Marketing promotion is the action a brand uses to entice or persuade a specific audience to take some form of action. Unlike advertising, the marketing promotion definition requires some manner of incentive on behalf of the business to meet a particular objective, like increases in sales or brand awareness.
Promotional marketing requires experienced handling to produce desired results, but a lack of experience or knowledge can lead to poor outcomes. Correctly utilizing various activities can spread knowledge and awareness about companies, products, and services among a wide range of potential buyers.
What Is Promotion in Marketing?
The definition of promotion in marketing is any marketing communication that alerts target audiences about a business’s products, services, and brandings. It helps marketers use persuasiveness and other techniques or channels to increase company awareness, generate sales, create brand interest, or develop brand loyalty.
Promotion is an aspect of marketing, which is the process of putting goods and services in front of an audience. Marketing is analytical, whereas promotion is persuasive. Marketing includes evaluating consumers’ needs and competing companies and products to create, test, and launch a particular product or service.
Types of Marketing Promotion
Marketing promotions can occur at a physical location, such as a trade show, concert, retail establishment, or another area where a brand representative can engage with the public. Companies can initiate immediate purchases with customers by having a promotional model or brand representative work in the field.
The promotion can include sale prices, coupon discounts, free giveaways, or sweepstakes. With face-to-face interactions with the public, the brand representative can make valuable connections with consumers, helping generate brand loyalty.
Traditional media includes print magazines, television spots, radio, cold calls, and billboard advertisements. Instead of focusing on a target audience, traditional media allows businesses to promote goods and services across a broader spectrum.
These channels generate brand interest and sales, but they are not as effective with consumers as they once were. Modern consumers interact more in digital environments, so promotions work better under those channels.
The internet, social media, and social networking encompass digital media. With the expansion of digital media, consumers and brands can easily interact without in-person interactions.
About 40% of the world’s population is online in some capacity. Digital marketing allows businesses to access a broad scope of people they otherwise wouldn’t reach through traditional media.
Social media is a highly effective marketing tool if you know how to use it. Not only can companies educate the public on their merchandise, services, and brand, but they can also engage in conversations with their audience. Businesses can create targeted ads online through third-parties to generate leads and garner new sales.
Purpose of Promotional Marketing
The four Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. Understanding these elements will help you create a marketing mix or tactics a business uses to put a service or product on the market.
The objective of promotional marketing is five-fold:
- Promote New Goods or Services: No one will know about a new product or service unless a company uses a promotional marketing campaign across various channels to alert the public of its existence and availability. Even if a new product is similar to something currently on the market, promotional marketing will help a brand find or create a niche.
- Develop Company’s Brand Image: Your company’s name, logo, reputation, products, and services are all part of its image. By making each of these aspects easily recognizable through branding and promotion, the business will stand apart from competitors.
- Inform Customers: The more information consumers have about products and services, the more likely they will purchase them. Marketing promotion will alert consumers about improvements to your services or features of new developments in a compelling way.
- Lead the Competition: Competition is fierce among many industries and fields. Promotions will give you a long-term competitive edge to help you stay at the forefront of customers’ minds over other businesses.
- Turn Audiences into Paying Customers: Promotional campaigns convert business leads into loyal paying customers.
Types of Promotional Marketing To Explore
Promotion falls into five basic categories: personal selling, advertising, direct marketing, publicity, and sales promotion. Before you create a promotion, you must understand the product or service’s unique selling points (USPs). USPs separate your business from competitors and show how consumers can benefit from whatever your company offers them.
You also have to learn about who your ideal customer is by creating a customer profile. Think about who your target customer is, where they are more likely to see your promotion, and how they may prefer to engage with your business.
With that information, along with your USPs, your company can develop a multi-staged marketing promotion strategy using the following methods:
- Personal Selling: Forging relationships between consumers and brands is usually expensive but effective. It includes personal engagements with people during one-on-one conversations in person or over the phone.
- Advertising: Brand recognition relies heavily on advertisements across traditional and digital media. Adverts use targeted messages to reach new and existing customers to promote goods and develop a brand image.
- Direct Marketing: Direct marketing uses messaging to reach small, specific groups through social medial, email, postal mail, and SMS marketing.
- Sales Promotions: Sales promotions encourages purchasing to improve a company’s short-term bottom line by offering customers discounts, coupons, quick sales, prizes, loyalty programs, and other incentives.
- Public Relations: A positive, engaging brand makes a company appear more trustworthy to the public eye. A successful PR campaign can establish a favorable brand reputation through social media, interviews, and press conferences.
Objectives of Promotional Marketing Strategies
A promotional strategy is a plan and action that a company takes to execute a marketing plan. It is a critical component in the marketing mix because it identifies the audience, sets the budget for the promotion, and implements a plan of action to reach short-term and long-term business objectives.
