Promotion| LGMW01/06

by Bella Williams March 07, 2016

Promotion – Marketing Manangement

According to the Business Dictionary, marketing is the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the coordination of four elements called the 4 P’s of marketing – identification, selection and development of a product, determination of its price, selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, and development and implementation of a promotional strategy.

The Marketing Mix consists of four important variables that are used to devise a strategic marketing plan. A combination of these elements assists in identifying, selecting and targeting the right market segments, as well as effectively positioning product or service in the minds of the consumers such that it occupies a favourable space as compared to its competitors. One of the key elements of the marketing mix is Promotion.

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According to the American Marketing Association, Promotion is defined as the various communication techniques such as advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and public relations/product publicity available to a marketer that are combined to achieve specific goals.It is one of the main components of marketing communication, wherein it seeks to tailor messages based on the interests of the target markets.

Essentially, promotion is communicating and raising awareness about a product, service or a brand through melange of tools that are available to a firm, ranging from traditional print and media and word-of-mouth to digital and social media tools that have emerged over the last decade. The objective of promotional activities is to

  • Inform – through raising awareness about a firm’s brands, products and services, and establishing a competitive advantage
  • Persuade – generating an instant response i.e., sales
  • Remind – to inculcate and maintain a steady level of interest and enthusiasm for a brand, product or service

Tools of Promotion

The tools of promotion, or Promotion mix, span across four broad avenues of marketing communication.

  • Advertising: A form of communication designed to persuade potential customers to opt for a firm’s product over its competitors, advertising involves making one’s products and services positively known to the target market segments. Advertisement must be a planned and consistent activity that will enable the consumer to remember the brand or product with ease, with or without any assistance. The commonly used media for advertising include
  • Stationery – envelopes, letterheads, business cards
  • Office or window display
  • Press advertising – newspapers, magazines, journals
  • Radio spots and advertising
  • Television
  • Direct mailers
  • Out-of-home – hoardings, bill boards, bus and taxi advertising
  • Ambient – branded cutlery, coasters, wall posters, corporate videos
  • Cinema
  • Point of sale – in-store digital advertising, floor stickers,shelf or counter posters, shopping trolley signage, playing interviews about the product in store
  • Online – advertising on own website and other websites, back links, blogs, social media, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing
  • Direct Selling: A business transaction, or point-of-sale interactions, also acts as promotional tools. This direct interaction between the sales personnel and the customer works effectively to spread the product and brand knowledge to the consumer, which could translate into sales.
  • Sales Promotion: These include short-term incentives or promotional offers and schemes that encourage customers to purchase the product or service. These promotions are targeted towards end consumers, institutional buyers, wholesalers and retailers and employees. According to Small Business Development Corporation, Government of Western Australia, they include
  • Consumer promotions, similar to ones offered at Target Australia
  • Point of purchase display material
  • In-store demonstrations, sampling and celebrity appearances
  • Competitions, coupons, sweepstakes and games
  • On-pack offers, multi-packs and bonuses
  • Loyalty reward programs
  • Business promotions
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Conference presentations
  • Trade show displays
  • Telemarketing and direct mail campaigns
  • Newsletters
  • Event sponsorship
  • Capability documents
  • Trade promotions
  • Reward incentives linked to purchases or sales
  • Reseller staff incentives
  • Competitions
  • Corporate entertainment
  • Bonus stock
  • Sales Force Promotions
  • Commissions
  • Sales competitions with prizes or awards
  • Public Relations: According to the Public Relations Institute of Australia, PR is defined as the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation (or individual) and its (or their) publics. Essentially, it refers to building good and maintained relationships with various stakeholders of the organisation through a favourable corporate image, positive word of mouth (MKA10) and referrals. Most common PR tools include
  • News creation and distribution
  • Special events – news conferences, grand openings, product launches
  • Speeches and presentations
  • Educational programs
  • Annual reports, brochures, newsletters, magazines and presentations
  • Community activities and sponsorships

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Investing in Promotions is an important way to increase awareness regarding a firm’s offerings and move from across the AIDA framework – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. A blend of all the four elements of the marketing mix will help in creation of an effective marketing plan ; however, the marketing mix must be flexible so that it can grow, change and mature as the target market changes.

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