Sales promotions and promotional actions

Marketers and consumers are people talking about sales promotions:

- “We run a prize draw, or competition, every year in the summer. It’s free to enter, so we have to label the packs with no purchase necessary to show that consumers don’t have to buy the product to enter. This year we are thinking of changing the rules. We’d like to include an element of skill by asking the entrants to answer a simple question in order to take part. This way we can require a proof of purchase, like a receipt, from the entrants.”

- “I bought these biscuits because I had a money-off coupon. Thirty pence off, now that’s not bad. My son got it from the internet. It's one of these new e-coupons. You know - an online coupon.”

- “I always buy my shampoo when there is a special offer, like three for two. It s even better if it's buy one get one free, or BOGOF.”

- “As the marketing manager for a breakfast cereal, I like to use gifts with

purchase to target children. We often put a small plastic toy inside the packet.”

- “My local supermarket always goes crazy in the summer with seasonal promotions for sun cream and leg wax. Sometimes you can’t find the milk, because of all the in-store promotions.”


9.1 Choose the correct words from the brackets to complete the report on Bob the Builder merchandising.

Bob the Builder's enormous financial success is due only in part to the TV programme. The (1) (merchant / deal / core brand) has been used to create pyjamas, party hats and plates. It's important to create something that will sell (2) (core brands / corporate gifts / merchandise) that parents are happy to buy. Bob the Builder items have also been used as promotional (3) (gifts / successes / brands) in connection with other brands. This type of (4) (spin-offs / sponsors / cross-marketing) has generated profit for all the brands involved.

9.2Put the descriptions (1-3) in the correct order.

1. offer really captures the / brand. / This on-pack / spirit of the promoted

2. gift is ideal for / pack. / This kind of promotional / children. / There is a small freebie inside the

3. solution for your corporate / These promotional / gifts. / items are an off-the-shelf


9.3 Make word combinations using words from the box. Then use the word combinations to complete the text below.


commercial deals licensing partners products team


David Beckham started his career as a footballer. He has signed (1) …… all over the world and has made a fortune for himself and his (2)……. .

When he started playing for Real Madrid, sales of (3) …… such as football shirts rose rapidly.

Think of a popular personality or character (film star, pop star, children's character, sports personality, etc.). What kind of merchandising would or would not be appropriate for them? Give reasons for your choices.

Text 2 Personal selling

The sales representatives or salespeople make up a company's sales force. Their goal is to close a deal and make a sale. These people are trained to push back, or counter, arguments against their sales pitch (how they try to sell to you). They interact directly with customers or prospects - potential customers - to make sales and build long-term relationships.

The sales force can include inside salespeople, who conduct business from their offices, and field salespeople or travelling salespeople, who call on customers (visit them). Sales forces are often organized with each salesperson having an exclusive territory - a geographical zone where they make their sales calls or visits. Salespeople normally receive incentives, such as financial bonuses or gifts, if they reach their target or sales quota - the amount of revenue they have to bring in during a given period.

Personal selling, or selling to a customer face-to-face, is different from impersonal selling such as advertising and sales promotion. Salespeople can inform customers and demonstrate technical products, at the same time customizing the sales messages to what that specific customer needs to hear. The sales process helps the sales force convert leads into signed deals (change prospective customers to actual customers).

1 Prospecting and qualifying. Salespeople prospect (or look for) new clients. New leads are generated by making cold calls, calling potential customers from a list, or by asking current customers for referrals. The best leads are then identified, or qualified.

2 Presenting. The sales presentation can focus on the product's USPs, or be customer-oriented - showing how the product will meet the customer's needs. Testimonials from satisfied customers, sales literature and samples may support the presentation.

3 Closing deals. When salespeople spot, or detect, buying signals from their customers, they will try to close the deal by asking the customer to place an order. They may trade concessions or negotiate.

4 Following up. Follow-up calls are part of the after-sales service which enables salespeople to check customer satisfaction with the service or product - how happy they are with it. Satisfied customers will purchase again, generating repeat business.

Marketing supports the sales force by providing product knowledge and market knowledge - information about what the sales force are selling and the environment they're selling it in. Marketers can design materials, or marketing collateral, to help the sales force present their sales arguments. The sales kit contains sales aids such as:

- product samples (so customers get a better idea of what the product is)

- price lists (so they can see how much it costs)

- order forms (so they can place an order)

- sales literature - brochures, leaflets and product sheets or sales sheets, containing information about the product features (what it does) and product benefits (why the product is good), and its unique selling points or USPs (what it has that its competitors don't).

Selling a service

A product is tangible, meaning it can be touched. A service, such as business consulting or healthcare, is intangible and does not have a physical presence. Packaging your service to make it look like a product is a frequently used marketing technique.

