What Can Go Wrong With Sales Promotion

Bendle et al. (2106) identifies 2 key considerations that should be made when evaluating a sales promotion campaign.

The first aspect is the financial component, it must be ensured that the price reduction of the sale or offering is offset by the increase of sales volume and the organisation is not put into a negative position (Bendle et al. 2016).

The second key consideration is a significant long-term component. The market position of the firm can be altered as a result of sales being too frequent or too extreme, it can cause the consumer to view the product or brand as lesser (Bendle et al. 2016).

This can have a flow on effect to increasing peak sales time and decreasing in off-peak periods which may need to be considered when taking stock or planning for revenue predictions.

This can be seen in brands like Unilever and P&G as they have reduced the frequency of their sales to protect their brand and product’s image (Bendle et al. 2016).


Bendle, NT, PW Farris, PE Pfeifer & DJ Reibstein (2016) Marketing Metrics: The Manager’s Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, 3rd edition. Pearson: New Jersey.


What Successful Sales Promotion Looks Like for A Marketer

As discussed in the most recent blog ‘The Types of Sales Promotion’, these efforts can be categorised as push or pull approaches, as discussed by Bendle et al. (2018). Success will differ depending on the approach.

Push promotion has a different objective to pull, with the focus being on changing the behaviour of the marketing channel and hopefully impact the supply of goods within the market. While the success of any campaign is tailored, the overall objective could be to: counter a competitor’s actions and flood the market; fill a shortage of supply in a market; clear storage or reduce inventory or to stimulate new channels of production (Bendle et al. 2018).

Pull promotions differ as they intend to impact or change the behaviour of the customer rather than the market channel. The goals that could be measured to determine the success of a pull promotion campaign could include: gaining new customers to try a product; increase sales to existing customers; change the way existing customers use or the time in which they use products (Bendle et al. 2018). This type of promotion seeks to improve the immediate or short term market position of the product and looks to gain new customers and improve the loyalty of existing customers.

Bendle et al. (2018) summarises by stating that sales promotions can be seen as successful if the organisation changes its target audience, with the short term being at existing customers and the long term focusing on new customers.


Bendle, NT, PW Farris, PE Pfeifer & DJ Reibstein (2016) Marketing Metrics: The Manager’s Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, 3rd edition. Pearson: New Jersey.

The Types of Sales Promotion

Sales Promotion can be seen as the extra enticement of an offer that increases the value or incentive to buy the product for the customer, this is turn aims to increase the number of sales (Bendle et al. 2018).

Bendle et al. (2018) categorises sales promotions into two large groups of either push or pull. A push approach is more targeted towards the supply chain to increase the presence of the product in the market and essentially pushed towards the market.

On the other hand, a pull approach creates demand to the point that customers essentially pull the product through the supply chain due to a high demand for the product.

Bendle et al. (2018) gives examples of both as the following:


  • Contests and dealer incentives
  • Displays (e.g. food stands in a super market)
  • Trade Shows
  • Cooperative advertising


  • Samples
  • Refunds
  • Rebates
  • Coupons
  • Bonus pack or portion
  • Price reductions
  • Loyalty programs
  • Event Marketing

While ever market and product requires a tailored approach to their marketing efforts, there is no reason why a combination of both push and pull can not be utilised at different stages of a products life cycle to suit the demand for that product.


Bendle, NT, PW Farris, PE Pfeifer & DJ Reibstein (2016) Marketing Metrics: The Manager’s Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, 3rd edition. Pearson: New Jersey.

Key Marketing Metrics for Awareness

As previously discussed on the blog, metrics can be used to measure just about anything, or at least attempt to. Bendle’s work identifies four main metrics that are used to measure the idea of awareness and the method of collecting all of them is through the quantitative means of surveys.


Is the most common term and an umbrella term for the whole area or marketing metrics. This is regarding whether the customer has ever heard of the brand or if they know it exists. It is crucial as you will provide different offerings to someone who has never heard of your brand compared to a 10-year loyal customer.

Top of Mind

This metric attempts to measure how relevant the brand is to the target market, an example would be surveying the first thought of grocery shops and if the response is Woolworths, they are the brand that is ‘top of mind’ for that customer. When data is collected from a whole target market a clear picture can be painted about competitors and where you may stand amongst the competition. This metric is however criticised as the measurement is often influenced by the most recent brand interaction and perhaps not their preferred choice.

Ad Awareness

This seeks to measure performance of marketing efforts around a specific ad. It is most commonly measured as a percentage of the targeted population to help improve future marketing efforts by identifying what aspects may have worked best.


Bendle states this as not being a formal metric but it still remains an important aspect that measures a deeper level of awareness. This metric seeks to measure the customers knowledge beyond just the name or any surface informations. It can be a useful metric to see if a company vision statement or CSR efforts are being communicated around a market.


