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Promotion Strategies
A successful product or service means nothing unless the benefit of such a service can be communicated clearly to the target market. An organisations promotional strategy can consist of:

  • Advertising:Is any non personal paid form of communication using any form of mass media.
  • Public Relations:Involves developing positive relationships with the organisation media public. The art of good public relations is not only to obtain favorable publicity within the media, but it is also involves being able to handle successfully negative attention.
  • Sales Promotion:Commonly used to obtain an increase in sales short term. Could involve using money off coupons or special offers.
  • Personal Selling:Selling a product service one to one.
  • Direct Mail:Is the sending of publicity material to a named person within an organisation. There has been a massive growth in direct mail campaigns over the last 5 years. Spending on direct mail now amounts to £18 bn a year representing 11.8% of advertising expenditure ( Source: Royal Mail 2000).  Organisations can pay thousands of pounds for databases, which contain names and addresses of potential customers. Direct mail allows an organisation to use their resources more effectively by allowing them to send publicity material to a named person within their target segment. By personalising advertising, response rates increase thus increasing the chance of improving sales.  Listed below are links to organisation who's business involves direct mail.

Message & Media Strategy
An effective communication campaign should comprise of a well thought out message strategy. What message are you trying to put accross to your target audience?. How will you deliver that message? Will it be through the appropiate use of branding? logos or slogan design?. The message should reinforce the benefit of the product and should also help the company in developing the positioning strategy of the product. Companies with effective message strategies include:

Nike: Just do it.
Toyota: The car in front is a Toyota.

Media strategy refers to how the organisation is going to deliver their message. What aspects of the promotional mix will the company use to deliver their message strategy. Where will they promote? Clearly the company must take into account the readership and general behaviour of their target audience before they select their media strategy. What newspapers do their target market read? What TV programmes do they watch? Effective targeting of their media campaign could save the company on valuable financial resources.

Push & Pull Strategies
Communication by the manufacturer is not only directed towards consumers to create demand. A push strategy is where the manufacturer concentrates some of their marketing effort on promoting their product to retailers to convince them to stock the product. A combination of promotional mix strategies are used at this stage aimed at the retailer including personal selling, and direct mail. The product is pushed onto the retailer, hence the name. A pull strategy is based around the manufacturer promoting their product amongst the target market to create demand. Consumers pull the product through the distribution channel forcing the wholesaler and retailer to stock it, hence the name pull strategy. Organisations tend to use both push and pull strategies to create demand from retailers and consumers.

Communication Model - AIDA

AIDA is a communication model which can be used by firms to aid them in selling their product or services. AIDA is an Acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.. When a product is launched the first goal is to grab attention. Think, how can an organisation use it skills to do this? Use well-known personalities to sell products? Once you grab attention how can you hold Interest, through promoting features, clearly stating the benefit the product has to offer? The third stage is desire, how can you make the product desirable to the consumer? By demonstrating it? The final stage is the purchase action, if the company has been successful with its strategy then the target customer should purchase the product.

Promotion through the Product lifecycle
As products move through the four stages of the product lifecycle different promotional strategies should be employed at these stages to ensure the healthy success and life of the product .

Stages and Promotion Strategies Employed.
When a product is new the organisations objective will be to inform the target audience of its entry. Television, radio, magazine, coupons etc may be used to push the product through the introduction stage of the lifecycle. Push and Pull Strategies will be used at this crucial stage.

Growth
As the product becomes accepted by the target market the organisation at this stage of the lifecycle the organisation works on the strategy of further increasing brand awareness to encourage loyalty.

Maturity
At this stage with increased competition the organisation take persuasive tactics to encourage the consumers to purchase their product over their rivals. Any differential advantage will be clearly communicated to the target audience to inform of their benefit over their competitors.

Decline

As the product reaches the decline stage the organisation will use the strategy of reminding people of the product to slow the inevitable.

Internet Promotion
The development of the world wide web has changed the business environment forever. Dot com fever has taken the industry and stock markets by storm. The e-commerce revolution promises to deliver a more efficient way of conducting business. Shoppers can now purchase from the comfort of their home 24 hours a day 7 days a week. However, particularly in the UK the e-commerce revolution is hindered by two factors. Firstly the cost of logging on to the net. Consumers are still weary of the time-spent surfing, the  high cost is slowing down the take-up. The number of homes that are linked to the web in the UK is only 25% of all house owner. If e-commerce businesses are to succeed the home penetration rate of internet access must also increase. Secondly, most homes are linked to modems of 56K. As the growth of people signing on-line grows the access speed slows down. In America most consumers only spend 10 seconds browsing on a web page, before they change sites, within the UK it is 2 minutes. The future seems to be with ADSL networks which will speed up access to the Internet dramatically running at 512K per second. However, again whether this format is adapted depends much on the cost.

Owning a website is a now a crucial ingredient to the marketing mix strategy of an organisation. Consumers can now obtain instant information on products or services to aid them in their crucial purchase decision.  Sony Japan took pre-orders of their popular Playstaion 2 console over the net, which topped a 1 million after a few days,  European football stars are now issuing press releases over the web with the sites registered under their own names. Hit rates are phenomenal.