s armoury, more sophisticated methods are rapidly gaining greater traction as they become easier to implement. Promotional coding for instance, which involves the use of ‘unique intelligent numbers’, could finally see the demise of simple price cuts altogether.

Unique numbers used for on-pack promotions are helping brand owners to get better value from the consumer data that these numbers allow them to capture. Indeed, today many brand owners include a unique number, even if they are not running a promotion.

There are many reasons for using these codes; the use of intelligent unique numbers provides brands with a more effective method of rewarding consumer loyalty, but the real advantage is that they enable a more strategic approach which leads to longer term sales growth.


Promotional coding can give cost-cutting the chop

Promotional coding can give cost-cutting the chop

Promotional codes are not simply random numbers, these intelligent, unique codes are not sequential, there is no logic to them and they are completely different to date batch, best before or Julian codes – every customer deserves a unique number and they are made up of 8, 10, 12 or more alphanumerical digits. With every purchase, consumers can claim a reward, entering their codes via smartphones, social media platforms or brand websites to claim points, cash or coupons or enter prize draws.

Key to the success of promotional coding is the customer’s interaction with the brand. It is something that on-pack promotions, which have no link to purchase, cannot do. By providing every customer with a unique code with which to make their claim, brands can also obtain the sort of detailed marketing data that price cutting promotions never can.

The data that unique codes help the brand to gather enables a more powerful, strategic approach to be taken in any campaign, providing more information about consumer-behaviour than any other form of promotion. This knowledge can be used to produce smarter, more targeted communications – it’s all about getting the right message to the right person at the right time.

Not only does the use of intelligent unique codes provide brands with the key information they need – who bought their product, what exactly they bought and when they bought it – it instantly removes the need to buy in data from third parties.


Driving sales is the bottom line for any promotional activity, but as brands simultaneously seek long-term loyalty and growth, the

Have your cake and eat it…

Have your cake and eat it…

importance of using promotional activity more strategically grows.

Collecting valid, proof-of-purchase data helps to track consumer behaviour providing insight to the ‘path to purchase’ and enabling personalised communications to build brand engagement. Having the right coding hardware means this can be done with minimal impact on the production line and the reality is that return on investment is such that any brand, large or small, can justify the use of intelligent unique codes. Indeed brands who want to run a promotional campaign on relatively small print runs should not think that the cost will be prohibitive or that the introduction of code printing will disrupt production.

The combination of today’s reliable coding technology, performance guarantees and in particular, payment options that remove the need for capital financing, means promotional coding has never been easier.

The potential return on investment is plain to see and it is clear that the combination of a simple-to-execute coding platform with an easy to use coding process will see a continued increase in the use of intelligent unique promotional codes. By working in partnership with marking and coding specialists like Markem-Imaje, brands and retailers can maximise the opportunities that promotional coding offers to secure long term sales growth in an increasingly challenging market place.


Markem-Imaje, a wholly owned subsidiary of the US-based Dover Corporation, is a trusted world manufacturer of product identification and traceability solutions, offering a full-line of reliable and innovative inkjet, thermal transfer, laser, and print and apply label systems. Markem-Imaje provides global reach to over 50,000 customers with 30 subsidiaries, six technology centres, several equipment repair centres and manufacturing plants with the most comprehensive marking and coding portfolio available in the marketplace. So if you’re looking for a coding solution specific to you, contact us today!