You are probably already familiar with the saying that a business is only as viable as its sales promotion techniques’’. And that is a fact that cannot be overemphasized, considering almost all businesses are started with the profit motive in mind. However, it is disheartening to acknowledge that many companies commit heavy capital investment to their sales promotion campaigns, only to end up losing both the investment and the potential customers.
This can be heartbreaking, especially if yours is a startup still trying to penetrate new markets. However, like any other business decision, most sales promotion campaigns fail mainly due to lack of sufficient knowledge of the market dynamics in and around your area of operation. In this post, we shall uncover some of the most ingenious ways to run a successful sales promotion and begin reaping big out of it.
Techniques in Running a Successful Sales Promotion Campaign
Define What Your Marketing Goals Are
Of course, it is only natural that you begin by identifying the goals you want to achieve out of your sales promotion campaigns. In order to do this, it is important to identify your target group. This is a no-brainier, as it will depend on the niche your business focusses on.
For instance, if your business deals in cutting-edge technological gadgets such as smartphones and iPhones, your marketing campaigns will need to target more young people. But even after identifying your target market, it is important to set realistic conversion rates. Always set goals that are out of sight but not out of reach.
Develop a Well Thought-out Marketing Campaign
This is more like developing a business plan. Therefore, you will need to factor in as many elements as possible. The very first thing to give serious thought to, is the message itself. The message should be clear, concise and persuasive enough to make the targeted clients take appropriate action. You will also need to determine the channels through which the message will be disseminated, as well as any creative elements that will make it more appealing.
There is also the aspect of gathering data. Data gathering is especially important because it will expose you to some of the sticking points you are likely to encounter during the actual marketing processes. Some of these hurdles include hostility to your products or brand, language barrier and geographical barriers.
Give a Timeline to Your Promotion Campaigns
Every sales promotion should have a start and an end date. You simply cannot be promoting your products or services for months on end. Apart from it being a time-consuming exercise, it will only eat into your revenue, especially if your business is already struggling to sustain itself. Timelines are also important as they allow you to take stock of the successes you have achieved over a period of time.
You will be able to determine the general response to your products and identify your strong areas as well as areas of inadequacy. Based on the statistics collected at the end of each campaign, you can decide to laud the campaign a success or if still unsatisfied with the results, you may determine how soon before you can embark on a similar exercise.
Brainstorm Various Promotion Ideas
When it comes to promotion ideas, you may be spoilt for choice. However, it is important to remember that the needs of each business are unique. Therefore, only go with strategies that look more promising. The following are some amazing sales promotion ideas that can set you off on the path to remarkable success.
Offer discounted packages – You have possibly come across packages of popular products bundled together with unpopular ones and then sold together. Well, this is never a coincidence but an intelligent sales promotion campaign intended to push unpopular products and possible clear them off stock.
Offer free services for limited duration of time – This will obviously cost you some money, but you may reap big in the end. It especially works for service-based businesses such as a dental clinic. You can have a 3-day event where you offer free consultation and dental checkups to members of the general public.
Give free gifts – By nature, customers love free gifts and will often make endless trips to a store that offers them. But as the storeowner, you have bills to pay and profits to make, so it must be a win-win situation. Why not offer free gifts along with a purchase. Just go for products that are generally cheaper to produce and offer them for free for a given amount of purchases. Even better, you can have a smaller quantity of such products offered for free for purchases of a given quantity of the same product.
Hold or sponsor contests and tournaments –You can choose to hold a contest where you offer coupons to participating customers. Even better, you can sponsor tournaments within your local area of operation. Tournaments work best if your business targets a relatively small community. It is a way of popularizing your brand and in the process, offering your products for sales for the duration of the tournaments.
Partner with other businesses – It is very easy for an automobile repair shop to partner with an auto spares shop for mutual gains. It becomes easier to promote each other’s business without worrying about competition because though the niches are nearly similar, the nature of products and services offered is totally different.
Go creative with promotional bags – Promotional bags is perhaps the most cost-effective way of boosting your sales. Shopping bags do not come cheap but you can take the hassle from your customers by packaging their shopping in free or low-cost shopping bags. Of course, the promotional bags need to be custom-made to be easily identifiable with your business. You can choose to print your company logo on the bags, or just print a slogan that the general public identifies your company with. If you are looking for some amazing custom promotional bags, feel free to check our website at https://chinaretailpacking.com/products/shopping-bags-and-totes/promotional-bag/.
