Over the last thirty years, wine has taken an increasingly large share of the UK alcoholic drinks market with sales volume growing at a rate of 4.2% per annum. However, although the market has expanded there is now increasing competitiveness within this market from the new wine producing areas. More recently, competition is emerging from new drinks such as speciality beers and alcoholic soft drinks. The implications for the wine marketer is that there is a need to make full use of all the ‘tools’ within the marketing management toolkit. One of the most popular responses for marketers under competitive pressure in a range of industries is sales promotion. But despite being popular, sales promotion is poorly understood compared to advertising. This is partly because it has never enjoyed the academic scrutiny afforded to the more glamorous field of advertising. However, promotional techniques are now being studied individually and their appropriateness for different markets and marketing tasks is being discussed. Price‐based promotions have been the most popular in the drinks market, as in many other markets, but there is growing awareness that non‐price based promotions can add value for the consumer while meeting a range of marketing communications objectives. This article looks at the use of consumer competitions, one of the most popular non‐price promotional tools, with a survey of 319 competitions run by the drinks industry.
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