Firms options may be used in a

Firms that wish to conduct a sales promotion campaign have various methods to choose from point- of-purchase advertising, trade shows, samples, coupons and premiums, contests, and trading stamps. More than one of these options may be used in a single promotional strategy has ever used all in a single programme.

While they are not mutually exclusive, the union sales promotions are generally employed on a selective basis.

Methods

1. Point-of-purchase advertisingDisplays and demonstra­tions that promote the product at a time and place closely associated with the actual decision to buy are referred to as point- of-purchase advertising. The in-store promotion of consumer goods is a common example.

Such advertising may be extremely useful in carrying forward a theme developed in another element of promotional strategy. Cartoon characters used in TV advertising for instance, may become realistic in-store displays. The most common types of in-store display promotions include counter cards, wall signs, banners, and display bins. The importance of these devices has been steadily increasing for a number of product classes sold in retail stores, such as photography, cosmetics, cloth, liquor and medicines. Firms should carefully plan their displays to fit the needs of the dealers. They should provide salesmen with presentations to show retailers how the displays may be used.

Many manufacturers compensate dealers for the space required for these displays. 2. Trade showsTo influence channel numbers and resellers in the distribution channel, it has become a common practice for a seller to participate in a trade show, exposition, or convention. These shows are often organised by an industry’s trade association, and may be part of the association’s annual meeting or convention. Vendors serving the particular industry and invited to the show to display and demonstrate their products for the association’s members. An example is the professional meetings attended by college professors are a given discipline.

Here, the major textbook publishers exhibit their publications to the channel members in their marketing system. Shows are also used to reach the ultimate consumer. Trade shows are elaborate, and reach retailers as well as individual consumers. Most marketers find demonstrations at these events, particularly useful in promotion new products or product innovations. 3. Samples, coupons and premiumsThe distribution of samples, coupons and premiums is probably the best known sales promotion technique. A sample is a free distribution of an item in an attempt to obtain consumer acceptance.

This may be done on a door-to-door base, by post, by demonstrations, or insertions in packages containing other products. Sampling is especially useful in promoting new products. One problem of sampling is the cost. It is expensive, not only to manufacture the product but also to distribute it across the country to consumers. Also, many samples are wasted. They either go to consumers who are not interested in it or to people who have already used the product. Coupons offer a discount, usually of 5 to 10 percent, on the next purchase of a product.

They are readily redeemable with retailers, who receive a handling fee. Mail magazine, newspaper or package insertions are standard methods of distributing coupons. Firms may sponsor contests to attract additional customers. They offer substantial cash or merchandise prizes to call attention to their product. Premiums are bonus items given free with the purchase of another product.

They have proved to be effective in getting consumers to try a new product or a different brand. Premiums are also used to stimulate direct mail purchases. 4. Trading stampsThese, too, are a sales promotion technique similar to that of premiums, and offer additional value when the product is purchased. Whether or not the consumer benefits depend upon the relative price levels that exist at the time. Trading stamps are mostly distributed by petrol pumps, grocers or service-type businesses.

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