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Business battle fiercely, making an enormous variety of products to

meet different customers’ needs. In many businesses, promotion is the key

to a new product success. Promotion is any technique designed to sell a

product to a customer. To sell a product, promotional techniques must

communicate the uses, features, & benefits of the product. Here we will

look at different reasons for & approaches to promotion, When & why

companies use particular tools & strategies, & the special promotional

problems & solutions of small business.

Promotional Objectives, Strategies, & Tolls

In developing a promotional plan, marketers must consider the

company’s basic promotional objectives. They must develop promotional

strategies to reach those objectives. Then, as a part of their strategies,

they must choose among various promotional tools that may be used alone or

in combination

Promotional Objectives

You may think that the ultimate objective of any type of promotion is

to increase sales. You’re right. After all, the goal of any business is to

make money, & companies make money by making sales. However, marketers also

use promotion to communicate information, position products, & control

sales volume.

Communication of Information.

A very basic objective of promotion is to communicate information

from one person or organization to another. Consumers cannot buy a product

unless they have been informed about it.

Information may advise customers about the availability of a product.

It may educate them on the latest technological advances. Or it may

announce the candidacy of someone running for a government office.

Information may be communicated in writing (newspapers & magazines)

It may be communicated verbally (in person or over the telephone) Or it may

be communicated visually (television, a match book cover, or a billboard).

Today, the communication of information regarding a company’s products or

services is so important that markets try to place it wherever consumers

may be.

Product Positioning.

Another objective of promotion, Product Positioning, is to establish

an easily

identifiable image of a product in the minds of consumers. For example, by

selling only in

department stores, Lauder products have positioned themselves as more

upscale than cosmetics sold in drugstores. Given all the brands &

trademarks in the marketplace, it is impossible for an individual to

remember each one. Therefore, marketers seek a unique position in buyer’s


Positioning a product is difficult because the company is trying to

appeal to a specific segment of the market rather than to the market as a

whole. First, the company must identify which segments of a market could

would be likely purchasers of its product & who is competitors are. Only

then can it focus its promotional strategy on differentiating its product

from the competition’s, while appealing to its target audience.

Controlling Sales Volume.

Another objective of promotions is sales volume control. Many

companies such as Hallmark Cards, experience seasonal sales patterns. By

increasing its promotional activities in slow periods, the firm can achieve

a more stable sales volume throughout the year. As a result, it can keep

its production & distribution systems running evenly. Promotions can even

turn slow seasons into peak sales periods. For example, greeting card

companies & florists together have done much to create Grandparents’

day.The result has been increased consumer desire to send cards & flowers

to older relatives in the middle of what was a dry for these industries.

Promotional Strategies

Once a firm’s promotional objectives are clear, it must develop a

promotional strategy to achieve these objectives. Promotional strategies

may be of the push or pull variety. A company with a Push strategy will

aggressively push its product through wholesalers & retailers, who persuade

customers to buy it. In contrast, a company with Pull strategy appeals

directly to customers who demand the product from retailers, who in turn

demand the product from wholesalers.

Makers from industrial products most often use a Push strategy And

makers of consumer products most often use a Pull strategy. Many large

firms use a combination of the two strategies. For example, General Foods

uses advertising to create consumer demand(pull) for its cereals. It also

pushes wholesalers & retailers to stoke these products. Once the

promotional strategy has been determined, it guides the company’s choice of

promotional objectives & the types of promotional communicational tools

that will be used.

Picking the Right Tools for the Promotional Mix

Based on these strategies, the firm must select the right promotional

tools. There are four basis types of promotional tools: Advertising,

Personal selling, Sales promotions, & Publicity & Public relations.

The best combination of these tools-the best promotional mix -

depends on many

factors. The company’s product, the costs of different tools versus the

promotional budget, & characteristics in the target audience all play a


The product. The nature of the product being promoted affect the mix

greatly. For example, advertising can reach a large number of widely

dispersed consumers. Thus it is used by makers of products that might be

purchased by anyone, like sunglasses, radios & snack foods. Companies

introducing new products also favor advertising because it reaches a large

number of people very quickly & can repeat a message many times. Personal

selling, on the other hand, is important when the product appeals to a very

specific audience, such as piping or pressure gauges for industrial


Cost of the Tolls. The cost of communication tools is also important.

