Consumer Sales Promotion Marketing Mix Strategy &Ideas & Methods
What is sales promotion?
A typical sales promotion budget covers almost 70% of the total consumer sales promotional budget. It is also considered as a brand differentiator by many big players like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Heinz and many more. For many business experts and academics, sales promotion is regarded as typical marketing techniques that add value to a product in order to achieve specific marketing goals. The primary purpose of sales promotion is to induce the consumers to make a quick buying-decision in order to create increases sales. Typical example of sales promotion is to offer customers to take chance of winning a prize or offering some extra products with the same price. Sales promotion and marketing are inter-related but not have the similar purpose. It is advertising which makes a platform for sales promotion where customers can see the direct added value of buying your product. On the other hand, advertising is an intangible promotion of your products to send the marketing message to the customer-base.
Sales Promotion: Advantages & Disadvantages
The main advantages associated with promotional sales are-an easy way to learn customer response and it work fast. It also an inexpensive marketing technique. Sales promotion does not always bring positive impact to business, sometime this type of promotion cause negative brand impact to customers mind in the long-term. So, a promotional campaign needs to be designed taking into account the consequences of losing brand value. A PIMS study of 1991 suggests that overuse of sales promotion brings low ROI, almost 15% less, in comparison to balanced and calculated promotional offers.it is advisable not to use sales promotion as a tool of brand imaging, advertising is always the best way as far as branding is concerned. So, marketers need to be careful and must understand the difference between the sales promotion and advertising.
Objective of sales promotion
Before designing a promotional campaign, you must identify the target groups. This is done by breaking up of your product markets and identification of small groups of consumers whose wants and needs are not the same as the mass market as a whole-this is one of the key to success in sales promotion. For finding the target group you need to take a qualitative research on the market to determine your groups of customers, if the target group exists then find out their needs & wants, and what drives them to buy your product. After learning about the target groups, you must set the objectives of sales promotion which is all about why you want to achieve in sales promotion campaign and how your customers will be benefits. Other aspects of sales objectives are: budget of the promotion and duration of the promotional offer.
Examples of Sales objectives
- Many marketers use the promotional sales as a tool to learn the response of the first time users, by offering reduced price, sales coupons, or money-back guarantees.
- To increase the repeat purchase from the existing users.
- It can work as an introductory platform for a new product. But a hosing plan and get a domain name free.
- Sales promotion is a vehicle to defend your business against your competitors. By giving your users free coupons upon buying every products so as they can get considerable discount on the next purchase with a specified time will certainly bind your customers with your products and it will unlikely that they will switch on a new brand, even if it being highly competitive.
- Try to target and find a new segment in the market by focusing geographic and psychology of users such as users with high and low purchasing needs. Normally, arranging a competition or contents are very helpful for targeting a specific interest group.
Basics Advertising,Promotion,Marketing and PR
Types of Sales Promotion
Basically there are three main categories of sales promotion targeted at different elements of markets such as consumers, traders, industries.
- Consumer sales promotions
- Trade sales promotion
- B2B and industrial sales promotion
1. Consumer Sales Promotion
Sampling-if your objective is to trial the product then sampling is an effective sales promotion method. Usually sampling is involved with low value products and products having highly visible features of benefits. For delivery sample products marketers use either door-to-door or mailing approach
Couponing-it is one of the oldest sales promotion strategies and sometimes couponing makes the product problematic by cheapening your brand name. Coupon is mainly used for attracting new customers as well as to increase instant sales with price reduction of a product.
Contests and Sweepstakes-these are very popular low-cost methods of sales promotion used and viable in almost any demographic location on earth. These techniques help people to learn your product more and help them pay more attention to your product. For instance if you arrange a completion about providing the accurate information of your product , then certainly interested customers will learn about your product and this is why it is an effective way of educating customers.
Money refunds-instant cash-back, refunds and rebates are very attractive ways to promote sales in cell phone service providers and web-hosting companies. For any product sales promotion, money back offers give a sense of security to all customers.
Premiums and bonus packs -a premium offer means an extra item at a low price or totally. Premiums are one of the effective sales promotions in targeting the brand switching users and also to increase sales rate among the existing users.
Loyalty schemes-this is great way to hold the loyalty of customers. It is basically a point based system, where each customer gets some points on each purchase and later he can use these points on buying the same products or other products at a reduced price. To many marketers, loyalty schemes are also known as-frequent purchasing scheme.
Exhibitions- this is not like trade show. The purpose of an exhibition is to interact with the customers, answer their queries and not to merchandise any products. Generally exhibitions are held to develop consumer interests on products. It is a very powerful and efficient vehicle to reach the customers and to educate them about your products. Example of exhibition is -Motor Show.
Packaging- many marketers does no pay much attention to the quality of packaging, because they simply do not understand the psychological and brand image aspects of packaging. An attractive and innovative packaging can work like a salient sales man-packaging does the hooking function to buyers. A well-packaged product carries not only the brand values but also create an emotional link to your prospects. Not that it is only important for packaging to be eye-catching, aesthetic, but it needs to protect the product inside with proper manner.
Marketing Strategies : Starting a Sales Promotion
2. Trade Sales Promotions
Improve the distribution line is the key purpose of trade sales, by organizing trade shows. Some effective techniques used in a trade promotion are: discounts, point-of-sales materials, shelf facings, and displays.
Incentives: This is a popular trade promotion idea with the manufacturers, retailers normally does not use this technique to boost their sales. Incentives are given as a form of cash bonus or prizes per sale.
Buying allowances- It’s a kind of price reduction for your product for a specific period of time.
Trade shows- It is a way of getting to learn new customers, introduce those new products, getting customer reactions. But unlike exhibitions, trade show involves in selling products. A successful trade show can be measured by keeping records of the number of visitors, useful leads and identifying the products with most interests to customers.
Advertising allowances promotion-This is a very common practice among manufacturers, where a certain amount of money is given to the retailers by the manufacturing company. This is allowances is based on the number of products and orders retailers can bring to the manufacturers.
Free training- A well informed sales man works like an ambassador for your brand. Customers need proper information from a proper channeled-no one than sales man do this job better. As a part of the promotional offer and relationship building, manufacturers offer training to the retail staff so as they become more effective and skilled while dealing with customers. This free training is very important promotion factor you market any complicated and expensive products. Along with each training manufacture need to provide well-documented brochures and technical manuals to the retailers.
3. Sales Promotions: B2B & Industrial
This is the last but not certainly the least important portion of the sales promotion plan. Industrial sales promotion is all about applying the trade & consumer promotional ideas into industrial marketing environment. Depending on the situation, you need to decide on which consumer and trade promotion ideas is best suited in B2B environment. For example, consumer promotional offer like “buy one get one free” can be offer in B2B environment as “buy one and get one-year service free”.
Depending of the type of products you choose to promote decides which promotional ideas will bring you the best ROI. While devising a promotional plan, keep in mind that sales promotion has disadvantages too. So, make sure sales promotion campaign does not harm your brand image at any cost. And finally, always try to avoid price competition wars as much as possible, rather put you all the attention in improving the quality of products by adding more values to it.