The desire of producers/manufacturers is to produce as many goods as possible or render services as deemed necessary. These goods produced need to be disseminated by professionals to end users.
The end users need to be informed of the availability of these goods or services offered in the market. While informing the consumers about the availability of such goods or services in the market, marketing professionals use various means in communicating with the target markets.
These means of communicating with the target consumers vary from product to product and from one stage of the product life cycle to another. This article examines marketing promotion and its importance to marketing activities.
Some people are of the view that promotion and selling are synonymous. Although they are related, they are not the same. Selling is one of the components of marketing.
Some people view selling as the transfer of title which does not include advertising or other methods of stimulating demand. In broad termsprotermson includes advertising, personal selling, and all other selling tools.
In a narrow term, promotion is defined as a marketing strategy used to inform the general public of the availability of goods and /or services, in a particular target market.
Promotion is a marketing tool used as a means of informing, persuading, and communicating. These three terms are related because to inform is to persuade and convince a person.
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Persuasion and information become effective through some form of communication. For example, MTN sponsored “who want to be a millionaire on NTA as a way of informing the general public about its services.
Marketing managers must treat promotional efforts as a complete sub-system within the total marketing system. This means, coordinating sales force activities, advertising programs, and other promotional efforts.
Although in practice, some companies use them separately or in combination.
Notwithstanding, for an effective marketing program, the total promotional effort must also be coordinated with product planning, pricing, and distribution sub-system in a firm.
Reasons for Promotion
Several factors point to the need for promotion, these days. For instance, as the distance between producers and consumers increases, and as the number of potential customers grows, the problem of marketing communication becomes significant. Some of these reasons are discussed below:
1) Dissemination of Information
Once middlemen are introduced into a marketing pattern, it is not enough for a producer to communicate only with the ultimate consumers or industrial users. It is pertinent that middlemen should be informed about the availability of products/services.
This means that wholesalers, in turn, must promote the products to retailers, and the retailers do the same to consumers. This, thus, emphasizes the importance of promotion; even the most useful and wanted product will be a marketing failure if no one knows anything about its existence.
2) Serves as a Marketing Strategy
The competition between different industries, as well as between individual firms within an industry has placed tremendous pressure on the promotional programs of an individual seller.
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In our offices and homes, we are exposed to various goods and services through the mass media, personal selling, etc.; this is geared towards winning the heart of consumers.
3) Serves As An Aid for Product Usage
Products, these days, have become very technical; and thus people (potential consumers) need to be educated on how to operate these products or gadgets.
Some domestic products such as television, washing machines, refrigerators, etc., need to be demonstrated to buyers; even with the provision of an operating manual, a buyer will still have to be educated on the basics of using some products- due to their technicality.
4) Stimulation of Buying
Some demands are dormant, and thus during economic depressions, people are unwilling to spend their money on certain things. Therefore, consumer needs to be assured that goods and/or services bought are worth the value of the money exchanged for the goods.
Besides, during periods of shortages, advertising can stress product conversion and efficient use of the products. The sales force can direct its efforts toward securing accounts and helping customers solve their shortage-induced problems.