Setting Promotional Goals in Marketing

You cannot accomplish everything with your Promotion (advertising; sales promotion; personal selling; marketing PR)  Knowing the main goals of Promotion will help you understand and decide which is most important.

Creating awareness – and preference

Every year many firms go out of business simply because their target segment (customers) never hears about them or what they have to offer.  Product awareness also plays a major role in distribution strategy.

Wholesalers, for example, are unwilling to stock products that are unknown to consumers and retailers.  Supermarket chains generally refuse to stock a new product unless the producer backs it with a big promotion budget.  According to one expert, approximately 90 percent of new products are withdrawn from the market within two to three years.  “In most cases, failures were the result of a lack of product recognition.

Providing information

Many promotion activities are undertaken to provide information.

Consumers and organisational buyers often want specific information about complex product construction, ingredients, and uses-to help reduce the perceived risk in buying such products.  Marketers must provide informative ads about the firm, product warranty, and service facilities.  Informative ads, brochures, folders, and store demonstrations also help inform target customers about changes in well-accepted products.

Explaining the organisation’s actions

Organisations need to explain their actions to people who believe those actions affect them.  Failure to do this can lead to misinterpretation, distrust, or open hostility.

Inducing product trials

Promotion is used to induce people to try products.  The aim is to motivate rather than inform target markets. Getting action rather than awareness often requires different promotional appeals.  Some types of direct marketing, coupons, reduced prices, samples, and contests are examples of efforts that can help get people to make trial purchases.

Inducing intermediaries to stock a product

Wholesalers may have to be persuaded that demand exists or can be stimulated before they will agree to stock a new product.  Retailers also want information on the promotion efforts producers and wholesalers will undertake to stimulate consumer demand before they will stock a new product.  Thus producers must decide about the relative advantages of push and pull promotion strategies.

Communicating with intermediaries requires information and appeals different from those required in communicating with final buyers, because intermediaries buy for resale.  They want to know about cooperative advertising arrangements (in which producers share promotion costs with intermediaries), replacement of stale stock, shelf-space requirements and profit potential.

Retaining loyal customers

To discourage brand switching and to reduce the chance that a brand name will become a generic name, marketers must communicate with customers who use their brands.  This requires marketers to:-

* remind customers that the brand is still available;

* show customers that the brand’s benefits are superior to those of rivals;

* inform customers of changes in the brand that make it better than rivals’;

* perhaps offer added value (premiums) for using the brand, such as T-shirt giveaways;

* remind customers that the brand name is not a generic name for the product category.

Increasing amount and frequency of use

A major objective of many promotion efforts is to increase the amount and frequency of use of the product.  Airline frequent-flyer programs and hotel/motel frequent-guest programs are examples.

Reducing sales fluctuations

Many products have fluctuating demand patterns.  When sales are affected by climate, season and holidays, problems can arise with production scheduling, shipping, inventory management, and financial and personnel requirements.

Utilities like water and electricity promote the use of electricity during periods of relatively low demand and lesser use during periods of high demand.


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