Sales promotion can be classified based on the primary target audience to whom the promotion is directed. These include:
- Consumer Market Directed – Possibly the most well-known methods of sales promotion are those intended to appeal to the final consumer. Consumers are exposed to sales promotions nearly everyday, and as discussed later, many buyers are conditioned to look for sales promotions prior to making purchase decisions.
- Trade Market Directed – Marketers use sales promotions to target a variety of customers, including partners within their channel of distribution. Resellers, who are often referred to as trade partners, are targets for the majority of such spending. Trade promotions are initially used to entice channel members to carry a marketer’s products and, once products are stocked, marketers utilize promotions to strengthen the channel relationship.
- Business-to-Business Market Directed – A smaller subset of sales promotion is targeted to the business-to-business (B-to-B) market. While these promotions may not carry the glamour associated with consumer or trade promotions, B-to-B promotions are used in many industries.
An extensive discussion of different types of promotions for each classification can be found in our Types of Sales Promotion Tutorial.