Objectives of Sales Promotion

Sales promotions are all around us. Free samples. Buy one, get one free deals. No interest for six months if you buy now. The objectives of sales promotions range from rewarding customers to coaxing them away from the competition. There are many methods and different forms of promotion used to achieve these goals.


All promotions seek to boost sales. Specific objectives may include building customer loyalty, marketing a new product, or increasing long-term market share.

Objectives of Sales Promotion

Objectives of sales promotions always relate to increasing sales, Zabanga Marketing asserts. However, there are several different objectives you can list under that heading. Your objective may be to increase sales for the current quarter or to boost your long-term market share. You may want to encourage consumers to try a new item or buy extra bottles or cans of an established product. Your endgame may be to lure away your competitors' customers or reward your own.

Like so many goals in business, your objectives should be quantifiable. Suppose you're offering free samples of your new vegan cookies to lure customers into buying a box. If you don't set a benchmark for success, you won't know if your promotion worked. Objectives of sales promotions should specify how much of an increase you want and who the targets are. Will increased sales come from new customers trying your product or current patrons buying more than usual?

Different Forms of Promotion

You've probably encountered most of the different forms of promotion in everyday life. Vend describes several major types:

  • Percentage-off promotions, as in "20 percent off through July 4!"
  • A set dollar amount off
  • Buy one, get one free (BOGO)
  • Multi-buy promotions ("Buy two, get a third free")
  • Free shipping
  • Try before you buy
  • Free gift with purchase

Which one of the different forms of promotion works best depends in part on your business line. "Lowest of four items is free" works great if you sell wine, dresses or cakes. It's not a winner with refrigerators because few people want four refrigerators. The objectives of sales promotion also matter. For example, if you want to clear out your inventory, 5 percent off everything works better than 50 percent off a few items.

Financing is another form of sales promotion, Marketing91 explains. If your customer doesn't have the money upfront for a car or a big-screen TV, financing can close the deal. Some companies make it sweeter with "no payments for six months" or "no interest for a year," making the customer feel they've scored. This works on big-ticket items, but it's less ineffective on junk food or pet toys. A BOGO offer would do better at moving things of that sort.

If your goal is to keep customers shopping with you, continuity programs are a good bet. Frequent flyer miles fall under this category. Every time you fly with the airline or use its affiliated credit card, you earn more miles, encouraging you to fly with that airline more frequently. Store credit cards that reward you when you accumulate enough purchase points work the same way.