In September I was invited by my friends from Evensys in Romania to talk about the ways FMCG  brands could improve the performance of their sales promotions. When putting together my presentation (see below) I was heavily influenced by two factors. First, I had just published my new book, So You Want To Be Customer Centric? and my mind was still full of all the material I didn't get to use. Secondly, I've never really been a fan of the "buy more, buy cheaper movement", so I didn't really feel like talking about the ways to build a better sales promotion mousetrap.

The outcome of these thoughts was a call for people to shift (some) of their attention away from traditional sales promotional thinking and instead focus on building customer relationships which generate sustainable financial returns.  

The next day I had the opportunity to also "dive deep" into the topic with ca. 30 (trade) marketers selling anything from canned peas to personal loans. While some challenges remained, my recommendation to shift 10-15% of the budgets away from traditional sales promotions into "sales promoter" creation, seemed to get quite a bit of nods. So in Romania 2012 there will be a few brands that cut some efforts to chase volume by "giving away margin" and instead invest in creating remarkable consumer experiences.

But that's Romania. How is this in your company/country? Do you exclusively focus on sales promotions, or do you actively work on creating "sales promoters" as well. Do you have a specific budget for creating promoters in your business? And if not, what's holding you back?