Transactional detergent aisle focused on picking up

Transactional marketing has one focus: the sale and nothing but the sale! In this lesson, you’ll learn more about transactional marketing, how the marketing mix figures in and see some examples of it in action.

Closing the Sale

You make a phone call to insurance company’s toll-free number to check on the status of a claim. As your call comes to a conclusion, the representative offers you a limited-time deal on $100,000 of life insurance for a reduced rate. You politely decline and end the call.As you’re navigating the grocery store on your way home from work, you enter the laundry detergent aisle focused on picking up your favorite brand.

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Next to it, a competing brand has created a promotional display with a coupon for today’s purchase. You opt for the new— and cheaper—product.While you’re watching television before bed, you notice an advertisement for a new set of non-stick cookware at a limited-time, ”buy one, get one free” offer. Before nodding off, you log on to the website and complete your purchase.All of these are example of transactional marketing in practice. But, what is transactional marketing and how does it apply to consumers? Read on.

What is Transactional Marketing?

Unlike marketing that focuses on building long-term relationships with consumers, transactional marketing is all about making the sale. As a strategy, it is built around single purchases and doing a lot of volume as opposed to nurturing customers through distributing content, building bonds, and fostering loyalty.Transactional marketing has its roots in the ”four Ps” of the marketing mix, a set of tactics used to help convince consumers to make a purchase. Included in this approach:

  1. Product: This category is about creating a product or service that meets consumer needs or demands. This is the very start of the transactional marketing process. Without a market for your product, there are no sales.

  2. Price: Setting a price is a tricky balance between being profitable for a business, but also perceived as attractive and worth the value being received.
  3. Place: This little tidbit will involve understanding who your target audience is and where best to reach them. Placement could include brick-and-mortar stores or online distribution channels.

  4. Promotion: How will you reach people to let them know about your product? This includes things like channels (radio, television or social media are just a few possibilities) and best times and days of the weekend to push out your message. It will also include things like special offers or coupons to encourage a purchase. The promotional piece will often help you ”close the sale.

Transactional Marketing Examples


Twenty-four hour shopping channels like QVC and HSN are a strong example of transactional marketing at its best. These channels feature hosts and manufacturers attempting to sell as many of an item as possible within a given time period. Frequently, you’ll see a countdown clock on the television screen, added promotions or discounts and maybe even a ticker that shows viewers how many of a particular item are left (or if something is sold out entirely).

The sales tactics on this type of platform are thoroughly transaction-based, attempting to complete hundreds or thousands of transactions without the foundation or even the appearance of a relationship being established.


Groupon’s online platform (whether web-based or phone application-based) is like a superstore of items that consumers can buy, ranging from local dining coupons to jewelry. Groupon works by connecting shoppers to various vendors under one website umbrella. The vendors are not necessarily concerned with establishing a relationship with the buyer. Instead, they are focused on how many products they can sell before time runs out. Nearly all of Groupon’s listings display how many have been purchased (which helps to get shoppers excited) and how much time is remaining to claim the offer.

Lesson Summary

Transactional marketing has one focus: sales, sales, sales. Using a healthy dose of the marketing mix’s product, price, place and promotion, brands look at transactional marketing for what it is, simply making sales that benefit the bottom line. Transactional marketing differs from relationship marketing, which relies more heavily on establishing bonds, building loyalty and engaging with consumers. Examples of transactional marketing in action include home shopping channels like QVC and HSN and online vendor malls such as Groupon.


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