You know that you need great marketing to get your company and its product and services in front of your target market or ideal customer. Creating an effective promotional marketing program will lead customers right to your door, website, inbox, or phone and entice them to purchase what you have to offer.
What is Promotional Marketing?
Promotional marketing is one aspect of your marketing program and includes the specifics of how you’re going to entice customers to take action. The advantage of a promotion is to create some buzz for your business or enterprise, to get your business to be noticed for standing apart from competition and to get your business noticed by your target market – as many people as possible.
Some businesses take promotional marketing to the next level by using promotional products (also known as advertising specialties, swag, or giveaways). What makes this type of marketing so effective is its ability to influence customer behavior, to encourage action, to create goodwill, and to be remembered long after the promotional event. Promotional marketing, if done well, has a lasting benefit beyond other forms of advertising.
Who Uses Promotional Marketing?
Every business can use promotional marketing. A company offering a bonus, gift, or additional benefits with a customer’s normal purchase is benefitting from using promotional marketing techniques.
How can we get more customers into our store? TV commercials, print ads and direct mail offers are the most common methods to offer the promotion to the target market. Think of the mailer envelopes that arrive at your home, filled with coupons and special deals. A restaurant, for example, may have TV commercials that offer a free drink with a lunch order. Or, cosmetic companies offer a free gift with purchase or a department store advertises a 50% off sale for a select type of item. The promotion calls attention to that extra element or benefit, which companies hope will encourage customers to visit who otherwise wouldn’t.
Other companies utilize a technique known as point-of-sale marketing. This helps increase the sales of products of sales that may be difficult to sell on an individual basis. For example, mobile phone companies may offer peripheral items like chargers and headsets at a reduced price if they purchase a cell phone with that item. (“Buy a phone, get a headset for half price.”) Since the customer is already there and has committed to the larger purchase (the phone), they are more likely to buy the extra item because they are enticed by the savings.
Creating Your Promotional Marketing Program
Step #1 – What is the Plan?
Careful thought and planning is the first step of making the promotion effective. What is the objective? What results are you looking for? Increasing revenues, building brand awareness, or launching a new product are just a few strategic goals of promotional marketing. Your business can also promote from within with team building, employee recognition, or safety awareness programs.
Step #2 – Who is the Target?
Before you begin, you’ll have to identify your target audience. Who is the ideal customer? Who is best suited to buy what you have to offer? What are their needs, and how can your products and/or services meet them? Then generate your sales materials with this target audience in mind. The goal of any promotional marketing program is to make people buy your product or service by creating an appealing proposition that requires timely action. You may want to come up with different messages depending on which communication methods you’re using. Remember that this is a work-in-progress, so don’t be afraid to change your strategies depending on what is working and what isn’t.
Step #3 – How to Make the Promotional Offer?
There are dozens of ways to actually get your message out, including social media, internet marketing, custom web landing pages, promotional products, and direct mail. Remember that your target audience will dictate the method of advertising. For example, if your target market is those over age 65, you may want to rely more heavily on direct mail or a print ad; however, if your market is under age 25, you’re definitely going to want to take advantage of newer technology methods, such as online marketing, social media, and text messaging.
Step #4 – What are the Results?
In order to judge the promotional campaign, it is critical to measure the program. How many did you offer to? How many actually used the offer? How much new sales revenue was generated from the offer? Without measuring the promotion, there is no way to improve and set the bar higher to make the next promotion better. Promotions are a way to test the market. Does your promotion generate more sales with a discount, a free gift, or bonus? Promoting your business helps generate excitement about a current service or launching a new product.