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Oct 29, 2008

From Sales Gimmick to Real Deals

Companies have known for years that sales promotion play a very important role in today’s integrated marketing programs. It’s effective to increase business presence, and retain customers.

Indeed, research shows sales promotion can positively boost a company’s sales. The activity designed to boost the sales of a product or service may include:

• Sampling/ Distribution of free samples
• Price promotion / Price discounting / Clearance sale
• Coupons / Vouchers
• Gift with purchase / Premium promotion
• Competitions and prizes contests
• Money refunds / Rebates / Cash backs
• Frequent user incentives / Loyalty incentives / Bonus stamps
• Point-of-sale displays / Point of purchase materials

However, it’s equally important to choose the right sales promotion tools that communicate how you want to be perceived and attracts the customers you want.

Thus a good marketing person will emphasize the function of sales promotion in showing to customers how the products offered will satisfy customers’ needs, and then stimulate the desire to buy the products.

Unfortunately, many customers often perceive that sales promotion technique is just a sale and marketing gimmick. Could we not change their mindset?

Of course, we could!

Most successful sales promotion campaigns don’t happen by chance, you know. In general, market research studies can be used to assist you. Here are 2 basic guidelines:

1. Pretesting / (Before)
Before you set a technique for your sales promotion plan, a simple survey should be conducted to determine if the tool is appropriate; analyze customer suggestions and complaints; and analyze competitors’ sales promotion techniques. Consumers can be asked to rate or rank different possible techniques. I.e. you could describe the sales promotion idea to potential customers and ask, “Would you buy this product?”

2. Evaluating / (After)
After each sales promotion conducted, a consumer survey can be conducted to analyze the types of people who took advantage of the promotion; what they thought of it; why they bought before/after the promotion; and how the promotion affected subsequent brand or choice behaviour. I.e. you could study on post purchase consumer buying behaviour and ask, “Which elements of this premium gift most affect your future buying behaviour?”

All in all, if you intend to develop a sales promotion technique any time soon, BMI Research can provide you with more market research consultation and information.

Maria Azlan
Chief Operating Officer
BMI Research (Malaysia)