Promotional mix has seven parts; namely, advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, publicity PR public relation, exhibition, corporate image and the seventh one is SALES PROMOTION.
Sales promotions are of two types; consumer sales promotions and trade sales promotions. Sales promotion can be directed at customers, distribution channel members such as retailers or either sales staff. Consumer sales promotions target the consumers while trade sales promotion is at the retail wholesales.
The purpose of sales promotion is to give incentives to the retailers, wholesalers, organizational customers or the consumers to stimulate the process of sales on immediate basis. For examples, various contests are conducted to give incentives and to promote the sales. In the same way free travel such as free flights, rebate (marketing) and the spot of purchase displays are used for the sales promotional purposes.
There are two types of sales promotional strategies; push strategy and pull strategy. In push strategy, the communication between sellers and buyers take place for the purchase of product. Moreover, it demands less expenditure on advertising than pull strategy. Whereas in pull strategy the consumer selects the product and pull it through any delivery channel. This strategy is quite difficult to implement than the push strategy.
The two types of sales promotions, which are consumer-oriented promotions, and trade-oriented promotions have their own characteristics. Trade-oriented promotions include the trade allowances, training programs, point-of-purchase displays, trade shows, contests and dealer incentives. While the consumer-oriented promotions includes, samples, coupons, premium, refunds, bonus pack, event sponsorship, price-offs and different contests.
Hence, sales promotion is a procedure to persuade and motivate a potential consumer in such a way that he or she is agreed to buy a product. It is used as a short-term tool or tactic to boost up the sales of any company or organization. However, these sales promotions are not suitable for long-term customer loyalty.
While planning sales promotion there are certain questions that you need to address with your own self before introducing the sale promotion. Such as, will your sale promotion will result in justifying the sales investments? Is your sale promotion is compatible with your company’s image? Will the promotion attract only those customers who will buy the product in promotion and will end up buying after the sale or your sale promotion is satisfying those consumers who are always looking for the bargaining ways?
There are many ways of sales promotions either its consumer-oriented promotion or trade-oriented promotion including
• Coupons: the consumers receive such coupons by any rand or they simply cut them off from any newspaper. These coupons help the consumer to buy the product at reduce prices.
• Competitions: Buying certain products in sales promotion gives a chance to the consumer to take part in competitions to win prizes.
• Discount vouchers: these vouchers work same as that of the coupons.
• free gifts: free gifts are given to the consumers with the purchase of any product
• Buy—one-get-one: this offer allow the consumer to get a product free with the one he or she purchase.
• Finance deals: for example 0% finance over three years on the purchase of selected vehicle.
• Free sample: it is also a promotional tool e.g. tasting of good or eatable at the sampling points in supermarkets.
• Discounted prices: some companies e-mail their consumers and tell them about the discounted prices for specific goods and products.
Hence, this initiative undertaken by any organization to increase its sales is actually the sales promotion. Sales promotion has a significant effect on the behavior of the consumer. As sales promotions permit price discrimination, they bring more profit for the manufacturers. Still sales promotion has various advantages as well as disadvantages.
There plus points include that:
• They boost up the sales quickly.
• They encourage the consumer to try a product.
• They have made the competition tougher between organizations and the consumers can switch from one brand to another more frequently.
• Producers can introduce the price discrimination through sales promotions.
• They have an intense effect on the consumer behavior in a way that they are for a short time period so the consumer does not waste their time in thinking about the alternatives and just simply buy the products.
• Short-term promotions encourage the dealers to promote their products and to forward buy.
However, sales promotion is an effective method to bring positive results; still it is not suitable and good for the bad advertising. If the advertisement is done in a wrong way, then sales promotion would not be able to earn much profitability for the manufacturers.
There negative point includes that they increase the price sensitivity, consumers have to wait for the promotion announcements to buy the product. In most sales promotion, the quality of the product becomes tarnished and the consumer has to compromise on the quality. In addition, sales promotion is for a short time they can only boost up the prices for a short time period.
Nonetheless, besides having few disadvantages, sales promotion is an effective way of boosting up the sales for your product. You just have to make sure that the promotions are suitable with your sales investments and earn the maximum profit for you.