Promotional goals are an integral part of marketing strategy. Marketing teams use various types of promotion to achieve measurable, short-term results in the marketplace, such as persuading consumers to switch brands or try a new product, for example. Companies can also use promotions as a longer-term tactic to strengthen customer relationships or improve the performance of their distribution methods.
When a company launches a product, it can use promotional tools to support part of the launch. One goal might be to persuade consumers to try the new product by offering free sample packs when they purchase another product from the company. This promotional goal helps to ensure the success of the launch. The company could also set a promotional goal of persuading retailers to stock the new product by offering a special discount on initial orders.
If a company wants to increase sales of an existing product, it can use promotions in a number of ways. One promotional goal is to encourage consumers to buy more of a product by offering discounts or other promotional incentives on larger pack sizes. Another goal is to build repeat sales by offering consumers incentives such as discounts on their next purchase of the same product.
In a competitive marketplace, companies can use promotions to strengthen customer loyalty. Promotions are a valuable tool for building relationships with customers. This type of promotion has a longer-term objective, using continuing promotions to reward loyal customers and protect the customer base against competitive attack. An example of a loyalty promotion is a frequent-flyer program operated by an airline in which customers can collect cumulative rewards based on the number of times they travel with that airline.
Loyalty programs also provide companies with valuable information on their customers’ purchasing habits and preferences. Food retail groups, for example, issue loyalty cards that reward customers with points each time they make a purchase. The card system also records details of the customers’ purchases, enabling the retailer to make targeted offers to customers in the future. The goal of this type of promotion is to acquire and use customer data.
Companies can use promotions as a tool to develop their distribution channels. Car manufacturers, for example, operate promotional programs that reward top-performing dealerships with holidays and other awards. The promotional goal there is to increase sales or improve performance in critical areas, such as customer satisfaction.
Promotional goals should be measurable. The results of sales promotion can be measured in terms of a change in the marketplace. An example is to persuade 10 percent of users of a competitive brand to try the company’s product by the end of the six-month promotional period.
Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.