The promotional strategy is part of the marketing strategy. By definition, a marketing strategy is the planning and long-term actions a business takes to achieve objectives. These strategies fall into two categories: inbound or pull marketing and outbound or push marketing.
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
Inbound marketing creates brand awareness and business leads using content marketing, social media, blogs, events, etc. The approach uses organic leads to garner actionable brand attention.
Inbound marketing methods don’t appear to be overly promotional or aggressively persuasive. Instead, they focus more on creating a brand, service, or product interest by educating and entertaining potential customers.
Outbound marketing is more traditional. It encompasses everything from sales calls to television commercials. The promotions are more blatant and encourage quick action to drive sales. As a result, companies have a lower ROI with outbound marketing because they don’t offer many opportunities to build relationships with consumers.
Effective Promotional Marketing Strategies
Every brand or company that wants to experience growth and longevity needs a professional website to display a bulk of their content to generate more leads. Content marketing consists of everything from blog posts to paid advertisements to videos and images.
Competition is challenging for many companies because services and products often overlap. Few industries are a minor enough niche to have little to no competitors. As such, it’s necessary to take appropriate steps to set a brand as the leader over another company’s goods and services.
Content marketing is an effective way to accomplish that goal. It’s a marketing strategy that uses high-quality content to inform customers and compel them to buy from your business. It allows companies to educate audiences about their products, services, and other relevant business topics.
With content marketing, potential customers will view your company as an expert in your respective field. By giving them valuable information, they will be more likely to trust you and seek your company when they need particular services or items.
Though you can use content marketing to create blogs, landing pages, white pages, how-to lists, and guides on your website, you can also use them for:
- Social media posts
- Sponsor ads
Email marketing has the potential to reach international customers, both new and repeat. Through this marketing channel, you can deliver a broad range of information to a brand’s target audience, including news updates, product information, discounts, and sales notices.
As both an inbound and outbound marketing promotion tool, brands can build lasting relationships with consumers using focused content relating to their interest in products or services.
Everyone loves a reasonable price. Whether your business offers free samples or the occasional sale, promotions prove to be an excellent example of inbound marketing for product-selling brands.
Some promotions create repetition between customers and businesses. Regular sales encourage shoppers to frequent a particular store for savings. Coupons entice consumers to purchase services or items during specific timeframes with a sense of urgency.
Free samples, trials, and demos work the same way. By giving customers a small offering of something for free, they are more likely to repeat the pleasant experience by paying for the actual product or service. For example, a free cookie sample could cause someone to buy an entire pack of cookies.
Social Media Marketing
As of 2021, more than 3.96 billion people worldwide use some form of social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are powerful tools for marketing promotion. You can reach everyone from potential customers to influential bloggers by strategically utilizing your company’s social media presence.
The purpose of social media platforms is to engage with people and expand your audience. A company can use its pages to manage promo campaigns, host contests, engage with new clients, garner reviews, and drive traffic to websites to generate leads.
With so many popular platforms available, companies have the opportunity to select the ones that gear toward their ideal customer. For example, a brand targeting a young, trendy demographic may benefit from using Instagram or Snapchat. The company can maximize its online sales conversions using targeted posts and ads through those channels.
Influencer marketing works well with social media marketing and referral marketing. Instead of creating engaging posts about their products, the brand partners with an online personality or organization that influences a broad audience.
People tend to trust the opinions of others, like influencers. Social media influencers know how to engage with their followers using blogs, hashtags, display ads, visual stories, and more. By partnering with someone whose opinion matters to thousands or millions of people within your target audience, you can quickly garner the attention you need to increase sales or boost your company’s reputation and recognition.
Partnerships with influencers can occur in several ways:
- Product Review: If your brand sells items, consider sending influencers new merchandise to review. Positive information will quickly reach the target audience, increase brand awareness, and turn the influencer’s viewers into your company’s customers.
- Coupon Codes: Your company may also consider giving the influencer special coupon codes to give to their followers. This method is highly effective if your marketing promotion goal is to boost sales.
- Contests and Giveaways: These influencer engagements often go viral. You and the influencer can set rules for the followers, such as to like or follow the business’s social media page, tag a friend in a post, or leave a comment. The selected winner can receive free brand merchandise, encouraging people to participate and spread the word about the business.
Word-of-mouth referrals are another powerful marketing promotion tool because people are more likely to listen to family and friends than strangers. Despite its benefits, referrals are usually tricky to obtain.
Referrals can be organic, meaning a client encourages someone to buy products or services without any action on behalf of the brand. For a proactive approach to referral marketing, businesses can institute a referral program that encourages customers to refer new clients or customers to the company.
Referral marketing works by offering customers an incentive to refer people to the brand. Coupons, discounts on the next purchase, and gift cards are examples of valuable motivations for this inbound marketing strategy.
