Summary

Companies must do more than deliver good products and services - they have to inform customers about product benefits and carefully position these in customers' minds. They do this by skilfully employing mass promotions to target specific buyers. The three mass-promotion tools are advertising, sales promotion and public relations.

Advertising is the use of paid media by a seller to inform, persuade and remind target audiences about its products or organization. It is a powerful promotion tool. Advertisements take many forms and have many uses. Advertising decision making is a five-step process consisting of decisions about the objectives, the budget, the message, the media and, finally, the evaluation of results. Advertisers should set clear objectives as to whether the advertising is supposed to inform, persuade or remind buyers. The advertising budget can be 1.

based on what is affordable, on a percentage of sales, on competitors' spending, or on the objectives and tasks to be accomplished. Message decisions involve planning the message strategy - designing messages, evaluating and selecting them -and executing them effectively. The media decision calls for a definition of reach, frequency and impact goals; choosing chief media types; selecting media vehicles; 2

and deciding on media timing. Finally, evaluation calls for evaluating the communication and sales effects of advertising before, during and after the advertising is placed. Companies that advertise their products in different country markets can apply the basic principles relating to domestic advertising, but they must take 3

into account the complexities involved in international advertising. They must '

address the similarities and differencesTri customer needs and buying behaviour, as well as cultural, sociocconomic, political and regulatory environments across country markets, which will affect the decision to standardize or differentiate advertising strategies and executions.

Sales promotion covers a wide variety of purchasing incentives - coupons, premiums, contests, buying allowances - designed to stimulate consumers, the trade and the company's own sales force. In general, sales promotions should be about consumer relationship building. In many countries, sales promotion spending has been growing faster than advertising spending in recent years. Sales promotion calls for setting sales promotion objectives; selecting tools; developing, pretesting and implementing the sales promotion programme; and evaluating the 1.

results.

Organizations use public relations to obtain favourable publicity, to build up a good 'corporate image' and to handle or head off unfavourable rumours, stories and events. Public relations involves setting PR objectives, choosing PR messages and vehicles, implementing the PR plan and evaluating PR results. To accomplish these goals, PR professionals use a variety of tools, such as news, speeches and special events. Or they communicate with various publics through written, audiovisual and corporate identity materials, and contribute money and time to public relations activities.

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