Trade Promotion (Pt2) Out of sight, out of mind!
Seducing ‘brand switchers’ at the trade counter.
When considering the use of trade promotions through wholesaler and distributor networks, the traditional technique of ‘Sell-in, Sell-out’ springs to mind. Experience has shown us that there is a further step that can significantly improve sales when added to this methodology.
Tried and tested methods
Sell-In, or ‘push’. Used to incentivise the placement of a substantial stock order, promote new product lines and secure shelf space, or encourage the purchase of old stock.
Selling between 80-85% of stock through in-house telesales department, this is often a primary target for incentive promotions.
Sell-Out, or ‘pull’, is aimed at the end purchaser. This could be the buyer receiving the telesales call, the contractor whose touchpoint is the wholesaler’s invoice featuring a promotion, or the walk-in trade customer that knows the brand.
Often, a wholesaler needs to know and agree to the ‘sell-out’ promotion taking more stock as they want to know demand will be adequately stimulated.
If your brand/promotion is strong and you have brand-loyal customers, there is a danger of selling the same amount of stock but for less margin. You’re giving customers a discount on products they would have bought full price!!
The key here is the brand switcher. Walk-in contractors who are less brand loyal and are looking for a deal: discounts, buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) offers or even free gifts. Converting these customers is key to increasing sales and ensuring return on investment.
The ‘Sell-At’ strategy
Through the years of running at-counter sales promotions, we’ve stopped and restarted many, typically for product supply reasons. This has allowed us to observe and learn about an interesting trend.
Whilst promotions were running at the sales counter, we experienced the predicted increase in sales. Once the offer stopped and the promotional material was removed, the sales declined. Once reinstated, sales increased again, as you would expect.
Analysis showed that during the promotional periods, the number of reward claims/redemptions made in store was very low. So low that they only accounted for a very small proportion of the increase in sales.
Promotional material at point-of-sale alone was enough to encourage the walk-in traffic to acknowledge the promotion and purchase the product. Only a few of these customers actually participated in the promotion by making a claim.
We have termed this the ‘Sell-At’ strategy; the presence of effective point-of-sale promotional materials encourages an to impulse purchase.
There are several challenges to this technique: find different ways to brand the sales environment within the varying constraints of the wholesaler, the available space, their procedures and the client’s budget.
Some wholesalers stipulate that promotional materials follow their corporate guidelines, reducing the visual impact of a promoting brand. Then there is the overwhelming presence of competitor in-branch promotions.
Knowing how to make promotions eye-catching and persuasive, keeping your brand top-of-mind is what we’re good at. It’s clearly not a great time to run a promotion at the moment but this will change.
So in the meantime, why don’t you check-out the science and learn how you can make your customers fourteen more times likely to correctly remember your brand over the competition whilst at the trade counter.