Promotion Management: Introduction, Integrated Marketing Communications
Promotion is a type of communication between the buyer and the seller. The seller tries to persuade the buyer to purchase their goods or services through promotions. It helps in making the people aware of a product, service or a company. It also helps to improve the public image of a company. This method of marketing may also create interest in the minds of buyers and can also generate loyal customers.
It is one of the basic elements of the market mix, which includes the four P’s: price, product, promotion, and place. It is also one of the elements in the promotional mix or promotional mix or promotional plan. These are personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing publicity and may also include event marketing, exhibitions, and trade shows.
Types of Promotion
Advertising means to advertise a product, service or a company with the help of television, radio or social media. It helps in spreading awareness about the company, product or service. Advertising is communicated through various mass media, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages.
- Direct Marketing
Direct marketing is a form of advertising where organizations communicate directly to customers through a variety of media including cell phone text messaging, email, websites, online adverts, database marketing, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters and targeted television, newspaper and magazine advertisements as well as outdoor advertising. Among practitioners, it is also known as a direct response.
- Sales Promotion
Sales promotion uses both media and non-media marketing communications for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability.
- Personal Selling
The sale of a product depends on the selling of a product. Personal Selling is a method where companies send their agents to the consumer to sell the products personally. Here, the feedback is immediate and they also build a trust with the customer which is very important.
- Public Relation
Public relation or PR is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public. A successful PR campaign can be really beneficial to the brand of the organization.
INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
An approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign, through a well-coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other.
As defined by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, integrated marketing communications “… recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion and combines them to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.”
It is essential for organizations to promote their brands well among the end-users not only to outshine competitors but also survive in the long run. Brand promotion increases awareness of products and services and eventually increases their sales, yielding high profits and revenue for the organization.
Integrated marketing communication refers to integrating all the methods of brand promotion to promote a particular product or service among target customers. In integrated marketing communication, all aspects of marketing communication work together for increased sales and maximum cost effectiveness.
Components of Integrated Marketing Communication:
(i) The Foundation: As the name suggests, foundation stage involves detailed analysis of both the product as well as target market. It is essential for marketers to understand the brand, its offerings and end-users. You need to know the needs, attitudes and expectations of the target customers. Keep a close watch on competitor’s activities.
(ii) The Corporate Culture: The features of products and services ought to be in line with the work culture of the organization. Every organization has a vision and it’s important for the marketers to keep in mind the same before designing products and services. Let us understand it with the help of an example.
Organization A‘s vision is to promote green and clean world. Naturally its products need to be eco friendly and biodegradable, in lines with the vision of the organization.
(iii) Brand Focus: Brand Focus represents the corporate identity of the brand.
(iv) Consumer Experience: Marketers need to focus on consumer experience which refers to what the customers feel about the product. A consumer is likely to pick up a product which has good packaging and looks attractive. Products need to meet and exceed customer expectations.
(v) Communication Tools: Communication tools include various modes of promoting a particular brand such as advertising, direct selling, promoting through social media such as facebook, twitter, orkut and so on.
(vi) Promotional Tools: Brands are promoted through various promotional tools such as trade promotions, personal selling and so on. Organizations need to strengthen their relationship with customers and external clients.
(vii) Integration Tools: Organizations need to keep a regular track on customer feedbacks and reviews. You need to have specific software like customer relationship management (CRM) which helps in measuring the effectiveness of various integrated marketing communications tools.
Integrated marketing communication enables all aspects of marketing mix to work together in harmony to promote a particular product or service effectively among end-users.