The 101 Guide to Promotional Marketing Plan and Strategy

Regardless of the business types, both B2B or B2C needs promotional marketing to boost sales and populate their services or products. Looking for the best promotional marketing tactic for 2023? This ultimate guide to promotional marketing has gathered everything you need to know, let’s get from zero to hero now!

What is Promotional Marketing?

Promotional marketing is one of the most commonly used marketing strategies. Briefly speaking, promotional marketing refers to the practice of spreading the news and information about products, while increasing brand awareness.

As a marketer, you must be familiar with the 4Ps marketing mix, which are Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Promotional marketing lies within the crucial 4 elements and shall be conducted once the product or service is ready to enter the market, or when business wishes to further boost its sales with existing customers.

Goals of Promotional Marketing

  1. Increasing Sales

Increasing sales is the most fundamental goal of promotional marketing. It has a significant effect on boosting the products’ exposure. When customers are aware of their needs, the next step in the buyer’s journey is the “consideration” stage, where the potential customers start gathering alternatives that could help them to solve the problems or fulfill their needs. The higher the exposure, the more likely will the product become listed in their choices. Potential customers might then be drawn to your company, hence, boosting sales.

  1. Increasing Brand Awareness

Promotional marketing sometimes is not just limited to product promotions, but also about telling the story and building brand image. A brand is often associated with its products as they represent what the business is known for. Brand awareness carries value for businesses and helps shorten the decision process of customers. Imagine if you are making a purchase, will you buy from a brand you have never heard of or a brand that appears frequently on social media platforms? The answer is probably the latter. Therefore, brand awareness is also one of the important goals for businesses to do promotional marketing.

  1. Promote New Products and Services

Before making solid purchase decisions, most of the customers prefer doing research and product comparison in advance. Make sure your potential customers know about your product and its edge over your competitors. Apart from detailing your product and service specializations, try to consider the appropriate tones and manners when disseminating information through different channels. Highlighting the unique selling points of your products and services plays an important role in promotional marketing as it helps you to differentiate yourself from competitors.

  1. Establish a Unique Position

Positioning is also essential for a business when it comes to promotional marketing. Seize the chance in your promotion campaign to communicate your brand’s uniqueness to your audience. You do not have to be the leader in your industry to get sales. Instead, it is the uniqueness that stays in your audience’s mind. People who appreciate your style could become the most loyal customers. If fully utilized, promotional marketing would help businesses to develop a more unique position which stands out from the crowd.

6 Steps to Plan for Promotion Marketing

  1. Set Promotional Goals

Before determining promotional marketing strategies, we have to set SMART goals first. SMART goals have 5 main criteria: Specific (S), Measurable (M), Achievable (A), Relevant (R), and Timely (T). For example, “Sales have to increase by 10% within one year”. Well-designed goals make it easier for you to measure, monitor, and control promotional marketing performances.

  1. Understand Your Potential Customers

It is important to do the Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (STP) before implementing any strategies. STP helps you to better understand who you should promote to, and what type of content you should customize for the target audience, focus your effort on the right customers who would carry value for you, and how to make yourself unique in the target audience’s minds.

In segmentation, identify the characteristics in four main dimensions: demographical, geographical, behavioral, and psychographic. Demographic characteristics could be the customers’ ages, status, and educational levels, whereas geographical characteristics are more likely to be where they live. Behavioral characteristics refer to their attitude, use, and knowledge of your product and purchasing habits, while psychographic ones are more likely to be related to their personality, lifestyle, and values.

  1. Identity Your Target Market

The next step, targeting means figuring out which segments your target customers that your products/services might help to address their needs. They are also people you should focus your promotional marketing efforts on.

In the positioning part, you would like to find out where you are positioned in comparison to your competitors in customers’ perceptions. You might find a perceptual map useful in this stage. Find a position that you could have the edge over your competitors and is unique enough that you could offer unique values to the customers. It would be a huge part when you are considering the actual copies or campaign details during promotional marketing execution.

  1. Set a Budget

Determine how much you are willing to spend on promotional marketing. Your budget will set you up with a list of promotional channels and campaigns that you can choose from.

  1. Choose a Promotional Channel

There are numerous promotional channels available, e.g. social media, TV ads, search ads, videos, and a lot more new channels that can be tried. Choose one or more channels that can best reach your target audience.

  1. Design the Promotional Content

You can get as innovative as you’d like to when it comes to promotional content. Whatever the form would be, just remember that it has to match your promotional goal, target audience and be concise with the message you want to convey.