A marketing student is making notes from an article offering advice on selling services: ‘Package your different service levels(differently priced levels of service at different quality levels).Create bundles(services in groups that are sold together) that are easily sellable and that cater to your customers'varying needsand budgets. A high-end packagefor a car maintenance plan may include picking up the car for service and cleaning the interior. A low-end, prepaid packagecould include a reminder phone call for service and an oil change. These levels are differences in the actual deliverables(what the consumer receives, i.e.a clean car)and the total value( the sum of the value of the individual services in the bundle).

Combine servicesto create a new offering. For instance, as a marketing consultant, you could join forces with a copywriter and a graphic designer to create a 'Business Start­up Success' package.


9.4Complete the sentences.

1. Our sales …… is very effective. They sell a lot of products.

2. A sales …… came to the office yesterday. I didn't like his sales ….. at all - he just talked and talked and didn't listen to what I was saying.

3. I'm a sales ….. . I work for an insurance company in Geneva.

4. As soon as a customer walks in, I know if I am going to ….. a sale.

9.5 Complete the sentences. All the answers make word combinations with sales.

1. We have a small sales force but we mostly invest in ….. sales techniques such as advertising.

2. Our incentive plan encourages the sales force to reach their sales ……. .

3. The sales force listen to the customers and customize their sales …… to the customer needs.

4. Our sales ….. includes product sheets and a new brochure with product information and testimonials.

5. Each territory is quite large, so our salespeople only make one sales .… per day.

6. The marketing team have designed a new sales ….. for the product launch.

7. There are 30 salespeople in our sales …. .

8. We have lost repeat business as we neglected our …. -sales service.

9.6 Twо marketers are talking about how to market their investment services. Match the two parts of the sentences.

1 Let's start by looking at turning the service into a product. Our investment services are

2 Yes, we could try to create

3 I don't know, our business is really too complicated for prepaid

4 Our clients really need us to cater

5 Well, we could think about different service

6 Do you mean high and low

7 Yes, and we could combine different services to provide a new


a) bundles of different investment services.

b) levels for differing budgets.

c) offering. Say, life insurance, real estate, shares, bonds, savings accounts combined into one easy to manage portfolio.

d) intangible so it might be an interesting approach for our clients.

e) packages.

f) end packages?

g) to their individual budgets and needs.


9.7 Make word combinations using a word or phrase from each box and use them in your own sentences.

ask   cold calls
close   buying signals
make   a deal
place   concessions
spot   for referrals
trade   an order

Think of a product or a service that is usually sold by personal selling. Why is the sales method well suited to the product or service? What would you include in a sales kit for this product or service?

Text 3 Telemarketing

Telemarketing is a form of direct marketing: the messages are delivered individually to potential customers. It requires an immediate response- when tha phone rings, the natural response is to answer it. It provides the company with immediate feedback – you can find out what a potential customer thinks straight away. It also provides a captive audience – the person who answers the phone usually stays to listen for a few minutes. The success of telemarketing campaigns is measured in the cost per acquisition, cost per inquiry or cost per order.

With outbound telemarketing telemarketers (also known as telemarketing operators) call prospects(potential clients) from a list. Lists can be bought from list brokers. A cold list is a list of people who have had no prior contact with the company. Calling the people on the list for the first time is known as cold calling. A qualified telemarketing list includes the details about prospects who have the need or authority to purchase.

Common reasons for cold calling include:

- lead generation – contacting cold prospects (people who don’t yet have a relationship with the company) to create hot contacts (people who are ready to buy)

- phone sales - selling services over the telephone

- appointment setting - making an appointment for a sales rep to meet the prospect.

Follow-up calls may take place after a mailshot or a trade show. Telemarketers try to convert these leads into sales. This is called lead conversion. Voice broadcasting is a cheaper form of outbound telemarketing. Instead of having a live operator - that is, an actual person - a recorded message is played to the prospect or left on their answering machine.With inbound telemarketing, clients call the telemarketing firm, perhaps in response to an advert, to place an order, make a reservation or contact customer services.Telemarketing operators are trained to deal with objections (reasons people give for not buying). Telemarketing scripts list the questions that must be asked and what must be said to reassure the potential client. Here is an example of a telemarketing script:

- Good morning / afternoon. May I speak with Mr / Mrs Mandeville please?

My name is Julie. I'm calling on behalf of Paper Express. Are you aware of the company at all?

NO: That's OK. It's a mail order company that provides discounted paper and office supplies, (then to YES)

YES: Are you the person in charge of purchasing office supplies?

NO: May I ask for the name of that person? (take details)

YES: The reason for my call is to see whether you are interested in meeting one of our sales team.

