To develop an initial sales promotion schedule, the campaign manager or marketing agency needs to understand how the campaign fits with the types of marketing strategies being used. Sales Promotion is generally a one-time project, launched to align with the product or business life cycle.
Marketing objective examples change based on this cycle and brand strategy. For a new product launch the objective is to create awareness and trial, while a mature product needs to maximize profit and share, using promotions that encourage brand switching. The overlap of sales promotion with other marketing techniques, such as advertising, public relations, publicity and personal selling also needs to be closely coordinated. The techniques used in Project Management are very effective in managing the complexities of a promotional campaign to get the job done on time, on spec and on budget.
Good vs. Bad Sales Promotion Planning
When I worked for sales promotion agencies there were two types of clients: those that shared the bigger picture, providing us with the product’s marketing strategy, demographics, psychographics and other relevant information; and the other type of clients that provided information on a need to know basis. When the minimum information was provided the team at the agency, driven to provide the best service, had a lot of questions, which often resulted in confusion and delayed projects.
Effective Sales Promotion Project Management
As a Product Manager I learned from this experience and understood the need to involve the entire team, including diverse internal departments and vendors in the advance planning process. Sharing the marketing plan and project scope with the team members gave all involved the opportunity to establish time and budget estimates for the project. Using their estimates we developed what was essentially a Critical Chain Project Management schedule, where every team member understood the scope of the project and the need to complete their piece on time and on budget. One of the best outcomes of this advance planning process is the fantastic input we received from team members to improve our outcome and overall success.
The Art of Sales Promotion Planning
On the basic level a sales promotion project can be captured with a few simple elements:
- A goal or scope of work – the definition of the project’s desired result and what must be done to produce the desired result.
- A start date
- An end date
- A list of tasks with corresponding dates
- An estimate of needed resources
- A budget
What I have learned is that there is no such animal as a simple sales promotion campaign. By involving all members of the team with the bigger picture, the marketing planning process, provides a source of motivation and shared achievement as each participant will ultimately take personal ownership for the success of the entire sales promotion campaign.
Letting everyone clearly know where the team is going and their piece of the process will provide the road map necessary for your campaign’s success.