In this article, we shall focus on Promotion objectives, Rules for Setting Workable Promotion Objectives, and benefits of promotion to the firm.
Intelligent promotion management requires clearly stated objectives for each promotion tool to be used in the promotion mix.
Frequently, objectives for the promotion tools are not stated at all, or are expressed in such broad terms that they are useless to promotion managers.
If promotion managers are asked what the objectives of their programs are, some answers that can be expected are; Caz0
The setting of specific objectives against which to measure the results of advertising and publicity programs is recent marketing phenomenon; many promotion programs are still being run without concrete objectives against which results can be measured.
Rules for Setting Workable Promotion Objectives
Promotion objectives should meet the following seven criteria:
They should be built on a solid foundation of research. The product features consumers want to buy should be uncovered and stated in terms of customer benefits. Many times, products are being used for purposes other than what manufacturers think.
For example, Scotch cellophane tape was found to be used in so many different ways that the manufacturer ran a contest to determine all the purposes for which it was being used.
They should be stated in concrete and measurable terms. Vague objectives are of little help in planning and of no help when evaluations need to be made. Where possible, objectives should be subject to quantitative measurement.
They should contain a well-defined promotion target whenever possible. Promotion programs are built for target groups, and it is wise to specify the characteristics of the target in the statement of objectives. This will help top management and promotion managers keep the target in mind when making decisions.
They should be written. Verbal objectives have a way of being changed as they are passed from person to person. The only way to ensure that each person working with objectives has the same understanding of them is to put the objectives in writing and furnish each responsible person with a copy.
They should be stated in terms of what promotion can realistically achieve. Promotion objectives set too high lead to discouragement and low morale when they are not reached. If they are set too low, the incentive to excel is removed. Promotion objectives should be capable of being reached with good, sustained efforts.
They should help reinforce and attain the overall marketing objectives. Advertising, publicity, personal selling, and sales promotion objectives, when achieved, should contribute to the securing of marketing objectives. Promotion objectives are subordinate to marketing objectives and must be designed to support and enhance them.
They should be reviewed periodically to determine if promotion programs are running according to plan or whether changes are necessary. This review should take place at least quarterly, so that any required changes can be made before serious disruptions in the programs occur.
These criteria for objectives can be applied to determine whether an objective is properly stated. As an illustration of this, consider the following advertising objective stated by a major department store.
“The objective of this year’s advertising is to communicate to the maximum number of consumers that convenient credit terms can be arranged so that you can buy now and pay later.” Two obvious shortcomings of this objective are that:
The advertising target is ill-defined and provides little help in the creation of an advertising message or the selection of advertising media;
There is no basis on which to assess the effectiveness of the communications message. Would an increase in awareness of 25 percent be enough, or is 40 percent needed? A much better statement of the advertising objective would be the following:
“The objective of this advertising campaign is to communicate the availability of easy credit terms to an additional 25 percent of customers and potential customers where they are located and who are 25 to 54 years of age and earnings per year.”
Variables such as economic conditions, price changes, marketing-channel variations, political environment, and the like all combine to affect the sales of a product, and it is most difficult and expensive to try to isolate, from this complex combination of marketing and non-marketing factors, the effect of any of these variables on sales.
Furthermore, there is often a time lag between the appearance of an advertising or publicity message and final purchasing action.
Many promotion authorities have come to the conclusion that, because the role of advertising and publicity is to communicate, communications goals, not sales goals, are the only reasonable standards against which advertising and publicity programs can be measured.
It is possible to measure the accomplishment of communications objectives by researching before and after the message is run.
Advertising and publicity objectives should be clearly stated communications, objectives, so that success or failure can be easily measured.
Mass-communications objectives must be consistent with other promotion objectives and overall marketing objectives.
Benefits of Promotion to the Firm
In an accounting sense, promotion is a current expense to a firm. From the expenditure of its promotion budget, the firm expects to make a short-term or long-term profit. However, this profit may come about in different ways.
Benefits of Promotion to the Firm
Some of the basic contributions promotion can make, directly or indirectly, to a firm’s profits are these:
Promotion provides a “voice” for the firm in the marketplace, so that it can communicate product features and benefits to prospective customers.
Promotion helps a firm increase the sales of its products in all but purely competitive markets.
Promotion aids a firm in establishing new products.
Promotion aids a firm in securing distribution of its products among marketing- channel members.
Promotion helps a firm in establishing a preference for its branded products.
Production aids a company in building a favorable corporate image.
Promotion can assist a firm in leveling out peaks and valleys in its production schedule.
Promotion keeps a seller in contact with his markets. Customers and prospective customers (prospects) want to know of the existence of want-satisfying products, where to buy them, and their qualities expressed in terms of benefits.
Without this information, buyers are severely handicapped in attempting to maximize the results of their expenditures. Some product information is available to buyers through such publications as Consumer Reports, but most is delivered by various forms of promotion.
Ultimately, sellers expect the use of promotion to increase the sales of their products or services. Sales are necessary to ensure the existence of any profit-making enterprise; they provide the revenue with which a firm keeps operating.
New products are particularly difficult to establish in markets served by strong competitors. In general, the odds are against a new product’s succeeding in the marketplace. In fact, some studies have estimated that 8 out of 10 new products introduced to the market fail.
A survey by the National Industrial Conference Board, of 87 companies to be highly successful in introducing new products, revealed that even with the application of modern marketing methods, 3 out of 10 new products introduced had failed during the preceding five years.
A high failure rate among new-product introductions can be considerably reduced when proper promotion methods are applied.
The members of a marketing channel (wholesalers and/or retailers) wish to handle products that are properly promoted, since well-promoted products sell rapidly and with a minimum of effort.
Before they stock a new product, one of the key questions middlemen ask is, “How much and what kind of promotion effort is behind the product in my area?” New products without sufficient promotion of the right kind are unlikely to be stocked.
A brand preference within a product class, often exhibited by consumers, is brought about by satisfactions received from the use of that brand and the actual and/or psychologically perceived qualities attributed to it.
Proper promotion can do much to enhance the value of a brand in the buyer’s mind by pointing out the satisfactions to be received, the social status of the brand, and other benefits of interest. It is important to develop a favorable corporate image, as this helps with product sales as well as other matters.
Production peaks and valleys brought about by seasonal consumption are descriptive forces in a company’s operations. Peaks can put heavy strains upon the firm’s work force, machinery, raw-material inventories, and so on.
Valleys can bring about employee layoffs and idle machinery. Most companies prefer to avoid wide fluctuation in their production schedules and may store for future delivery or promote their products heavily in the off-seasons. Promotion has helped smooth out the peaks and valleys for products.
In summary, the benefits of promotion to a firm are so strong that few firms, beyond those engaged in pure competition, fail to use some form of promotion.
The types of promotion used and the amounts spent on vary widely, but even the smallest companies normally find promotion to be a vital aspect of their business operations and the judicious use of promotion can also do much to enhance the “corporate image” the way the buyer perceives the company, or the “personality” that the firm has created in the minds of its various publics.
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