A promotional program is made up of:

  • An objective
  • A Strategy
  • A plan for execution

We’ve looked at the elements of a promotional strategy-the-components you will need to choose as you develop your specific program.
You should be able to describe an incentive, choose a promotional vehicle, decide the timing, and select a delivery method for many scenarios. Which is the right one depends on your objectives?

We’ll take about that in a later section.

We’ve covered timing as it related to the incentives. There’re another concepts related to time that you should consider. Any promotions, no matter what the incentive should have a specific duration period stated. A promotion is by definition a short-term strategy for increasing sales. You won’t want to keep your offer going forever. If you’re using a price saving incentive, give it an effective date. If you’re giving away a sample, gift, or experience, make sure it’s clear during what time period your audience can respond and be eligible to win. Otherwise, you’ll risk disappointment someone.

But there’s another important reason to limit the time of your incentive. Without a time, you can never judge the success of your effort. I will not go on at length about testing your results, but I will not leave it unsaid. Most successful promotional marketers design ways to test their programs. Then they diligently measure results the first few times they run the promotions. If they find that it brings predictable success, they become less stringent about tracking results. They simple repeats the successful elements of the program.

Tracking comprises quantifying the number of responses to the program and the dollar volume of sales generated from those responses, then comparing those results to earlier projections. If you don’t track performance, you’ll have no way of knowing if your program met your goals. You’re not doing what we humans do so well-learning from our experience.

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