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Types of Sales Promotions
Many types of sales promotions can induce a consumer to buy your goods or services. A product sample delivered to the consumer’s door is a good way to introduce a new product, but also one of the most expensive. Coupons offering a discount off the usual price, cash refunds or rebates redeemable after purchase, and prizes or sweepstakes are also ways of attracting consumer attention.
Measuring Effect of Sales Promotion
Measuring the effect of a sales promotion is relatively easy but requires careful analysis of sales data before and after the promotion. You will also need to keep track of what other marketing and communication efforts and dollars your firm is undertaking at the same time as the sales promotion. Because sales promotions deal in tangible things, such as redeemed coupons or cash refunds and rebates, you can count those and see how many sales were a result of those promotions. Next, compare those sales figures to those your company had before the promotion to see if the promotion resulted in increased sales. To understand the true effect of the promotion, keep other media expenditures and types the same during the promotion as before. That way you are only measuring the effect of the sales promotion itself.
Effectiveness Vs. Goals
Deciding whether your promotional campaign was effective depends on what goals were established. This varies by the established strategy at the start of the campaign. For example, if the goal of the campaign was to garner an increase in market share of 2 percentage points and the campaign yielded 3, then the campaign was successful. But, this also has to be examined in light of cost. If the cost of the additional market share was well beyond the budget set aside for the promotional push, then the campaign’s effectiveness is mixed.
Short- Vs. Long-Term Impact
Although an effective sales promotion will increase sales in the short-term, generally there no longer-term impact. For established brands, many customers will wait for the promotion to buy and to take advantage of the lower price. And, for many brands, most buyers were already familiar with the brand before the promotion. The promotion may have done little to attract new buyers or to encourage brand switching.
Sales Promotions in Highly Competitive Markets
Sales promotions have their place in marketing even though they tend to instill a higher degree of price sensitivity among consumers. For new product introductions in competitive markets where there is a need to familiarize a group of consumers with a new product, sales promotions are a highly effective tool. And, in established competitive markets where gains in market share count for the bragging rights the increased share might offer, sales promotions are also an effective method to increase sales volume.