A clever marketing-mix plan is essential for success in any business, be it in B2B segment or B2C. It is important to grow rapidly in today’s business environment that all 7Ps – Product, Placement, Price, Promotion, People, Processes and Physical Evidence – are well imbibed in business practices. However, among other Ps of marketing mix, promotion (or say branding & advertising) usually gets slightly overlooked. The reason behind this is that when you spend on developing a product or distributing it effectively, the results are measurable. However, when you spend on promotional activities, the impact is less tangible. Can you imagine a chair with 3 legs? I think No! The same way a stable and successful business is not possible without equally important leg – “Promotion”.
P. T. Barnum, an American politician, showman and businessman once said “Without promotion, something terrible happens…Nothing.” So if you are looking to strengthen your brand positioning in the market and make your ideas happen, here’s how the 4th “P” can help you:
1. Building brand awareness
When you are introducing a new brand in the market you need to inform your potential customers that now they have a new solution available. Whether you want to talk about your brand’s values, features or benefits, promotion is most crucial to build awareness when you are new in the market. You may have amazing product but unless and until you shout, who is going to know about it?
2. Building brand positioning & recall
Positioning your brand means creating a unique, credible and sustainable position in the minds of customers; an identity, which can be clearly differentiated from those of competitors. For example, Ford is positioned as an economic car brand, whereas Rolls Royce is positioned as a luxurious and high-end car brand. Such positioning can be realized through continuous branding activity. Further, promotion also helps you generate strong brand recall, which means your brand name will pop up in the minds of customers whenever they are buying a product from your brand category.
3. Boosting sales & revenue
One of the most substantial roles of promotion is to boost demand for your product or service and in turn revenue. This objective is achieved by introducing various promotional offers. From offering discounts to doling out freebies, there are uncountable ways of devising a promotional scheme. Which strategy is most suitable tends to depend upon factors like your product/service, your objective and competition.
4. Encouraging reluctant customers
Promotional schemes can also be utilised to attract new customers to try a product or service for the first time. Or it can be vice-a-versa, inviting loyal customers to try a new product or service. If you have opened a gym and you offer free personal training sessions, people concerned for fitness would definitely want to give it a try.
5. Building loyalty & trust
Promotion is a widely used medium to convert repeat customers into loyal customers. Brands across various segments endeavour to retain customers by luring them through loyalty programs, reward point programs and more such unique privileges and incentives. If I give you water from tap and you have an option to drink from a local mineral water brand, you will select the second one right? Now If I give you Bisleri brand and you have local brand as option, which one will you select? If your answer is Bisleri, you can understand the power of branding.
6. Creating a socially responsible brand
You can create a positive image for your brand by executing a promotional activity that supports a cause. For example, if you wish to educate children from underprivileged class, you can announce under a promotional scheme that a part of the purchase made by customers will be donated to support the cause.
I have met clients who have invested in a new production plant worth 150 Million but reluctant to spend 1 million in advertising & promotion of a FMCG product. In business one need to understand that marketing or promotion is an investment and not an expenditure.
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