How to Manage a Successful Promotion

You can find terrific ideas for promotions just about anywhere. There is no point to "reinventing the wheel". Rather, you simply need to modify existing ideas to fit your needs.

Like anything else, planning a promotion requires careful planning, execution, and evaluation. The following steps should be used to implement a successful promotion.

1. Select the target market for the promotion. When the sales records are analyzed, the most likely targets for a special promotion can be identified, as those segments that offer the greatest potential for increased sales.

2. Establish specific objectives for the promotion. Objectives should be very specific, detailing exactly what the promotion should accomplish. Expected results should be quantified.

3. Select the promotion technique. Based on the situation and the advantages and disadvantages of each of the techniques, select the one best suited to the situation.

4. Brainstorm about the potential offer. There are hundreds of excellent ideas. Make a list of those being considered and seek input from others. All potential offers should be examined carefully from two perspectivesóthe potential appeal to the target market, and the potential costs and expenses.

5. Create the promotional theme. This is an area where one can be very creative. What will be the promotional copy line or tag line? Does it capture the interest of potential guests? Can it be used both internally and externally in the promotion? For a promotion to achieve the maximum potential, it needs to be carried forward both outside and inside the operation. Externally, it should build business. Internally, it should create excitement among the staff and build morale.

6. Develop the promotional budget. A projection of the total anticipated costs should be prepared to include all internal and external costs. It is wise to project the impact on costs and revenues at several different levels of consumer participation.

7. Select the advertising media vehicles to support the promotion. Based on your knowledge of the media, those that will best support the total promotional campaign should be contacted. Advertising space and time should be secured.

8. Develop an implementation timetable. Promotions require attention to detail so that all phases are integrated and implemented properly. To accomplish this, a timetable is required. Specific dates should be established for each task. Assigning responsibility for the completion of these tasks will increase accountability.

9. Conduct internal training of the entire staff. Just prior to the implementation of the program, the entire staff should be briefed so that they are familiar with the details of the promotion. Items of interest to them are how long the promotion will last, how the details will be handled by different members of the staff, and what is expected of them.

10. Work the plan. Put the promotional plan into action and follow the timetable.

11. Monitor results. Feedback should be followed very carefully and should be compared with the timetable. Are things progressing as planned? Is the level of consumer participation within the projected ranges? Are the staff members working as planned? Attention to detail is very important. All information collected should be retained for future use in other promotions. 

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