The Steps in Planning an Effective Sales Promotion Program

Care should be taken when planning an effective sales promotion program.
Care should be taken when planning an effective sales promotion program. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

An effective sales promotion program can be the difference between success and failure. To be truly effective, you must take care in developing your plan. Think carefully about your target demographic, how you plan to reach them, and how much money you are willing to spend to get there. With a well thought out promotional plan, you will be on your way to increasing profits.

Target Your Audience

Before you start your promotion, you need to define your target audience. Will you be selling to males or females? Young or old? Sports enthusiasts or tech junkies? The target demographic will play a huge part in the type of campaign you will run. For example, you may go for an edgier brand of advertisement to appeal to the 18-to-35 age group. For the over-65 crowd, you will likely opt for a more subtle campaign.

Research Your Audience

Once you know your target group, do your research. Find out what similar products they are buying, and what types of ad campaigns appeal to them. Then, go a step further by dissecting their hobbies and interests in general. You need to find a way to make your product appealing by relating it to aspects of the target’s lives. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. You can analyze market statistics. You can send out surveys. You can even hold focus groups to determine how to best reach your audience. You need to make them feel like they’re missing out if they don’t have it.

Design the Plan

Now that you know your audience and how to appeal to them, it is time to take that data and put it into a campaign. Make sure the campaign emphasizes how your product will benefit the consumer. Flashy ads and hip spokespeople are great, but the consumer has to at least believe he has a need for the product. Once you’ve created the campaign, determine your distribution strategy. Options include print, television, radio or Internet. Your research should point you to the most effective medium. For example, younger people are more apt to see your ads on the Internet. Older consumers may be more likely to see them on television.

Initiate the Plan

Once you’ve identified the demographic and designed the plan, it is time to put it into action. Once you initiate the plan, monitor the effects on sales. If the campaign is working well, you can gradually dial it up to have a greater effect. If the campaign is not working, it may be time to take it back to the drawing board.

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