Tools and Objectives for Specific Promotion Tools

Promotion tools are more or less interchangeable, and not all tools have to be used in any promotion mix. Some products are sold entirely through mail-order advertising. Others, such as Fuller Brush products, depend primarily on door-to-door selling to achieve sales objectives.

New, undercapitalized producers may have to depend completely upon publicity to secure initial orders. However, no one promotion tool is better than any other in all situations. Seldom does a company use any single promotion tool as the entire promotion mix.

Tools of Promotion (Promotion Tools)

In the determination of the proper promotion mix, the decision is made as to which promotion tools are to be used and how much dollar support will be given them.

The major factors influencing this decision, one must consider the type of market (whether consumer or industrial), the customer, the product, buying habits, stage in the product’s life cycle, channels of distribution, and pricing policies.

In addition, the strengths and weaknesses of each promotion tool must be considered, as well as the preferences of the marketing manager.

In his effort to shift the demand curve for his product upward and to the right, the seller can use one, all, or any combination of advertising, publicity, personal selling, and sales promotion.

These are the promotion tools available for his use, which he can combine in any desired manner to secure appropriate results.

Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation of products, services, or ideas by an identified sponsor. With advertising, a seller presents his message to consumers in such media as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and direct mail.

Publicity is news or information about a product, service, or idea that is published on behalf of a sponsor but is not paid for by the sponsor.

Publicity is “free” in the sense that the sponsor does not pay for space or time used in presenting his message.

Usually, publicity messages are presented as news, helpful information, or announcements, in such media as newspapers, magazines, television, and radio, and the sponsor’s name may or may not be given.

Personal selling is the presentation of a product, service, or idea by a salesman in direct contact with his prospect. It covers all types of salesmanship, including telephone selling, and encompasses selling to industry, middlemen, and the ultimate consumer.

Sales promotion is any promotional activity that is designed to directly supplement other promotion activities. Such things as contests, premiums, trading stamps, and trade-show exhibits are definitely of a sales promotion nature.

Other sales promotion activities may not be so easily categorized and must be recognized by elimination. In other words, if a promotion activity does not fall into the classifications of advertising, publicity, or personal selling, it should be classified as sales promotion.

The relative strengths and weaknesses of the promotion tools in completing a sale are as shown in Table.

All decisions regarding the promotion mix are customer-oriented and should be made with the customer’s satisfaction as the key consideration.

Read Also: 9 Amazing Reasons to Advertise your Business

Mass communications such as advertising and publicity can create awareness and interest but are unlikely to generate specific buying action. Personal selling and sales promotion are much stronger in stimulating such action.

TABLE 1: Using Promotion Tools to Complete a Five-Step Sale

Personal sellingEEAAA
Sales promotionBBBAA

A – Very good for this purpose,  B – Performs satisfactory, C – Average performance

D – Does not perform well, E – Usually too costly to use alone for this purpose

Public relations and institutional advertising can provide an overall favorable atmosphere in which the promotion tools can more effectively operate.

Promotion tools tend to complement each other, as disclosed in the study made by John Morrill Company, Inc., of the approximate effects of personal selling and business-publication advertising on the sales of products in five categories.

According to this research, increased sales per call result when advertising is added to personal selling, and selling costs are also reduced by this combination. The exact percentage of increases and decreases are as depicted in     Table 2.

More studies of this type need to be made to fully understand the effects on sales of the promotion tools working singly and in combination.

TABLE 2: Results of Combining Business – Publication Advertising with Personal Selling

Industry classPercentage increase in sales-per-call when ads are addedReduced selling costs as a percentage of sales when ads are added
Utilities products6.4%–7.5%
SOURCE: How Advertising Works In Today’s Marketplace; The Morill Study (New York: Mcgraw-Hill, 1971), P. 4.

To get maximum promotional results at minimum cost, the right combination of promotion tools to meet specific promotion objectives should be determined. Then, for a given promotion tools to be used in a manner that yields the same marginal profit on the marginal dollar spent on each tool.

However, when the varying productivity of the promotion tools and the numerous other variables affecting sales besides the promotion mix are taken into account, the “marginal theory” leaves much to be desired in a practical sense.

At this time, more can be gained by studying the effects of the product, place, and price mixes on the promotion mix.

Objectives for Specific Promotion Tools

Tools and Objectives for Specific Promotion Tools

Just as there should be overall marketing objectives, there should be objectives set for each promotion tool used, such as advertising, publicity, personal selling, and sales promotion.

Marketing objectives should help further the overall company objectives, and objectives for each promotion tool should harmonize with one another and with overall marketing goals.

Advertising Objectives: Advertising goals should be stated as specifically as possible, so that they are able to guide the creative team in developing effective copy, the media team in choosing proper media, and the research team in evaluating the results of advertising.

The advertising manager, with the help of general management, must decide what part of the total promotion effort is to be assigned to advertising and define those tasks in terms of specific communications goals or objectives.

In order to properly measure the results of advertising, communications goals rather than sales goals should be set.

Although the end purpose of most advertising is to aid in making sales, its short-range purpose can be defined much better in terms of communications.

Russell H. Colley, in his book, Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results, maintains that advertising objectives must be stated in communications terms if any meaningful measurement of results is to take place, since advertising efforts cannot be related to sales unless full-scale market experiments are used whereby all variables except the one being measured are held constant.

In stating this viewpoint, which has become known as DAGMAR, Colley defines an advertising goal as “a specific communications task to be accomplished among a defined audience to a given degree in a given period of time.”

He also divides advertising objectives into four stages of “commercial communication,” as follows:

Awareness: The prospect must become aware of the existence of the brand or company. Comprehension: The prospect must understand what the product is and what it will do for him.

