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Plan an Effective Product Promotion

Written by Russell Cragun on May 6, 2014 in How to Sell Products Online
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In order to succeed in promoting a product, retailers, wholesalers and brands have to do more than just release useful products. They need to successfully promote those products to people who are likely to benefit from them and have the money to purchase them. Effective product promotion takes time, effort and planning. But having the right product at the right price that is positioned in the optimal place is not always easy. Putting a plan in place long before a new product is released for sale can ensure your target customers are ready to purchase from the first day the product is available.  Your plan needs to begin with the end in mind so your set objectives are linked to your desired results.  You plan will focus on the launch of and the execution during the promotion.

Begin with the End Objectives

If you're new to product promotion, you might assume that the purpose of any campaign is to get people to buy products. That's true; however, within this goal there may be several other objectives you are trying to hit. For example, some campaigns are designed to attract new customers, while others are designed to get existing customers to buy new products or buy products more frequently. By deciding exactly what you want to accomplish before you begin, you make it far more likely that your campaign will succeed.

Below we included a graph of a study done on a group of people. Group 1 thought of setting in their mind and not writing them down. Group 2 wrote them down on a piece of paper or somewhere safe. Group 3 wrote down actions they would need to take in order to achieve their goals, while Group 4 committed to a friend that they would achieve their goal. The most successful group was Group 5. They wrote down their goals and each week they would make progress reports and shared them with their friends and family. This really help them set meaningful and smart goals, and more importantly they accomplished their goals and became better because of it.

chart of goals acheived

Define Your Target Audience

Converting your target audience and your objectives are closely related. Your audience consists of the people who are likely to buy the product; these people may be a certain age, have a certain income level, be a certain profession or have other characteristics in common. Define your target audience as specifically as possible so that you can design a product promotion campaign that is most likely to appeal to and reach that audience.

1) Develop a customer profile: this may include age, gender, location, background, marital status, income, interests, hobbies, values, attitudes and behaviors.

2) Find out where they are: Do they go to certain websites, physical stores, social networks? Do they use email or other messaging? Are they on their mobile devices?

Below is an image that perfectly describes target marketing that was found inside a retail store.

Create an Incentive of Interest

Most product promotion campaigns center around generating incentives to buy, generate demand by having a limited offer, or making the special offer very attractive to encourage people to buy the product. There are several types of incentives you can choose from:

  • Discount programs where customers pay less for the product using a coupon.
  • Free samples or items if a customer purchases a different item, signs up for an email list or frequents your store.
  • Free or reduced admission to a special event where the customer can get questions answered, try out products and/or meet people involved with the product.
  • Events or customer experiences that generate crowds, enthusiasm, social sharing, and other publicity.

The specific incentive you create for your product promotion depends on who your target audience is and how it is likely to respond to each type of incentive.

Publicize Appropriately

The way you publicize your incentive also depends on your target audience. If the audience is Internet savvy, you may want to promote the incentive on social media, using either free options such as creating a business page on Facebook or paid options such as Promoted Tweets on Twitter or Promoted Posts on Facebook. You may also want to use more traditional publicity options such as putting an ad in local newspapers or distributing press releases, depending on how you are most likely to reach your target audience.

Track Your Results

Once you've created your incentive and publicized it, all that's left to do is check how effective your campaign is. Compare your sales and conversion numbers with your objectives to determine whether the campaign is working. Consider tweaking your incentive or changing your publicity strategy if your campaign is not as effective as you would like.

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