Entrepreneurial Selling

Managing Sales Promotion

Written by Samuel Muriithi for Gaebler Ventures

Just like advertising and personal selling, sales promotion is an important component of a small enterprise's effort to get more customer outreach and sales. This means that equal effort should be invested in managing all the aspects involved in sales promotion to preempt any conceptions of misunderstanding and misuse from being attached to the same.

A small enterprise owner should go about sales promotion management in the same manner that he/she will do for personal selling and advertising.

This means that goals and appropriate strategies to achieve them should be set from the outset with the target market having being very clearly identified. A suitable budget to finance the effort should be set aside and at the end of a given sales promotion activity an evaluation should be made to assess the performance.

More often than not, sales promotion activities are designed to generate immediate or short-term responses from the market. This is often the reason why sales promotion tends to take the backburner position in a business' promotion itinerary. Prudent sales promotion management is however quite different on principle; the activity requires talented management skills over the long-run.

Sales promotion management is meant to help fulfill three basic objectives including the stimulation of end-user demand, an improvement in the performance of the marketing effort conducted, and to optimally supplement the advertising and personal selling efforts. The objectives of sales promotion are more or less similar to those for personal selling and advertising. This list of aims includes among others:

  • Encouraging consumers to try out a new product/service or to try a refurbished product/service - In this strategy a manufacturer can decide to send samples of a new product to consumers so as to get an idea of how the market will respond to the same once it is distributed in mass.
  • The attraction of new customers - This can be done through the offering of various incentives which will serve to induce prospective customers to begin using a certain product/service. For instance, a mobile phone service provider can promise to load a certain amount of airtime for the first one thousand subscribers of a new tariff.
  • To spur current customers to increase their usage of a certain product/service - Here a small scale honey supplier may offer to give a certain extra amount of honey to regular buyers who order a specified volume within a month.
  • To counter a competitor's promotion activities - A small enterprise owner dealing in packed tea leaves may decide to offer 50 grams free for every pack of 250 grams purchased so as to counter a competitor who has reduced the price of a 250g pack of tea leaves.
  • Proactive sales promotion management skills will also help a small enterprise come up with effective promotion strategies that will spur more impulse buying from customers.

Samuel Muriithi is a business owner in Nairobi, Kenya. He has extensive international business experience in the United States and India.

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