  1. Monitor Your Performance

Consistent monitoring keeps you on track with your goal. Data gained from promotional campaigns can also be used as a reference for your next campaign.

How to Monitor Promotional Marketing Performance

The performance of promotional marketing comes in different aspects and could be difficult to track. But here are a few indicators that could help you monitor your performance.

  1. Sales Volume, as sales is the fundamental goal of a promotion. 
  2. Conversion Rate,which shows how many potential customers are turned into actual customers. 
  3. Website Traffic reflects brand exposure and to some extent, awareness.
  4. Search Volume of brand or product-related keywordsreflects people’s interest in your brand or company.
  5. Return of Investment (ROI) indicates if the promotion is worth the investment.

The above indicators are not applicable to every promotional campaign, and each indicator weighs differently according to the nature of your campaign. For example, while most campaigns focus on the number in sales volume and conversion rate, campaigns that aim to promote a brand instead of a single product may focus more on website traffic and search volume. There is no one-fits-all measurement to monitor all marketing performances, so it really depends on the goal that you’ve set. If your goal is met, then it is a successful campaign.

6 Best Examples for Promotional Marketing

  1. Social Media Marketing

According to  Digital Business Lab, 88% of the population are using social media. Popular social media platforms in Hong Kong include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Social media marketing is an effective way to reach a large number of audience in one go, especially if your business is not targeting senior age groups. 

Social media marketing, however, is not just about creating posts once in a while, it also includes tracking of engagement rate, interaction with followers and studying the platform’s algorithm. When there is too much work to handle, we recommend you to seek professional service from a marketing agency.

  1. Blog Marketing

Blog marketing refers to creating informative or educational content in the form of blog posting. This strategy might not be suitable to promote products that are fast-selling, but it is a reliable way to promote professional services or products that are used in a certain field of expertise. 

Informative content could lead solution seekers to your website, so the audience could be potential customers. As defined by Google, quality content should have expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-A-T). A well-planned blog marketing strategy can promote your professionalism and enhance brand image. Tracking your page traffic also helps to understand the needs of your audience better, as you can see which problem-solution blogs are the most visited.

  1. Online Advertisements

Compared with traditional ads, online ads have the advantages of lower costs, wider coverage and more accurate targeting. Some popular forms of online ads include Google search ads, display ads, social media ads. Each serves a different purpose and charges in a different way. Choose one or more ad campaigns that fit your business goal. 

Online ads usually come with a performance tracker that provides you with the data you may need for your next ad campaign. It is considered one of the easiest ways to promote your products or services.

  1. Sales Promotion

Sales promotion offers monetary incentive to potential buyers and can usually lead to an immediate increase in sales. They also come in different forms that serve different purposes, for example, first-time discount to attract new customers, seasonal sale to sell certain products, welcome-back discount to retain customers, etc. 

Sales promotion, however, works the best only when accompanied by other strategies, such as online ads and social media postings. If only visitors to your website are aware of the promotion, the boost in sales can be expected to be very limited.  

  1. Video Promotion

Modern people are leading busy lives, and it may be demanding to ask them to read a whole blog post for information about your brand and product. Video is one of the most popular alternatives because people can acquire knowledge just by clicking on a play button. 

You can be creative with your video promotion, it can be educational, comical, artistic, or whatever fits your brand image. Video promotion is also a channel that enables you to collaborate with influencers or other channels easily. It is indeed more costly to do a video promotion, but the outcome will be satisfying.

  1. Referral Program

Referral program means offering discounts or rewards to existing customers and the new customers they bring. It is a strategy that lets you retain old customers and acquire new customers in one go. Existing customers can help promote your brand and product by word-of-mouth, which enhances the credibility of your brand. In addition, this strategy helps to foster customers’ loyalty, as they are getting closer to your brand everytime they introduce it to their friends.

If your brand struggles to attract new customers, this is a strategy that you should consider. The new customers acquired from this program are usually in the segments of your existing customers, making it easier to design marketing strategies in the future. You do not have to allocate extra resources to catch the eyeballs of people in other segments that are not your target customers.

Let’s Boost Your Business with Promotional Marketing!

As a leading digital marketing agency in Hong Kong, SDMC specializes in SEO, social media marketing and a full range of marketing strategies aimed to support your business growth.Contact us to schedule a talk with our professional specialists and customize a promotional marketing plan that fits just right.

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