The third element of the marketing mix is promotion. We will explore in this article how the promotion strategy contributes to attaining your marketing objectives.
What is promotion?
Promotion is any form of marketing communication used to inform or influence a target audience or market.
The subject of a promotion may be a company’s product, service, or concept. It may also include issues or advocacies of non-business groups.
What is a promotion strategy?
Just like the other elements of the marketing mix, you have to develop a strategy for your promotion activities.
Promotion strategy is a plan for what promotional mix you will use to achieve your promotion objectives as well as your overall marketing objectives.
What are the usual objectives of a promotion strategy?
You may list specific objectives for various promotion strategies. The most common business objectives include the following:
- To create awareness for a new product/service
- To generate interest and induce market demand
- To influence a target market
- To encourage potential customers to engage with a brand and make a purchase
- To boost sales
- To build and maintain brand reputation
Going back to the furniture marketing business case, you can adopt all of the above objectives.
What are the critical elements of a promotion strategy?
An effective promotion strategy has the following basic considerations, which I collectively call the 4Ms:
You always start with your target market. Who they are, where they are, what their needs are, and what they are looking for.
You have to communicate a clear and compelling message to your target market.
Your unique selling proposition should be the core of your message. What makes you different and better than your competitors? The message has to unequivocally convey your competitive advantage.
These are the channels of communication that can deliver your message to your target market.
These are divided into two broad categories, namely: offline and online media.
Obviously, you need money or a budget to run your promotion strategy. The promotion budget is prepared by the marketing department based on the strategy they have developed.
The promotion budget is normally determined with reference to the product lifecycle. During a product’s introduction stage, the promotion budget is at its highest level.
The budget is usually expressed as a percentage of projected sales.
What are the typical media and communication formats used in a promotional mix?
The more widely used method now is the online or digital promotion.
It can reach almost instantly the largest number of potential customers. It can also reach the widest possible geographical area.
Online promotion can be interactive thus promoting real-time engagement with the target audience/market.
Its results can be monitored in real time thus giving marketers the capability to measure the effectiveness of their promotion and to adjust their strategy accordingly for better results.
Online promotion is more cost-effective and time-efficient.
The frequently used online communication formats are the following:
- Social media
- Search network
- Display network
- Sales promotion
Offline promotion or the traditional promotion is still actively used by marketers.
It has its own merits. Not everyone is active online. There are potential customers who respond well to this type of promotion.
The common drawbacks of offline promotion include being costlier to implement, difficult to target specific segments, and quite tough to monitor its effectiveness in real time.
Some of the familiar offline communication formats include the following:
- Traditional (tv, radio, and print)
- Non-traditional (billboard, transit, poster)
- Direct marketing (direct mailer, telemarketing)
- Events marketing (trade show, conference, ground activation)
- Sales promotion
- PR and publicity
You can use a combination of the online and offline promotion in your promotional mix.
For your furniture marketing business, I would recommend a mix of website, blog, social media, newsletter, trade show, ground activation, sales promotion, and PR/publicity. This mix is cost-effective.
Whatever your promotion strategy is, it is important to develop it with due consideration of the 4Ms I have discussed above.
I welcome your questions, comments, or suggestions.
We can also discuss your other business and marketing concerns.