The Many Tools of Sales Promotion
Sales promotion tools can be varied. They can be aimed at different target audiences: the consumer, the sales team and the trade. Whoever they are targeted to, they have one common goal: to increase sales. Since the sales function is the most important functioning of any marketing activity, sales promotions have to be taken seriously and have to be part of the strategic marketing plan of the brand.
Let's take consumer-oriented sales promotions first. These can be a price-off which is the simplest, easiest and probably quickest way to get a buyer's attention. It makes a buyer pick up the product, because he thinks he's saving by doing so. A variation on this scheme is the more-for-less or a prize-pack deal where there is additional product in the same pack. Or, there could be an offer of one pack free on every pack you buy. This, too is a great incentive as far as the consumer is concerned. Somehow, it seems to stand out in shop shelves.
Yet another tool targeted to the consumer is the free sample. These can be in-store, out on the roads or can get into the home through a magazine, newspaper or mail. This is a great way to get the consumer to try the product. Who can resist getting anything free? Also through the same mode, you can get coupons to the consumer. If you offer a free ice-cream to a consumer when all she needs to do is cut out a coupon from the newspaper and present it at the store, she'll do it! Yet another way to keep the consumer coming back for more would be to start a loyalty rewards program. Competitions, too, arouse interest and involvement. Of course, having POP or point of purchase displays ensures that you catch the customer's eye and make him aware of the scheme that is on.
Having a sales promotion program in place is not enough. One needs to carry one's sales team along to ensure that it becomes a success. Towards this end, in order to motivate the sales team, there can be sales contests and incentives for achieving sales targets. The incentives can be in the form of prizes or cash. There could even be competitions. This not only enthuses the team but also helps to push the sales targets even higher. Once the sales team is motivated - and what greater motivation than money- you'll find that the sky is really the limit!
When it comes to the trade, again, incentive programs and contests seem to get the adrenalin flowing. These measures just inject a new lease of life into the sales curve of the brand. For the trade, conferences, conventions and trade shows are also very necessary. For one, it shows that the company takes the brand very seriously. For another, it is a sort of support for not just the brand but the trade as well. It means new customers could be added, new products announced with fanfare. Also very welcome is joint advertising when two manufacturers join hands over a promotion and in-shop POP or point of purchase razzmazztazz.