What is Sales Promotion and How is it Used in International Marketing?

Everybody loves a good sale, who doesn’t? This marketing strategy has long been proven effective in luring customers to buy from their brand. After all, people like to think they are getting a good deal for availing such sales promotion. That’s why it is a classic business strategy for companies to hit sales goals. Looking for a better overall understanding? Enroll in our online sales courses! And as a business owner, you ought to understand what sales promotion in marketing is and how it works.

What is sales promotion in marketing?

Sales promotion is a business strategy designed to encourage the purchase of products or services and boost sales. It is marketing aimed either at the consumers or distribution channels in the form of sales incentives. Aside from improved sales, companies primarily utilize sales promotions to clear out inventories, introduce new products, and attract old and new customers.

Sales promotions are commonly announced over the brand channels, including social media, emails, and the website. They can even be the sole focus of advertisements they place over their ad campaigns across various sites.

A sales promotion is useful when it has the proper use of imagery, compelling copy, and the appealing logic for the target market’s needs, values, and emotions to encourage purchase with the added incentivized offers.

The characteristics of sales promotion

Here are the characteristics that make up an effective sales promotion:

  • It is a tool for marketing promotion.
  • It doesn’t involve advertisement, personal selling, and publicity.
  • It encourages dealers and distributors to sell the product.
  • It helps sell the product.
  • It makes ads and personal selling easier and more effective.
  • It is not a regular activity—it happens only at certain times of the year.
  • It is more effective during off-peak seasons.

The objectives of sales promotions

Sales promotions are an essential aspect of marketing a business’ product or brand. It helps business materialize their business goals like the following:

1. Create a market for new products.

One of the biggest struggles of rolling out new products to the public is finding the demand for them. And the best way to create a market for these new products is by giving attractive prices, offers, discounts, and the scarcity principle. 

2. Stay competitive in the market.

One of the best ways to boost sales and beat the competition temporarily is by implementing sales promotions. A brand is more likely to remain competitive when there is an ongoing spike in its sales, beating the current competitors.

3. Increase dealer trust.

Sales promotions usually boost the profitability of your dealers and distributors, creating a demand for your product. This eventually increases their trust to buy from you since your products are profitable for them. 

4. Navigate to new markets.

When there is already an established market for certain products, it could be challenging to penetrate other markets. But that is possible through sales promotions since it creates traction, encouraging others to give your product a try.

5. Expand brand awareness.

Products that offer incentives and attractive offers are more likely to grab attention from the market. After all, incentives create a buzz, which can even lead to more sales. 

6. Keep existing customers loyal.

Sales promotions are also effective in keeping the loyalty of existing customers. After all, without giving them a reason to keep buying, you could lose them in this competitive business. That’s why many companies offer such promotions to maintain customer loyalty.

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Different sales promotions techniques and how they are used in international marketing

International marketing refers to the advertising of a business in foreign countries. It includes the planning, promotions, and price indication of products. It aims to create brand and product awareness across different nations.

Here are the most common sales promotion techniques and how they are used in international marketing for some known brands:

1. Free samples

This is the sales promotion that incentivizes its paying customers by giving away free samples or products. It could be implemented for every purchase or even without having to buy anything. Most brands do this from time to time. And this is pretty common in supermarkets like Costco and Whole Foods, where you can get a free taste of food or get a freebie as you pass by the store clerk.

2. B1T1 promos

Who doesn’t love some good buy one, take one deal? Everybody is a sucker for buy one get one, or BOGO deals. Almost all brands have this sales promo at a certain time of the year. But there are popular companies that take pride in this promotion. Think of Papa Johns’ Pizza that offers BOGO pizza on given days. It’s not just a promo in the US; most foreign franchisees have these as well in their countries.

3. Free shipping

Free shipping charges is one way to lure in customers to buy from brands. After all, shipping can be costly for some, especially for brands that ship overseas. The majority of brands now implement this when buyers spend a minimum purchase of goods. Some of the brands that offer this free shipping include eBay, Amazon, Nike, Asos, Nordstrom, and many more. 

4. Cashback promotions

This kind of sales promotion is like getting a rebate when you purchase from them. Such promos make customers feel less guilty since a portion of their money is going back to them in the form of store credit or monetary funds. Some stores do this on their own, but some partner with cashback sites like Rakuten, Dubli, Swagbucks, and more.

5. Vouchers and coupons

Offering exclusive vouchers and coupons is an effective way to encourage purchases for both new and existing customers. These can be sent through their emails or posted on social media pages. It’s an excellent way to say thank you for existing customers and welcome new customers. Lots of brands do this; almost all e-commerce stores run this kind of promos.

6. Flash sales and discounts

A flash sale provides a sense of urgency to make a purchase because the offer is only for a limited time. These promos work best when you rarely put your goods on sale; customers will be flocking to your store or online store in minutes.

7. Giveaway

Running giveaway contests is an easy way to boost engagement, increase brand awareness, and increase sales. You can give prizes that come from your array of products. Contests are pretty standard these days in social media, where international participants are allowed. Some of the brands that nail this promo include Simon and Schuster, Valdo Prosecco, Fushi, Tarte, and more.

8. Reward programs

Reward programs are great to incentivize loyal customers who buy from you regularly. It works by giving them a corresponding point for every amount purchased. The points will accumulate until they can make a purchase using those points, saving them some cash. Some popular merchants that offer rewards programs include Starbucks, Sephora, The North Face, and more.

9. Holiday sales

There is always a surge of customers during special holidays, especially on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s. Brands take this time to put their items on sale and give special discounts. Are there brands left that do not participate in such events? The majority of brands now do sales on these holidays and more to skyrocket sales. Improve your sales promotion with these valentine’s day email examples.

Want a more in-depth discussion on what sales promotion is in marketing? Here are some Skill Success courses we recommend you to take up:

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