Sales Promotions

Sales promotions make up one of the seven parts of the promotional mix. Marketers use these for a pre-determined time in order to increase demand, introduce a new product, or to increase sales in general. There are two types: trade sales promotions and consumer promotions. Trade sales are for people in the distribution channels (giving bonuses to retailers who sell the most of the product, incentives for a retailer to stock the product, etc), while consumer promotions are for the consumers themselves (coupons, rebates, point of sale displays, etc)


The most common sales promotion is couponing. In order to get consumers to try new products or to increase market share for existing ones, retailers can offer an instant discount on a product. For example, since Microsoft announced the new Xbox One, they’ve offered a deal on their older model, the Xbox 360. Consumers can purchase an Xbox 360 at a much lower price than usual, and if they like it, they may be incentivized to purchase more Microsoft products.

Xbox 360 Coupon

Thus, many companies use coupons and other sales promotions to increase brand loyalty. For example, if you sign up for makeup retailer Sephora’s “Beauty Insider” Card, you get regular emails with coupon codes and free samples to try new products. Additionally, you get points for purchasing items, and once you accumulate enough points, Sephora has a selection of rewards to choose from. If consumers like the free samples, they will purchase the full version, which means even more sales for the retailer. Sephora also relies heavily on point-of-sale promotions. At all their stores, when you move through the store to check out, you have to wind through an aisle of tiny, sample-size products. Consumers often fall prey to these impulse buys, and may be motivated to purchase the full size (as with the free sample giveaways)


Sales promotions are generally good for increasing brand loyalty and revenue, but marketers must be careful to not overdo it, because consumers can be skeptical of retailers giving products away for free.

How one company became successful through infomercials

Rachel Buckley


It’s amazing how Bare Escentuals was able to become a huge successful company from infomercials. Instead of going through department stores such as the conventional makeup product, Bare Escentuals focused its marketing plan through infomercials in an exclusive contract agreement with QVC. The first time Leslie Blodgett, CEO of Bare Escentuals, went on air she sold $45,000 worth of product. The infomercials were really successful, but people couldn’t find the product so she then focused on distributing which led Bare Escentuals to be sold at Sephora, Nordstrom, and having it’s own boutiques. Because of the infomercials Bare Escentuals is a well known and extremely successful cosmetic company. Today they use direct marketing by sending out emails which feature new products, access to events at their boutiques, deals on their cosmetics, and to come in to get a gift on your birthday. This tool of direct marketing has worked for me. I am subscribed to receive emails from them and am always excited to pick up my free eye shadow on my birthday each year, and when I go into the store I always find something new that I like.

I remember when there wasn’t a Bare Escentuals boutique and only the infomercials.They were famous for their saying, “Swirl, tap, buff” which was used to apply their foundation. It’s interesting to look back at it and see how well they do now in their boutiques now. This video is part of a demonstration used in the infomercial for Bare Escentuals. I find that the demonstrations are really helpful that show how to use the product. I find that some infomercials can be very tacky, but I find this to be very professional:

What made Bare Escentuals so successful was differentiation and how they positioned themselves. They were the first company to offer a mineral based foundation. This was a great alternative to liquid foundation which was not as healthy for the skin. It’s also not a powder, its a creamy bare mineral that covers well. Here Leslie Blodgett explains how she made Bare Escentuals so successful from infomercials:

It’s all about the experience- Direct Marketing

Lindsey Anderson

Twitter: @LindseyJoyA


With a focus on direct marketing this week, it got me thinking of direct marketing techniques that influence myself. I can admit that I’m a sucker for marketing techniques that unconsciously make me build a relationship with certain companies. It’s as simple as the daily sample section at Trader Joe’s that motivates me to shop there over other stores to see what new foods or wines they’re testing. It really makes me think, why don’t other stores do this more often? It’s all about the experience from a consumer standpoint.

Lately, marketing on Facebook really seals the deal to whether or not I’m going to try out a new place/company or go back to a place I’ve already been. I love to see pictures of events places have hosted, new products they’re promoting, or simply pictures of the location. It allows me visualize what I would experience if I went there- regardless of what they sell or if their products are even good. If I want to try a new place for happy hour or test a new local restaurant, I always check their Facebook first- and that’s where what I’ve learned this week in MKTG 420 comes into play. Take Deschutes Brewery, for example:


The photos above are what they have posted on Facebook lately. I love their beer, but these photo updates on a daily/weekly basis that pop up on my news feed is a constant reminder to check in on what’s going on at their brewery in Bend and Portland. It also makes their company seem both personable and lively while making me feel like I’m missing out..

