- Describe the elements of the promotion mix.
Your promotion mix—the means by which you communicate with customers—may include advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and publicity. These are all tools for telling people about your product and persuading potential customers, whether consumers or organizational users, to buy it. Before deciding on an appropriate promotional strategy, you should consider a few questions:
- What’s the main purpose of the promotion? Am I simply trying to make people aware of my product, or am I trying to get people to buy it right now? Am I trying to develop long-term customers? Am I trying to connect with my current customers? Am I trying to promote my company’s image?
- What’s my target market? What’s the best way to reach it?
- Which product features (quality, price, service, availability, innovativeness) should I emphasize? How does my product differ from those of competitors?
- How much can I afford to invest in a promotion campaign?
- How do my competitors promote their products? Should I take a similar approach?
To promote a product, you need to imprint a clear image of it in the minds of your target audience. What do you think of, for instance, when you hear “Ritz-Carlton”? What about “Motel 6”? They’re both hotel chains, but the names certainly conjure up different images. Both have been quite successful in the hospitality industry, but they project very different images to appeal to different clienteles. The differences are evident in their promotions. The Ritz-Carlton Web site describes “luxury hotels” and promises that the chain provides “the finest personal service and facilities throughout the world” (Ritz-Carlton, 2011). Motel 6, by contrast, characterizes its facilities as “discount hotels” and assures you that you’ll pay “discount hotel rates” (Motel 6, 2011).