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what are the marketing tactics that can help you build a successfully promotional marketing strategy?
9 min read

Promotion is one of the 4Ps of Marketing. When it comes to growing a business, every entrepreneur need to understand how to make a promotional marketing strategy.

What is a promotional marketing strategy?

Promotion represents all the communication efforts that your business does to present the product/service to your client. It refers to how you package, present, communicate, and underline the competitive advantage and what communication channels you use.

A promotional marketing strategy is the sum of marketing tactics that a business uses to persuade the target clients to buy the product. At the same time, promotion is one of the main pillars of the positioning strategy.

This is why, not all promotional marketing tactics are right for every type of business. Some of them may help the bottom line in the short term but hurt the business overall in the long term.

When do you need a promotional marketing strategy?

There are many opportunities in which a promotional marketing strategy is required, but we will take a look at the main events. You can use a promotional marketing strategy when you want to:

  • create brand awareness
  • create brand loyalty
  • introduce a new product
  • sell a product that has packaging defects
  • get rid of a stock
  • when you want to gain rapid market share
  • when you have cash flow problems

What are the most common marketing tactics used today for building a promotional marketing strategy?

Advertising

The communication made by a company, to bring in the attention of a target market a specific product/service.

Direct marketing

Direct marketing is in general used by companies that already have access to a database, with customers that are part of your targeted customer groups.

Sales Promotion

  • product samples
  • coupons
  • flash sales
  • loyalty programs
  • lifestyle discounts
  • free trials
  • contests
  • price discount
  • bundles

1 to 1 sale

This is an approach used especially by physical stores and companies that have a sales force. The salesperson usually recommends the product on promotion to a specific customer group, based on a set of criteria.

For example, they can recommend the product that is the subject of the promotion if:

  • the client purchases initially a specific item.
  • the client has more the one purchase.
  • the client requests information about a specific product.
  • Etc.

Public Relationships

Represent all the communication efforts made to create and maintain a positive corporate image.

How to build a promotional marketing strategy?

To build a promotional marketing strategy, you need to use a step-by-step approach. This approach must be aligned with your business goals, brand positioning strategy, company’s values, target audience, competition, and market condition overall.

1. Start with consumer research

We have covered this in previous articles. You can read all about customer research in:

2. Establish what is your goal for this promotion

  • create brand awareness
  • create brand loyalty
  • introduce a new product
  • sell a product that has packaging defects
  • get rid of a stock
  • when you want to gain rapid market share
  • when you have cash flow problems

3. Research market condition

Industry

Some industries may have some specific practices that customers are already accustomed to. They may expect that from you as well. Also, you should understand what are the industry trends, the industry status quo, and what are the main promotion types used in the industry.

Customer trends

See what are the trends in the industry. Also, you may look at similar industries to see if some trends did not make it yet in yours. If this is the case, it may be a good opportunity to innovate. This may include introducing new marketing channels (maybe a new social platform not used yet by your competitors, but which your customer is already using); some special type of offer, etc.

Competition

What do your competitors use in similar situations? Try to find if one of them had a recent event, with a similar business scope. Then, try to understand how they did it. In the end, you need to make an audit, to see what was the impact of this promotion. Ideally, you should do this exercise in real time, when your competitor is having this kind of promotion.

In this way, you may see:

  • ·How clients are reacting to the promotion – by following the social media activity of your competitor.
  • What is the impact on sales – if it is a retail online store, you may look over the stock at the start of the promotion, and the end of it. It is feasible for businesses that have few products on sale. Or for situations in which the promotion is made for a specific product or group of products.
  • Try to estimate the budget used. This can be done just if you have some kind of experience with marketing activities. But, being in your industry, and “fighting” for the same clients, you should know how much it costs to do Facebook ads, how much it costs to do Google ads, how much it costs to have a billboard, etc.

4. Chose the right marketing channel/channels for your promotional marketing strategy

Depending on your business goal, your market size, and your customer segments, you may need more than one marketing channel.

The marketing channels can be online and offline.

What are the main online marketing channels?