I can’t say that telemarketing, e-mails, or direct mail work for me. To telemarketers, I always say I’m not interested and I always dispose of mail I get. But, I can clearly say I’m guilty of good Facebook marketing. Lately, I’ve loved how companies directly involve their customers on Facebook. Deschutes Brewery motivates their customers to post crafty pictures of their experience while consuming their product. Customers have submitted the following photos in hopes of being named “Fan photo of the month”:

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How can this not make you want to sip on a Deschutes beer?

How can this not make you want to sip on a Deschutes beer?

Deschutes gets their customers involved with the incentive being “Fan photo of the month”, promotes their products without much effort on their part, and makes myself want to submit a photo or buy their product all at the same time. It also makes me want to buy a pack of their product before hitting the slopes or heading to the river.

If your on Facebook, you’ve probably realized that they aren’t the only company to reach out this way to consumers. Companies are constantly telling Facebook users to “Tell us what you think!” or posting that “the 1000’th ‘like’ gets a 50$ gift card.” This type of social media marketing makes the consumer feel good about buying from the company, involved by sharing experiences or giving feedback, and makes them feel apart of a culture or group. I’m curious to know whether or not this type of marketing works on others as much as it does to me. What do you all think? Does any other companies come to mind that unconsciously get’s you in the door to buy their product?

If you’d like to know more about Deschutes Brewery and be even more compelled to go to their brewery and see what the hypes all about, check out this video below. The history and perspectives from customers is also something to take to heart!



Infamous Informercials


Kylie Ogata

twitter: @Kqlie


Discussing direct marketing in class and the different ways to accomplish this has brought informercials to my attention.  Informercials are long advertisements that looks like a talkshow or product demonstration. They can range from 2 to 60 minutes. A few elements to a successful informercial are same-day responses, frequent closes and testimonials.

I personally thought informercials were a weak tool of marketing because I believed people (including myself) never paid any attention to them. However, as I look more into it, they in fact, can be quite successful if done well. For instance, an informercial known for its success is Vince Offer who is the pitchman for demonstrating a product called the Slap Chop. The Slap Chop is a culinary device that makes chopping and mincing easy by simply pressing down a button on the top of the device. It makes chopping effortless and easy. Below is a Vince Offer Slap Chop infomercial.  Watching this informercial even made me want one.  I feel there are several reasons for this. First off Vince has charisma. He’s energetic, positive and engaging. He is a very likeable guy and is interesting to listen to. Secondly, he demonstrates the product well because he puts the product in a lot of various scenarios.  He uses it for fruits, veggies, nuts…breakfast, desert, lunch etc. No doubt he demonstrates some sort of scenario that will catch the interest of any viewers. He says phrases “stop having your tuna look boring!” when studies have proven that tuna sandwiches are the source of boredom in peoples lives. Also he says cheesy but effective lines such as “slap your troubles away!”. As cheesy as it sounds, people like the thought of of just slapping their troubles or problems away. He makes it sound like an asset that’s going to make your life easier; people want that. Not only does he show the ease of use but the ease of cleaning and maintaining the product.




Group 1 Twitter Conversation: Marketing 4 Kids


Our Twitter conversation was unable to happen during class time due to some confusion, so we decided that we were going to engage the Twitter community about the topic of marketing to children. Before starting our conversation we did not know much about the topic of marketing to children and we realized it brought up a huge dilemma. Is it ethical to market to children? Some say yes, and some say no. We don’t think that this is a problem that will ever truly be solved, but it was interesting to find that some large corporations such as Coca-Cola are no longer marketing to children. On the other side, there is a child abuse billboard that only markets to children who are short enough to see a specific image on the billboard that adults cannot see. The billboard tells children what to do if they are being abused. These two examples are reasons why the dilemma of marketing to children may never be solved. In our twitter chat we brought up several articles that go further about these issues, for example goes on to talk about the effects of marketing to children. It brings up several important topics such as the amount of actual show time vs. commercial time, also the development of a consumer at a young age, and my favorite how movies promote positive things like Shrek for instance promoting physical activity. Another article we shared was how Coca-Cola stops marketing to kids under 12 globally ( Coca-Cola has decided that it will, “support programs that encourage physical activity and no longer market to kids younger than 12.” Part of the reason for this decision is Coca-Cola has often been the center of blame for obesity because of their sugary drinks and they have been more aggressive in trying to convince customers its products can be part of a healthy lifestyle. As we can see with Coca-Cola there is much commotion whether or not to market to children. There are many positive things that can benefit from marketing to children, yet there are also many negative sides to it. Our twitter chat heavily discusses different opinions around the globe on this topic, and gives many different examples. And if you go to #mktg4kids you can see the different sides taken and share your thoughts and opinions on marketing towards children with us.

