The 4 Ps – Promotion (1/2)
In this lesson, you’re expected to:
– understand the importance of promotion as a marketing mix component
– learn the different types of promotion that businesses typically use
– discover when to use a particular promotional strategy
Such efforts may range from multinational firms spending large sums on securing high-profile celebrities to serve as corporate spokespersons to the owner of a one-person enterprise passing out business cards at a local businessperson’s meeting.
Promotion is the part of marketing where you advertise and market your product. Through it, you let potential customers know what you are selling.
A successful product or service means nothing unless the benefit of such a service can be communicated clearly to the target market. An organization’s promotional mix strategy can consist of many things. Below are a few common methods:
– Public Relations
– Sales Promotion
– Direct Mail
– Internet Marketing
– Social Media
In order to convince them to buy your product, you need to explain what it is, how to use it, and why they should buy it. The trick in promoting is letting consumers feel that their needs can be satisfied by what you are selling.
An effective promotional effort contains a clear message that is targeted to a certain audience and is done through appropriate channels. The target customers are people who will use, as well as influence or decide the purchase of the product.
Identifying these people is an important part of your market research. The marketing image that you’re trying to project must match the advertisement’s message. It should catch your target customers’ attention and either convince them to buy or at least state their opinion about the product. The promotional method you choose in order to convey your message to the target customers may probably involve more than one marketing channel.
Promoting your brand will help you in many different ways:
– Increase brand awareness
– Provide appropriate information
– Increase number of customers
– Build sales and profits
· How can you send marketing messages to your potential buyers?
· When is the best time to promote your product?
· Will you reach your potential audience and buyers through television ads?
· Is it best to use social media in promoting the product?
· What is the promotion strategy of your competitors?
Your combination of promotional strategies and how you go about promotion will depend on your budget, the message you want to communicate, and the target market that you’ve defined.
Like most marketing decisions, an effective promotional strategy requires the marketer to understand how promotion fits with the other pieces of the marketing puzzle (e.g., product, distribution, pricing, target markets).
Consequently, promotion decisions should be made with an appreciation for how it affects other areas of the company. For instance, running a major advertising campaign for a new product without first making sure that there will be enough inventory to meet potential demand generated by the advertising would certainly not go over well with the company’s production department (not to mention other key company executives).
Thus, marketers should not work in a vacuum when making promotion decisions. Rather, the overall success of a promotional strategy requires input from others in impacted functional areas.
This strategy uses trade show promotion, point of sale display, direct selling, advertisement on radio, television, emails etc. to make an impact on consumers’ mind and reduce the time between discovery of product and purchase.
In this strategy, the consumer demands are intensified by directing marketing strategies on them, which results in the ‘pulling’ of products. Pull strategy uses methods like social networking, blogging, word of mouth, strategic placement of a product, media coverage and so on, for reaching a large audience.
It is one such strategy, in which customers actively seek products of a particular brand, due to its goodwill, quality, reliability and reputation.
When push strategy is implemented with a well designed and executed pull strategy, the result is phenomenal, as it generates consumer demand.
This is communication that is targeted to a wider spread of audience, and is not specific to individual consumers. ATL advertising tries to reach out to the mass as consumer audience.
It could also involve product demos and samplings at busy places like malls and market places or residential complexes. For certain markets, like rural markets where the reach of mass media like print or television is limited, BTL marketing with direct consumer outreach programmes make the most sense.
Marketers attempt to develop a unified promotional strategy involving the coordination of many different types of promotional techniques.
The key idea for the marketer who employs several promotional options (we’ll discuss potential options in the next lesson) to reach objectives for the product is to employ a consistent message across all options.
For instance, salespeople will discuss the same benefits of a product as mentioned in television advertisements. In this way, no matter how customers are exposed to a marketer’s promotional efforts, they all receive the same information.