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Sales Promotion

The primary objective of sales promotions are to predict and modify customer purchasing behavior, most often to improve sales. There are many ways to approach and realize this goal.  

Promotion Strategy 

An analysis of a product’s performance takes into account both surface indications and underlying problems facing the brand. In-depth situation analyses and strategy development can help determine the incentive needed, the type of promotion likely to have the greatest appeal, and the media required to reach the desired audience.

    Items to consider:

    1.     Customer Attitudes and Buying Behaviors
    Determine who your customers are demographically and psychographically – personal characteristics, age group, location, ethnicity, income, etc.  Establish what about your brand attracts themand how they make their buying decisions.

    2.     Brand Strategy
    Consider your level of dominance in the product category.  How will sales promotion factor into performance? What are the strengths and time period before returns are realized?

    3.     Competitive Strategy
    Evaluate past performance, both yours and your competitors’, and determine what activities, levels of spending and time periods produced the best results.

    4.     Advertising Strategy
    How do you currently promote your product in your existing markets? Which media best suits your needs? 

    5.     Trade Environment
    What are your distributors’ attitudes towards the brand? Your competitors’? 

    6.     Other External Factors
    What resources are available and what unpredictable factorsmay influence a product’s availability or pricing (e.g.: weather, raw materials) 

Promotion Tactics

The three basic elements of a sales promotion are:

  1. The offer 
  2. Media for communicating the offer to the target audience
  3. The creative “hook,” message or theme that moves the audience toward the desired response.

Many promotion techniques are currently available and new ones are constantly evolving: In selecting a technique, a marketer must consider its suitability, compatibility with the brand’s objectives, and budget parameters.  Promotional tactics that Partners & Levit often recommends include:

Consumer Tactics

    1.     Coupons
    These short-term price incentives induce consumers to purchase a product.  They not only save the consumer money, but they are effective ways of introducing new products to the public, too.  Thus, coupons stimulate trial and conversion, retain current users, and serve as a selling device.

    2.     Sweepstakes
    Sweepstakes are promotions wherein winners are determined by a random drawing in some chance event.  The participants exercise no control.  Sweeps generate awareness and involvement with a brand.  The most cost effective sweepstakes prize is travel, which has a substantially higher perceived value than its cost. 

    3.     Sampling
    Sampling allows the customer to decide for himself or herself whether or not a product satisfies a need.  If the results are favorable, there are often product inventories available for purchase.

    4.     Mail-in offers/rebates
    Mail-in offers are a delayed incentive.  They appear in two general categories:  Cash or coupon refunds and premium offers.  Consumers purchase a product and send away in order to receive the reward.    

      Refund Offers require the consumer to mail in certain proofs-of-purchase in return for a set amount of cash or coupons.  This encourages purchase continuity and brand trial. 

      Premium Offers offer free or discounted merchandise as an incentive for the customer to purchase more.

    The genuine benefit to the marketer is a low redemption rate.

    5.     Group Promotions
    There are usually three elements to group promotions: The offer, the unifying theme and joint advertising support. When participating in group promotions, overall costs are often lower. However, more time and planning must go into development. It is important to develop a logical and unifying theme, preferably one simple and to the point. 

Business to Business Tactics

    1.      Merchandising allowances
    Think of merchandising allowances as “fees for favoritism”.  There may be monetary or prize rewards such as travel, gifts, or discounts that are given to retail stores or wholesalers for featuring a product.  In a way, you are purchasing real estate—shelf space, displays, features—for your product.  

    2.      Contests
    B-B contests are geared toward distributors, brokers, retailers, etc.  For example, your company may establish a contest for its distributors.  These contests help push sales along by offering personal rewards for added performance.  An example of this can be seen with salespeople.  The most effective sales person may win cash, prizes, or exciting trips.

    3.      Performance allowances  (i.e. advertising allowance)
    This monetary fund is set aside to subsidize the advertising initiatives of resellers.  Most times, these advertisements target a local audience or smaller population.  For example, Xerox may have a national advertising campaign, which includes television commercials and magazine advertisements.  However, a small-town distributor may advertise Xerox machines in a weekly flyer on its own.  Xerox would then reward the distributor for their efforts by offsetting a portion of the distributor’s prior year’s advertising costs based on the distributor’s total product purchases.

    4.      Dealer Incentives
    Getting a dealer to sell your product instead of your competitor’s is difficult.  Both you and your competitor may occupy the same niche and offer similar benefits. Perhaps your competitor has an edge over you, whether it be in brand popularity, pricing, or customer loyalty. Offering dealer incentives is one way to help secure your position.  Rewarding the dealer with bonuses or prizes encourages them to choose your product and sell it enthusiastically.

Partners & Levit develops promotional strategies to achieve the specific objectives of each client. Our powerful methodologies are based on experience gained from nearly 30 years of successes in a multitude of product categories. 

To learn how your brand can benefit from the Partners & Levit sales promotion methodology [click here]!

A great theme line is creative, catchy and telegraphic in it’s ability to communicate.


A great theme line is creative, catchy and telegraphic in it’s ability to communicate.