No matter how good a product or service is, customers must first learn about its details before purchasing. Marketing and promotion are the best ways to get essential information to potential customers to raise awareness, boost sales, and create a positive brand reputation.
Adding the right promotional mix to a marketing strategy is crucial for standing out among the competition. It takes time, effort, and knowledge to find the correct elements to combine within a promotional mix for a service or product.
What Is a Promotion Mix?
The promotion mix definition is the combination of processes, tools, and marketing approaches a company uses to develop optimal promotional efforts to reach a broader audience. It’s a vital component of a marketing mix: the company-controlled influence over consumers and the products and services they purchase.
Promotion mixes can include sales promotions, public relations, personal sales, and advertisements. Marketers create and use promotion mixes across various mediums like television, print newspapers and magazines, the internet, and special in-person events.
Marketing and promotion work in tandem to help businesses achieve their short-term and long-term objectives. Promotion in marketing increases sales and brand awareness with a broader audience by spreading information about the brand, merchandise, or services. The ways your company communicates to consumers about a product, its features, and its benefits, are part of the promotion mix.
Purpose of a Promotion Mix
A promotion mix serves multiple purposes. First, brands use it to increase demand for particular items during the product life cycle. The overall outcome for an uptick in demand is an increase in sales by taking advantage of the merchandise’s rise in popularity before another product draws the public’s attention.
Information delivery is another reason to create a compelling promotion mix. Customers need to know details about a product or service before they can decide to buy. They must know what the item or service is, how it benefits them, how it solves a common problem, and where it’s available.
How you choose to inform consumers about your company’s offerings will depend on your target audience. You likely won’t approach different demographics the same way because the outcomes will vary drastically.
Finally, you want to use a promotion mix to separate your company’s offerings from others already on the market. Many industries have multiple competitors, and as a result, many services and goods can appear to be similar to each other.
It’s imperative to set your goods apart from others to prevent your new merchandise or services from getting lost among the competition.
Marketers should examine ways their products differentiate from others, whether it’s the features, benefits, availability, usability, or other distinguishing factors that others may not have. They can then use this information to create a niche within a competitive field.
Product Life Cycle: 4 Stages
Before you can set a promotional plan in motion, it helps to understand that all products experience a particular life cycle consisting of four stages: introduction, growth, peak, and decline. Though it’s possible to revamp older or previously unsuccessful merchandise or services to gain popularity with a new audience, the goods will still progress in a particular manner.
The life cycle begins with the introduction of a new item to the market. It occurs after the marketing team completes its research and development phase and launches the product for public purchase. At this phase, promotional marketing is heavy to garner consumer interest, but sales may be low.
Successful promotional marketing campaigns will generate enough sales to increase the product’s demand. By this point, the business may consider expanding its promotional efforts and increase its production to meet consumer demand. The company may also tweak its product to improve its usefulness or benefits to stay ahead of the competition.
At some point, the growth phase will lead to the product’s peak. Competitors may gain ground in the industry, taking attention away from your brand’s item, or its popularity may wane from market oversaturation. Sales will be at their highest point as the product reaches its maturity.
As more competitors enter the field and offer alternative products and solutions, the initial product will have reduced sales. The product will no longer be in demand, so its company may remove it from the market.
Product life cycles can last for days, weeks, months, or years; there’s no specific timeframe for merchandise to go out of favor. A product’s longevity largely depends on the effectiveness of the promotional mix and the aggressiveness of the competition.
Target Market Differences
A successful promotional mix relies on how well marketers identify and target your audience. Not everyone will need or use your goods or services—the key to a successful marketing launch is to focus on consumers who will.
Targeting in marketing is the breakdown of large consumer groups into smaller segments based on distinctive characteristics. Instead of reaching out to the entire market, targeting connects businesses to consumers who can relate to a particular item or service based on the following factors:
- Demographics: Demographic targeting focuses on income, age, gender, education, religion, and other socioeconomic factors.
- Behaviors: Spending habits and brand interactions separate people under behavioral targeting, which deals primarily with how often a group interacts with businesses and their level of loyalty to them.
- Geographics: Geographic targets can separate groups by city, state, zip code, region, and country; international advertisements use geographic factors to target groups because some products perform better in specific locations.
- Psychographics: Interests, values, lifestyle, and attitudes account for psychographic segmentation.
Targeting can also identify and separate groups by the products they already own. For instance, groups with electronic devices like laptops and cell phones can benefit from electronic accessories like Bluetooth-enabled speakers. Understanding product-related segmentation can help marketers create targeted promotional campaigns to generate sales.
Types of Buying Behaviors
Spending habits and buying behavior also affect how you create a promotion mix for an item or service. Not all buying processes are the same. They can be impulsive, logical, or emotional, causing businesses to adjust their marketing approach accordingly.
