Promotion is an essential element in the marketing mix. It's a tool used by businesses, both large and small, to inform, persuade and remind customers about the products and services they have to offer. Without business promotion, companies would be stagnant and lack substantial growth because their brands would have low visibility in the market.
Promotion allows businesses to reach out to consumers using various forms of media, techniques and strategies to capture their attention. Promotion delivers a brand marketing message to consumers' television screens, radios, in the stores where they shop, online, in billboards and in magazines.
Promotion can be broken down into four categories: advertising, sales promotion, public relations and personal selling. Advertising promotions appear as print advertisements in magazines, banner advertisements on the web or commercials. Sales promotions include attending trade shows, holding contests and initiating customer loyalty programs. Public relations activities include everything from getting bloggers to post about products, pitching articles to magazines, and writing and distributing press releases. Personal selling is done face to face, as with a business that hosts home parties, or using the phone or web solutions.
Promotions follow two strategies: pull strategy and push strategy. Pull strategy focuses on promoting a product in a manner that encourages the consumer to respond by making a purchase. Examples include coupons, referrals and customer loyalty programs. Push strategy focuses on taking a product directly to a customer to purchase. Examples include point-of-purchase displays, promotions at trade show events, packaging design and working with companies to offer products in their stores or on their websites.
As a result of promotion efforts, customer are informed about new products and reminded about existing products. Promotion can help companies introduce new uses for old products in an effort to gain a new segment of the market. Promotion efforts give companies quantitative and qualitative data they can use to plan future campaigns to target their ideal consumers. From customer opinions left on product review sites to being able to gauge the number of people who click an online advertising effort, effective promotional efforts produce results.
While promotion strategies are important to businesses and can help them introduce their products and services into a market, there are considerations that marketers must factor into their marketing plans. It's essential the businesses use the appropriate media to target their consumers. With the advent of social marketing and other forms of online marketing, promotional options extend beyond print, radio and television promotions. Businesses must determine where their target market gets the majority of its information, including product reviews and referrals.
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