Having considered your basic ‘Ps’, like Product, Price, Purpose and Position, it’s time to look at Promotion. That refers to how you manage your promotions and communications, and includes things like advertising, sales promotions, PR, and direct marketing.
For as long as there have been people, there has been advertising. Evidence of this has been found dating back to around 4000 BC. If you want people to buy your product, you have to tell them about it.
Standing Out From Your Competitors
What has changed since those early days is the way in which we advertise. And now, more than ever, you really do have to think outside the square to make yourself stand out.
As a business owner, you need to be thinking in terms of promotion on a daily basis. You need to consider all the ways in which you can tell people about your product, and convince them to buy it. This is marketing – and marketing is NOT sales.
Marketing is about the actions you take to attract a potential customer, and get them to the point of sale.
Marketing Creates Prospects Defining Factors
Once prospects are created, it’s over to the sales team to clinch the deal. However, the marketing role then continues, to retain that customer.
As with most of our ‘Ps’, the way in which we define it depends on various factors, including your industry. If you sell sporting goods or services, sponsorship of a local sports club could be a great promotion. If you sell specialist tools and/or parts, your best promotional outlet could be trade magazines and enthusiast clubs.
Promotion takes many forms: paid advertising may be just one part of it. You can promote your business through social media, blogs, directories, events, and through related businesses. Your online marketing strategy might also include direct mailing.
Getting Your Message Out
It’s all about getting your message out there – because if people don’t know you exist, your business will fail.
Promotion Can Be Direct, or Subtle.
For example, a customer loyalty program is a great form of promotion. Your customers feel as if they are getting something special, so they are happy. However, the real winner is you, as the program will help retain customers, encourage them to spend more, and boost your word-of-mouth marketing.
A solid promotional campaign is essential for small to medium-sized businesses that cannot rely on brand name alone. It should not be seen as a cost, rather an investment in the future success of your venture. That old saying, ‘you’ve got to spend money to make money’ is so true!