Red Bull Extreme IMC, Jack Pennington

Red Bull Extreme IMC, Jack PenningtonImage

A marketing strategy that really seems to have changed an entire company and industry is that of the makers of the energy drink, Red Bull. The energy drink is the most popular in the world with sales of more than 4.6 billion cans in 2011. Red Bull has found success by transforming themselves from an energy drink company to a full on extreme sports publishing brand. The company sponsors the world’s largest extreme sports competitions ranging from skiing and snowboarding to motor-sports, wakeboarding and cliff diving.  Last year Red Bull received worldwide attention for sponsoring an event where a man skydived from space. See the clip here:

Red Bull has achieved strong success because of its broad and encompassing IMC plan that is aimed at its target market of males aged 18-35. Red Bull utilizes what their marketers call “content marketing.” This means that they convey their message to young adult males by sponsoring and providing content that they think is cool. Besides holding extreme sports competitions, Red Bull also has its hand in art shows, music, and video games. They have hired rappers such as Eminem to represent them. Red Bull also owns close to 15 professional soccer teams throughout the world (including the MLS team New York Red Bulls) who prominently display the company’s logo as the team’s mascot.

Red Bull is a great example of how company’s are changing the way they market themselves. Red Bull has gone from being an energy drink brand to a leader in extreme sports and high profile event sponsorship. By focusing solely on the image of the brand and almost ignoring the drink in its marketing tactics, Red Bull was able to become a cultural icon of the energy drink and extreme sports.

I am personally a big fan of Red Bull because of all that they do for some of my favorite sports snowboarding and skiing. They provided Travis Rice the funding and opportunity to produce “Art of Flight” which is my favorite and one of the best snowboarding movies ever.

Neuromarketing, Fact or Fiction

By: Marcus Storm MKTG420

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold presented one topic that I found especially interesting, neuromarketing. The concept behind neuromarketing is that by studying how our brains react to advertising messages, marketers can detect the stimuli that induce the greatest consumer response. This sounds like a conspiracy theory, but studies have proven that it is possible. Carefully crafted advertisements can to a certain extent, make us want things that we would otherwise ignore.

eeg pic

In reality, we have always been influenced by some types of neuromarketing. The smell of a bakery for example, can cause consumers to crave bread or cakes. This fact is well known and bakers tend to bake during breakfast or lunch hours in order to capitalize on hungry customers’ weakness for the smell of baked goods. The idea is that we already have these “wants” present in our subconscious and outside influences can make consumers realize and ultimately, act on these desires.

I feel that this quote from the video above summarizes the concept of neuromarketing very well, “to view consumers’ pre-conscious neural patterns, get into their thoughts and beliefs which even they don’t consciously know, and ultimately tap into their reptilian brain.” They were referring to the fact that by using this technology, marketers are getting close to being able to create the exact consumer reaction that they are aiming for by eliminating the “guess work” involved in advertising.

Through the use of MRI and EEG machines, marketing is becoming more of a science than a technique. Marketers are actually able to see how our brains are reacting to their attempts to influence our thought patterns. Neuromarketing is still not an exact science, but the prospect of having our minds manipulated without our knowledge can be a bit unnerving.

The development of new technology and techniques has pushed the concept of neuromarketing to new heights. As this progression continues, questions have begun to arise and the main concern is often a question of ethics. Is it really okay for marketers to manipulate our thoughts? The answer varies depending upon who you ask. I feel that the answer to this question is not too far off; I personally think that we will begin to see government action and more in depth studies on this concept in the near future. Till then, we can enjoy advertisements that are specifically tailored to the desires of our subconscious!