Promotion (marketing)

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In marketing, promotion refers to any type of marketing communication used to inform or persuade target audiences of the relative merits of a product, service, brand or issue. The aim of promotion is to increase awareness, create interest, generate sales or create brand loyalty. It is one of the basic elements of the market mix, which includes the four Ps, i.e., product, price, place, and promotion. [1]

Marketing communications uses different marketing channels and tools in combination: Marketing communication channels focus on any way a business communicates a message to its desired market, or the market in general. A marketing communication tool can be anything from: advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, sponsorship, communication, and promotion to public relations.

Brand loyalty is defined as positive feelings towards a brand and dedication to purchase the same product or service repeatedly now and in the future from the same brand, regardless of a competitor's actions or changes in the environment. It can also be demonstrated with other behaviors such as positive word-of-mouth advocacy. Brand loyalty is where an individual buys products from the same manufacturer repeatedly rather than from other suppliers. Businesses whose financial and ethical values, for example ESG responsibilities, rest in large part on their brand loyalty are said to use the loyalty business model.

Contents

Promotion is also one of the elements in the promotional mix or promotional plan. These are personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing publicity and may also include event marketing, exhibitions and trade shows. [2] A promotional plan specifies how much attention to pay to each of the elements in the promotional mix, and what proportion of the budget should be allocated to each element.

In marketing, the promotional mix describes a blend of promotional variables chosen by marketers to help a firm reach its goals. It has been identified as a subset of the marketing mix. It is believed that there is an optimal way of allocating budgets for the different elements within the promotional mix to achieve best marketing results, and the challenge for marketers is to find the right mix of them. Activities identified as elements of the promotional mix vary, but typically include the following:

Personal selling

Personal selling occurs when a sales representative meets with a potential client for the purpose of transacting a sale. Many sales representatives rely on a sequential sales process that typically includes nine steps. Some sales representatives develop scripts for all or part of the sales process. The sales process can be used in face-to-face encounters and in telemarketing.

Advertising form of communication for marketing, typically paid for

Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Sponsors of advertising are typically businesses wishing to promote their products or services. Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser pays for and has control over the message. It differs from personal selling in that the message is non-personal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual. Advertising is communicated through various mass media, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages. The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement, or "ad" or advert for short.

Promotion covers the methods of communication that a marketer uses to provide information about its product. Information can be both verbal and visual.

Speech production of a spoken language

Speech is human vocal communication using language. Each language uses phonetic combinations of a limited set of perfectly articulated and individualized vowel and consonant sounds that form the sound of its words, and using those words in their semantic character as words in the lexicon of a language according to the syntactic constraints that govern lexical words' function in a sentence. In speaking, speakers perform many different intentional speech acts, e.g., informing, declaring, asking, persuading, directing, and can use enunciation, intonation, degrees of loudness, tempo, and other non-representational or paralinguistic aspects of vocalization to convey meaning. In their speech speakers also unintentionally communicate many aspects of their social position such as sex, age, place of origin, physical states, psychic states, physico-psychic states, education or experience, and the like.

Etymology and usage

The term promotion derives from the Old French, promocion meaning to "move forward", "push onward" or to "advance in rank or position" which in turn, comes from the Latin, promotionem meaning "a moving forward". The word entered the English language in the 14th century. [3]

The use of the term promotion to refer to "advertising or publicity" is very modern and is first recorded in 1925. [4] It may be a contraction of a related term, sales promotion, which is one element in the larger set of tools used in marketing communications. The terms, promotion and marketing communications can be used synonymously, but in practice, the latter is more widely used. [5]

Purpose

There are three objectives of promotion. These are: [6]

  1. To present information to consumers and others.
  2. To increase demand.
  3. To differentiate a product.

The purpose of a promotion and thus its promotional plan can have a wide range, including: sales increases, new product acceptance, creation of brand equity, positioning, competitive retaliations, or creation of a corporate image. [2]

The term 'promotion' tends to be used internally by the marketing function. To the public or the market, phrases like "special offer" are more common. Examples of a fully integrated, long-term, and large-scale promotion are My Coke Rewards in the USA or Coke Zone in the UK and Pepsi Stuff.

Types

There have been different ways to promote a product in person or with different media. Both person and media can be either physically real or virtual/electronic.

