This week I was at a networking event where the organiser promoted the sponsor of the event by having a prize draw using the business cards of all the attendees with the prize being a free product/service. This was not only a great way to increase awareness of the sponsor but it also meant that, as they now had everyone’s business card, they could contact everyone personally after the event and further promote their services. The sponsor had obviously given careful consideration to his marketing strategies when he decided that giving away a free product/service was a cost effective strategy to have in his marketing mix.
Giving incentives, like this prize draw, to encourage people to buy from you can be a very effective means of attracting new customers and increasing sales. Whatever form of sales promotion you choose to use, whether it be a competition, special event, free sample, some form of reward, loyalty incentive, or a straight forward price discount, its success depends on the part it plays in
your company’s overall marketing strategy.
If you want your business to succeed, you have to implement the right marketing strategy; one that is well thought out, focussed, well designed and well presented if it is to have the desired effect of increasing sales. So how do you begin? First you need to know:
- That you have a product/service that people want to buy;
- That the price you are charging accurately represents the value of the product/service and is at a level that people will be prepared to pay;
- That you can easily distribute your produce/service;
- That you can create an awareness and desire for your product/service.
The next step is to look at how you are going to promote your product or service and to do this you need to consider what information potential customers will need and how you are going to get it to them, for example will it include advertising via direct mail, radio, television or press; personal selling; use of social media; or special offers. Will your customers be more interested in quality and branding or will they want to buy at a discounted price?
The fact is you are actually going to have to focus on all of these to determine the right marketing mix to ensure that when you promote your product/service, it stands out from your competitors. When you are just starting out or are looking to launch a new product, or re-launch an existing product, a great tool to add to your marketing mix is a sales promotion or incentive to buy.
So what incentive do you give your customers?