It is almost impossible to think about the products that are sold without promotion. Most of the products are made for the masses so that advertising and promotion are essential for them to be sold.
It is the promotion that informs the consumer about the other elements of the marketing mix i.e. product, price, and place. It is commonly considered that promotion is the term used for advertising only. It is not true. There are various other functions besides advertising that are performed in the promotion.
In Advertising, the promotional activities are known as above the line or ATL activities. These activities include advertising on television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and internet, etc.
In Sales Promotion, the promotional activities are known as below the line or BTL activities. These activities include free samples, point of sale display, point of sale demonstration, free coupons, etc.
The Aims of Promotion
Most businesses use promotional activities for their products. In promotional activities, there is one thing common that these activities are carried out to increase awareness and to increase sales. Some of the aims of the promotional activities are discussed below:
Increase in Sales
Promotional activities are often carried out to increase sales for a short period of time.
Brand image is created by advertising but awareness is given to the people through promotional activities.
New Product Promotion
Most of the time when any new product is launched in the market, promotional activities are carried out to penetrate the market to create awareness of that new product.
When competition increases in the market, promotional activities are carried out to deal with the competition and get the extra mile on competitors.
Different Forms of Promotion and How They Influence Sales
There are mainly two methods that are being used in product or brand promotion i.e. Advertising and Sales Promotion.
There are various types of advertising and sales promotion that are being used. Some of them are discussed below in detail.
There are two main types of advertising informative or persuasive. In informative information, it is tried to inform the consumer about the product that is being advertised while in persuasive advertising it is tried to focus on the consumer needs and to make him understand that this product is the only solution for your problems and you should buy it at your earliest.
There are different mediums of advertising that are being discussed below:
It is one of the most effective ways of advertising. Through TV Advertising, the message could be reached to millions of people in a very short time period. It is effective as it has strong visual effects as well. One disadvantage is that it is a very expensive way to advertise the product.
It is also a very effective way of advertising and message could be delivered to thousands of people but it is not as expensive as television. The disadvantage is that its reach is less than TV Advertising and there are no visuals in Radio Advertising.
Advertising in News Papers
Advertising in newspapers is also used widely by business organizations. In national newspapers, there is a much higher reach than any local newspaper. On the other hand, advertising in the local newspaper is cheaper but has a very limited reach. In newspaper advertising, there is a possibility that product specifications can be given in detail. Some of the disadvantages can also be included as most of the ads are published in black and white so they lose their attraction. Sometimes newspaper ads are so small in size so most people ignore them.
Advertising in Magazines
Advertising in magazines is comparatively expensive than newspapers but there is a chance that producers can have more focus on the target audiences as sports lovers will buy sports magazines while people who take interest in politics will try to read the political analysis in different political magazines. Fashion lovers will choose fashion magazines etc. The main disadvantage is that most of the magazines published once or twice a month and not on a daily basis like newspapers so that people forget the ads quickly.
Advertising on the Internet
The Internet is a comparatively new way of advertising. The producer can place ads on different websites where visitors' traffic is high. Now orders can also be placed via the internet and mail sent through the internet i.e. e-mail is a very cheap way of correspondence. The disadvantages of advertising on the internet include security issues that discourage customers to buy online. There is very high competition on the internet and lots of websites to visit so that there is a chance that consumers may miss the ads.
Sales promotion is used to support the advertising and the activities done in sales promotion are commonly known as Below-The-Line activities. Sales promotional activities are carried out for a short time period to increase sales like a discount sale on the summer collection or winter collection of any fashion brand.
It is one of the most common examples of sales promotion. We can easily observe this method used in the fashion business especially when the season ends.
Point of Sale Display or Demonstration
Sometimes, sales promotional activities are carried out in supermarkets where the method of point of sale display is used. Sometimes, company representatives or brand representatives are also appointed at the point of sale to promote brands and to engage consumers.
Buy One Get One Free
This method is used to encourage multiple sales.
After Sales Services
Sometimes with expensive products like cars, branded computers, etc., it is assured to the customers that there is a good after-sales service available for them. It is a big hesitation of the customers that after-sales service will be available for their chosen products or not. If good after-sales service is assured to customers, it will be easy for them to make buying decisions.
The Need for Cost-Effectiveness in Spending the Marketing Budget
After deciding the form of advertising i.e. advertising or sales promotional activities, it is also important to decide what should be the marketing budget. It is one of the critical and important decisions to take for the growth of the business. If there is not a big budget for advertising or sales promotion, it will not be possible for the producer to launch an advertising campaign on television. In that case, advertising in magazines and newspapers will be a better option.
It is because the cost-effectiveness in the marketing budget is important. The marketing department of the business organization will analyze how much spending should be sufficient. It is also important to estimate the percentage of sales increase after a certain amount of budget spent on advertising or promotional activities.