Sales promotion is the process of persuading a potential customer to buy the product. It refers to short-term incentives, which are designed to encourage the buyers to make the immediate purchase of a product or service. These include all promotional efforts other than advertising, personal selling and publicity, used by a company to boost its sales. Sales promotion activities include offering cash discounts, sales contests, free gift offers, and free sample distribution.
Sales promotion is usually undertaken to supplement other promotional efforts such as advertising and personal selling. Some sales promotions are aimed at consumers. Others are targeted at intermediaries and at the firm’s sales force.
There are many methods of sales promotion, including Money off coupons, Competitions, Discount vouchers, Free gifts etc. Companies use sales promotion tools specifically designed to promote to customers (e.g., free samples, discounts, and contests), tradesmen or middlemen (e.g., cooperative advertising, dealer discounts and dealer incentives and contests) and to the salesperson (e.g., bonus, salesmen contests, special offers). Sales promotions include only those activities that are used to provide short-term incentives to boost the sales of a firm.