2.3.3.a Promotion: Methods

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Promotion is one of the 4Ps of the Marketing mix.

There are 3 methods that a business may use to promote itself:

Sales promotion
Direct marketing


Print media (for example, posters, leaflets, billboards)
+ Effective with the older generation.
+ This can be taken by a potential customer and the information can be referred back to.
+ These will generally be seen by large numbers of people.
+ Often placed in busy locations.
+ Modern technology means that digital billboards can be changed at different times of day to target a particular audience.
+ Some methods can be relatively inexpensive.

– Sometimes adverts can be ignored by potential customers.
– Can be disposed of easily.
– Can often be expensive.
– No guarantee the message will be understood.
– There can be associated Distribution costs.
– Can become out of date quickly.
Digital media (for example, websites, and social media)
+ Effective with the younger generation.
+ Social media can be free.
+ These adverts can very easily be posted to digital media and targeted to specific people.
+ It reaches large numbers of people very quickly.
+ Due to technology adverts can be linked to what people type in their website browser.
+ The business owner can implement this advertising.
+ Can be interactive and create interest more easily.

– For certain websites it can prove very expensive to advertise on popular sites.
– Some people have a lack of internet access.
– There can be the risk of unwanted/negative responses and comments.
– Time consuming to maintain digital content.
– Rely on people searching for and looking at the business website for it to be effective.
– Not all businesses have the right level of expertise to set up and maintain a website.
Broadcast media (for example, TV, radio)
+ Can be targeted at a specific area of type of person easily dependent on Location/ type of broadcast.
+ Adverts can capture the attention of people and in a short period of time can tell people about the features of their Product and where it can be bought.
+ Repetition, jingles, sound and visuals means that the message can be communicated effectively.

– The advert cannot be referred back to as they are broadcast live.
– Less people typically listen to the radio/ watch TV now because of streaming services.
– Can be expensive and time consuming to produce.

Sales Promotion

Limited Time Offers
Can be combined with one of the other offers and for a short time period.
Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF)
Buy one product at full Price and get another product for free.
Discount Vouchers
Can be redeemed for money off a full price product.
Flash Sales
Limited quantity available for a very short time period.
Free Gifts
Free product given when you make a purchase. Can be used to upsell, e.g. free gift with 50ml to persuade customers to not buy 30ml aftershave.
Customers usually enter personal details or share about a business on social media for a chance to win a free product or gift vouchers.
Loyalty Cards
Used to encourage repeat custom, customers scan and collect points or free product with so many sales.
Point of Sale Displays
Display units found at the location where a customer makes a purchase in a shop.
Paying a company to get brand featured somewhere. E.g. brands on football shirts.

Sales promotion Advantages

  • Helps raise awareness of a product and can increase sales
  • May tempt customers to try something new
  • Not all sales promotions are suitable for every product type. For example, you wont get BOGOF on a luxury sports car
  • Helps to shift old inventory/ stock

Sales Promotion Disadvantages

  • Discounts or free products reduces the businesses profit margin
  • Can lower the reputation and perception of the business (low price might mean low quality)
  • Retailers want the highest profit possible so may not be willing to reduce prices unless the producer accepts the Cost

Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing is when a business communicates with a customer directly on a mass (large) scale to try to sell them something.

Direct marketing is when a business makes personal contact with a customer using details they have saved in a database. The business usually already has access to the customers’ name and some other contact information, therefore the communication could be addressed directly to the customer using their name.

A business may email a customer about an upcoming sales promotion or new clothing range drop. They may issue flyers and leaflets with coupons attached to raise customer awareness and offer customers discounts. They could send customers a text message with deals, such as dominos that collect phone numbers when customers Place an order and then try to encourage repeat business and customers to come back. Businesses could also reach out to customers on social media through the use of comments or direct messaging.

With the advent of technology, it is possible to send out thousands of personalized communications at once using mail merge to send bulk personalized letters, emails or texts.

Direct Marketing Advantages

  • Focus limited resources on target promotion and is more affordable
  • Can be personalised and targeted
  • Tailored to meet customer needs/ preferences
  • Easy to measure response and success
  • Customers are likely to have purchased from them before for business to know their contact details > more likely to purchase again
  • Informative- provide more detailed and controlled information
  • Raise brand awareness about business and product range
  • Instant Feedback can be given via telephone or face-to-face

Direct Marketing Disadvantages

  • Conversion (people receiving and people buying) rate can be low
  • Often referred to as junk mail and has a bad reputation and can be intrusive and the customer can be overloaded, often disposed of
  • Some databases can be expensive to maintain and keep accurate and in line with laws and regulations, e.g. GDPR
  • Limited reach compared to other elements of promotion e.g. advertising. It is only seen by the person you send it to

2.3.2 Place

2.3.3.b Promotion: Influential Factors and Promotional Objectives