Top Ten Promotional Strategies
Product promotion can be difficult and costly, both in monies invested and in the marketing campaign’s effectiveness. We have compiled these articles to assist you in this difficult and important task. Start marketing your products/services more effectively today.
No one will buy a product or service they haven’t heard of, nor will they buy it if they don’t know what your company offers. This is why a great promotion strategy is vital to growing your business. Some companies use more than one method, while others may use different methods for different marketing purposes. Regardless of your company’s product or service, a strong set of promotional strategies can help position your company in a favorable light while opening the doors for future communication.
What Is a Promotion Strategy?
A promotion strategy is defined by the plan and tactics you implement in your marketing plan to increase your product or service demand. Promotional strategies play a vital role in the marketing mix (product, price, placement, and promotion), and they revolve around:
- Target audience. Who you are selling for, and what are their interests;
- Budget. How much you are willing to invest in promotion;
- Plan of action. What strategy you are adopting to reach your objectives and make sales.
The promotion strategy is part of the bigger picture, which is the marketing strategy. So What Is a Marketing Strategy?
The marketing strategy definition refers to any organization’s strategic planning and long-term actions to achieve defined goals.
These strategies can be inbound (pull marketing) or outbound (push marketing).
Marketing promotion strategies play four different roles that look like a funnel that leads to purchasing:
Start making your target audience aware of your brand. To build it, you must first identify the profile of the people you want to reach.
Once you get your product/service out there, create interest around it, and make people intrigued and interested while differentiating your brand from the competition.
Create product/service demand
In this step of the funnel, people will start relating emotionally to your product/service by seeing something that may benefit them.
Make them take action.
Create a way for your target audience to engage with your product/service. Place a call-to-action button on your website, emails, ads, social media profiles, or entice them with an irresistible offer. Get inspired by these sales promotion examples that work.
Rather than seeing your company as “trying to sell” something, the social network shows a company that is in touch with people on a more personal level. This can help lessen the divide between the company and the buyer, which presents a more appealing and familiar image of the company.
Mail Order Marketing
Customers who come into your business are not to be overlooked as they have already decided to purchase your product. What can be helpful is getting personal information from these customers. Offer a free product or service in exchange for the information. These customers are already familiar with your company and represent the target audience you want to market your new products to.
Product Giveaways and Samples
Product giveaways and allowing potential customers to sample a product are often used by companies to introduce new food and household products. Many of these companies sponsor in-store promotions, giving away product samples to entice the buying public into trying new products.
Point-of-Sale Promotion and End-Cap Marketing
Point-of-sale and end-cap marketing are ways of selling products and promoting items in stores. The idea behind this promotional strategy is convenience and impulse. The end cap, which sits at the end of aisles in grocery stores, features products a store wants to promote or move quickly. This product is positioned, so it is easily accessible to the customer.
Point-of-sale is a way to promote new products or products a store needs to move. These items are placed near the checkout in the store and are often purchased by consumers on impulse as they wait to be checked out.
Customer Referral Incentive Program
The customer referral incentive program is a way to encourage current customers to refer new customers to your store. Free products, big discounts, and cash rewards are some of the incentives you can use. This is a promotional strategy that leverages your customer base as a sales force.
Causes and Charity
Promoting your products while supporting a cause can be an effective promotional strategy. Giving customers a sense of being a part of something larger simply using products they might use anyway creates a win/win situation. You get the customers and the socially conscious image; customers get a product they can use and the sense of helping a cause. One way to do this is to give a percentage of product profit to the cause your company has committed to helping.
Branded Promotional Gifts
Giving away functional branded gifts can be a more effective promotional move than handing out simple business cards. Put your business card on a magnet, ink pen, or key chain. These are gifts you can give your customers that they may use, which keeps your business in plain sight rather than in the trash or in a drawer with other business cards the customer may not look at.
Blog or Website
More and more consumers are turning to the Internet to research products and services before making a purchase. Setting up a website to advertise your business is easy and inexpensive if you use a free WordPress business theme and create your own content for articles and blogs. Learn the basics of search engine optimization to help your website move up the search engine rankings, so your business appears on the first page of search results for your industry and location, such as “Phoenix-area plumbers.”
Donating your time or services is a great way to contribute to the community and receive some free or low-cost advertising—volunteer to cook at charity barbecues and wear a shirt and hat bearing your business’s name. Sponsor a local sports team and display your logo on the players’ jerseys. Product-based businesses get local publicity by donating an item for a raffle prize or silent auction bid. The key is to ensure your generosity receives publicity, such as either an article or great photos in your local newspaper.
Your knowledge and experience are the best advertisements for your business. Build your reputation as a local expert whose business is up-to-date and offers the best solutions for customers by issuing press releases in your local media. Tell your community about new equipment, facilities, or developments in your business through articles in print and online media. Offer to speak at local workshops, conferences, or trade shows. If you enjoy writing, suggest a weekly column to your area newspaper.
What is promotion, and what are the key elements of a promotional mix?