Impulsive shoppers don’t plan their purchases. Instead of examining products and services based on their needs, they make purchases to satisfy their “wants,” like a small pack of crackers near the checkout lane in a grocery store. Impulse buys can drive up sales for particular merchandise.
People make logical or planned purchases to make a profit, improve health, boost security, or meet another identifiable need. For example, people don’t buy health insurance on a whim. They take their time to examine their urgent or long-term need and evaluate possible alternatives to make an informed purchase decision.
Emotions play a significant role in the buying process, which is why many television advertisements attempt to make some emotional connection with viewers. For instance, a commercial for a cell phone provider may feature a person reconnecting with an old friend over the phone. Sentiment, vanity, pride, and entertainment are a few of the emotional triggers that could generate spending.
With an emotional purchase, the customer may not directly need the item or service beyond their desire to have it. Since there’s likely no long-term or urgent need for the product to fill, the customer probably won’t conduct any research to find better prices or alternatives.
The Importance of a Promotional Mix
Boosts Promotional Campaign Effectiveness
Every business requires some type of promotion for success, so a promotion mix is a necessary marketing aspect. It puts all the promotions for a particular service or product in front of the right target groups at the right time using the best tactics and marketing channels available. With a promotional mix, businesses can maximize their reach and save time and money by making the best use of marketing resources.
Improves Client Communication
Communication is at the forefront of every successful promotion mix. Brands need to speak directly to their target audience in ways the groups can understand. By making an effort to reach consumers in a positive, engaging manner, brands have a better chance of earning their audience’s trust and improving customer retention.
Segments Target Audiences
A compelling promotion mix won’t target various groups the same way. A group of impulsive teenage shoppers will not make purchases the same way as an audience of middle-aged professionals. Segmentation allows companies to craft compelling marketing messages that speak directly to specific groups, their needs, and their buying habits.
Enhances Company Recognition
Promotional mixes help companies learn the best ways to engage with consumers. People experience constant exposure to advertisements in various formats, like billboards, television commercials, and paid targeted ads online. A solid promotion mix will help your brand stand out from the rest as reliable, honest, and professional without having to bombard people with adverts.
5 Key Promotional Mix Components
There are five main elements to crafting a worthwhile promotional mix. The difficulty many companies face is deciding which combination will work best to achieve the best results for their field.
Advertisements are a standard non-personal promotion tool for brands worldwide because they are effective as long as people see them. The problem with advertisements is that modern consumers have to deal with exposure to hundreds if not thousands of ads every day, making it difficult for some brands to garner enough actionable attention. However, effective advertisements do an excellent job at raising awareness.
Meaningful ads will convey the brand’s message to its target audience. Ideally, it should stand out from others so that consumers don’t forget about it immediately. Nowadays, companies can use traditional and digital media to run promotional campaigns that leave a lasting positive impression on the right consumers.
This promotional channel uses one-on-one selling techniques between a consumer and brand ambassador to produce an immediate sale. Many businesses use personal selling to deliver information about products while developing relationships with their audiences through outreach.
Though many brands include non-personal digital marketing as the primary aspect of their promotion mixes, there is still a place for personal selling. Because it gives customers personal attention, people are more likely to trust the brand and its products or services. Trust leads to customer loyalty and retention.
Direct marketing targets individuals within a particular target group, but it’s not as individual as personal selling. The promotional channel uses everything from cold calls to email campaigns to SMS marketing. Marketers use the tool to open communication with someone to produce an immediate response using tailored messaging.
Direct marketing informs small segmented groups about new products and discounts or to gain feedback. It helps brands develop customer relationships by targeting messages to people who already have some engagement with the business, whether from a previous purchase or a visit to the website.
Though some consumers don’t like to receive a lot of non-personal marketing from companies, direct marketing remains one of the most predictable and effective ways to reach audiences.
Public relations or PR deals with publicity management. It’s a useful promotional tool because it helps brands solidify their image by generating favorable publicity.
Companies can use PR in special events, press releases, sponsorship, and other newsworthy activities to generate press. It’s one of the most cost-effective promotional tools because it usually centers around existing brands and audiences. However, the rise of paid influencer partnerships is shifting how companies utilize PR tools.
Unfortunately, public relations is not only for dealing with positive press. Sometimes companies may experience rumors or negative press that shift the general opinion of the brand. PR tools will help the company salvage its image or regain its reputation by raising awareness.
Sales promotions are incredibly beneficial for product-selling brands that want to increase their revenue. These promotions generate immediate traffic and boost short-term sales by offering customers an incentive to buy.
Incentives can include quick sales, discounts, coupons, and limited-time offers. Marketers and companies use sales promotions to create a sense of urgency among the target audience.
