Promotional mix – Sales promotions

Definition of sales promotion?
Sales promotions are tactical activities used as part of the overall promotional mix. They’re intended to produce quick and short-term changes in consumer or business-to-business buying behaviours.

This can range from money off vouchers, inviting you to buy today and save money off the normal list price, or, maybe buy one get one free offer which seems to be the ‘big box’ supermarket preferred offer of the moment.

Some sales promotions are also employed as loss leaders – barely breaking even and at times even making a loss for a particular product, used mainly in consumer sales with the sole purpose of increasing footfall through the door – as we write this piece on the run-up to the World cup, Stella Artois can be purchased from Tesco at 6p per litre below cost! Obviously, these types of promotions cannot be sustained as part of a viable business model but they do serve a purpose.

Types of promotions in consumer, trade and business sales:

  • Price discounts
  • Bonus packs (30% extra free)
  • Contests
  • Sampling
  • Loyalty programs
  • Trialling in unusual application areas
  • Extended credit terms

When to use sales promotions?

Sales promotion techniques are used to introduce new products into the market through educating people who may not have necessarily tried the product if no promotion existed. For current products, a sense of goodwill is created whilst new clients and accounts are attracted with the offer of discounting or gifts.

Whilst there are criticisms surrounding some sales promotions, most of them yield positive results such as customer satisfaction and jump-starting low sales volumes through a stimulated demand, however as with all promotional activities these must be measured and planned out thoroughly as part of your overall marketing strategy.

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