You have heard the term ‘promotion’ from the mouth of film stars. The movie actors, after completing the movie, travel to many places and attend many events to spread the word - to tell people that there is a new movie about to be released. This act of spreading awareness about a product or service and persuading the people to buy it by showcasing its merits is called promotion.
Why Is Promotion- The Last Of The 4 Ps?
As per the marketing mix or the framework of marketing, promotion must be done after the occurrence of the first three Ps - Product, Price and Place. Without the product, there cannot be any promotion. For a promotion to work perfectly, the pricing should be done carefully. The placement or the place of selling of the product must be ready in order to cater to the demand that the Promotion actually aims at.
Promotion Vs Advertising
If promotion means spreading awareness about the product, what does advertising do? Advertising is just one form of promotion. Promotion is a much wider topic. Nokia once recalled a large number of faulty BL-4C batteries and offered the customers to replace them free of charge - under the purview of promotion because it showed to the customers that the company cares about the customers.
Objectives of Promotion
The three main objectives of promotion are:
An effective promotion strategy and its execution help to create and sustain a brand image.
Different Types of Promotions
The beauty about promotion is, it can evolve over time. The old methods of promotion are getting modified. Here are some kinds of promotions -
Digital Marketing - After the Internet emerged and especially after the Smartphone revolution came, promotions of a product started happening online. These days, whenever any new Smartphone is launched, we get to see the advertisements on the internet. Rarely do we see that Redmi or Oneplus is talking about their new Smartphone launches on the television. This use of the internet to promote products is called digital marketing. One can use Google ads, partner with popular YouTubers or take the help of content writers for digital marketing.
Social Media Marketing - Social Media Marketing is a kind of digital marketing, but it exclusively leverages sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. These sites also have paid marketing options. However, there are clever companies which leverage their huge followings to promote their product on these sites without spending a single penny.
Traditional Advertising - Traditional advertising includes advertising on television, radio or newspapers. Because of the widespread use of ad blockers, many advertisers still prefer using traditional modes of advertising. The television and radio are still used by millions of people. The newspapers can be a great advertising medium. The text-based, unhurried advertisement has its own charm. Many government notifications also come in the form of newspaper advertisements.
Word of Mouth - When Reliance Jio, first, launched its services, it did not advertise much. It just leveraged pricing of the product. And this pricing triggered the word-of-mouth promotion of its services. If I get a free SIM with unlimited internet, I would like my friends and family to know about it too. This cost-effective mode of advertisement that exists in the form of information passing from one customer to another is called word of mouth.
Direct Selling - Direct selling involves talking to a prospective directly over the phone or via SMS, email, WhatsApp or by meeting the person. This works in specific situations only. Selling insurance, loans or the task of an HR calling a prospective employee can be termed as direct selling.
Personal Selling - Much like direct selling, personal selling involves direct one to one persuasion. This is much more intimate than direct selling. An insurance agent helping a housewife to carry groceries to the home in the hope that she will buy insurance from him is a type of personal selling.
Sponsorship - The Vodafone logo on the jersey of English cricket players is a kind of promotion that falls under the category of sponsorship. Sponsorship is the act of helping a company or an organisation monetarily or by giving land, vehicles, equipment or any other kinds of resources.
PR - Public Relations is that kind of promotion where the company does not pay anything for advertisements but does something that draws attention to it. Many times celebrities intentionally do something that shocks the audience and the newsreader. They do this to promote their upcoming movies. As they say, any publicity is good publicity.
It is the last P - ‘promotion’ that has the ability to reward the maker of a product or provider of some kind of service with expected demand. Promotion, if done cleverly, can make a business prosper.