Marketing mix is part of your marketing plan. It defines product, place, price and promotion. The promotion mix targets raising product or brand awareness, communicating the unique value proposition of your product and gaining acceptance of your products. The primary purpose and focus of promotional mix is to get the desired result: the sale of your product. There are more than seven common promotion mix tactics and while most businesses do not use all of these tactics to promote and sell their products, they do use a mix of these tactics.
The Top 4 Promotion Mix Tactics:
- Personal selling is one of the most common of the promotion tactics. Most companies will hire people to do the selling: sales representatives, account managers, inside sales representatives, retail sales, sales agents, or telemarketers. Face-to-face selling is one of the most common methods of selling, although sales by phone, and more recently, sales by email, are becoming well used. These are not necessarily as effective, but they are low cost sales tactics.
- Advertising is another common promotion tactic. Advertising focuses on brand recognition and identity; not on the product alone. Advertising can be a costly tactic that only the big businesses can invest in; particularly advertising on television which can cost anywhere from $100,000 to over $1 million for a national broadcast in prime time (for a 30-second spot!). This cost is in addition to the cost of producing the commercial. Advertising in industry or consumer magazines is less expensive and typically you can target your advertisement to a specific industry or region. Other advertising can include car or bus ‘wraps’, events (such as sports, music, art), and billboards. The Internet is becoming a very popular place to advertise, and on a relative basis, it is more affordable.
- In the retail marketplace, consumer promotion is very common. Buy one, get one free. Coupons for discounted or free product. Free trial packages. Cash discounts or refunds. Contests that give back cash, prizes, or products. The commitment by marketers to consumer promotion is that this form of promotion can be designed to be very measurable. Coupons, contests, and packaging can be coded to report redemptions and to report sales increases and/or decreases related to consumer promotion. Additionally, packaging new products as a trial, with a mature or declining product, can often provide an opportunity to up-sell and extend the declining product’s life-cycle.
- Public relations (PR) is another common promotion tactic. Public relations includes writing and distributing press releases (to the local newspaper, the national newspapers, to online PR sites, to radio and television, to magazines, and more). The key for effective PR is to identify and understand your target audience, the key message or messages you want to deliver, the credibility of your organization, and the recognition that PR is not a sales tactic but an identity (whether corporate, brand or product) building tactic.
The most effective promotional program is usually one that uses a variety of tactics and techniques. It is important to measure the effectiveness of the program you engage in, and adjust your promotional program to increase effectiveness and outcome (sales).