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The Plain Truth about Sales Promotion

More than ever before, marketers are using sales promotion to reap returns on their valuable budgets. Consumers are increasingly barraged with marketing messages, so campaigns with strong promotional offers are essential for cut-through. Effective sales promotion works to underpin and enhance a marketing campaign to generate interest in products and services and expediate purchasing decisions.

SAM has worked with a diverse range of clients over the past 25+ years to design and manage a myriad of sales promotion campaigns. From small localised initiatives to national programs - regardless of scope, a properly planned and executed sales promotion can capture the heart of your target audience to stimulate spending and build brand loyalty.

To follow are some of the guiding principles that have worked for us in assisting clients to succeed...

Does your promotion have retailer buy-in?

Sales promotion protects revenue by guaranteeing sell-through as a result of retailer buy-in. How many times have the most creative campaigns flopped because stores are not suitably engaged or incentivised to back a sales promotion?

It's no longer enough to promote solely on brand image

In the days before digital media, it was OK for sales promotion to play the poor cousin to mainstream advertising. In tight markets, it is the sales promotion specialist who can help sales teams stimulate trade buy-in and execute a promotion at retail level for sales at the cash register.

Sales promotion is key part of the marketing mix 

In the mid nineties, a well known advertising agency identity told us that 'brands with great advertising don’t need sales promotion'. He even went as far as to state that he didn’t believe in sales promotion as a marketing discipline.

A few years on, we were surprised to learn that his business had set up a sales promotion division. To us, this was proof that sales promotion played an important role in brand marketing and advertising.

Discipline-perfect pilot marketing

Use sales promotion to 'test market 'campaigns so as to not waste valuable budget. Ditch the losers and run with the winners. Remove the mystery and guarantee a return on investment.

Operate Promotions in accordance with lottery regulations

Sales promotion specialists take care to ensure their customers and promoters are operating sales promotions in accordance with lottery regulations. In Australia there is no single governing authority on trade promotion lottery licensing. Each state and territory has its own regulations. If applying for permits, be sure to tick all the boxes, or contract the somewhat time consuming permit application process to a firm that knows the regulations. In doing so you stand to save yourself vast amounts of time, hassle and money. 

Use Sales promotion where you’re weakest

Sales promotion specialists can devise strategies and creative and then execute the campaign (especially when budgets which are prohibitive). Alternately, we can handle specific components of a campaign. It is wise to call upon a specialist whenever you’re a little unsure of what to do next, or if you are severely under-resourced. Furthermore, specialist advice can really pay dividends. Whether you create advertising in-house, or via an advertising agency - remove risk, stretch your dollars and fill the gaps by introducing a sales promotions specialist. 

What works in the ad, doesn’t always work in-store

Sales promotion specialists know what works at point-of-purchase. The power of effective point of purchase promotion is immense. In tough economic times big brands compete with generics. Price sensitive shoppers need a value proposition. Speak to a sales promotion specialist to ensure that your point-of-purchase promotion significantly enhances your advertising and connects products with consumers. Tap into point-of-purchase expertise to stand out from the crowd!

Sales promotion at the heart 

Sales promotion can be tied in with advertising to drive traffic to physical, or online shopping environments with a high degree of measurability. Sales promotion should be the heartbeat of your next campaign?

Sales promotion is tactical not strategic

Not true! Bring in your sales promotions people at the strategy planning stage. Sales promotion should be used to create sales opportunity - not to fix lagging sales.

Small budgets are wasted on mainstream media 

If you believe mainstream advertising is right for your brand, ensure you have the budget to get the reach and frequency required for impact. Advertising agencies normally make income from media and often advise small budget clients to invest in a wide range of mediums e.g. TV, radio, outdoor and digital when the budget extends to only a handful of exposures. Avoid this common mistake and explore all elements in the media mix to pinpoint those that will provide a decent return on investment. 

An affordable advertising alternative

If your budgets are small, sales promotion is a worthy consideration. A smart sales promotion specialist knows that promotions can be set up affordably. Promotions which start from a very small base can be systematically expanded with growing returns on promotional spend.

You won’t SELL OUT if you don’t SELL IN! Support the sales team to strengthen dealer relations

In a SAM research study, 87% of field sales representatives said it was significantly more difficult to convince retailers to promote an offer without promotional support. 76% of retailers said that they relied on the quality of promotions to move product. Interestingly, 37% of retailers questioned didn’t know a promotion was on offer - resulting in lost wholesale and retail sales revenue. 

Trade Education + Consumer Promotion = Sell through

What’s available in the Sales Promotion Arsenal?

SAM can assist marketers with a broad range of services. You can engage us to manage complete promotion marketing programs or just the elements you need…

  • Sales promotion strategy & creative campaign theming
  • Test marketing trial 
  • Trade incentives & sales presentations
  • Point of Sale design & production
  • Lottery permits compliance
  • QR & uniquely coded media for direct response & redemption tracking
  • Database marketing – Email / SMS
  • Instant Win  - scratch and win cards, peel to reveal labels & digital games
  • On - pack offers
  • Cash - Backs and coupon offers
  • Loyalty marketing
  • Local area marketing 
  • Promotional websites & applications
  • Online media strategy & content

SAM invite you to contact us to discuss your challenges or opportunities.

For further information please contact:

Peter McKinnon (03) 9 646 5644 /

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