Sales promotion can be tricky at times. Since it is technically meant for short-term (theoretically less than a year), most times this is so designed as to put a forceful dent in competitors’ market share in a very short time span. This often takes the form of guerilla tactics with sudden force of attacks and then run away back to the den. Therefore, to attain the best possible results, “timing” is extremely important.
If you are the primary initiator of the sales promotion in a budget year, you know better why you do that during a specific time span. It could be due to off-season, repositioning, or clearing out of inventories. However, if you are a secondary initiator (meaning that you are launching a sales promotion in response to similar programs from your competitors), then a number of calculations will kick in. Of course, sitting idle and watching yourself being attacked is not an option when your competitors launch sales promotion. The calculation in counter-sales promotion is all about “timing” to reap the maximum benefit from your counter-attack.
Three possibilities are there in terms of timing. (a) You can start the counter-promotion at the same time your competitors initiate this, (b) you can start somewhere in the middle of your competitors’ program, or (c) you can start as soon as your competitors’ programs are over. Since seasonality, repositioning, or inventory clearance will complicate the issue further, we are holding all these factors constant for the time being (to make life easier!). This is because once we are clear about “timing” issue, we can play with rest of the variables later. (to be continued. . .)