“Without promotion something terrible happens… Nothing!”
When P.T. Barnum spoke about promotion, he was most likely using the word as a verb. When I speak of promotions, I mean it as a noun. It’s a planned and coordinated event meant to sell a specific product or service for a limited time and that meets a seasonally relevant consumer need.
Promotions, when done well, are an effective way for you to market your business or products and services. I’m not talking about promotions where you drop the prices on your existing products significantly, or when you have a blowout sale to move stale inventory. Instead I mean a well-planned, seasonally relevant focus on themes or solutions wrapped around your products that your customers will take note of and value, and that prospects will be enticed to try for the first time.
With that in mind, here are nine benefits of running a well-planned sales promotion:
- Creates differentiation – When you launch a new product or ask customers to engage with your business in a new way, this sets you apart from your competition. Promotion planning compels you to identify something new or different that offers value to your customers;
- Creates new content and communication opportunities – One of the easiest way to create new content for your customers is to create news. Promotions are news. News is content;
- Creates upsell and cross sell opportunities – When you package or bundle products around a theme or solution, you can often generate sales of multiple items rather than a single item. When you focus on creating added value to your regular assortment, you can charge premium prices;
- Drives customer decision making – Limited availability offers can create a sense of scarcity in your customers that get them to act. When combined with new content that helps customers clearly see the benefits of what you are promoting, you can create compelling reasons to buy now. If you can add sampling of your promotional item to the mix, you'll create a lot of reasons for customers to buy;
- Creates word-of-mouth opportunities – If you operate a retail store, your regular customers are almost always in a routine to buy from you. Promotions can often get your regular customers a new reason to be surprised and delighted by your business which gets them to talk about you to their friends;
- Creates training opportunities for your staff – Like regular customers, your retail sales staff (or any employees who have direct contact with customers), can fall into a routine and lose the enthusiasm in their voice. Promotions gives you a chance to to train, prepare and reengage them in what’s new in your business;
- Creates company focus on marketing – Developing a promotion calendar forces you to plan for new marketing programs focused at specific times of year. If you don’t have a dedicated marketing team doing this for you already, creating a promotions mentality will get you marketing with more frequency and give you more experience to build on;
- Creates testing opportunities – Maybe you have ideas that you think customers will like but are unsure of the outcome. Promotions give you a limited time window to test new ideas and new products and to measure them. This will help you figure out whether they warrant additional investment of time and money to make them permanent products or services;
- Grows revenue – As I like to say, Ka-Ching! This is the lifeblood of your business. Sales promotions are a great way to build year-over-year and month-over-month revenue growth.