Because personal selling is an expensive communicational tool, it is most

appropriate in marketing high-priced goods like computers for industrial

customers & homes for consumers. In contrast, advertising reaches more

customers per dollar spent.

A promotional mix that is good for one company is not really good for

another. For example, Frito -Lay can afford to spend millions of dollars on

advertising & consumer promotions to promote Ruffles Cajun Spice potato

chips nationally. But Zapps Potato Chips of Gramercy, Louisiana, the

innovator in Cajun flavor potato chips, must rely on personal selling &

publicity to promote its Cajun Craw-taters locally.

Promotion & the Buyer Decision Process. Another consideration in

establishing the promotional mix is the stage of the buyer decision process

that customers are in. Customers must first recognize the need to make a

purchase. At these stage marketers need to make sure the buyer is aware

that their products exist. Thus, advertising & publicity, which can reach a

large number of people very quickly, are very important.

At the next stage, customers want to learn more about possible

products. Advertising & personal selling are important because they both

can be used to educate the customer about the product.

During the third stage, customers will evaluate & compare competing

products. Personal selling is vital at this point because sales

representatives can demonstrate their product’s quality & performance in

direct relation to the competition’s product.

Next, customers decide ton a specific product & purchase it. Sales

promotion is effective at these stage because it can give consumers an

incentive to buy. Personal selling can also help by bringing the product to

convenient location for the consumer.

Finally, consumers evaluate the product after buying it. Advertising,

or even personal selling, is sometimes used after the sale to remind

consumers that they made wise & prudent purchases.

Advertising Promotions

Advertising Strategies

Advertising strategies most often depend on which stage of the

product life cycle their product is in. During the introduction stage,

Informative Advertising can help develop an awareness of the company & its

product among buyers & can establish a primary demand for the product. For

example, when a new textbook is being published, instructors receive direct-

mail advertisements notifying them of the book’s contents & availability.

As products become established, advertising stages must change.

During the growth stage, Persuasive Advertising can influence customers to

buy the company’s products, not those of its rivals. For example, during

its growth stage, Advil used this approach to attract buyers of Tylenol &

other pain relievers. Persuasive advertising is also important during the

maturity stage to maintain the product’s level of sales. In addition,

Comparative Advertising may help to steal sales away from the competition.

After proclaiming that «most people in Ford country drive Chevy pickups»,

the ad then discusses specific features of the two brands, in a classic

example of the comparison approach.

Finally, during the latter part of the maturity stage and all of the

decline stage, Reminder Advertising keeps the product’s name on the tip of

the consumer’s lips. And so Atari continues to advertise its home video

games, even though attention has shifted over to a newer competitor,


Whatever the product’s life cycle stage, advertising strategies must

consider timing. Should the organization advertise throughout the year on a

continual basis, or seasonally? Companies such as commercial banks space

ads evenly throughout a year.

Advertising Media

In developing advertising strategies, marketers must also consider

the best

Advertising Medium for their message. IBM, for example, uses

television ads to keep its name fresh in consumers’ minds. But it uses

newspaper & magazine ads to educate consumers on the product’s abilities &

trade publication to introduce new software. Each advertising medium has

its own advantages & disadvantages.

Newspapers. Newspapers are the most widely used advertising medium,

accounting for about 27 % of all advertising expenditures. Newspapers offer

excellent coverage, since each local market has at least the daily

newspaper & many people read the paper ever day(Like you are).This medium

offers flexible, rapid coverage, since ads can change from day to day. It

also offers believable coverage, since ads are presented side-by-side with

news. However, newspapers are generally thrown out after one day, often

cannot print in color, & have poor reproduction quality. Moreover

newspapers don’t usually allow advertisers to target their audience very


Television. Television accounts for about 22% of all advertising

expenditures. In addition to the major networks, cable television is

becoming a major advertising medium. Cable ad revenues have increased from

$58million in1980 to $1.4billion in1988, & are projected to be over

$2billion by1990.

