Having a great product at the right price in the right store at the right time means nothing if nobody knows it’s there. Communicating the features and benefits of the product and informing the target market where to find it falls to the promotion element of the marketing mix.
Promotional messages should support the theme of the product / organization / idea that you are promoting. If done effectively, a promotional campaign will inform, persuade, and influence consumers’ buying decisions.
The Promotional Mix
These 4 elements incorporate different promotional methods to accomplish marketing objectives
Advertising is paid nonpersonal communication promoting a product, service, organization or idea. Messages are created for large audiences and conveyed through mass media (TV, radio, print, outdoor & internet).
Are a company’s efforts to build and maintain a relationship with the general public. PR often is used as a promotional technique to stimulate publicity, but can also be used to “spin” negative events or reports that can damage a company’s reputation and revenue.
This involves direct communication between a company rep and the customer. Personal selling can be face to face, or over the internet or over the phone.
This element consists of anything that provides incentives for resellers to sell the product, presents an added value to the consumer, and is not included in the previous 3 elements.
Examples include coupons, contests, premiums, product demos, and trade shows.
A good promotional strategy incorporates several marketing activities designed to compliment each other.
For example, a national TV ad campaign might tell consumers to look for an upcoming mailer that is supported by local in-store promotions.
The danger currently faced amid the sheer variety of media to choose from, is that advertising messages can be lost in the noise. It is important to put together a solid Promotional Mix for effective mass communication.
Things to consider
In creating a promotional mix there are 5 things to consider
Strategies vary from product to product.
For example, detergents, cereals or mouthwashes rely heavily on advertising, and almost no personal selling.
Product’s Life Cycle Stage
Products in the introductory stage generally require intensive advertising. Products in the mature or growth stages combine advertising with promotional offers (coupons, buy 1 get 1 free). Products in the decline stage may rely more heavily on personal sales to attract attention.
The target market will most often dictate the best way to target them.
For example, Ja-Lin manufactures instrument panels for helicopters. Since the target market is quite small, they rely almost entirely on personal selling.
Dentyne, on the other hand, uses a national advertising campaign combined with positioning the product near grocery check out lines and in convenience stores.
Higher priced items generally require more enhanced efforts than cheaper items. Consumers equate the quality of the product with the quality of the promotion.
For example, the product brochure for the Chevy TrailBlazer is printed in full color on glossy paper, and comes with an interactive CD Rom. A sales representative is fully prepared to spend time one on one going over the benefits of the TrailBlazer and answering any questions not fully answered by the brochure.
Tic Tac doesn’t even give out a brochure. The total buying experience takes about a minute, not counting time waiting in line at the grocery store. There is no personal attention.
Don’t forget to consult the budget. An effective promotional mix will not bankrupt the business.
4 general objectives are
This is especially important when promoting a new product or company. People have to be aware of the product in order to want to buy it.
Also known as Positioning.
Promote Product Trial
Making consumers aware of a product is half of it. Once they know about it, they have to want to try it. If they like it, they’ll buy it again.
Alleviate Fluctuating Sales
Most products suffer from cyclical sales. More people buy cold drinks in summer, coffee in winter, etc.
Most promotional strategies involve some mechanism (promotional offer / incentive) for improving sales during the lean times.