Promotion is an attempt by marketers to inform, persuade, or remind consumers and B2B users to influence their opinion or elicit a response. Most firms use some form of promotion. Because company goals vary widely, so do promotional strategies. The goal is to stimulate action from the people or organizations of a target market. In a profit-oriented firm, the desired action is for the consumer to buy the promoted item. Mrs. Smith, for instance, wants people to buy more frozen pies. Not-for-profit organizations seek a variety of actions with their promotions. They tell us not to litter, buckle up, join the military, or attend the ballet. (These are examples of products that are ideas marketed to specific target markets.)
Promotional goals include creating awareness, getting people to try products, providing information, retaining loyal customers, increasing the use of products, identifying potential customers, and teaching potential service clients what is needed to “co-create” the services provided. Any promotional campaign may seek to achieve one or more of these goals:
- Creating awareness: All too often, firms go out of business because people don’t know they exist or what they do. Small restaurants often have this problem. Simply putting up a sign and opening the door is rarely enough. Promotion through ads on social media platforms and local radio or television, coupons in local papers, flyers, and so forth can create awareness of a new business or product.Large companies often use catchy slogans to build brand awareness. For example, Dodge’s wildly successful ads where a guy in a truck yells over to another truck at a stoplight, “Hey, that thing got a Hemi?” has created a huge number of new customers for Dodge trucks. Hemi has become a brand within a brand. Now, Chrysler is extending the Hemi engine to the Jeep brand, hoping for the same success.
- Getting consumers to try products: Promotion is almost always used to get people to try a new product or get nonusers to try an existing product. Sometimes free samples are given away. Lever, for instance, mailed over two million free samples of its Lever 2000 soap to targeted households. Coupons and trial-size containers of products are also common tactics used to tempt people to try a product. Celebrities are also used to get people to try products. Oprah Winfrey, for example, recently partnered with Kraft Heinz to launch a new line of refrigerated soups and side dishes made with no artificial flavors or dyes. Kate Murphy, director of strategic partnerships at the social marketing platform Crowdtap, weighed in on the strategy. “Celebrity endorsements can provide immense value to a product/brand when done right,” Murphy said. “If a celebrity aligns with a product, they bring a level of trust and familiarity to the table.”
- Providing information: Informative promotion is more common in the early stages of the product life cycle. An informative promotion may explain what ingredients (for example, fiber) will do for a consumer’s health, describe why the product is better (for example, high-definition television versus regular television), inform the customer of a new low price, or explain where the item may be purchased.People typically will not buy a product or support a not-for-profit organization until they know what it will do and how it may benefit them. Thus, an informative ad may stimulate interest in a product. Consumer watchdogs and social critics applaud the informative function of promotion because it helps consumers make more intelligent purchase decisions. StarKist, for instance, lets customers know that its tuna is caught in dolphin-safe nets.
- Keeping loyal customers: Promotion is also used to keep people from switching brands. Slogans such as Campbell’s soups are “M’m! M’m! Good!” and “Intel Inside” remind consumers about the brand. Marketers also remind users that the brand is better than the competition. For years, Pepsi has claimed it has the taste that consumers prefer. Southwest Airlines brags that customers’ bags fly free. Such advertising reminds customers about the quality of the product or service.Firms can also help keep customers loyal by telling them when a product or service is improved. Domino’s recently aired candid advertisements about the quality of their product and completely revamped their delivery operations to improve their service. This included advertisements highlighting a Domino’s pizza delivered by reindeer in Japan and by drone in New Zealand. According to University of Maryland marketing professor Roland Rust, “delivery” stands out in how Domino’s has broadly improved its quality, and “the customized delivery vehicles are a competitive advantage.”
- Increasing the amount and frequency of use: Promotion is often used to get people to use more of a product and use it more often. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association reminds Americans to “Eat More Beef.” The most popular promotion to increase the use of a product may be frequent-flyer or -user programs. The Marriott Rewards program awards points for each dollar spent at a Marriott property. At the Platinum level, members receive a guaranteed room, an upgrade to the property’s finest available accommodations, access to the concierge lounge, a free breakfast, free local phone calls, and various other goodies.
- Identifying target customers: Promotion helps find customers. One way to do this is to list a website as part of the promotion. For instance, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek promotions regularly include web addresses for more information on computer systems, corporate jets, color copiers, and other types of business equipment to help target those who are truly interested. Fidelity Investments ads trumpet, “Solid investment opportunities are out there,” and then direct consumers to go to http://www.fidelity.com. A full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal for Sprint unlimited wireless service invites potential customers to visit http://www.sprint.com. These websites typically will ask for your e-mail address when you seek additional information.
- Teaching the customer: For service products, it is often imperative to actually teach the potential client the reasons for certain parts of a service. In services, the service providers work with customers to perform the service. This is called “co-creation.” For example, an engineer will need to spend extensive time with team members from a client company and actually teach the team members what the design process will be, how the interaction of getting information for the design will work, and at what points each part of the service will be delivered so that ongoing changes can be made to the design. For services products, this is more involved than just providing information—it is actually teaching the client.
Find the most effective product promotional methods that work for your budget and personality. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact RapidPage.ca today.
Article compiled by RapidPage.ca