NO: Thank you for your time, (end call)

YES: Would you be available for a meeting on Friday morning? (take details, end call)

9.8Fill in the gaps:

1 After a mailshot we always make ….. -up calls.

2 Telemarketing provides a ….. audience for the sales team.

3 Our ….. telemarketing operators handle calls from clients.

4 We plan to use telemarketing for ….. generation.

5 A ….. message is cheaper than a live operator.

6 ….. telemarketing will help us to generate leads.

7 We need to prepare the telemarketing ….. carefully so that our team know exactly what to say.

8 By ….. -calling we generated enough leads to keep us busy for months.

9 In just two days we made a lot of ….. sales.

10 We decided to use ….. broadcasting because it is much less expensive than having a person there to make the call.


9.9 Here are some extracts from a presentation of a direct marketing campaign. Choose the correct words from the brackets to complete the sentences.

1 We decided to use (outbound / prospect) telemarketing.

2 We met our subscription target at an acceptable cost per (objection / acquisition).

3 Use (immediate / direct) marketing to increase the number of subscribers to the newspaper.

4 We bought a (qualified / captive) list from a (telemarketing / list) broker.

5 Telemarketing operators received special training to (contact / deal) with objections.

6 We created a new (script / conversion) with our telemarketing firm.

Now say if the sentences refer to the objective, the action plan or the results.


9.10Correct the mistakes in the telemarketing script.

1 Hello, my name is John. I'm calling of behalf on Jupiter Software.

2 Do you aware of the company at all?

3 Are you the person charged with this?

4 My call reason is to find out if you are interested in our latest products.

5 Do you available for an appointment?

Choose a product or service you would like to promote. Write a brief for a telemarketing firm.

Text 4 Buzz marketing

Marketing has relied on word of mouth (WOM)for a long time - happy consumers have always told their friends about the products they like. Direct marketing often includes testimonialsfrom ordinary people or the general public who say why they like using the product. Favourable word of mouth publicity - positive WOM - is highly beneficial for the brand because the person who spreads the wordis usually highly trusted- a family member, for example. However, the product or service must not disappoint the target audience- it must live up to the hypecreated by WOM. Buzz marketing uses existing networks, often social networks (for example, groups of friends), to increase brand awareness. Social networking relies on the idea that people will pass along and share cool and entertaining content. Unlike word of mouth, buzz is generated by the brand itself, looking to build awareness of a product or service. A buzz marketing campaign hopes that the message will spread quickly, thanks to buzz agents, people who pass along messages.

CommentUK is a company which specializes in live buzz. This is done by performers (actors) acting out live advertisements. To promote the Nintendo Wii, teams of performers visited cinemas, interacted with other cinemagoers, and played a game live on the big screen.

Brands also use stealth marketing, where consumers are not aware that they are being marketed to. For example, Sony promoted a camera-phone using actors who pretended to be tourists. The actors asked people to take pictures of them, and took the opportunity to praise the brand, saying positive things about it.

An electronic buzz marketing campaign, also known as viral marketing, uses viral commercials - ads which are sent around the internet by users themselves. The commercials could be funny video clips (short video files), interactive Flash games, images, or any content people would be inclined to share with others. These campaigns can be started by email, in chat rooms or on discussion boards where groups of people with shared interests meet online, and on peer to peer sites such as YouTube.

At the end of a viral commercial there is usually a clickable link to 'tell a friend' or 'email this page'. The success of an electronic campaign can be measured by the number of emails opened, the click-through rate - how many people clicked on the link after opening the mail - and the number of pass-along events (emails sent to contacts).

This extract is from the website of Outstanda, an internet marketing agency: Buzz marketing is a strategy that will get you talked about, and in the news. Outstanda specializes in helping clients generate more buzz on the web. We will create a little buzzeach day. We will add to the buzz with press releases and by cultivating relationships with bloggers. We help you identify what makes you buzzworthy - worth talking about. Many buzz efforts take at least four weeks of planning and much more time for the story to catch on, or become popular.


9.11 Make word combinations using a word from each box. Then use the correct forms of some of the combinations to complete the sentences below.


chat social   along word
general spread the   audience public
live up to stealth   mouth peer
pass target   the hype networks
peer to word of   marketing room


1 City dwellers are increasingly buying food products direct from farmers. Sixty-six percent of customers said they had heard about the farm they use by ….. .

2 Three mothers created a line of clothing for kids called Mum's The Word in 1995. They dressed their own kids in Mum's The Word clothes; the kids became brand ambassadors and ….. about the new brand.

3 One of the most difficult aspects of viral marketing is making sure the product or service ….. and doesn't disappoint the consumers when they actually try it.

4 Advertisers are starting to use ….. .The brand sends a message to a

limited number of influencers, who spread the message to their network.


9.12Match the two parts of the sentences.