Bendle, NT, PW Farris, PE Pfeifer & DJ Reibstein (2016) Marketing Metrics: The Manager’s Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, 3rd edition. Pearson: New Jersey

Profit Risks Marketers Must Consider in a New Market

When entering a new market or segment there is always the calculations for expected return on investment. These risks are centred around that ROI being as high as anticipated and the causes for it.

Profit Pool Risk

This risk occurs when the potential profit pool in a market is reduced as a result of a reaction to the strategy you implement. If stronger competitors react and match your strategy with their own, they can severely limit your ability to profit in the segment. There may be multiple competitors all fighting for market share that can all react to the new market conditions and effectively shut you out.

Competitor Impact Risk

While similar to profit pool risk, this risk is focused towards a single competitor. If you enter a market with a strategy that targets a very similar market to one competitor and they react effectively, they alone can prevent your success. A good example of avoiding this would be Fitbit entering the wearable technology market but not directly competing with a powerhouse like Apple.

Internal Gross Margin Risk

This occurs when a company underestimates the costs of production and distribution which results in their end profit margin being very slim and having no room to drop to match a competitor’s price.

Profit Source Risk

Due to a competitors reaction, your profit margin may be reduced when you have to price match. Entering a market with the intention on taking market share purely from the market leader who will in turn be able to beat you on pricing the majority of the time.

Other Cost Risks

Costs that may not be immediately obvious might add up to more than expected and reduce you ability to make any significant returns on investment. This can be prevented by careful calculations of all extra costs and being realistic with these numbers to avoid optimistic disappointments.


McDonald, Malcolm, Peter Mouncey & Stan Maklan (2014) Marketing Value Metrics: A new metrics model to measure marketing effectiveness. Kogan Page: London.

The Main Risks When Entering a Market

When entering a market, there are several factors that contribute to the success of a product or brand. McDonald (et al. 2014) identifies five significant risk factors to take into account when entering a market with a particular increase in risk when less is known about the market

Product Category Risk

This risk is essentially the entire product strategy may be smaller than what your calculations allowed for. This would not be as big of a risk with a product diversification as the history of the product will give you the insights to understand the category.

For this reason, this risk becomes significantly greater when implementing or releasing a new product when there is an element of unknown about the category’s size.

Segment Existence Risk

While someone self explanatory, the risk of this category is that the target segment you have chosen is smaller than you initially thought or doesn’t really exist at all. With a smaller segment comes less profit, especially if your production is built around catering for a large segment.

Sales Volume Risk

Similar to the above risk, if the segment is smaller than anticipated, sales will be fewer. For some products to be profitable they must sell in large quantities, these products are what will be impacted my by this risk. More comprehensive research can provide a risk reduction to manage with this.

Forecast Risk

This risk focuses on market growth. If you plan for the market to experience significant growth and it reaches maturity early, this can be the demise of a product or brand. While research can help in reducing this risk, history may not paint the most accurate picture for future predictions.

Pricing Risk

This risk occurs when the pricing levels in the market are lower than initially calculated. As a result you will have to reduce price to remain competitive but most likely reducing profit margin as well, it becomes lear how this can be detrimental to a company.


McDonald, Malcolm, Peter Mouncey & Stan Maklan (2014) Marketing Value Metrics: A new metrics model to measure marketing effectiveness. Kogan Page: London.

The Best Marketing Metrics

It is a big ask to know and understand the infinite metrics that can exist. So, what are the key areas to focus on?

Every market and business within that market are unique and require different metrics to deliver the information they need for their goals. Instead of narrowing it down to a top 5 list of metrics, I will instead narrow it down to major areas to focus on as recommended by Bendle (et al. 2016).

Share of Hearts, Minds and Markets

This are can provide value in understanding how you stack up against your competition and could consist of market share as the base. Beyond this, it could incorporate customer loyalty, brand awareness and customer satisfaction.

Product and Portfolio Management

This area shifts focus away from the market and towards your organisation itself. Here, you want to be measuring annual growth, market penetration of products and how each segment compares and makes up the whole of your business.

Margins and Profits

It seems mostly self-explanatory but this area can consist of metrics such are profit margin, price per unit, business spendings, revenue and volume targets. The core of most business will involve these metrics and be an accounting heavy area.

Customer Profitability

Here the focus clearly goes onto your customer or target market with metrics aiming to measure things like customer life time value, number of customers, customer retention and how much it costs to acquire customers.


Metrics are aiming to measure areas such as baseline sales, coupon sales, cost of coupons/rebates and percentage of sales with a deal or discount.


Metrics aim to measure number of impressions, cost per thousand impressions (CPM), frequency, effective reach and share of voice just as a starting base of this area.

Sales Force and Channel Measurement

This are has a bigger picture focus on measurements such as workload, sales goals, total distribution and inventory information.

Pricing Strategy

Metrics should be measuring price elasticity, optimal pricing, price premium and reservation price when used in this area.


While there is no ‘golden metric’ there are plenty of useful ones. They must be used when relevant to your business and business goals but as a starting point, the above 8 areas of metrics are a starting point that can help paint a clearer picture of business operations.


