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Integrated Marketing Association

Promotional Marketing

In promotional marketing, brands use incentives to encourage consumers to take specific and immediate actions. While many promotions require a consumer to make a purchase, some promotions may only ask a consumer to try or review a product. A promotion includes any specialized offer that goes beyond a brand’s normal product offerings.

Types of promotions include sales, rebates, gifts with purchases, entry into sweepstakes, free shipping, and/or returns, and price matches. Each promotion conveys a perceived sense of value to the consumer, encouraging an immediate purchasing decision. Within each promotional marketing campaign, businesses strive to create a sense of scarcity and urgency.

Promotional marketing relies on strong, action-filled language, including “Hurry!” “Limited Time Only!” or “Only 15 left.” These promotional messages may appear across numerous channels including social media, an e-commerce page, a website, a text message, an email, or a direct mailer.

Marketers are often responsible for generating awareness for the promotion, measuring the results of each piece of promotional content and engaging in follow-up activities after the event. Content marketing, drip marketing, and freebie marketing act as complementary marketing strategies during promotional periods. Successful promotional content is often short, visually appealing, and shareable.

Like other forms of marketing, a great promotion will sell itself. Once a brand delivers the message on Facebook, Twitter, or another frequented site, brand evangelists can share the content with their own networks.

Promotions deliver immediate behavioral results, but they also serve as a foundation for future promotions. Businesses known for offering great promotions tend to see more success with each reiteration. Goals of promotional marketing campaigns may include moving old inventory, building a customer/prospect database, creating brand recognition, and promoting sales. Businesses may gauge success using metrics including sales, the number of in-person impressions, and the amount of buzz generated online because of the promotion.

Companies do face certain restrictions when offering promotions. Anyone running a promotion may want to look at all relevant regulations beforehand.

IMA has a list of over 3600 marketing technologies on Martec Showcase many of which support promotional marketing programs.

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