What is Promotional Marketing?
At #jmexclusives, business promotion is communicating with the public in an attempt to influence them towards buying your products and/or services. You might communicate in person through direct selling or in a retail store, via the internet through a website or social media platform, electronically through email or text messaging (SMS marketing), just to name a few of the more popular business communication channels, but it’s the intention to influence the consumer that defines promotion and sets it apart from other communication with customers and/or clients.
Promotional marketing is the use of any special offer intended to raise a customer’s interest and influence a purchase and to make a particular product or company stand out among its competitors. Promotional materials can exist as a part of direct marketing, like mail or email materials that include coupons. They can also include contests that encourage participation in a company or product samples that offer something free to customers to generate their interest in the product.
Promotions are also common during live interactions between customers and salespeople, encouraging the purchase of additional products. Ultimately, the goal of any promotional marketing campaign is to raise awareness about a product or increase its appeal. Promotional marketing has the advantage of being valuable to both new customers and existing customers — it offers new customers a reason to try the product for the first time while building loyalty in existing customers.
Any company that can offer its customers some additional benefit on top of their normal purchase can use promotional marketing techniques. Retail and service providers that operate out of storefronts use promotional marketing strategies to increase the amount of business they receive. Consider a TV commercial for a pizza restaurant that advertises a lunch deal offering a free drink with the purchase of two slices of pizza. The promotion calls attention to the “extra” element of the free drink, which the restaurant owners hope will encourage people to visit their restaurant who otherwise wouldn’t.
Other businesses that want to increase sales of products that are harder to sell individually use what is known as point-of-sale promotions to make other products more appealing to customers who have already purchased something. If, for instance, a cell phone store wanted to make peripheral items like headsets and car chargers more appealing, the store could offer a promotion that gives customers a discount if they purchase those peripherals on the same day when they purchase their phones. Since the store’s customers have already committed to a larger purchase (the phone), they are more likely than other potential customers to be interested in buying phone-related peripherals. The discount forces the phone-buying customers to imagine having to pay full price at a later time for the same product.
Companies that market to other businesses also benefits from promotional marketing. As in the previously mentioned case of Fabriko and its eco-friendly shipping methods, the company made itself stand out among other clothing manufacturers by providing something extra and memorable to its clients. A business-to-business promotion can also be as simple as offering a discount to clients to build brand loyalty, encourage a sale, or give the client the opportunity to pass the savings on to their own customers.
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