You can initiate sales promotions at any time or use them as a way to maintain relevancy during offseasons or as new products enter the market. However, the urgency sales generate is temporary, so it’s best to combine sales promotions with other promotional channels to create long-term brand sustainability.
How To Create a Promotion Mix for Your Brand
Identify Your Company’s Target Audience
Before beginning any marketing promotion, you must know who your company is targeting. Effective promotional plans consider target market differences, buying habits, and product life cycles to determine which groups are most likely to purchase particular goods and services.
Think about your ideal customer’s age, education level, and the type of media they likely consume the most. By creating a buyer persona or profile, you will better understand how to segment and target various groups. Neglecting this step in the promotion mix plan can cause your business to waste valuable time, money, and other resources.
Create Precise Promotional Goals
In most cases, a business’s objective for developing a promotion mix is to increase sales. However, it isn’t enough to have “increase sales” as the promotional goal. It’s always ideal to establish objectives that are clear, specific, and measurable.
For instance, if you want to release a new product using a sales promotion to increase your business’s short-term bottom line, consider setting a definitive percentage goal to measure your increase. With a clearly defined objective, you will have a distinct path for your marketing efforts to achieve it.
Other common business goals include enhancing awareness and improving brand reputation. Each goal will require different marketing plans and ways to measure progress.
Establish a Budget
A successful promotional mix will not be free, but you shouldn’t expect to use up all your resources on marketing. As you plan for your promotion mix, examine your business’s resources and consider your company’s age, revenue, customer acquisition costs, and lifetime value.
You should expect to spend some of the ROI you receive from the promotional campaign. Many companies mistakenly allot money from expected returns, putting them at risk for future financial problems if their promotional mix doesn’t meet financial expectations. New businesses may have to increase their budget to establish their brand and encourage growth.
After you look at your budget, consider the various activities and channels you can use for your promotional mix. They all vary in costs. Before you commit to the ones you feel will work best for your service or product, ensure that your budget can accommodate each promotion method’s financial expenses.
Choose Promotional Methods
Now that you have your budget and know your target audience, it’s time to select your promotional channels. Many companies that don’t have a successful promotion mix miss their goals because they didn’t choose the appropriate methods, channels, or activities.
Think about where your audience will likely consume your promotional message. Is it on a particular social media platform like Instagram or Twitter? If so, setting up television commercials is not the best course of action.
Though you should choose promotional methods that match your goals, message, and desired format, you should base your channel selection on where your audience is likely to engage with your brand.
Define Your Message
How and what you choose to communicate to consumers through your promotional mix is the message. Its design will vary by content and format.
Content refers to the words and images you use to persuade your audience to choose your product or service. It should be concise, compelling, and encourage people to respond by engaging with the brand and making purchases. Consider mentioning your product or service’s key benefits to speak to your audience’s wants and needs.
The format is how to convey your content across various promotional channels. For instance, personal selling requires quick thinking, a pleasant attitude, or structured presentations, while online advertisements focus on stunning graphics and engaging copy.
You should vary your format to accommodate each channel. For instance, direct written messages work well on Twitter, but compelling video garners more attention on Facebook. Promotional channels can include sales promotions, advertisements, and publicity.
Form Your Promotional Mix Plan
Allot portions of your marketing budget to the promotional channels you select. Give preference to the ones you expect to yield the most favorable outcomes.
Execute Your Plan
Ensure that you understand every aspect of your promotional plan, from the budget to the message, and execute it accordingly. Keep track of your progress across every channel. The information you collect will help marketers make adjustments to future promotional mixes to maximize their efficiency.
Promotion Mix Example
Coca-Cola is a brand with successful promotion mixes. The brand uses advertising to reach customers worldwide, including traditional media ads on television, print magazines, billboards, and paid and unpaid online promotions.
Personal selling is not an element Coca-Cola often uses because it has an established diversified customer base with strong brand recognition. A new product, service, or company will benefit from creating personal relationships with consumers.
The brand uses discounts and other sales promotions during its offseason to entice customers to buy. Deals usually occur during the holiday season when the demand for cola products is low.
Coca-Cola keeps negative publicity low by utilizing PR within its promotion mix. Public relations help the brand create and maintain its positive image with consumers.
Like personal selling, direct marketing is not a primary focus for Coca-Cola because it doesn’t need it as an established brand. Instead, the company focuses on areas that keep its brand as the leading non-alcoholic beverage globally.
Create the Best Promotion Mix With Gold Promotion
A carefully crafted promotional mix is a vital aspect of every company’s marketing plan. It can be the difference between establishing a long life cycle for a new product with steady growth or releasing goods that garner little to no attention.
If you’re ready to create a promotion mix for your brand, contact Gold Promotion. As a performance-focused marketing company, our internet experts build transparent, ROI-focused promotional campaigns that deliver measurable results. Visit our website today to learn more about how we can help your business grow.