In today’s highly competitive and rapidly-developing market of software, there is a need to build relationships with customers and distinguish products from the alternatives. Promotion refers to a set of activities to communicate the value of a product or service, making people aware of the opportunities it provides (Armstrong & Kotler, 2018).
Promotional activities include advertisement, social media communication, press releases, discounts, et cetera. One of the key benefits of a well-organized promotion is that it creates a positive brand image and creates interest in customers (Clow, 2018). This paper aims to identify an advertising budget strategy for the EZ-schedule application. The use of integrated marketing communications is also discussed to clarify the ways the company would promote the mentioned product.
Advertising Budget Strategy
According to Armstrong and Kotler (2018), an advertising budget is an estimation that a company makes for its promotional expenditure over a certain period. It can also be considered an investment that a company makes for its brand building and growth. When a company creates an advertising budget, it should consider how much the company can earn as revenue from the dollar amount spent on advertising. Before estimating the budget, the company should consider a few determinants such as the target customer, a media type for the target customer, the right approach for the target customer, and expected revenue from each dollar of expenditure on the advertisement. Also, ensure that the budget is in check with their promotion and marketing goals.
There are various methods for determining an advertisement budget, such as:
- Affordable method.
- Percentage-of-Sales method.
- Competitive-Parity method.
- Objective-and-task method.
For the EZ-Schedule app, the objective-and-task method will be appropriate because here, the promotion estimate is based on what the company wants to achieve from its promotion. In this budgeting method, the company needs to define specific promotion objectives, determine required tasks to be performed to achieve these objectives, and the cost estimate to perform these tasks. As the EZ-Schedule app will be new to the market, the primary advertising objective will be: to provide information about its features, how it works, pricing information, building brand image, how it’s better than its competitors, and describe available services and support, to its target audience.
The target audience for the EZ-schedule app is family-oriented working professionals. To achieve the advertising objective of reaching the target audience, the company will need to perform tasks like promoting the app on social media platforms, Appstore, pop-up advertisements on online news articles, TV ads, blogs, and popular websites. The expenditure for performing these tasks would be the overall advertising budget for the EZ-schedule app.
Quadrants of IMC
Integrated marketing communications or IMC is defined as carefully integrating and coordinating the company’s many communications channels to deliver a clear, consistent, and compelling message about the organization and its products (Armstrong & Kotler, 2018). These communications must deliver a consistent, clear, and compelling message to the customer concerning the product or service offered and the brand. The four quadrants of integrated marketing communications are offline interactive, offline passive, online interactive, and online passive. EZ Schedule will be utilizing all four of the quadrants.
Offline and Interactive
The offline interactive will include telemarketing. This will be done for the first six months and results will be checked weekly. We also plan to set up a few interactive kiosks that will promote and explain the features of our app. Both market communications will have a promotional sign-up rate.
Offline and Passive
The EZ-Schedule offline and passive approach will include advertising to our target market. The company plans to place an advertisement in key locations about EZ-Schedule with information on where and how to purchase. We also plan to utilize coupons during our first six months by giving an introductory rate to the first 100 customers. This will end after the first 30 days or at our 100th customer whichever comes first.
Online and Interactive
The online interactive advertising approach will include direct mobile marketing. We will send our target market mobile texts that will explain our new application features. EZ Schedule will also do online marketing which will be placed on Facebook and other popular social media sites which will be interactive and allow customers to visit the EZ Schedule site and learn about its features.
Online and Passive
The final method will be online passive which will include email marketing and TV commercials. These will allow customers to see our ads online without interaction. We will also offer promotional rates during these advertisements.
To conclude, this business brief provides a discussion of the advertising strategy for the EZ-schedule application that focuses on the target population of family-oriented, professional workers. To notify customers of a new and innovative way to schedule their appointments, it is expected to apply a range of methods. Namely, the objective-and-task method will be utilized to determine the advertisement budget.
A promotional campaign will integrate online and offline dimensions of the integrated marketing communications, including telemarketing, offline advertising, coupons, direct mobile marketing, Facebook marketing, and TV commercials, and email marketing. In combination, these advertising strategies will create a unique image and voice for the EZ-schedule application, which is beneficial to translating its value clearly to the target audience.
Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2018). Marketing: An introduction (14th ed.). Pearson Education.
Clow, K. E. (2018). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (8th ed.). Pearson Education.
Investopedia. (2021). Advertising Budget. Web.