Television allows advertisers to combine sight, sound, & motion, thus

appealing to almost all the viewer’s senses. National advertising is done

on television because it reaches more people than any other medium.

One disadvantage of television is that there are too many

commercials, causing viewers to confuse products. Most people for example,

can’t recall whether a tire commercial was for Firestone, or Goodrich.

Viewers of VCR tapes of shows often fast-forward past the ads. Another

disadvantage, is that the normal «Commercial spot» lasts only a short

time(usually 30sec), & then its gone. If the viewer is not paying

attention, the impact of the commercial is lost. Brevity also makes

television a poor medium in which to educate viewers about complex

products. Finally television is the most expensive medium. A 30sec

commercial during the Super Bowl costs about $750.000!

Direct Mail. Direct Mail advertisements account for 17% of all

advertising expenditures. As the name implies, direct mail often involves

fliers mailed directly to consumers’ homes or places of business. Direct

Mail allows the company to select its audience & personalize the message.

Consumers are also exposed to far less direct mail than to other

advertising media. Moreover, although direct mail incurs the largest

advance costs of any advertising technique, it also appears to have the

highest cost effectiveness. These features have helped to make direct mail

a fast-growing advertising medium.

Radio. About 7% of all advertising expenditures are for radio time. A

tremendous number of people listen to the radio each day, and radio ads are

very inexpensive. In addition, since most radio is programmed locally, this

medium gives advertisers a high degree of customer selectivity. For

example, radio stations are already segmented into listening categories

such as rock & roll, country & western, jazz, talk shows, news & religious


Like television however, radio ads are over quickly. And radio

permits only an audio presentation. Also people tend to use the radio as a

background while they’re

doing their things, paying little attention to the advertisements.

Magazines. Magazine advertising accounts for roughly 5% of all

advertising. The many different magazines on the market provide a high

level on consumer selectivity. Magazine advertising also allows for

excellent reproduction of photographs & artwork that not only grabs buyer’s

attention, but may also convince them on the product’s value. And magazines

allow advertisers plenty of space for detailed product information Another

advantage of magazines is that they have a long life & tend to be passed

from person to person, thus doubling & tripling the number of exposures.

The problem with magazine advertising is that ads must be submitted

well in advance to be included in a certain issue. Often there is no

guarantee of where within a magazine in ad will appear. Naturally, a

company would prefer to have its advertisement appear near the front of the

magazine or within a feature article.

Outdoor. Outdoor advertising - billboards, signs, & advertising

buses, taxis, & subways - makes up a little more than 1 % of all

advertising. These advertisements are relatively inexpensive, they face

little competition for customers’ attention, & they are subject to high

repeat exposure. Unfortunately, companies have little control over who will

see their advertisement.

Types of Advertising

Regardless of the media used, advertisements fall into one of several

categories. Brand Advertising promotes a specific brand, such as Kodak126

film, Head & shoulders shampoo, & Nike Air Jordan basketball shoes.

Advocacy Advertising promotes a particular candidate or viewpoint, as in

ads for political candidates at electon time and antidrug commercials.

Institutional Advertising promotes a fir’s long-term image, as when AT&T

assures customers that it is ``the right choice.

Advertising to Specific Markets’

Advertisements also differ in to whom they are directed. That is,

advertisement depend on the company’s target market. In consumer markets,

local stores usually sponsor retail advertising to encourage consumers to

visit the store & buy its products & services. Larger retailers use retail

advertising on both a local & national level. Often retail advertising is

actually cooperative advertising, with the cost of the advertising shared

by the retailer & the manufacturer.

In industrial markets, to communicate with companies that distribute

its products, some firms use trade advertising publications. And to reach

the professional purchasing agent & managers at firm buying raw material or

components, companies use industrial advertising.

Regulation of Advertising

Advertising affects nearly every American. Because it can be used to

deceive as well as inform buyers, advertising has increasingly come under

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