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Best 10 Promotion Ideas to Drive More Sales Promotions

Promotion Throwing money at your marketing team and having them plaster social media with your brand logo won’t win over the hearts and minds of your target audience.

Promotion Ideas

Not to mention, while “promotion” and “marketing” are often thought of as synonymous, there are some key differences to be aware of. As such, your business should approach its promotions as a subset of its overall marketing strategy.

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Marketing ideas, advertising and sales promotions: What’s what?

Marketing

Think of marketing as the overarching umbrella. It encompasses all of the strategies, activities, campaigns, messaging and online outreach that your brand executes to expand audience awareness of the business and its offerings. Marketing efforts include industry and audience research to make sure the brand is leveraging the right messaging in each ad, blog, one-sheet, eBook and other collateral.

Advertising

Advertising is just a single strategy under the umbrella of marketing, typically with the purpose of calling attention to and/or educating the company’s audience about a certain product or offer. Advertising is also typically an ongoing process, where goals include boosting customer loyalty and raising awareness around the brand’s service portfolio.

Promotion

Sales promotions are efforts and approaches may overlap a bit with advertising – i.e., a business might use a traditional ad as part of its sales promotion strategy. However, the key difference here is that where advertising is usually part of a continual campaign focused on increasing loyal customers or educating the audience, sales promotions are more short-term.

Raising revenues online and in-store: Sales promotion ideas

It isn’t hard to get stuck in a rut with sales promotion ideas, especially if the company is working to churn creative promotions out all the time. Let’s take a look at a few unique promotion models you can consider to raise sales at your brick-and-mortar stores or e-commerce store:

1. Ditch the price cut and go for the upgrade

Sales are so last decade. Everybody can slash prices, (or create the illusion of such with red slashes and lower amounts on their price tags). But customers – especially in the B2B space – are hip to this game, and with so many opportunities to shop around for goods and services, it isn’t difficult for decision-makers to discern a fair price for a brand’s offerings.

As OKsuzi Marketing CEO Suzanne Brown suggests, kick this idea to the curb and replace it with an offer to upgrade.

2. Support your loyalty program with gifts and an exclusive club vibe

Customer loyalty is key, and many businesses garner it through a loyalty club. However, it’s not enough to simply have a loyalty program in place – you also have to promote it, and make it worth customers’ time.

A perfect example here is Costco.

If you’re a Costco member, you’re well aware of the perks – you can shop at the warehouse stores during any regular business hours, use their gas stations and reap a whole host of other advantages (i.e., buying a 20-pack of socks and an industrial size tub of Twizzlers in the same place). And, chances are good that you received some type of gift when you signed up for your membership.

3. Hyper-targeted sales and promotions

If offering an upgrade doesn’t work for your business model, fear not. Customers still love sales, discounts and promotions. And in the current age of data-driven personalization, you can take this traditional promotion to the next level.

First, as opposed to simply blanketing your entire audience with non-discriminate sales prices, tailor a promotion just for a certain subset of customers.

Or, better yet, provide individualized discounts for top customers based on their purchasing history and other preferential data.

4. Play hide and seek with event tickets

This is a really fun one, for you and your marketing team as well as your customers. Leading up to your event, you can hide tickets in the local area (or in your own product packaging a la Willy Wonka). There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Make it a mystery: Promote the fact that tickets are hidden around town, but won’t reveal where they might be. This strategy lends a bit of mystery to the promotion. And, as a bonus, you can publicize when each ticket is found (or have users leverage a hashtag and post on social) to keep the buzz going and maintain attention on your event.
  • Post clues: For a more interactive experience, you can create a scavenger hunt promotion, where you offer up clues for ticket locations.
  • Host social media contests: If playing hide and seek isn’t your brand’s thing, you can also host social media contests (and garner attention with the help of a hashtag) and provide event tickets as the prize. For instance, for its sponsored Timbersports British Championship event last year, tool brand Stihl offered the opportunity for customers to pass a quiz in order to be entered into the prize drawing.

5. Bring a sneak peek performance to the streets

If the event includes a performance element, consider breaking away from the stage and offering a preview, live in the streets, flash mob-style. This theatrical approach lets you show off the talent that event attendees will be treated to, while creatively promoting the event itself.

While not a real-world example, one of the best instances to come to mind is The Office character Andy Bernard, and his fellow Sweeney Todd cast members. In this particular episode, showman Andy brings the cast of his upcoming play to (where else) the Dunder Mifflin office.

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6. Tap an influencer

You can also leverage an influencer or brand ambassador partnership to spread the word about your event. This approach comes with the added advantage of dual audiences – not only will your own core audience see this promotion from your chosen brand ambassador, but the influencer’s own group of followers will be exposed to event information as well. In this way, you extend your brand’s reach and improve the chances that event details will get in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

However, as with any influencer partnership, it’s key to choose wisely. An invitation to an event that doesn’t align with the influencer’s brand and the interests of their audience will more than likely flop. As with any marketing and promotional tactic, there are pros and cons here – read more about these and industry experts’ takes here.

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