Motivate sales through promotion

Like any other marketing strategy, sales promotion needs to be given careful thought and planning.

The first thing you need to do is decide what you want your promotion to accomplish. Do you want to lure in new customers? Give current customers an incentive to come back for more? Encourage lapsed customers to give you another try? Or perhaps you want to boost business during the off season, slow business hours or on specific days of the week?

Once you have decided on the promotion’s direction, you have essentially picked your target group. You can now begin to develop a promotion that will appeal to their interests.

Perhaps it is a price discount or something with added value. Maybe it will be a trial offer or a sample that will entice them to make a larger purchase. One thing to remember though is that whatever you offer it needs to be compelling. A simple 10 per cent discount won’t do the trick in today’s current economy.

Price offers need to have substance yet you need to avoid going too far with those deep discounts that are often looked at with scepticism because in many cases the consumers just do not quite believe there isn’t a catch. Sales promotion must be above all transparent and believable.

When it comes to sales promotion techniques and tools, there are literally dozens and dozens of applications.

Along with price there are the loyalty programs that offer points or credits that can be redeemed for rewards that can range from discounts to merchandise to air miles.

Couponing, particularly in tough economic times, is always popular with consumers. Coupons are also a terrific way to analyse which medium gives you the best response rate. Is it print or on-line, direct mail or handouts at shows and events?

However, it is not as simple as counting coupons. You must also look at the offer itself and whether it was appropriate for the medium. Sometimes what works in one medium may not work in another.

Those who are in retail should be looking at a variety of ways in which you can grab the shopper’s attention. Everyone in retail should be familiar with point of purchase items such as shelf talkers, wobblers, danglers, aisle interrupters and neckers to name just a few.

Contests are always a good strategy to generate not only greater awareness but also provide an opportunity to create synergy with another company. Joint promotions not only give that added exposure but also can introduce your product or service to an entirely new base of potential customers.

Consumer sales promotion is only one aspect of what you might consider if you are looking to increase sales. Promotion can also be used to motivate sales staff, reward retailers in order to provide incentive to move your product or service. You can even use sales promotion to reward customers who refer friends and neighbors to buy from your company.

When thinking of promotional opportunities, do not forget your suppliers. Often you will find that they have dollars available to either help out with advertising or they may have trade allowances that can be used to help beef up stock purchases that can give your promotion greater flexibility.

Sales promotion is definitely one marketing tool that should be in every businesses tool kit. Handled properly with a well thought out plan that is incorporated with all your other marketing strategies, it can bring big rewards to help improve your bottom line.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at or visit his art website at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The 5th Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
City of Courtenay awards contract for 5th Street Bridge project

The City of Courtenay has awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of… Continue reading

Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Gas prices jump in the Valley – and experts predict prices to rise even more

“We still could be talking about record prices…”

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. NIC photo
Learn about Practical Nursing opportunities for Island students

Students interested in exploring a future in health care are invited to… Continue reading

The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is hoping to see more bike lines in the Cumberland area. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cycling coalition wants better bike links for Cumberland

Group says members want more connections with Comox Valley

The Courtenay Legion has identified 16 homeless veterans living in the Comox Valley. File photo
Courtenay Legion unites with Qualicum to help homeless veterans

Last year’s Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless count conducted in the Comox Valley identified… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Most Read