The most important tool used in promotion is sales promotion. Most consumers relate ideas of marketing to the use of sales promotion techniques. The other main forms are advertising, and personal selling. The following section deals with sales promotion in detail.
Advertising takes the buyer towards the product, while sales promotion takes the product towards buyer.
The word ‘promotion’ is derived from the Latin word “Promovere“. This means to move forward or to push forward an idea. Sales promotion is the important element of promotion mix. The general purpose of Sales promotion is to boost product selling.
Definition of Sales Promotion
The following are some of the important definitions of sales promotion.
“Those activities that supplement both personal selling and advertising, coordinate them and help to make them more effective”.
— American Marketing Association
Sales promotion means any steps that are taken for the purpose of obtaining or increasing sales.
— A.H.R. Delens
The above definitions reveal that sales promotion is a marketing device to stimulate demand for a product.
Objectives of sales promotion
Sales promotion secures the following objectives:
1. Bridge between advertising and personal selling
Sales promotion consists of those activities other than personal selling, advertising and publicity. It serves as a bridge between personal selling and advertising.
2. Introduction of new products
Sales promotional devices help introduce new products in the market. They induce buyers to purchase a new product. Free samples are distributed or money or merchandise allowance is offered to the dealers to stock and sell the new product.
3. Attracting new customers
Sales promotion aims at wooing new customers. Sales promotional devices at consumers level include Coupons, product samples, giving demonstration about the product, organizing contests, refund offers, offering free trials etc. These stimulate customers to make purchase promptly on the spot.
4. Inducing present customers to buy
Sales promotion induces present customers to buy more of the product. Sales promotion methods work faster than advertisement. Moreover, sales promotion materials make the salesman’s effort more productive. It enables the consumer to know more about the product, its ingredients and uses.
5. Increasing sales during off season
Some products are seasonal in nature. After the season is over, they are not demanded any more. Sales promotion is used to retain customer’s interest in the product during off-season. Short term incentives offered to the buyers stimulate sales.
6. Encouraging business buyers
Wholesalers and retailers purchase goods for resale. Promotional activities are undertaken to attract retailers and wholesalers to stock the products more. Display and advertising allowances are granted to dealers to compensate them for the space given for the display of manufactured products. Premiums are offered for purchasing above a particular level.
7. Improving the public image of the firm
Huge amounts are now being spent on determining appeals for arresting the attention of the prospects towards the product. Consumer’s dissatisfaction about a particular brand can be removed by aggressive sales promotion programmes. Sales promotional devices make products popular among customers. Ultimately, they enhance the public image of the firm.