What is promotion?
Promotion, also referred to as integrated marketing communications, is the process of an organization communicating information about their brand and products to the marketplace (note: in marketing, the marketplace includes customers, stakeholders and the public).
The Main Types of promotion
Promotion can take several forms, with the most common forms of promotion being:
- Public Relations,
- Sales Promotion,
- Direct Marketing and
- Personal Selling.
Organizations will usually use a combination of these methods to achieve their promotional goals and marketing objectives.
What is Advertising?
Advertising is any paid form of mass communication about a product or brand. An example of advertising could be a commercial on television or radio or an ad in a newspaper.
The main advantage of advertising is that it is able to reach an extremely large audience, for a relatively small price per viewer. It is very effective for building a strong brand.
A main limitation of advertising is that it is difficult and time consuming to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. Another limitation is that it is impossible to personalize the promotional message for individuals.
What is Public Relations?
Public relations is also a form of mass communication, like advertising. However, whereas advertising focuses on a company’s products and services, public relations is concerned with the reputation and image of the organization as a whole.
Public relations can be defined as communication between an organization and its publics to achieve mutual understanding. In marketing terms, ‘publics’ refers to both customers and non-customers (shareholders, financial investors, employees, media groups, and the general public).
Some examples of public relations include: press releases sent out to media outlets, and press conferences.The main advantage of public relations is that it is very cost effective. Methods such as press releases allow companies to distribute their intended message at a very low cost, often for free. Another advantage of public relations promotion is that it is often perceived to be more credible and objective than advertising.
The main limitation of public relations is that it often relies on the cooperation of news media groups in order for distribution. This can lead to limited exposure, for example, professionals working in news media will sometimes believe press releases to be attempts for free advertising and decide not to publish them.
What is a Sales Promotion?
Another type of promotion for a firm is known as a sales promotion. Sales promotion refers to temporary incentives offered to customers or resellers with the goal of increasing demand of a product. Common examples of sales promotion are: temporary discounts on products and free samples.
The main advantage of sales promotion is that is can increase sales in periods of low demand. For example, a swimsuit company may increase demand in the winter months through the use of sale promotion.
The main limitation of sales promotion that if used too regularly, customers may come to expect sales promotions and wait for promotions before purchasing products. This could lead to a decrease in sales whenever sales promotions are not available.
What is direct marketing?
As implied by the name, direct marketing is any promotion “directly" targeted to consumer. Direct marketing includes direct mail, email, some forms of the selling and even direct response advertising.
Direct marketing allows the consumer to directly respond or interact with the firm regarding the offer they have received.
What is Personal Selling?
Personal selling is also a form of promotion. Personal selling refers to direct person-to-person communication between sellers and potential customers with the aim of persuading customers to purchase products.
The main advantage of personal selling is that it can be personally tailored to every individual customer. Additionally, the communication can continuously be adjusted according to feedback being received.
The main limitation of personal selling is that it has limited reach and usually only one customer can be communicated with at a time. It is also not cost effective, as the seller must give all their time and resources to one customer for a period of time it is a very expensive and time consuming form of promotion. Therefore, it is typically more suitable for higher margin products.