Experimentation and Sampling:- Promotion and Strategy – Encouraging Experimentation
One of the biggest challenges for a new or recently updated product or brand is getting consumers to try it. Consumers are loyalists when it comes to their shopping habits. Finding a way to get a person to try a new product outside his or her comfort zone can be difficult, and multiple experimental approaches may be employed by the marketing and advertising teams to facilitate this switch. Integration of these different marketing tools into a streamlined process that adequately reaches the target audience while keeping costs low is referred to as integrated marketing communications (Drewniany and Jewler 276). Integrated marketing communications can include a very wide variety of techniques. The main concern with all of the different approaches is getting the consumer to try something new with the hope that he or she will make a permanent switch.
One of the most common techniques to facilitate this switch in consumer preference and generate new interest in a product or brand is sales promotion. There are many advantages to this type of approach. There is almost always a positive consumer response to sales promotions, which yields an increase in sales. So many different types of sales promotions exist that companies can usually target an exact consumer demographic by choosing the right type of promotion. For example, if a clothing company wants to generate return sales, they will choose a sales promotion that draws the consumer back after the initial purchase. One of the most popular examples of this type of marketing strategy is the reward dollar promotion. For every $50 spent, a $25 reward is earned. The reward cannot be used immediately and is only valid on a return visit during a specified time frame. This is an extremely effective sales promotion because it draws consumers in to buy items twice. The ultimate goal of this promotion is to create a loyal customer base; after two successful shopping trips, the consumer has experimented enough with the clothing to continue to shop this particular brand even at regular prices. This is only one type of sales promotion.
Research should point the advertising team to an effective promotional strategy for its particular product or brand. Properly executed promotional strategy should provide adequate information to the consumer, relate to the current advertisements for the product, and ultimately motivate consumers to purchase the product. Effective advertising should prepare the consumer laying the foundation of brand or product preference. If the advertising has been effective, when marketing researchers pinpoint an effective sales promotion strategy, consumers should feel motivated by the promotion and follow through with a purchase. Advertising has an extremely important role in the effectiveness of the promotional strategy. If advertisements fail to build a strong marketable image for the product, almost any promotional strategy employed will fail to increase sales (Lane, Kleppner, and Russell 443).