What is meant by ‘Sales Promotion’? Explain any five sales promotion techniques with an example of each.

Sales promotion refers to the short-term incentives, other than advertising and personal selling which are designed to encourage the buyers to make immediate purchase of a product or service. The commonly used sales promotion techniques are:

(i) Rebate: Offering products at special prices, to clear off excess inventory is known as rebate.

(ii) Discounts: These are like price promotions in which certain percentage of the price is reduced by some percentage as discount from the listed price. For example, discounts of up to 50% by Koutons.

(iii) Refunds: In this case, the seller offers to refund a part of the price paid by the customer on the production of some proof of purchase. For example, refund of Rs 5 on the presentation of an empty pack of Maggie noodles.

(iv) Product Combinations: The customer is given another product as a free gift alongwith the purchase of certain goods. For example, gift of microwave oven with the purchase of Burner Hob by Sunflame or a gift of Trolley with the purchase of Inverter by Luminous.

(v) Quantity Gifts: Sometimes sellers devise special package, which gives extra quantity of the product to the buyer at lesser price or at no price. For example, buy two soaps and get one free by LUX.

(vi) Instant draws and assigned gifts: Some gifts are given on the basis of draws or some events. For example, scratch a card and win a gold locket on the purchase of a TV.

(vii) Lucky draw: Some coupons bearing distinct numbers are issued on the purchase of some products. Later, draws are taken and winner is awarded some gifts.

(viii) Usable benefits: Gifts are given to the users of the product. For example, purchase goods worth Rs. 3,000 and get a holiday package worth Rs. 2,000 free.

(ix) Finance scheme: Easy finance scheme is provided to the customer by the marketer at 0% interest rate. It is generally given on durable goods like electronics, automobiles, etc. For example, 24 easy instalments.

(x) Sampling: Free samples of a product are offered to the customer. For example, a sachet of detergent powder to potential customers at the time of the launch of a new brand.

(xi) Contests: Competitive events involving the application of skills or luck are held. For example, solving a quiz or answering some questions.

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