Even the most cursory examination of marketing theories will make the student aware of the four Ps. Academics and business leaders have championed this technique to focus a company’s efforts to sell its goods and services. The four Ps are:
Their importance today is as essential as it was when they were initially defined and labeled the ‘marketing mix.’ The fundamental principles still apply and are vital to the success of any business, even if the methods and techniques may have changed over the years.
Simply put, your products and how and where they are sold must be key elements of your business plan. Promotion weaves its way into all the other parts. To explain this further, a business could run a price-based or location-specific promotion. The same enterprise might run a promotion on one specific product or across a range of products. Sales promotion is an excellent way of making your customers and potential customers aware of your USP and brand values through good, clear communication.
Sales promotion should not be a sticking plaster, slapped on at the last minute when a range is slow-moving; it should be included in the overall marketing strategy and business planning. Broadly speaking, sales promotion is either added value or price reduction.
Price Promotions and When to Use Them
While it might be tempting to resort to price cutting automatically, there are many other tools in the sales promotion box. Unless price-led promotions lead to a significant increase in sales volume, you might want to hold them back for slow-moving stock or shifting items that have been sitting on your inventory for too long.
Consumers are savvy, and the internet and access to reviews have made them even smarter. If customers think a business is always offering money-off promotions, you may struggle to make full-price sales. If this is your overall business strategy, all well and good, and the reduced margins will need to be factored into your forecasts and figures.
Supermarkets like Walmart use price promotions to drive traffic and bring customers in. They have some essentials at loss-leading prices that bring people to their stores and website. While shopping for the basics, people are tempted by all sorts of other offers they see.
Loyalty cards also allow holders to get a better price in-store than those shopping without one. The cards will enable the retailer to understand the shoppers’ habits better, and the data collected allows them to produce targeted promotions for specific customers. This information can be used in the future, or even at the check-out, to get the customer to try out new products or to trade up to a higher value item.
How To Make Value-Added Promotions Work for You
These types of promotions offer consumers something extra and can also enhance your brand values. They can be an excellent way to tempt new customers to make a purchase or get them to try something new. Price promotion is money off now, and value-added is about delayed gratification.
You can use promotions to get people to try your product. You could do this by offering free samples or the chance to experience the product firsthand. One example is the fast-moving consumer brands that employ field promotion staff in shopping malls. They have samples of the food or drink to hand out to shoppers. They usually also offer coupons, giving consumers an incentive to buy on the spot.
Another example is the rapidly growing online casino business which is good at getting customers to sample and take a look around what is a relatively new proposition for many Americans. The operators offer players no deposit bonus codes, which allows them to ‘try before they buy.’ They do not need to place any money with the online casino but can try out the games and, potentially, win real money.
The beauty industry creates special small sample packets, which they give away when full-size packs of their products are brought to encourage consumers to try out new products.
Remember to Communicate
Whichever route you choose to go down, remember to communicate your offer via direct email communications, on social media like Instagram, or by any other means you choose.