By: Oluwaseun P.Adeola
What sales Promotion Really Means
Cummins (1999, 11) pointed out that sales promotion can be thought to be just a marketing function. It is far better to perceive of it as part of the creation and strengthening of relationships that contribute to the success of the business. Sales promotion tries to inform potential customers of the reason to make purchase of a service now. Convincingly telling a potential customer via whatever means of the reason why he/she needs a service now and not on a later date can help spur the beginning of a business to business relationships. To corroborate this argument, Dann & Dann (2011, 204) postulated that the one essential advantage of sales promotion is that it encourages goodwill among consumers and tends to stimulate immediate sales. Of the various traditional sales promotion techniques that there are coupons, prize promotions, competitions, business promotion and free samples; the latter two will be discussed here because of their relevance to the B2B promotion in services marketing. (I.e. free sample and business promotion)
- Free samples help to encourage consumer test of the firm’s services. For example, Email factory Oy offers free trials of its service to potential customers online. Once a would-be customer tries the service and the service proved to be of good value that will help cement a long term relationship with the customer. More importantly, if the company service is a new one, free sample is a strong technique to lure business-customers to start patronizing the company. Kotler and Armstrong (1999, 425) categorically reasoned that sampling is the most effective way to introduce a new service.
- Business promotion: colossal amount of Euros are being spent on business promotion to business or industrial customers by large corporations and Small and medium sized companies alike across Europe and the world at large. The reason for this is that it helps the companies, small or big, to create leads, stimulate purchases, reward customers, and motivate sales people. (Kotler & Armstrong 1999, 428) However, one important tool of business promotion stands out for the B2B promotion, it is trade show. Trade show is organized to enable the gathering together of buyers and sellers of services in a particular place for the purpose of making contacts, inducing sales and building relationships. The trade show provides the opportunity to discover potential customers and display and teach how a service can be used. Similarly, trade shows present a situation in which the company sales team can meet directly with decisions makers and buyers from prospective clients (Kenneth & Donald 2010, 213).
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