A successful sales promotion campaign has its roots firmly embedded in sound strategic thinking. It is a complex mix of elements, working in synergy to achieve the ultimate objective of driving incremental sales and to ensure a continued consumer relationship with the brand. But this is easier said than done, and can only be achieved with an expert knowledge of both the needs of the consumer and the environment into which the promotion is to be launched.
The starting point is, of course, the right idea! It has to be believable, not only to the target consumer who needs to perceive a genuine benefit to themselves, but also to the brand itself. It is no good having an all-singing, all-dancing, grandiose idea, if it has no relevance to the integral heritage, personality and positioning of the brand itself. In order to deliver, a promotion needs to be relevant and garner the support and interest of all involved parties, from factory floor, through to salesforce and members of the trade.
Unlike other marketing disciplines, sales promotion is on the front line in the battle for consumer sales. At the point of purchase, at that very second that the purchasing decision is being made, the on-pack communication of the promotion has the opportunity to directly influence and, as such, is the big cannon in the marketing repertoire. It must be simple, easy to understand and different and grab the attention of the consumer at the point of connection. This first in-road of the brand into the psyche of the consumer can then be built upon within the mechanic of the promotion, by creating opportunities for an ongoing dialogue with the customer, for example, through perhaps a website and personalised text messaging.
Driving scale and engagement in a promotional campaign is significantly helped by having a high level of media support to raise mass awareness and interest around the promotion. A well-supported promotion is also more likely to engender support throughout the trade, which is key to achieving promotional objectives. Many a well-planned, cohesive campaign, with the credentials on paper to be a rip roaring success, has fallen at the last hurdle because time and effort hasn’t been invested at grassroots level in engaging the trade, and ensuring their backing and enthusiasm for the activity.
So, the recipe for a success: the right idea, effective communication, trade engagement, media support, internal support – and the expertise of a marketing communications agency with a tried and tested history.
Barbara Holgate is Managing Director of The Big Kick
The Big Kick is a member of the MCCA
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