A promotion is a planned strategy for increasing sales
over a short period. A promotion adds value to the product
or service offered. It stimulates sales for reasons other
than the product's inherent benefits. Those reasons are
called incentives. Sometimes the incentive is designed
to specifically make a sale, as in "$2.00 off medium
pizza with this coupon." Other times the incentive
is planned to expose the customer to the product--to break
down preliminary barriers that are roadblocks to a future
With a promotional program, you can persuade people to
try your product, to experiment with new beliefs about
your service; you can shift buying habits so that light
users find reasons to buy more.
Different businesses are drawn to different styles of
promotion. The most frequent users of promotional programs
are the retail services, like car care, hair care, and
restaurants. Coupons are the most common promotion for
these types of businesses. The ability to track results
and the proven effectiveness make coupon offers so popular.
In the business-to-business world, suppliers frequently
engage in promotions by offering sale prices. You are
less likely to see coupons here, because the patterns
of purchasing are different. The person making the decision
to buy may not be the same person who is writing the check,
so requiring the physical coupon to be used would be an
unnecessary barrier to the desired sale.
Promotions work because people like something for nothing.
They respond to two-for-one offers, and they love a good
deal or free extras with their purchases. Promotions help
businesses achieve their marketing objectives, such as
combating seasonal cycles or stealing attention from the
By Source Streetwise Do-It-Yourself Advertising