The Ultimate Guide to Trade Promotions

September 21, 2020 Adlab

Running a trade promotion is a great way for reaching people in an engaging format. But where do you start with running your own trade promotion? We cover the basics of running a trade promotion campaign in this extensive guide to trade promotions.

What are Trade Promotions?

Trade promotions are a form of marketing that aims to improve demand for a particular product or service, through tactics such as contests, free gifts, and special pricing. They provide great benefits for both the business and the consumer, strengthening brand image and relationships. Whatever your business’ goal -launching a new service, pushing sales for a long-standing product, or creating hubbub around your brand – running a trade promotion may be the way to go.

Types of Trade Promotions

In-store displays

In-store displays focus on creating a more visually appealing in-store experience for your customers through point-of-sale displays, floor stickers, special racks, or advertisements. The aim of in-store displays is to encourage customers to purchase a particular product.

Temporary Price Reductions/TPR

Temporary Price Reductions offer consumers a discount on products, either through“cents off” sales, or through offering free or cheaper items when multiple products are bought. This is an excellent way to draw attention to products on the shelf, because, really, who doesn’t love a good sale?


Coupons offer instant savings on particular products. Customers can scan a digital or physical coupon at the point of purchase to receive this benefit.

Contest and Sweepstakes

Perhaps the most fun of all the trade promotions, contests and sweepstakes offer consumers the opportunity to win prizes for completing an action of your choice, for example, buying a product or signing up to a mailing list. The prospect of winning is enough to make customers interested in interacting with your brand.


Rebates allow customers to receive money back on a product after the point of sale. Customers are usually required to contact the company independently to receive their rebate.


Premiums are promotional items offered as incentive to buy a particular product. They can include toys, collectibles, or objects related to the original product, which provide additional value to the initial purchase. Premiums can be exclusive; they may only be available through buying that product, or they can be as simple as providing a free muffin with a full-price coffee.


Providing sampling allows a consumer to try before they buy and decide if they want to fully commit to a product. This gets your product out to more consumers without the barrier of affordability for the consumer, and helps you to ensure your customers are finding the right products.

Examples of Trade Promotions

A particularly popular trade promotion is the McDonald’s Monopoly campaign, run yearly. Selected menu items come with a peel-off game piece, which can gratify the customer with an instant win, be collected to win bigger prizes, or be entered into a second-chance draw using their specially made app. McDonald’s customers get especially excited about this promotion, and will buy or upsize food items specifically for the extra game pieces.

In this example of a trade promotion, a client ran a competition to win tickets to a sporting game upon the purchase of two promotional products. Adlab designed a promo card with a barcode and unique code directed consumers to a specially-created microsite to collect basic details and enter them in the draw. Customers that initially would have only bought one product were encouraged to get two instead to earn an entry to the draw, and the company was able to collect data from willing customers to use in further marketing opportunities.

Ultimate guide to Trade Promotions

Imaged sourced from Marvel Stadium (

One well-known Australian trade promotion was “Find the Fruit”, an app created for Boost Juice that allowed users to play a game and earn points, which were redeemable for coupons to be used in-store. The more the customers played the game, the better their reward. The very colourful game was inviting for customers to play, which led to increased brand recognition, and the coupon rewards encouraged in-store visits.

Ultimate Guide to Trade and Consumer Promotions

Image sourced from Boost Juice (

Advantages and Benefits of Trade Promotions

Brand Awareness

If your business is doing something special, people are going to talk about it. Increased marketing also means your brand is making more impressions, resulting in more people knowing who you are.

Value for Customers

Running a trade promotion provides value to the customer, either through savings, bonus products, or purely entertainment value. Customers will participate in a trade promotion specifically to gain this benefit, for example, buying a meal to receive a free dessert, even if they initially would not have interacted with the brand.


In today’s retail space, there is undoubtedly significant competition for products and services. Running a trade promotion differentiates you from similar businesses and provides a reason for the consumer to pick you first.

Strengthening Relationships

Providing value to your customers through trade promotions makes consumers feel as though their needs are acknowledged by your company, creating a stronger sense of loyalty, and over time result in increased sales for you.

Data Collection

Trade promotions often include a customer entering their details to receive a reward. These details, particularly when streamlined to your database through a microsite, can then easily be utilised for further personal marketing opportunities.

How to Get Started

Trade promotions involve a lot of planning, preparation, and marketing prior to launch. That’s where a good digital marketing agency can help you. Some of the things they may be able to do for you include:

  • Create key visuals
  • Design and produce a suite of point of sale options
  • Develop and activate digital content
  • Construct and activate micro websites for online entrant input and interaction
  • Assist with terms and conditions
  • Co-ordinate and oversee official prize draws
  • Produce and distribute your promotion’s turn key kits and printed material
  • Pack, kit and dispatch Australia wide
  • Project manage your entire activity
  • Help with prize fulfilment

How Adlab Can Help?

Adlab are trade promotion experts and will work with your business to understand your and your customers’ needs. The end goal is a trade promotion that aligns with your business goals and drives interest and sales. See more about what we offer as Trade Promotion services, or contact us to discuss your next promotion!

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