Sales Promotion and International Marketing


Sales promotion is a combination of the tested ways that can equip a marketer and offer him a competitive advantage over his business rivals. There are several methods of promotions which have been used by businesses for a long period of time. Sales promotions enable the business to maintain its current customers and attract more. Therefore, it’s a way of strengthening the base of any business and increased profit (Griffin & Pusty, 2006). It’s considered as a crucial weapon for the sales and marketing team, and it’s the most used than any other type of marketing. It’s mostly put into practice due to its evident positive outcome. A research done by James quitter a known entrepreneur in promotions and incentives has confirmed that, more than 65% of the consumers actively participate in some form of sales promotions monthly (Albaum et al, 2005).

Main Body

Internationally, the main objective of conducting sales promotions is to build the awareness of a new product in the market, creating a special interest in a certain product, it also offers detailed information concerning the target product (Griffin & Pusty, 2006). In addition through the sales promotion the demand of a certain product is stimulated and the brand reinforced. The types of the sales promotions mostly used internationally are the: consumer market directed, trade market directed, and business to business market directed.

The most popular sales promotions activities are buying one get one, this applies to the products with relatively lower costs such that if the seller decides to sell two of the products at the price of one he will be still in profits. This leads to increased sales at the end of the period. Secondly, there is new media activity by the use of websites and mobile phones. This is mostly used in the developed countries. For instance, in the United Kingdom it’s a very common way of promoting their sales. On the KIT-KAT packaging some individual nestle printed codes are stuck on the products (Belch, 2003). The consumers respond by entering that code into a certain website to test whether they have won a prize. On the other hand that code can be sent through a mobile phone.

Thirdly, some business people decide to use merchandising, whereby they incorporate the use of product demonstrations to the target group, and point of sale materials (Johnson & Turner, 2003). The use of discounted prices is another sales promotions activity. For instance, budget airline such as Ryan air applies this method to promote their sales. They email their customers in case of low price deals when new flights are released or when there are additional destinations.

Globally, application of tools of sales promotion depends on the economic development of the country’s market (Rees & Wall, 2004). For instance use of coupons is widely used in the developed countries like USA and Europe where there is appropriate distribution media for them and a developed infrastructure for their redemption. The research shows that, star bucks coffee company in USA records an increased sales by use of coupons, but they are not mostly used in Australia though it’s also a developed country.


The use of free samples and demonstrations with the targeted product is widely applied in the developing countries like China (Albaum et al, 2005). Another determinant of the tools for sales promotions in the international market is the level of maturity of a product market. The new product which is about to enter the country market the most appropriate tool for promoting sales are the ones which will give the consumer a chance to try the product like free samples. Developed countries advertise less but conduct sales promotions more, and vice versa in the developing countries. This is due to lack of stiff competition in the developing countries. In those countries where self service is the common way of shopping in the industry, and these are mostly the developed countries point of purchase display tool is the best applicable.


Albaum, S.G., Duerr, E. & Strandskov, J. (2005). International Marketing Export Management, (5th ed). Prentice Hall. ISBN0 9780273686347.

Belch, M. (2003). Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. (6th ed), Tata McGraw-Hill. ISBN09780070581944.

Griffin, W.R. & Pusty, M.W. (2006). International Business. (6th ed) Prentice Hall. ISBN-13: 9780131995345.

Johnson, D. & Turner, C. (2003). International Business: Themes and Issues in the Modern Global Economy. Routledge. ISBN0 9780415248893.

Rees, B. & Wall, B. (2004). International Business (2nd ed). Financial Times. ISBN9780273685913.

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