Conviction: The prospect must be mentally convinced to buy the product.

Action: The prospect must take meaningful action.

In essence, communications objectives should be stand be stated in terms of what it is we want to tell people.

For example, the overall marketing objective might be to increase the market share for a brand from 2 to 25 percent among retired people in the Southeast during the coming year.

The advertising objective, stated in communications terms, could be to increase awareness of Brand X from 40 to 55 percent among senior citizens in the Southeast by letting them know that the product is specifically designed to satisfy the needs of people over 65 years of age.

Often, advertising may have more than one objective, but one major theme should be developed to carry throughout the advertising campaign.

Advertising objectives are reached through a series of advertisements, each incorporating the basic theme, if the advertising program is to be a success.

Usually, manufacturers do not expect advertising to bring immediate results, but rather plan that the returns from it will build over a long period. As an example, the multiple goals used to guide the advertising planning for United Air Freight are these:

To create a better understanding of what air freight is and does

To advertise United Air Freight’s position within the air-freight industry

To come up with a concept that sets United Air Freight apart from all its competitors7

These objectives are not good examples of specific advertising goals, although they are better than those used by many companies. Specific objectives are most helpful to the advertising manager, because they furnish actual promotion targets and lend themselves to measurement.

Read Also: Promotion Objectives and Rules for Setting Workable Promotion Objectives

Publicity Objectives: These objectives should also be stated as communications objectives if results are to be determined.

Since publicity is news or information about a product, service, or idea, which is published on behalf of a sponsor but whose space or time costs are not paid for by the sponsor, the publicity manager does not know if none, part, or all of his publicity messages will be used.

Since he lacks control over the space or time, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to measure the effects of a publicity program directly on sales. Again, communications objectives that are measurable can be set for publicity.

For example, a publicity manager can set the objective of securing 1 million agate lines of publicity on the product in newspapers throughout the United States.

By utilizing a clipping service to send him cutouts of the publicity used, he can determine at the end of a period whether or not he has reached his objective.

Likewise, on a new product, he can set the objective of getting 25 percent of the promotion target to recognize the product’s brand name before advertising breaks or salesmen make their first calls.

To a company’s public relations director, objectives often mean the building of a favorable corporate image.

For example, the public relations objective for this year might be to get stockholders to think of the company as a progressive, safe place to invest their money.

When the desired image is determined, all the company’s communications efforts can be focused upon achieving it.

Personal Selling Objectives: These objectives are perhaps, the easiest to relate to sales volume, expenses, and profits.

Although personal selling can be used for many purposes- such as overcoming objections, closing sales, creating interest, and so on-specific quantitative objectives can be set for the sales force that are subject to measurement.

Four  types of personal selling objectives may be set: These objectives must be in agreement with and help to attain overall marketing objectives.

The sales-volume objective, or quota, is often the only sakes-force objective established. There is usually an overall sales quota for the company, which is broken down into regions, divisions, districts, and finally to the salesman’s territory.

The sales quota states in units or dollars the volume that management believes can be sold by a salesman may have a sales-volume objective of $500,000 in his territory on a particular product.

The sum of the sales-volume quotas for the territories in a district will equal the sales-volume objective on that product for the district.

Likewise, the total of the sales-volume quotas for each district will be the sales-volume objective for the region, and the sum of the totals for each region will yield the overall company sales-volume objective.

Sales- volume objectives may be set for individual products, groups of products, individual salesmen, types of customers, and the like.

Profit objectives are often established for each salesmen, customer type, sales territory, and product for the planning period.

Sales cost accounting is used to determine whether these profit objectives are met. Experience with profit objectives has shown that the salesmen with the largest sales volume is not necessary the most profitable salesman.

A large number of sales organizations set expense objectives to control the direct-selling expenses of salesmen.

Salesmen’s compensation, travel, lodging, entertainment, and incidental expenses are used to set expense objectives for individual territories, districts, and regions.

These expense objectives may be set as a percentage of total sales, by customer, by call, or by order. For example, a sales-expense objective may be for a salesman not to exceed a certain percentage of the net sales in his territory during the coming year.

Sales-activity objectives may be determined for salesmen on such things as number of new prospects to be called upon, number of displays to be set up, number of calls to be made, and number of sales interviews to be secured, and so on.

These objectives may be set for a daily, weekly, monthly, or some other time period. The company should first determine through research the relation between effective selling and the different activities that go to make up a salesman’s day.

Sales Promotion Objectives: Sales promotions should be planned toward accomplishing specific objectives. Again, the foundation for sales promotion objectives is the marketing objectives of the firm.

Some examples of sales promotion objectives for a product might be to get retailers to handle a product and promote it actively, to introduce a product to a specific promotion target or to a new marketing area, to induce consumers to try a product, or to support a product caught up in a competitive situation. Since sales promotion is used at both distributor and consumer levels, a wide range of objectives is possible.

Promotion tools are somewhat interchangeable, and not all tools have to be used in any promotion mix.

For example, mail-order firms may depend exclusively upon advertising, door-to-door sales organizations may restrict themselves to personal selling, and new, undercapitalized producers may use only publicity to secure initial orders.

However, no single promotion tool is customarily used as the entire promotion mix. Most companies use a combination of promotion tools and attempt to weave their strengths into a strong promotion program in a manner designed to offset their weakness.

The peculiar combination of promotion tools used and the relative amounts of promotion dollars spent on each is called the promotion mix for a product or service.

In summary, no one promotion tool is better, per se, than any other. The promotion tool or tools that are to dominate the promotion mix depend upon a number of environmental and cost factors, company and marketing objectives, and the preference of the marketing manager.

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