In the highly competitive modern marker, effective promotion is a very important part of the industry. This concept describes all of the activities that are used or need to be used to spread the knowledge about the product to its target audience, and to increase the public interest in it. Together with price, product and place, it is one of the four concepts that together make up the marketing mix, which is used by marketing professionals to determine the unique selling points of a product or a brand (“Definition Of’ ‘Marketing Mix'” par. 1).
Promotion relies on five main strategies of marketing communication, which businesses use in different proportions for maximum coverage, and which include advertising, sales promotions, public relations, personal selling, and direct marketing.
Each of these strategies has its advantages and disadvantages and is useful in different situations for different types of products. By creating an appropriate marking mix for the product, the company can increase its likelihood of success.
Advertising involves spreading a message that describes a brand to a large audience. Advertising is usually conducted through television, radio, the Internet, and paper publications of various types. Its main advantage is that it can allow the business to quickly access a lot of people to inform them of the products or services it is selling. However, its broad coverage doesn’t instantly mean audience engagement, and the companies have little control over how the individual response. Overall, many of the advertising professionals believe that due to this uncertainty the ads don’t pay off for the amount of money that is spent on them. But, despite this, they are still vital for increasing brand awareness.
Personal Selling involves and individual approach of a seller to each buyer. The act o product promotion can occur in person, on the phone, or through other technology that allows such communication. The seller relies on his attitude, charisma, appearance, and product knowledge to entice the customer to by the product. This approach allows the company the most control over how information is delivered to the potential buyer and allows rapid feedback, which is vital for any industry. However, due to the one-on-one approach, personal selling is limited in the number of buyers it can target.
Public Relations aims to not just increase the product’s or service’s popularity but instead focuses on the company as a whole, aiming to increase its goodwill and improve its overall image by presenting news stories in a positive light. Public relations are not directly responsible for sales, and usually limits itself to a much more neutral tone of its messages, to achieve a sense of objectiveness, but by increasing the public trust to the company and the product, PR also improves the sales.
Sales Promotions cover such methods of product promotions and marketing as coupons, special offers, discounts, contests, etc. They do not sell a product on their own, but they entice the customer to buy more and fasters. While mostly associated with business-to-customer marketing, it can also be used to sell products business-to-business through trade promotions. These usually include sponsorships, trade shows, etc.
The final approach is Direct Marketing, which aims at tailoring promotional materials to individual buyers, and usually is conducted through the post, the Internet and its message services, telephone, etc. Direct marketing comes at the advantage of allowing companies to target specific groups of customers, conduct promotional research, and evaluated the effectiveness of different marketing strategies. However, direct marketing can also be very intrusive, which is disliked by many consumers, causing them to purposefully ignore this type of promotion.
The first case study that is being looked at describes a company, whose products, the advanced animation software, targets a relatively small and specific audience of major movie and television studios, independent companies, and the larger animation schools.
This means that the seller has little incentive to use advertising, and needs to focus on smaller markets. Several promotional strategies can be useful here. First and foremost, the seller would benefit from establishing itself and the credentials of its software in the market. It could achieve this by using Public Relations, to conduct press releases and increase the publicity of the product. Since the product is visual, the media that allow visual presentation are favorable, which makes the Internet as the most optimal media. After that, the best approach would be to offer the product directly to the companies, by utilizing personal selling (Tanner, J., and M. Raymond 106).
Direct selling is less appropriate here since the company needs to build good relationships with the target buyers straight away, and personal selling would be very effective for that purpose. Since it is presumed that PR efforts have already introduced the market to the discussed brand, personal selling would allow building long-term customer relations. This is exemplified in the purchase of long-range Airbus by JetBlue. While news sites hail it as a historic moment for American aviation, it was preceded by a large number of personal negotiations between the seller and the buyer (Sloan par.1-2).
The second case study is relatively more traditional and is focused on business-to-customer sales. The toy company needs to spread the word quickly to its target audience and their parents. The company will be relying on the pull strategy to identify the product directly to the market. This makes advertising as the most viable option. Since the toy is based on a TV show, it needs to be advertised on television, in the same time slot as the show is. Sales promotions can be used to target the children’s parents and give them additional incentives to purchase the toy for their child.
The third case study is similar to the previous one, but the situation is different due to the age of the target audience. Television is once again the principal medium for providing information through advertisements, as over-50s constitute the majority of the current TV audiences, (“Over 60 and Overlooked“ par. 7).
Additionally, newspapers and magazines could be used effectively to cater to the traditionalists in the target audience. Sales promotions once again could serve as an effective means to sell the fiber drink but providing special offers. Lastly, direct advertising could help inform the more introverted fractions of the senior population, since it allows to target specific groups of buyers. Telemarketing and direct mail could be used to promote the product, although the former can be less effective in the face of recent telemarketing scams and the associated bad reputation (Hansen par. 5, 8).
The final case study shows an airline that already has high sales rates, and its main problem is retaining customers. Consequently, a different approach should be used in previous cases. One of the principle goals would be to determine the reason why the customers are not coming back to the company (Beard par.1-2). Since this goal requires the company to target a specific group of customers, direct marketing through telephone and e-mail would be very useful here.
Even the limited about of customers the sellers will be able to access will provide them with the information they need to adjust their policies. On a more immediate note, sales promotions targeting the returning customers would provide them with incentives to use the airline again. Finally, a public relations campaign aimed at increasing the company’s perceived expertise and advertising its professionalism can increase customer trust, which is likely to bring them back in the future.
Beard, Ross. “9 Customer Retention Strategies For Companies.” Client Heartbeat. n.p. 2014. Web.
“Definition Of’ ‘Marketing Mix‘” The Economic Times. N.p., n.d. Web.
Hansen, Leonard. “Senior Citizens Are the Most Targeted by Internet, Telemarketing, Mail Fraud.” The Alicia Patterson Foundation. n.p. 2011. Web.
“Over 60 and Overlooked“. The Economist. The Economist Newspaper. 2002. Web.
Sloan, Chris. “Airbus Delivers Its First-ever Airliner Assembled in the U.S.” CNN Home. n.p. 2016. Web.
Tanner, J., and M. Raymond. “Marketing Principles.” 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: Flat World Knowledge, 2012. Print.