Bendle, NT, PW Farris, PE Pfeifer & DJ Reibstein (2016) Marketing Metrics: The Manager’s Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, 3rd edition. Pearson: New Jersey.

How to Choose a Valuable Marketing Metric

For a metric to serve a positive purpose to a campaign it must be worth the time to analyse what it measures. There is not point having 50 metrics that measure the same data as ONE effective metric.

The Value of a Metric

Given the fact that there is literally a limitless number of potential metrics there comes a point where they are no longer adding value to the measurement or overall goal. A common identification is using the process of data –> information –> knowledge. If we ask “will this create knowledge” and the answer is no, we can safely say that the data that the metric is measuring is of no value to the bigger picture.

To make a metric valuable, the information that has been gathered from the data can often be transformed into visual forms that enable a better understanding of the information and therefore increasing the likelihood of converting that information into knowledge.

Metrics are of more value and use in markets of stability. Measuring sales as a means of predicting future sales is useful for an item like milk or other FMCGs. This metric has less value in terms of predicting when it comes to something like fashion that is very subjective and may experience high or low sales depending on the opinions of the audience that year.

Metrics can also have a complimentary relationship and increase their value when used in conjunction. This becomes more of the case when it is a complicated measurement being sought. Various metrics are more likely to give the valuable, big picture rather than a distorted single metric leading you in the wrong direction.


Like most things, the larger the test means more data and usually more accurate knowledge at the end of the process. To conclude, a clear definition must be decided on then data must be communicated effectively and can be more useful at predicting stable markets and enhanced further through the addition of complimentary metrics.


Bendle, NT, PW Farris, PE Pfeifer & DJ Reibstein (2016) Marketing Metrics: The Manager’s Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, 3rd edition. Pearson: New Jersey.

An Introduction to Marketing Metrics

Any successful marketing campaign is now marked with the data to prove and confirm its success. Metrics are the measurements that express the success, in this case, of marketing efforts.

What is a Metric and Why Use Them?

In its simplest form, a metric is a measurement. As a marketer, it can be used to identify trends or segments in a market and even predict future performance. This can enhance the understanding of populations to improve the accuracy of certain aspects of marketing efforts.

Why have them? Today, we live in a time of numbers. No high level or significant decision can ever really be made without so proof it might work. Quantitative data is the proof that marketers need to justify their decisions. It allows goals to be set, measured and then evaluated. Marketers can now prove their worth.

Which Metric to Use

When it comes to using one single metric, it paints only half (actually much less than half) a picture. Using multiple metrics allows different perspectives and increased accuracy. When multiple factors are in play, it is important to then understand how they impact each other and exactly what their relationship is.

Effective metrics allow strategy to be measured from various angles with failure and success both being identified in a quantifiable form.

When attempting to measure anything, the first step has to be knowing what you are measuring and identifying a definition of the term. As definitions of vague concepts can change from organisation to organisation, the definition set at the beginning of the campaign must be stuck with to ensure the relevance and accuracy of the metric.


Bendle, NT, PW Farris, PE Pfeifer & DJ Reibstein (2016) Marketing Metrics: The Manager’s Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, 3rd edition. Pearson: New Jersey.

How to use Content Marketing to Drive Traffic

One of the key benefits of content marketing is the ability for it to drive traffic to your site or an intended page.

While the point of purchase may not be in the content itself, it can drive consumers to a webpage at which they can then make the purchase. There a few options when it comes to driving traffic.

Guest Appearances

By appearing in a popular content sharing platform in your market, this can bring attention from a successful content sharer’s platform and bring some of their traffic to your site. This is somewhat like a guest appearance on a blog site.

The key to success here is to provide value to the person’s blog and their audience or this will not bring about the mutually beneficial results that were intended.


While creating a viral video isn’t necessarily simple and there may not be a formula that guarantee’s success, there is no denying the ability for this medium to drive traffic to a site or page.

Quite often when a video does go viral (shared by many on social media platforms) it will lead to people having a look at the page that originally posted the video. This is the traffic being driven to the page through the content of a video.


By creating a how-to on certain topics, people who use this information are more likely to further inspect the site for what else it contains and potentially buy products, especially if they are relevant to the how-to in which they initially came for.

Relevant Content

Content marketing wouldn’t be complete without a brief mention of search engine optimisation (SEO). Traffic can be driven to your site through more relevant content allowing your page is ranked higher in a search engine.

This is of great importance because in reality, who really goes past the second or third page of a google search…

Ease of Sharing

If the content is one click away from the ability to be shared, this reduces the inconvenience of an individual sharing content to hundreds of friends.

By having a share button immediately available, it allows more people to share with ease and leads to more traffic.


Seen most commonly in the fitness industry on social media, the use of micro-influencers and influencers to drive traffic to your site through association of your content can be very effective in the right market.

You must also choose the individual carefully to ensure they are a good fit with your product and consumers to minimise backlash.


Zimmerman, J. and Ng, D. (2017) Social Media Marketing for Dummies: All-in-one. 4th Edition, Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey.