Tools of Promotion - Advertising, Sales Promotion, Public Relation & Direct Marketing

The 4 Ps of marketing are product, price, place and promotion. All four of these elements combine to make a successful marketing strategy. Promotion looks to communicate the company’s message across to the consumer. The four main tools of promotion are advertising, sales promotion, public relation and direct marketing.

Advertising

Advertising is defined as any form of paid communication or promotion for product, service and idea. Advertisement is not only used by companies but in many cases by museum, government and charitable organizations. However, the treatment meted out to advertisement defers from an organization to an organization.

Advertising development involves a decision across five Ms Mission, Money, Message, Media and Measurement.

Mission looks at setting objectives for advertising. The objectives could be to inform, persuade, remind or reinforce. Objective has to follow the marketing strategy set by the company.

Money or budget decision for advertising should look at stage of product life cycle, market share and consumer base, competition, advertising frequency and product substitutability.

Message’s development further is divided into four steps, message generation, message evaluation and selection, message execution, and social responsibility review.

Once the message is decided the next step is finalizing the media for delivering the message. The choice of depends on reach of media, frequency of transmission and potential impact on customer. Based on this choice of media types are made from newspaper, television, direct mail, radio, magazine and the internet. After which timing of broadcast of the message is essential as to grab attention of the target audience.

Checking on the effectiveness of communication is essential to company’s strategy. There are two types of research communication effect research and sales effect research.

Sales Promotion

Promotion is an incentive tool used to drive up short term sales. Promotion can be launched directed at consumer or trade. The focus of advertising to create reason for purchase the focus of promotion is to create an incentive to buy. Consumer incentives could be samples, coupons, free trial and demonstration. Trade incentive could be price off, free goods and allowances. Sales force incentive could be convention, trade shows, competition among sales people.

Sales promotion activity can have many objectives, for example, to grab attention of new customer, reward the existing customer, increase consumption of occasional users. Sales promotion is usually targeted at the fence sitters and brand switchers.

Sales promotional activity for the product is selected looking at the overall marketing objective of the company. The final selection of the consumer promotional tools needs to consider target audience, budget, competitive response and each tool’s purpose.

Sales promotion activity should under-go pretest before implementation. Once the activity is launched it should be controlled as to remain within the budget. Evaluation program is a must after implementation of the promotional scheme.

Public Relations

Companies cannot survive in isolation they need to have a constant interaction with customers, employees and different stakeholders. This servicing of relation is done by the public relation office. The major function of the public relation office is to handle press releases, support product publicity, create and maintain the corporate image, handle matters with lawmakers, guide management with respect to public issues.

Companies are looking at ways to converge with functions of marketing and public relation in marketing public relation. The direct responsibility of marketing public relation (MPR) is to support corporate and product branding activities.

MPR is an efficient tool in building awareness by generating stories in media. Once the story is in circulation MPR can establish credibility and create a sense of enigma among sales people as well as dealers to boost enthusiasm. MPR is much more cost effective tool than other promotional activities.

Direct Marketing

The communication establishes through a direct channel without using any intermediaries is referred to as direct marketing. Direct marketing can be used to deliver message or service. Direct marketing has shown tremendous growth in recent years. The internet has played major part in this growth story. Direct marketing saves time, makes an experience personal and pleasant. Direct marketing reduces cost for companies. Face to face selling, direct mail, catalog marketing, telemarketing, TV and kiosks are media for direct marketing.

Advertisement, Promotional activity, Public relation and direct marketing play an essential role in helping companies reaches their marketing goals.



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