PLANNING & REVIEW OF SALES PROMOTION
The marketer should examine the trends in his brand sales and the product category sales. Some of the key questions that will need his attention are:
1. Are there any wide fluctuations in the brand sales? Can one observe any pattern in these fluctuations like: Peaks in specific months of the year and lows in some other months. Monsoon time in India is comparatively a slack time for most products. Further, the marketer should also analyze competitor sales and whether similar phenomenon is observed in the competitorâ€™s brands also.
2. In case the marketer is introducing anew product, then he / she should analyze buyer behavior and likely consumer response to it. The marketer should also examine consumer responsiveness to any of the consumer promotion programs that it plans to introduce. In assessing this responsiveness, the marketer will have to study the following
3. Consumerâ€™s proneness to the deal, i.e. the degree to which consumers are likely to search out and respond to sales promotion incentives.
4. Level of involvement, i.e. whether the buying situation represent a high involvement or low involvement. Here, the marketer will also have to closely monitor consumer preferences and brand trial. One study suggests that sustained loyalty to a brand bought first during the sales promotion will be greater when the effort involved in trying the brand is high relative to the economic value obtained. This suggests the consumer promotions requiring special efforts on the part of the consumer, like cutting out contest form and complying to its conditions or redeeming coupons in a long drawn promotions like frequent flyers club are more effective in the long run as they may increase the likelihood of conversion on to a new brand. Likewise, when the consumer involvement in the promotion is low, research indicates that promotions which are reinforced, in general, (like discount coupons) work well when that are immediate rather than delayed.
Consumer Purchase Patterns
Here, the marketer will have to examine the purchase patterns of the consumers. He should plan to provide incentives for a sufficiently long time so that all heavy users get an opportunity to benefit in their normal purchase cycles. Consequently, most sales in the last phase of the sales promotion programs will come from regular buyers who may just stock up the product because of the low price advantage. Likewise, if the consumer loyalties exist for a particular size then the firm should offer promotions on other sizes to induce trial.
The marketer should analyze the distribution methods being used in his product category as this will influence choice of the promotion tools.
Identification of Opportunities and Threats
Based on the above analysis and also that of the trade characteristics, a firm has to identify opportunities and threats confronting it. It has to also examine ways and means by which it could use promotion tools to exploit opportunities and convert threats into opportunities.