Sales promotion refers to a traditional element of marketing communication. It is used to increase the sales of a product by offering incentives, gifts, and schemes provided to customers at the time of purchase. An organization can provide various offers for promoting a good or service. These offers include coupons, vouchers, prizes, gifts, discounts, and free product samples. Sales promotion not only encourages customers to buy a product or service but also triggers repeated buying. Finally, it helps organizations to make customers loyal towards their products or services.
There are two types of views that are found among marketers in relation to sales promotion. The first view advocates that sales promotion should be coupled with advertising and personal selling. This view does not give much importance to sales promotion as a major element of marketing communication.
The second view asserts that sales promotion and advertising are two distinct functions with entirely different objectives and strategies. Thus, it believes that sales promotion is equal to or even more significant than advertising. Sales promotion stimulates purchase action and advertising develops a brand reputation and builds market value.