  • online platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
  • email marketing
  • ads
  • SMS marketing
  • Google displayed banner ads
  • mobile apps ads

What are the main offline marketing channels?

  • Radios
  • Television
  • Newspapers
  • Magazine
  • Flayers
  • Billboards

5. Craft the message that you want to communicate.

Now, that you know what is your product, who is your customer, what are the trends in the industry and what will be your marketing channel, you can start crafting your promotion. You should take into consideration all the things discussed above.

You may need external support. This is true if you don’t have the necessary expertise in your team. For example, making a video for YouTube or TV. Or for making a special banner.

It will be a waste of money to make all this effort and bring in front of your client a poor-quality video, or a pixelated banner.

Make sure all of these efforts support your brand positioning strategy and are consistent with your brand image, brand voice, and brand personality.

Your marketing efforts should be made using an integrated approach.

6. Budget

To establish the budget that you need, you should start by answering the following questions:

  • What is the ROI expected from this promotional marketing strategy?
    The answer to this question may eliminate some marketing channels right from the beginning. This is because some of them are very expensive, like billboards or TV ads.
  • What are the customer segments that you are interested in?
    The answer to this question may tell you if you need one, or more channels. If you are trying to reach different customer segments, you may need to have complementary marketing channels.
  • What geographical area do you need to cover?
    Regional, National, Global?
  • What is the average CTR in my industry?
  • What is the TAM (total addressable market)?
  • Depending on your business model and your industry, there may be additional questions relevant to you.

7. A-B testing

If you are planning to introduce this promotion on a large scale, you will need A-B testing. This means that you need at least 3 different messages, and 3 different visuals, that you will run in parallel, to a small number of people, for at least a week. At the end of the week, you need to compare the results of these ads. The best ad will be used to scale the promotion.

8. Monitor the results of the promotional marketing strategy

You need to monitor your promotion daily. You should see if the performance is the one that you expected. The performance should be measured using specific KPIs, that are aligned with your marketing goal for this promotion.

  • If your goal is brand awareness, you will have as KPI Brand Coverage (how many potential clients saw your promotion) and Customer interactions (how many clients interacted with it?).
  • If your goal is sales, your KPIs will be Cost of Acquisition, Conversion Rate, and Average Order Value.
  • If your goal is Customer Loyalty, your KPI should be Returning Customers.

You need to compare the results of your business, with some realistic results. Ideally, your performance should be measured against the average performance of the industry. Depending on your industry, this may be different.

To find the average values for your industry, you just need to google:

“What is the average … (conversion rate) for …. (google ads), in …. (fashion industry)?”

when you are creating a promotional marketing strategy you need to use a strategic approach, that can have a compound effect over time
when you are creating a promotional marketing strategy you need to use a strategic approach, that can have a compound effect over time

Google will give you the answer like a snippet. You can click and read further.

If the results are not the ones expected, you may need to make some adjustments. Maybe the targeting is not right. Maybe your message is too emotional, and you may want to underline some rational benefits. Or maybe you are not using the right marketing channels.

In any case, is important to find out this in real time, and if necessary, to kill the promotion.

9. Make the debrief with your team.

  • What went well?
  • What could be done better?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • What did you learn about your customer?
  • What did you learn about your competitors?
  • What did you learn about the industry?
  • Etc.

Even if at this point you may not know how to answer all these questions, once you have your promotion going, all the answers will appear.

Conclusion

Marketing is one of the main functions of a business. Any entrepreneur should at least know the basics. Even if you hire an external team to do it, you still need to understand the principles. In the end, you are the one responsible for the success or failure of your business.

You need to start with the 4Ps of Marketing. Promotion is the last of them. We covered the other 3Ps in previous articles.

The main takeaways from this article are:

How to build a promotional marketing strategy?

  1. Start with consumer research
  2. Establish what is your goal for this promotion
  3. Research market condition
  4. Chose the marketing channel
  5. Craft the message that you want to communicate.
  6. budget
  7. A-B testing
  8. Monitor your promotion.
  9. Make the debrief with your team.

As with everything, practice makes it perfect. So, is important to start and learn from practice as well.

If something is not clear, all you need additional guidance, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or write an email.

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