1 Procter & Gamble has released viral a agents called CrewBlue Campus Ambassadors.
2 In addition to launching the website, the campaign includes paid search ads, and two viral videos on the peer b public was allowed to attend the shooting of the new campaign and the film was released on the Bravia website.
3 The Sony Bravia advert with paint exploding over a block of flats spread с along the airline's brand message on university campuses.
4 The general d rooms.
5 The film has been uploaded onto peer to peer sites and widely discussed in chat e commercials that aim to persuade men to shave.
6 The JetBlue airline recruited a network of buzz f on the internet.  
7 Influential students pass g to peer site
8 A portal allows ambassadors to share ideas and communicate with other students in their social h networks.  

Text 5 Direct mail

The advantages of direct mail are the following:

1) Targeted:focus on your specific audience, directing your campaign (or mailshot / mailing) to the market you want to reach. 2) Personal:address customers by name. Write specific messages for them and personalize your message. 3) Flexible:a variety of formats,including letters, postcards, or brochures. Be creative with colors and graphics. Offer a free sample of your product. 4) Tangible:customers can hold your mail piece. Coupons or free samples included in your mail piece help encourage customer interaction by getting them to use the product. 5) Measurable:track the results of your Direct Mail campaign by counting the responses or inquiries it generates. Work out the cost per response for each campaign or go a step further and calculate the cost per conversion - how much each sale cost in terms of direct mail spending.

6) Cost-effective:your targeted message goes directly to the people you want to reach

Organizing a mailshot. Unfortunately, many first-time mailers overlook some of the basic "rules" of creating an effective direct mail campaign. Firstly, the accuracy of your mailing list. You can ask a mailing list provider or list broker to sell or hire out lists of customers' names and addresses from their database. Work with your list supplier to develop an effective prospecting list that includes the contact details of a large number of your target audience, or people with a similar profile - the same interests or buying habits. Remember - direct mail is sent to people who are interested in it, junk mailis posted to people who don't want it, and spamis emailed to people who aren't interested. You should always include an opt outof receiving publicity from your company: let people tick a box to say that they don't want to hear from you. Secondly, the appeal of your mail piece. You must encourage, or entice, people to respond. You can boost response rates by offering free gifts or discounts. Use a call to action: tell the reader what you want them to do. Include a deadline: tell the reader when he or she must answer.


9.13Put the words and phrases from the box into the correct columns to make word combinations.

broker junk per converstion piece

effective mailing per response prospecting


cost mail list


9.14 Two marketers are talking about direct mail. Complete the sentences and then put them in the correct order to make a conversation.

1 Well, if we send them a free ….. , people can try the product. It's is a way to interact with the brand. We also need to include a ….. to action.

2 Yes, absolutely. The message is .…. and it will go straight to our specific .…. . And the effects are ….. . We can work out cost per ….. and ….. per conversion.

3 Perhaps, but I think the best way to boost ….. rates is to offer discounts.

4 Let's get started. Can we talk about thecommunication plan? Do you think a direct mail ….. would be cost- …..?

5 OK, so we've talked about costs, but I'm really more interested in your views on ….. interaction.

6 How about 'Order today and receive a free gift'? Do you think that would ….. our customers to respond?

9.15 During a focus group on direct mail, the moderator asks questions about why people open mailshots. Match the questions (1—4) to the answers (a-g), then replace the underlined expressions with alternative expressions from text 5 above.

1 What makes you open direct mail?

2 What makes you reply?

3 Do you talk to your friends and family about mailshots you receive?

4 What kind of information do you expect in the covering letter?

a I only answer if there is an incentive like a present for me or my children.

b I give the pieces of paper for saving money in the supermarket to my friends, if I don't use them myself.

с Details about the product, special offers, and perhaps the form for ordering the product.

d I don't. All the unwanted mail I get goes into the recycling bin.

e I sent off a card that already had a stamp on it the other day. It was easy - I didn't have to look for a stamp,

f I rarely pay attention to mailshots but sometimes a funny-looking or unusual envelope catches my eye.

g I gave the little trial pot of face cream to my mother and she told all her neighbours.


9.16 Read the information about a product launch and select the two objectives from the list that best describe the campaign.


1 Establish a dialogue with potential consumers

2 Build awareness amongst seniors

3 Create a buzz about a new energy drink

4 Use celebrities to build the credibility of the brand

5 Increase purchase consideration amongst housewives under 50 years

We launched a street marketing campaign to reach the elusive youth market. The campaign targeted 18 to 25-year-old customers at home, at work and in the street. The goal was to create a fun environment where trendsetters and influencers could talk about and taste the new products. Street marketing was used to create a buzz about our new range of energy drinks. A bus, decorated in the logos and colours of the brand, travelled along the French Riviera communicating brand messages. We distributed samples in nightclubs, in fashionable bars and in stylish locations on the Bay of Angels.

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