Sales promotion has new kudos

Ian Hughes asks the fundamental question: “What use sales promotion?” (Letters, MW February 10) but misses what sales promotion nowadays means in practice.

We have seen some radical changes to promotions over the past year. First, and rather ironically, every day low prices mean we are moving away from a discount mentality and brands now have to find ways to add value through promotions rather than just price reductions.

We must also remember that promotions are not just about purchases; they also have an important role in developing brand equity.

Second, Ian is right. Retailers are demanding that we expand the category, rather than just encourage people to switch brands. Lots of work is already being undertaken in this area, especially in terms of new product development, merchandising and making the shopping experience more interactive and enjoyable.

Finally, given growing retailer dominance, promotion in its broadest sense is increasingly important when used as a weapon in the brand armoury to modify consumer behaviour.

Integration might be old news but, thanks to agencies such as ours that are marrying the old promotional skills with new expertise in relationship building and data management, promotions are proving essential to consumer brand communications.

At risk of sounding evangelical, the role of promotions (as distinct from price promotions) has become centre stage. Marketing directors ignore them at their peril.

Paul Seligman

Managing director


London E2

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here