There is one Marketing question that always begs a detailed answer – What is the right way to go about planning a product promotion activity? It’s easier asked than answered. Over the many years that we have been working with Marketing divisions across Industry types, we have actually drawn up a list of 10 important issues that Managers must consider while planning a Promotion. While they may not be in Chronological order, each point jostles for attention. This is an attempt to assist the Marketing manager build a template for every promo; remember every promo needs the same amount of consideration before an idea is finalized.

1. Identify the role of incentivization Providing added value to customers by making available an “incentive” instantly influences purchase. If the customer is convinced that he is getting more than the value he is spending on the product, it will persuade him further to make the purchase. The strategy lies in convincing the customer that he will not only receive the worth of his rupee but also supplementary benefits. These incentives may be in the form of free samples, gifts, discount coupons, demonstrations, shows, contests etc. All these measures motivate the customers to buy more and thus, it increases sales of the product. The promotion must be able to change the perceived value or price of the product or service.

2.Communicate with your consumer – offline & online. Social media, smart-phones and the Internet are the buzzwords of marketing of the future. The customer is becoming more and more technology-friendly and accustomed to the ways of approaching products through these media. By making product promotions accessible via such media, the customers are significantly encouraged to utilize the benefits offered to them. Not only do these media influence the behavior of the customers, it is the swiftest and most effective way of reaching out to your befitting target-audience.

3. Collect, manage & nurture data. Sales promotions are not only effective in the acquisition of new customers but also in the retention of your existing customer-base. It is essential to recognize the significance cultivating a relationship with your existing customer-base. In-order to develop and nurture relationships, it is important to firstly collect and create powerful databases. Secondly, they must be managed to eliminate unusable data in order to effectively target the usable database. The customers must be made to feel their value in the company in order to extract long term loyalty.

4. Be relevant Sales Promotions must not only be relevant to the type of product being sold but must also suit the needs of the target-audience. If the customers are able to relate to the promotion being offered are able to comprehend it effortlessly, then the chances of the promotion resulting into a sale are higher. The sales promotion must also be able to hit the consumer at a particular behavioral stage.

5. Make sure to Customize and localize The promotions offered must be customized to suit the requirements of the customer with regards to their demographics and psychographics. The promotions must be also be designed according to the attitude & behavior of the target-audience. They must be able to provide instant gratification on a temporary basis in-order to convince the customer to take immediate and simplistic action to achieve results of the offer.

6. Clarify objective and provide tangible benefit. The customer will only be convinced to make the purchase of the product if they feel the value they are receiving is more than the amount they are spending. The customers must be able to measure the added value they receive along with the purchase. By offering clear objectives of the promotion, the brand is able to foster a trustworthy relationship with the customer – which is key in terms of long-term loyalty benefits.

7. Maintain timing, duration and frequency Sales Promotions if introduced at a appropriate time can yield greater results. India is a very time driven economy; festivals, occasions and seasons are great influencers in the consumer’s purchase decisions. The promotions must be able to provide the customers with instant gratification over a temporary period and must not be repeated too often, as the customers will then be unable to differentiate the added value of these offers in comparison to the original product.

8. Engage your customer The customer wants to be felt important and appreciated; and if the brand recognizes this need of the consumer and nurtures it, they can witness groundbreaking results. The brand must endeavor to involve the customer in promotional activities as much as possible. Any activity that engages the customer to interact with the brand – for instance contests, sweepstakes or coupons will instantly appeal to the customer’s psyche and induce a sense of association and bonding with your product.

9. Integrate sales promotion with the communication strategy Sales promotion is an aspect of a promotional mix that includes –advertising, personal selling, direct marketing and public relations. While sales promotion is an effective tool itself, it must be used in accordance and relation to the other tools of the marketing strategy as well. Once the promotions are complemented by the other elements of the promotional mix, the efficiency of this tool will automatically be intensified.

10. Integrate sales promotions with social media Sales Promotions must be run on social media such as _ Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare. Linkedin and Pinterest. Sufficient word of mouth is generated via social media that not only increases awareness but also heightens reach of the promotions. Integration with social media immensely intensifies the effectiveness of the campaign. The reach of social media must not be overlooked and must be used effectively to create viral effect.

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