Financially Analyze Every Type Of Promotion
Once you have identified the type of promotion to adopt, it is now time to analyze it in detail. Your marketing team as well as bookkeeping staff will be able to do a projection of any losses your business is likely to incur before you can break even. They will also be able to project the returns-on-investment expected out of the sales promotion strategy. Of course, they will then advise you to go with the most viable promotion technique.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that you are taking a leap of faith. Therefore, even if your marketing department is accurate in its analysis of the financial viability of a promotion technique, there are still chances that they could be wrong. This is because there are various unforeseen external forces that may be beyond their scope. For instance, during the promotion exercise, a serious competitor may come up and do you one better. Our two cents is; hope for the best, but also be prepared for a possible ugly turnout of events.
Gather Crucial Data
As you analyze data on the right sales promotion technique to adopt, it is important to gather crucial data on your customers and their general response and shopping patterns. You may also need to study their phone call habits, the size of your email subscribers and the traffic on your website. This data is also crucial in calculating your expected RoI, the rate of conversion as well as the percentage increase in your customers.
While gathering data, remember to limit yourself to the legal avenues. With so many data breach laws coming up, you do not want to have to answer to charges of illegal data mining. Be especially tactful when analyzing phone call data, as this is one of the hotspot areas for illegal data miners.
Make it a Total Member Involvement
Sales promotion is one of the exercises that should get every department on board. From bookkeeping and marketing departments, to accounting and even procurement departments. It is especially important to get every member involved during the brainstorming stages. By so doing, you will be opening up to new ideas that you might not have heard of from your sales and marketing team alone.
Also, a team-based approach seamlessly allows all members of your company to own the process. Therefore, each member will feel obligated to make the exercise a success. If you incur losses, all members will be held liable. And because each department wants to be associated with success, they will do everything within their capacities to ensure the promotions campaign bears some fruit.
Specify Your Promotions Message
The main aim of sales promotion is to encourage brand awareness as well as garner more repeat customers. Therefore, the promotions message should be designed with this in mind. And because every other business out there is out to draw attention to itself, you may not realize anything out of your promotion campaigns if you do not think outside the box. Incorporate creative ideas and techniques such as humor and other forms of voice talent. Also, you may need to hire professional writers to help create curated content that’s not only original but also well-articulated and SEO-optimized [in case of online sales promotion]. Other creative people you should employ include graphic designers, models and photographers. If you can afford it, incorporate celebrity endorsements too.
The choice of the right message will also be determined by the type of sales boost you are seeking to do. For instance, it would be imprudent to employ slang and localized language in a sales promotion message that is designed to stretch across expansive geographical boundaries. It would also be obnoxious to have a celebrity endorse your product when they have previously endorsed another similar product from one of your competitors. Designing a great promotion message requires clarity of thought, else the message may just fall flat.
Manage Your Customers
So, we’re going with the assumption that your sales promotion campaigns have yielded results. It is now time to invest in effective customer-management systems. As a businessperson, your goal is not only to win more customers but also retain as many of those you have garnered as possible.
Therefore, you need a database where you can track all your customers’ activities such as what they frequently purchase, how they respond to your offers and other behavior patterns. There are lots of customer management software that can help with that. As we had already mentioned, this will help you determine your strong areas and areas you should focus on for your future promotions.
No Room for Complacency
Not all sales promotion campaigns will bear fruit. Sometimes you win, other times you lose. But regardless of the outcome, the trick is to never give up. If you had a successful promotion method in the past, you can try repeating it in future so as to win even more clients.
On the other hand, every promotion that ends in failure requires you to do a postmortem on the method and identify the aspects that made it fail. You can then choose to revamp it for future use or discard it altogether.
Sales promotion is not only a capital-intensive exercise, it also consume a lot in terms of human labor. Therefore, it is important to ensure proper planning before embarking on any sales promotion campaigns.
It is also important to give due consideration to viable techniques as well as get all members of staff on board for the promotion to yield any meaningful success.