In a physical environment

Promotions can be held in physical environments at special events such as concerts, festivals, trade shows, and in the field, such as in grocery or department stores. Interactions in the field allow immediate purchases. The purchase of a product can be incentive with discounts (i.e., coupons), free items, or a contest. This method is used to increase the sales of a given product. Interactions between the brand and the customer are performed by a brand ambassador or promotional model who represents the product in physical environments. Brand ambassadors or promotional models are hired by a marketing company, which in turn is booked by the brand to represent the product or service. Person-to-person interaction, as opposed to media-to-person involvement, establishes connections that add another dimension to promotion. Building a community through promoting goods and services can lead to brand loyalty.

Traditional media

Examples of traditional media include print media such as newspapers and magazines, electronic media such as radio and television, and outdoor media such as banner or billboard advertisements. Each of these platforms provide ways for brands to reach consumers with advertisements.

Digital media

Digital media, which includes Internet, social networking and social media sites, is a modern way for brands to interact with consumers as it releases news, information and advertising from the technological limits of print and broadcast infrastructures. [7] Digital media is currently the most effective way for brands to reach their consumers on a daily basis. Over 2.7 billion people are online globally, which is about 40% of the world's population. [8] 67% of all Internet users globally use social media. [9]

Mass communication has led to modern marketing strategies to continue focusing on brand awareness, large distributions and heavy promotions. [10] The fast-paced environment of digital media presents new methods for promotion to utilize new tools now available through technology. With the rise of technological advances, promotions can be done outside of local contexts and across geographic borders to reach a greater number of potential consumers. The goal of a promotion is then to reach the most people possible in a time efficient and a cost efficient manner.

Social media, as a modern marketing tool, offers opportunities to reach larger audiences in an interactive way. These interactions allow for conversation rather than simply educating the customer. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumblr, as well as alternate audio and media sites like SoundCloud and Mixcloud allow users to interact and promote music online with little to no cost. You can purchase and buy ad space as well as potential customer interactions stores as Likes, Followers, and clicks to your page with the use of third parties. As a participatory media culture, social media platforms or social networking sites are forms of mass communication that, through media technologies, allow large amounts of product and distribution of content to reach the largest audience possible.[2] However, there are downsides to virtual promotions as servers, systems, and websites may crash, fail, or become overloaded with information. You also can stand risk of losing uploaded information and storage and at a use can also be effected by a number of outside variables.

Brands can explore different strategies to keep consumers engaged. One popular tool is branded entertainment, or creating some sort of social game for the user. The benefits of such a platform include submersing the user in the brand's content. Users will be more likely to absorb and not grow tired of advertisements if they are, for example, embedded in the game as opposed to a bothersome pop-up ad. [11]

Personalizing advertisements is another strategy that can work well for brands, as it can increase the likelihood that the brand will be anthropomorphized by the consumer. Personalization increases click-through intentions when data has been collected about the consumer. [12]

Brands must navigate the line between effectively promoting their content to consumers on social media and becoming too invasive in consumers' lives. Vivid Internet ads that include devices such as animation might increase a user's initial attention to the ad. However, this may be seen as a distraction to the user if they are trying to absorb a different part of the site such as reading text. [13] Additionally, when brands make the effort of overtly collecting data about their consumers and then personalizing their ads to them, the consumer's relationship with the advertisements, following this data collection, is frequently positive. However, when data is covertly collected, consumers can quickly feel like the company betrayed their trust. [12] It is important for brands to utilize personalization in their ads, without making the consumer feel vulnerable or that their privacy has been betrayed.

See also

Related Research Articles

Guerrilla marketing advertising strategy

Guerrilla marketing is an advertisement strategy in which a company uses surprise and/or unconventional interactions in order to promote a product or service. It is a type of publicity. The term was popularized by Jay Conrad Levinson's 1984 book Guerrilla Marketing.

Display advertising is advertising on websites or apps or social media through banners or other ad formats made of text, images, flash, video, and audio. The main purpose of display advertising is to deliver general advertisements and brand messages to site visitors.

Advertising management part of the advertising industry

Advertising management is a planned managerial process designed to oversee and control the various advertising activities involved in a program to communicate with a firm's target market and which is ultimately designed to influence the consumer's purchase decisions. Advertising is just one element in a company's promotional mix and as such, must be integrated with the overall marketing communications program. Advertising is, however, the most expensive of all the promotional elements and therefore must be managed with care and accountability.

Advertising campaign series of advertisement messages

An advertising campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme which make up an integrated marketing communication (IMC). An IMC is a platform in which a group of people can group their ideas, beliefs, and concepts into one large media base. Advertising campaigns utilize diverse media channels over a particular time frame and target identified audiences.