Consumer Loyalty Programs
Customers enjoy feeling appreciated and necessary, especially for businesses they like to patronize. Consumer loyalty programs help customers develop a bond with the brand, turning them into repeat buyers.
Loyalty programs can include points systems that allow customers to accumulate enough toward a special bonus. Programs can also include:
- Paid annual or monthly fees in exchange for exclusive benefits
- Tiered systems with various benefits at different levels of membership
- Paid subscription programs where rewards are products
Sales Promotion Ideas
Sales promotion is a crucial aspect of promotional marketing. By implementing practical promo activities, you can increase your business’s sales, improve customer satisfaction, and heighten company awareness.
Regardless of what type of business you own or manage, it will benefit from well-executed promotions. Some time-tested techniques that often yield positive results include those listed below.
Lifestyle discounts give a specific group an advantage to use your company’s services over a competitor’s. You can base your discounts on various professions, age groups, or other provable demographics. An example of a lifestyle discount is a 10% off goods and services for veterans.
Contests and Giveaways
People enjoy participating in contests to receive free merchandise. Conducting a contest or giveaway on social media is a popular way to gain interest in your brand, goods, and services. The games can be as simple as giving a free product to someone who receives the most likes on a specific post about your company.
An excellent way to improve your brand awareness is to offer referral discounts that allow people who use your service to receive a discount for promoting or referring your company to friends. Word-of-mouth referrals are a powerful promotional tool. By paring referrals with an incentive, the chances of obtaining new customers with a referral program increase significantly.
Sales, Coupons, and Discounts
Customers will seek businesses that offer the best deals for quality products and services. If one of your marketing promotion goals is to increase sales and profits, implement temporary sales and discount offers. If you sell products, quick sales will produce feelings of urgency in customers looking for affordable items, prompting them to shop with you during specific timeframes.
Free Shipping and Returns
Repeat business is as necessary for sales increases as new business. Create brand loyalty and customer satisfaction by offering free shipping and returns. Customers appreciate hassle-free shopping, so you will encourage them to continue buying from your business by providing these services free of charge.
Creating Your Marketing Promotion Plan
No matter how good your products or services are, you’ll need a strong marketing promotion plan to rise above the competition and solidify your brand as your niche’s authority. A well-thought-out plan will give you the direction you need to identify your measurable goals and help you raise brand awareness and increase revenue.
Putting your business directly in front of its target audience requires finances, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Take a closer look at the money your company can afford to spend on promotions without touching necessary allotments, such as salaries, taxes, and other bills. Match your budget to your resources and learn how much it will cost to promote your brand across various channels.
Goals and objectives should be clear and measurable, not vague. For instance, if you want to increase your revenue, set a realistic goal with the minimum increase percentage you want to see as a result of your promo campaigns. Find long-term and short-term goals that will help you keep track of your progress.
It’s best not to attempt fulfilling all your business goals with one or two promotions. Trying to meet too many objectives simultaneously can be overwhelming and unrealistic. Instead, focus on several smaller expectations for the promotions to improve the company’s finances, reputation, and customer awareness over time.
Aiming your marketing promotion ambitions to a broad audience is much less effective than identifying your ideal clients and targeting them. Create a client profile—learn who your potential clients are, their geographic locations, age brackets, needs, and how they can use your services to meet their needs or fix their problems.
With a client profile, your promotions will have a better chance at success. You can tailor your promotion efforts to target specific groups of people who are more likely to buy your goods and services.
Marketing promotion channels, techniques, and strategies are plentiful, but some may work better for your brand than others. For example, if you want to increase your company’s awareness, consider using influencer marketing and partner with a popular social media personality who can tell their millions of followers about your brand.
Promo Campaign Message
Keep your brand at the forefront of potential customers’ minds by creating a distinctive message for your promotions. Create something that speaks to your target audience and positions your brand as the solution to their problems.
Your promotional message should have a call-to-action, persuasive language, and the appropriate tone. Depending on your audience, goods, and services, you can be humorous or take a more professional approach. The message should also be concise and memorable.
Handling every aspect of your promotional campaigns may not be the best course of action unless they are within your area of expertise. Even then, the workload may be too much for one person. To ensure the effectiveness of your campaign’s strategies, assign responsibilities for the execution of each channel.
Consider hiring experts or specialists for content marketing, in-person sales, SEO, pay-per-click marketing, etc. As specialists, they will ensure that each phase of their respective promotional channel is effective.
Once your marketing promotion plan is in action, monitor the results and keep track of your progress. As you learn about the plan’s effectiveness, you can note areas you could adjust to produce better results.
Do You Need Marketing and Promotion Assistance?
Gold Promotion is a leading internet marketing company that combines scalable marketing tactics with analytics data. Our mission is to develop high-performing digital marketing programs to increase revenue and promote company growth. Contact our team today to learn how your business can benefit from our services.