It is a communication technique that combines a number of activities to support the sales strategies of organizations for a certain period of time, which differs from Advertising and Personal Selling, and contributes to:
Add value to a product or service,
Optimize the effectiveness of the sales force,
in order to encourage , through traditional or non-traditional media, increasing purchases by existing consumers. Therefore, Promotion seeks to increase consumers’ desire for that product.
Usually, this happens because Promotion gives a tangible or intangible added value to products or services during a defined period and this fact moves people to buy.
To "catch" consumer’s attention, different strategies are used. The main one relies on the feeling that the decision is to be made in a short period of time; otherwise the Plus that is offered would be lost. That Plus may be an economic one, increased quantity, discounts, gifts, etc. If Promotion is not associated with a short period of time, the buyer will consider the Plus as a characteristic of the product and sales will not increase.
Thus, the development of short-term actions, inherent to Promotion, offers a quick measurable response when calculating the ROI (Return on Investment).
In previous definitions, intangibles or diffuse aspects, such as the effects on the brand image or awareness of a product, are not taken into account. This occurs because promotions must be part of a marketing mix within a communications strategy that includes other tools.
When bad sales results are obtained after a promotion, the action is justified on the grounds that it was useful to increase awareness of the brand or product. However, this could be mistaken because to evaluate its effectiveness the whole set of tools used for the distribution and sale of the product or service should be analyzed.
Promotion, also called promotional marketing, sales promotions or consumer promotions, is not the same as advertising or personal selling. However, as mentioned before, it is a main part of the Marketing and Communications Strategy of the organization and, therefore, its planning is really important.
Planning involves identifying goals and formulating strategies to achieve them.
As far as the objectives are concerned, even though Promotion involves short time actions, long term objectives should be considered.
In the long run, Promotions contributes to:
Increase the participation of the organization in the market share;
Test new products;
Introduce new products in the consumption habits of the target audiences;
Increase customers’ loyalty;
Incorporate new customers and market segments;
Encourage sustained motivation of the Sales Team.
To begin with, the preparation of an Advertising Brief, that is a communicational tool that helps to prepare an Executive Summary of an Advertising Campaign, should be undertaken.
The Advertising Brief should include: 1) communication objectives, 2) identification of the target audience, 3) choice of means, 4) determining the tone 5) selection and design of channels and supports, 6) outlining the creative profile of the Promotion Plan, 7) the general concept, 8) Operational summary for the organization.
Applications: Samples, Coupons, Product Testing, Point-of-sale display and demonstration , Price Reductions, Discounts, Packages , Competitions, Prizes, Gifts, Brand Loyalty Rewards, Point of Sale Promotions, Product Information, Sales support , Event Organization, Dealers’ Assistance, etc.
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