A target audience is the intended audience or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other message. In marketing and advertising, it is a particular group of consumers within the predetermined target market, identified as the targets or recipients for a particular advertisement or message. Businesses that have a wide target market will focus on a specific target audience for certain messages to send, such as The Body Shops Mother's Day advertisements, which were aimed at the children and spouses of women, rather than the whole market which would have included the women themselves.

Sustainability advertising is communications geared towards promoting social, economic and environmental benefits of products, services or actions through paid advertising in media in order to encourage responsible behavior of consumers.

Cross-media marketing

Cross-media marketing is a form of cross-promotion in which promotional companies commit to surpassing traditional advertisement techniques and decide to include extra appeals to the products they offer. The material can be communicated by any mass media such as e-mails, letters, web pages, social media or other recruiting sources. This method can be extremely successful for publishers because the marketing increases the ad’s profit from a single advertiser. Furthermore, this tactic generates a good liaison between the advertiser and the publisher, which also boosts the profits.

Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.

Youth Marketing is a term used in the marketing and advertising industry to describe activities to communicate with young people, typically in the age range of 13 to 35. More specifically, there is the teen marketing, targeting people age 13 to 17, college marketing, targeting college-age consumers, typically ages 18 to 24, young adult marketing, targeting youngsters use professionals, typically ages 25 to 34.

A touchpoint can be defined as any way a consumer can interact with a business, whether it be person-to-person, through a website, an app or any form of communication. When consumers come in contact with these touchpoints it gives them the opportunity to compare their prior perceptions of the business and form an opinion.

Brand awareness refers to the extent to which customers are able to recall or recognise a brand. Brand awareness is a key consideration in consumer behavior, advertising management, brand management and strategy development. The consumer's ability to recognise or recall a brand is central to purchasing decision-making. Purchasing cannot proceed unless a consumer is first aware of a product category and a brand within that category. Awareness does not necessarily mean that the consumer must be able to recall a specific brand name, but he or she must be able to recall sufficient distinguishing features for purchasing to proceed. For instance, if a consumer asks her friend to buy her some gum in a "blue pack", the friend would be expected to know which gum to buy, even though neither friend can recall the precise brand name at the time.

Media planning is generally outsourced to entail sourcing and selecting optimal media platforms for a client's brand or product to use. The job of media planning is to determine the best combination of media to achieve the objectives.

Targeted advertising type of advertising

Targeted advertising is a form of online advertising that is directed towards audiences with certain traits, based on the product or person the advertiser is promoting. These traits can either be demographic which are focused on race, economic status, sex, age, the level of education, income level and employment or they can be psychographic focused which are based on the consumer's values, personality, attitudes, opinions, lifestyles and interests. They can also be behavioral variables, such as browser history, purchase history, and other recent activity. Targeted advertising is focused on certain traits and the consumers who are likely to have a strong preference will receive the message instead of those who have no interest and whose preferences do not match a product's attribute. This eliminates wastage.

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. Although the terms e-marketing and digital marketing are still dominant in academia, social media marketing is becoming more popular for both practitioners and researchers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, which enable companies to track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public. On a strategic level, social media marketing includes the management of a marketing campaign, governance, setting the scope and the establishment of a firm's desired social media "culture" and "tone."

Dialogue marketing emerged in the early 2000s as companies engaged willing consumers in an ongoing dialogue to create lasting relationships. For example, based on data, marketers invite groups of likely consumers to connect with the company. The engagement process provides value to both the consumer and the company. Marketers use these opportunities as data collection points. The companies use the data to further customize their marketing messages and personalize the experience for their consumers and market segments. In exchange for sharing opinions, buying patterns, product preferences, etc., consumers receive perks such as discounts, tips, and free trials as well as appropriate messaging from the company.

Virtual engagement is a metric to determine the level of affinity between a company and its customers. In today's internet economy, few things matter as much to marketers as the intensity of the feelings a customer has towards the brand or the product of a given corporation. Marketing professionals are engaging prospects and moving them along the customer engagement cycle to become customers and finally advocates.

Social advertising is advertising that relies on social information or networks in generating, targeting, and delivering marketing communications. Many current examples of social advertising use a particular Interpretation service to collect social information, establish and maintain relationships with consumers, and for delivering communications. For example, the advertising platforms provided by Google, Twitter, and Facebook involve targeting and presenting ads based on relationships articulated on those same services. Social advertising can be part of a broader social media marketing strategy designed to connect with consumers.

References

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