Sales Promotion in the Promotional Marketing Mix

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kelly Roach

Kelly earned her Master of Mass Communication from Arizona State and has taught consumer behavior and communication courses at the undergraduate level.

Marketers use a wide range of sales promotion tools to incentivize consumers and intermediaries to buy. Watch this video to learn more about these tools and how they work.

Sales Promotion

Of all the different promotion techniques marketers can use to educate, persuade or remind consumers and retailers of their products, they often spend the most on sales promotion. Sales promotion is promotional activities that give some type of incentive to intermediaries or consumers to encourage immediate sales.

Sales promotion tactics can be targeted toward end customers as well as intermediaries like retailers or wholesalers.

These incentives can help motivate retailers to carry products and encourage consumers to try them or generate buzz about them and can range from samples to coupons to discounts, just to name a few.

The ultimate goal of marketing promotion is to motivate consumers to action: to ultimately make a purchase. Sales promotion offers an incentive for that action.

Here's an example of how sales promotion works: 9 For All Humankind is a high-end jeans and casual clothing company. Each season they come out with a new collection. For their new spring line, they mail out a catalog to existing customers that contains an insert with a coupon code for 15 percent off and free shipping through the end of the month.

A person may have completely forgotten about 9 For All Humankind, even though they're an existing customer. Excited by the new clothes and the great discount, the person may hurry inside and place an order for a pair of jeans and three shirts. So, not only did the catalog fulfill the promotion goal of reminding the customer about their products, it motivated them to act and make a purchase.

Characteristics of Sales Promotion

As you may have picked up from the example, sales promotion has a few unique characteristics compared to other promotion techniques.

First, it's often focused on short-term results. By giving a set time for the promotion to run, you're looking to see a measurable increase in sales within a set time frame.

The second characteristic is that sales promotions are often easily measured. You can see a direct correlation between any sales increase and that coupon promotion by tracking who entered the coupon code when they made a purchase.

Last, sales promotions are often combined with other promotion activities to be effective. In this case, the discount coupon and free shipping is combined with direct marketing in the form of a mailed catalog.

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