Top Ten Business Promotional Strategies
Product promotion is one of the necessities for getting your brand in front of the public and attracting new customers. There are numerous ways to promote a product or service. Some companies use more than one method, while others may use different methods for different marketing purposes. Regardless of your company's product or service, a strong set of promotional strategies can help position your company in a favorable light with not only current customers but new ones as well.
Contests are a frequently used promotional strategy. Many contests don't even require a purchase. The idea is to promote your brand and put your logo and name in front of the public rather than make money through a hard-sell campaign. People like to win prizes. Sponsoring contests can bring attention to your product without company overtness.
websites such as Facebook and Google+ offer companies a way to promote products and services in a more relaxed environment. This is direct marketing at its best. Social networks connect with a world of potential customers that can view your company from a different perspective. Rather than seeing your company as "trying to sell" something, the social network can see a company that is in touch with people on a more personal level. This can help lessen the divide between the company and the buyer, which in turn presents a more appealing and familiar image of the company.
Mail Order Marketing
Customers who come into your business are not to be overlooked. These customers have already decided to purchase your product. What can be helpful is getting personal information from these customers. Offer a free product or service in exchange for the information. These are customers who are already familiar with your company and represent the target audience you want to market your new products to.
Product giveaways and allowing potential customers to sample a product are methods used often by companies to introduce new food and household products. Many of these companies sponsor in-store promotions, giving away product samples to entice the buying public into trying new products.
Point-of-Sale Promotion and End-Cap Marketing
Point-of-sale and end-cap marketing are ways of selling product and promoting items in stores. The idea behind this promotional strategy is convenience and impulse. The end cap, which sits at the end of aisles in grocery stores, features products a store wants to promote or move quickly. This product is positioned so it is easily accessible to the customer. Point-of-sale is a way to promote new products or products a store needs to move. These items are placed near the checkout in the store and are often purchased by consumers on impulse as they wait to be checked out.
Customer Referral Incentive Program
The customer referral incentive program is a way to encourage current customers to refer new customers to your store. Free products, big discounts and cash rewards are some of the incentives you can use. This is a promotional strategy that leverages your customer base as a sales force.
Causes and Charity
Promoting your products while supporting a cause can be an effective promotional strategy. Giving customers a sense of being a part of something larger simply by using products they might use anyway creates a win/win situation. You get the customers and the socially conscious image; customers get a product they can use and the sense of helping a cause. One way to do this is to give a percentage of product profit to the cause your company has committed to helping.
Branded Promotional Gifts
Giving away functional branded gifts can be a more effective promotional move than handing out simple business cards. Put your business card on a magnet, ink pen or key chain. These are gifts you can give your customers that they may use, which keeps your business in plain sight rather than in the trash or in a drawer with other business cards the customer may not look at.
Customer Appreciation Events
An in-store customer appreciation event with free refreshments and door prizes will draw customers into the store. Emphasis on the appreciation part of the event, with no purchase of anything necessary, is an effective way to draw not only current customers but also potential customers through the door. Pizza, hot dogs and soda are inexpensive food items that can be used to make the event more attractive. Setting up convenient product displays before the launch of the event will ensure the products you want to promote are highly visible when the customers arrive.
After-Sale Customer Surveys
Contacting customers by telephone or through the mail after a sale is a promotional strategy that puts the importance of customer satisfaction first while leaving the door open for a promotional opportunity. Skilled salespeople make survey calls to customers to gather information that can later be used for marketing by asking questions relating to the way the customers feel about the products and services purchased. This serves the dual purpose of promoting your company as one that cares what the customer thinks and one that is always striving to provide the best service and product.