Promotions: Developing a Promotional Mix for Social Product

20/05/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Promotions refer to the entire set of activities, which communicate the product, brand or service to the user. The idea is to make people aware, attract and induce to buy the product, in preference over others.

There are several types of promotions. Above the line promotions include advertising, press releases, consumer promotions (schemes, discounts, contests), while below the line include trade discounts, freebies, incentive trips, awards and so on. Sales promotion is a part of the overall promotion effort.

Developing a Promotional Mix for Social Product

  1. Personal Selling

This is often referred to as one-on-one or face-to-face selling. As the name implies, it establishes a direct in-person connection with a prospective customer that may build trust and lead to a sale; it is the only means of promotion that allows you to adjust the message as the sales situation is unfolding. The downside is that it is a very costly means of selling. Examples would be a salesman on the floor of a home improvement company or a representative in a booth at a trade show.

  1. Advertising

This is almost the exact opposite of personal selling because it involves no direct face-to-face customer contact at all. It happens when companies make expenditures to promote their product through such things as media and the internet. The main advantage of this type of marketing is it’s a one-way conversation that helps the customer focus on the benefits of your product or service for them. As mentioned, its biggest drawback is establishing trust because of its impersonal nature. Examples of advertising are television commercials and pop-up ads on websites.

  1. Direct Marketing

This type of marketing tries to narrow the focus to a selected group of people who would be more interested in your product or service than others. Direct marketing can generate more sales because of its specific focus and it normally does it at less cost to the company; however, this type of marketing may be ill-received due to the sheer amount of it that people receive daily. Examples of this type of marketing are e-mail and direct mail advertising campaigns.

  1. Sales Promotion

This is actually a catch-all term that covers any type of promotions other than the ones that are specifically mentioned here. The advantage of them is that they can induce traffic and sales by changing a buyer’s perception of a product or service value. The disadvantage of sales promotions is the short-term nature of them often overshadows your company’s long-term sales goals. Sales promotions can be done by putting coupons on a flyer or snack chips being sold on a point-of-purchase display.

  1. Public Relations

This type of promotion has to do with creating a favorable image for your company as opposed to supplying direct information about a particular product or service. The advantage of public relations is that it can raise the appeal and image of your company for future purchasing decisions in a cost effective way. It must be noted also that it is very difficult to judge the effectiveness of this promotional campaign.

Good examples of this are a company that encourages others to give to disaster relief by matching donations or that hosts a run benefitting cancer research.

  1. Corporate Image

This is very similar to public relations except it is more direct in nature. It seeks to shape the company’s image in a very specific way; this is closely related to branding. The benefit of a corporate image promotion is it can stop a declining sales trend because of poor perceptions about your product or service. The drawback to using this method is that people may see it for exactly what it is and be further dissuaded about purchasing your product or service.

A few very good examples of this are an airline that starts a campaign to fix its perceived uncaring image after a fatal crash of one of its aircrafts or a restaurant chain that needs to fix the negative publicity of a severe food illness outbreak at one of their locations.

  1. Sponsorship

This type of advertising is very similar to public relations in that it deals with a company’s image. It takes place when your company links itself to an event that makes it look good in the community or gives the impression your company is giving back something to the public. It can also be a non-charitable event that your product closely relates to, like sponsoring a sports team.

A sponsorship can do such things as brand enhancement if you do it in conjunction with another strong name, and it can also help your company’s entry into niche markets that are typically hard to break into. It is also normally cost effective for what your company gets out of it. The drawbacks to sponsorship are tarnishing your image if the event or team you sponsor gets caught doing something wrong, and you also have little control over the sponsorship situation.

Examples of a sponsorship are a beer company that sponsors a football (soccer) team or partnering with the Red Cross on a fundraising project after a natural disaster.

  1. Internet Presence

How big a role are internet promotions playing in the marketing mix these days? Let’s just say that they have their own category here where years ago they were just an afterthought. There is absolutely no doubt that the internet is now a very big promotional marketing channel, and most companies are highly aware of this fact. You would have to look far and wide these days for a company that does not have a website or at least a blog. There are also many specialty businesses that have been born for the sole purpose of helping other companies with their internet presence.

A big part of using the internet as a promotional tool has to do with the rise of social media. Sure it’s free to get on and participate with such social media providers such as Facebook and Twitter, but it is far from free for businesses to advertise on social media. These providers know what a powerful tool social media has become for advertising and marketing, and it costs a fair amount for those who use it.

People often refer to the world nowadays as a digital globe because of all the high-tech things like computers and smartphones that dominate life for people. In order for companies to compete for business, they definitely need to firmly establish an online presence. The best way to do this is to have a website that is comprised of factual and relevant data to your product or service and then optimize your site to drive traffic to it. If a website is optimized for search engines (SEO), then it will show up on the first few pages after internet users search a generic keyword.

Big companies have whole departments that specialize in building websites and driving traffic to them, but small businesses often lack an online presence and are poorly optimized to drive traffic to them. Some studies suggest that over 90% of small business websites are not search engine optimized, and it puts them at a big competitive disadvantage. If these sites were optimized, there is no doubt that their sales would increase if their product was good and priced fair. Establishing an internet presence is a big key for promoting products and services.