Sales promotion refers to many kinds of incentives and techniques directed towards consumers and traders with the intention to produce immediate or short-term sales effects.
“Sales promotion includes incentive-offering and interest-creating activities which are generally short-term marketing events other than advertising, personal selling, publicity and direct marketing.
The purpose of sales promotion is to stimulate, motivate and influence the purchase and other desired behavioral responses of the firm’s customers.”
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Sales promotion offers a direct inducement to act by providing extra worth over and above what is built into the product at its normal price. These temporary inducements are offered usually at a time and place where the buying decision is made. Not only are sales promotions very common in the current competitive market conditions, they are increasing at a fast apace. These promotions are direct inducements. In spite of the directness, sales promotions are fairly complicated and a rich tool of marketing with innumerable creative possibilities limited only by the imagination of promotion planners. Sales promotion is often referred to by the names of ‘extra purchase value’ and ‘below-the-line selling’.
Used to achieve short-term sales
Sales promotion is a separate and distinct element in the promotion mix and is an important and powerful tool of marketing. The aim of sales promotion is goal-oriented to achieve sales/marketing objectives which are short-term and immediate.
Becoming too common
Today we find companies in almost all sectors offering some sort of a promotion scheme. These sectors range from automobiles to beverages, from financial services to foods, from household durables to services, from household products to business products, from personal care to textiles and apparel.
Writing about sales promotion tools, Prof. Philip Kotler observes – “they have 3 distinctive characteristics.”
- Communication: they gain attention and usually provide information that may lead the customer to the product.
- Incentive: they incorporate some concession, inducement, or contribution that gives value to the consumer.
- Invitation: they include a distinct invitation to engage in the transaction now (offer valid till …or till stocks last)
Major users of sales promotions are marketers of soaps, detergents, toiletries, soft drinks, toothpastes, tea, coffee, footware, textiles, readymade garments, consumer durable goods, music systems, autos, televisions, washing machines, microwave ovens, refrigerators, magazines and many other household items. In fact the list of product categories using sales promotion is ever-increasing, no matter what the product category, it could be staples, impulse goods, emergency goods shopping goods, speciality goods, unsought goods, industrial products, or different types of services.
Sales promotion is now established as an important and increasingly respectable element of the marketing communication tools. Sales promotion expenditures are increasing dramatically, and economic recession is most likely to fuel this trend further.
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