Promotional tactics

Why promotional tactics can sometimes beat strategy

Strategy has long been recognised as the foundation of sound marketing. Here’s how tactics can also play a vital part.

What we’re talking about are ‘promotions’ or ‘sales promotion’ – and one of the things that characterises promotions is that they are usually short-term and tactical. Promotional tactics can be employed quickly to respond to a particular market requirement and stopped once the need has receded.

Why promotions?

  • You may run a seasonal promotion to capitalise on the weather or holiday. A hire company ran a temperature sensitive promotion for air conditioning units that kicked in when the temperature hits a certain point
  • Promote footfall – an obvious choice for B2C, but also to bring B2B customers into showrooms or premises
  • Smooth out sales. We commonly see promotions mounted when stock needs clearing or to boost sales in a slack period
  • You can use a promotion to promote sampling
  • Product launches or start-ups
  • Taking advantage of news events can be an opportunity for you to ride on the back of a high-profile story – a sporting event, opening, awards festival etc. Economic and legislative events such as fuel price rises, new laws or regulations or changes in internet usage can all provide hooks for tactical promotion
  • Build loyalty
  • Stimulate up-selling

Great tactics for promotional boosts

There are a number of tried and trusted promotional tactics. Here’s a few for you to consider:

  • Price promotions – money off, discounts, refunds
  • Premiums – offering additional products, services or vouchers with purchases
  • Sampling and free trials – great for new products, services, launches and startups
  • Coupons – printed, in ads, or online. Use to stimulate sampling, repeat sales or up-selling
  • Cross promotions – e.g. buy X and get Y half-price. Can be your own products or services or those of a those from a third-party
  • Contests and sweepstakes – people love them, but do check legal requirements in your market
  • Promotional products – these can be giveaways, low price, or free with purchase
  • Trade-ins – these can be your own products or any (e.g. trade in any old printer for…). For service companies upgrades can work the same way
  • On-pack or in-pack offers – primarily for B2C product companies, but very effective in retail

Start thinking tactically and you’ll be surprised at the number of opportunities that pop up to give a big short-term boost to your sales.

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