Consumer Promotion Method
Consumer promotion methods are those methods of sales promotion which directly induce the consumer to buy the goods. Consumer promotion methods can be implemented at consumer’s door-to-door or at middlemen’s shops. Following are the main methods of consumer promotion
(1) Samples The distribution of samples of goods is considered to be the best among sales promotion methods. According to a famous scholar, “Nothing can so effectively increase the consumption of a good as the examination of a commodity.” By distributing samples of a commodity to potential consumers, they can study the properties of that commodity in a comparative manner with those made by another organization. When consumers are confident in testing the samples, they purchase the goods with more confidence. Sales promotion has been used in India by distribution of samples. Distribution of laundry powder, bidis, samples of medicines has been in vogue for a long time and has also been very profitable. The distribution of samples can be done at the doorstep of the consumers or at the office. Samples can also be distributed at fairs, exhibitions, festivals. Sometimes the individuals of the company even stand by the roadside and distribute the samples.
(2) Premium – Premium is another important means of sales promotion. A premium is a commodity that is paid on the purchase of an item of production. This premium has nothing to do with the price and varieties of the item. The price of a commodity is the same as the prevailing prices in the market, but the producer pays this premium for the purpose of motivating him to purchase his goods. The premium is usually paid free of charge, but if the item offered as a premium is very valuable, the producer may also charge some price for it. The following points should be kept in mind while choosing the item to be offered as premium
(1) The premium should be dignified.
(2) The item of premium must be a specific item.
(3) The item of premium must be useful to the person receiving the premium.
(4) The premium should not be a very cheap and commonly available commodity.
(5) The premium should be attractive.
(6) The premium item should be easily carried, carry. Due to the greed of premium, a person becomes ready to buy the item unintentionally or becomes ready to buy the item in more quantity than the requirement. This leads to a huge increase in the sales volume. This method of sales promotion is becoming more and more popular in India.
(3) Contests – Competitions are mainly organized to attract new customers or to present new products to the consumers. Various prizes etc. are kept in the organization of competitions and any one attractive competition is placed in front of the consumers, such as complete the sentence related to the item – “I drink gold spot, because…. , Writing a letter about the object, suggesting the name of the object, getting the verse completed, suggesting new uses of the object, solving puzzles, providing material for radio programmes, etc.
The following things should be kept in mind in organizing the competition (1) The last date of the competition should be fixed from the beginning.
(2) The list of awards should be prepared in advance.
(3) The competition should be organized on the basis of pre-determined rules. (4) Before organizing the competition, the laws and rules of the country should be kept in mind.
(4) Furnishings of the Selling – The customer first enters the shop as a spectator and when he is attracted towards something inside it, then he buys it. Therefore, the decoration of the shop is very important to attract his attention. In the modern era, performance experts have found very effective methods about the display methods under psychological study, by adopting which the merchant draws the customers towards the sales shop. This performance is both external and internal. The outdoor display unintentionally attracts a person walking on the street to the shop. Internal display attracts the incoming customer to the goods and makes them buy it.
(5) Coupons – Some companies use the coupon method for sales promotion, under which the consumer is given some discount in the price to buy the item or is tempted to get some free item. Sometimes coupons are printed in the newspaper which gives some discount in the price on going to the retailer. Many times, under this method, a coupon is put in the packing of the item and when the consumer opens the packing of that article, the coupon comes out in it. In exchange for this coupon, the customer either gets some cash amount or gets the item written in it. The method of giving coupons in India is used by incense sticks manufacturers, soap and oil manufacturers, tea makers etc. By this the customer gets motivated to buy the item unintentionally.
(6) Fairs and Exhibitions Fairs and exhibitions are also important means of sales promotion. These fairs and exhibitions are organized on local, regional, national or international basis. The goods manufactured by the organization can be displayed and sold in these fairs. This medium can be easily used. Many people come from far and wide to attend fairs and exhibitions. Therefore, it can be of great help in sales promotion. Fairs and protestors have an incomparable importance for the development of trade.
(7) Demonstration – An interactive display is also a means of sales promotion. It is completely based on the phrase ‘doing better than saying’. No matter how many times the goods are shown to the customers, their qualities should be clarified, but as much as the effect will be of the functional display, it is not possible to describe any other type. Functional demonstration work can be done at fairs, exhibitions, retail trade houses or door-to-door visits. This makes it clear to the customer what is the nature of the item to be purchased and how it can be used or used. It attracts attention to the goods and awakens the desire to buy.
(8) Free Training – Those producers who make such machines, from which a small industry can be started, then the producers can also give free training to the purchasers of these machines. Due to this, the buyer of the machine does not have to depend on any other person to work on the machine. This type of training can really make a great contribution to sales promotion.
(9) Selling at hourly prices – Nowadays, sales promotion by selling at hourly prices is very prevalent. Sometimes they sell goods at hourly prices in the name of clearance sales. Often the sale at hourly prices is done on special occasions like Deepawali, Holi, Gandhi Jayanti, the annual day of the organization. In this, customers buy more and more goods these days, but sometimes such goods are sold at hourly prices which are not usable. This hurts the reputation of the organization. Major clothing products in India, such as Bombay Dyeing, D.C. M. Calico, Mafatlal etc. usually sell at hourly prices.
(10) Special Prizes – Sometimes the seller also offers to give special prizes along with sales from the point of view of advertising and sales-enhancement. Like Hindustan Lever Ltd. offered to buy two cans of laundry surf powder a plastic bucket at a reduced price and impressed by this attraction many people bought two cans at once instead of one. Similarly many sellers give calendar, PAN or prize coupons as an attraction. Sometimes sellers also tempt their customers that if they buy a certain amount of goods from the same shop throughout the year, then they will be given some bonus or reward at the end of the year.