Sales Promotion is one of the elements of the promotional mix. (The primary elements in the promotional mix are advertising, personal selling, direct marketing and publicity/public relations). Sales promotion uses both media and non-media marketing communications for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability. Examples include contests, coupons, freebies, and loss leaders, point of purchase displays, premiums, prizes, product samples, and rebates.
Sales promotions can be directed at either the customer, sales staff, or distribution channel members (such as retailers). Sales promotions targeted at the consumer are called consumer sales promotions. Sales promotions targeted at retailers and wholesale are called trade sales promotions.
Sales promotion includes several communications activities that attempt to provide added value or incentives to consumers, wholesalers, retailers, or other organizational customers to stimulate immediate sales. These efforts can attempt to stimulate product interest, trial, or purchase. Examples of devices used in sales promotion include coupons, samples, premiums, point-of-purchase (POP) displays, contests, rebates, and sweepstakes.
Sales promotion is implemented to attract new customers, to hold present customers, to counteract competition, and to take advantage of opportunities that are revealed by market research. It is made up of activities, both outside and inside activities, to enhance company sales. Outside sales promotion activities include advertising, publicity, public relations activities, and special sales events. Inside sales promotion activities include window displays, product and promotional material display and promotional programs such as premium awards and contests.
Advantages of Sales Promotions
The main advantages in using sales promotional activity, either alone or to support mainstream marketing activity and communications, are:
(i) Very flexible and adaptable in terms of tackling specific problems or supporting mainstream marketing communications Bata national or local level
(ii) Capable of specific action through specific focus and structure
(iii) Relatively short lead times to design and implement (compared with media communications)
(iv) Often more easy to monitor the effect or tangible results
(v) Economical and cost saving, possibly with economies of scale
(vi) Can be adapted to large and small markets, major or minor products or brands.
11 Important Techniques of Sales Promotion
Under it in order to clear the excess stock, products are offered at some reduced price. For example, giving a rebate by a car manufacturer to the tune of 12,000/- for a limited period of time.
Under this method, the customers are offered products on less than the listed price. For example, giving a discount of 30% on the sale of Liberty Shoes. Similarly giving a discount of 50% + 40% by the KOUTONS.
Under this method, some part of the price of an article is refunded to the customer on showing proof of purchase. For example, refunding an amount of 5/- on showing the empty packet of the product priced 100/-.
- Product Combination
Under this method, along with the main product some other product is offered to the customer as a gift. The following are some of the examples:
- Quantity Gift
Under this method, some extra quantity of the main product is passed on as a gift to the customers. For example, 25% extra toothpaste in a packet of 200 gm tooth paste. Similarly, a free gift of one RICH LOOK shirt on the purchase of two shirts.
- Instant Draw and Assigned Gift
Under this method, a customer is asked to scratch a card on the purchase of a product and the name of the product is inscribed thereupon which is immediately offered to the customer as a gift. For example, on buying a car when the card is scratched such gifts are offered – TV, Refrigerator, Computer, Mixer, Dinner Set, Wristwatch, T-shirt, Iron Press, etc.
- Lucky Draw
Under this method, the customers of a particular product are offered gifts on a fixed date and the winners are decided by the draw of lots. While purchasing the product, the customers are given a coupon with a specific number printed on it.
On the basis of this number alone the buyer claims to have won the gift. For example, ‘Buy a bathing soap and get a gold coin’ offer can be used under this method.
- Usable Benefits
Under this method, coupons are distributed among the consumers on behalf of the producer. Coupon is a kind of certificate telling that the product mentioned therein can be obtained at special discount.
It means that if a customer has a coupon of some product he will get the discount mentioned therein whenever he buys it. Possession of a coupon motivates the consumer to buy the product, even when he has no need of it.
Such coupons are published in newspapers and magazines. Some companies distribute coupons among its shareholders. Sellers collect the coupons from the customers and get the payment from the company that issues the same.
- Full Finance @ 0%
Under this method, the product is sold and money received in installment at 0% rate of interest. The seller determines the number of installments in which the price of the product will be recovered from the customer. No interest is charged on these installments.
- Samples or Sampling
Under this method, the producer distributes free samples of his product among the consumers. Sales representatives distribute these samples from door-to-door.
This method is used mostly in case of products of daily-use, e.g., Washing Powder, Tea, Toothpaste, etc. Thus, the consumers willy-nilly make use of free sample. If it satisfies them, they buy it and in this way sales are increased.
Some producers organize contests with a view to popularizing their products. Consumers taking part in the contest are asked to answer some very simple questions on a form and forward the same to the company. The blank form is made available to that consumer who buys the product first.