Promotional objectives differ from one organization to another and within companies over time. Marketing efforts can be used in several ways. Promotion aspires to generate knowledge of a product and to encourage demand for a new product. Therefore, lets take a look at some familiar promotional methods, traditional word-of-mouth marketing, and the latest craze amongst the twenty something generation; buzz marketing.
The advertising blend for a product may consist of four major promotional methods: advertising, personal selling, public relations, and sales promotion. Advertising is a compensated nonpublic message about an organization and its goods conveyed to a target audience through a mass medium. Personal selling is paid personal communication that strives to enlighten customers and convince them to purchase products. Public relations are a broad set of contact efforts used to build and preserve complimentary relationships connecting an organization and its public. Sales promotion is an activity or substance that acts as a direct incentive, presenting additional worth or motivation for the product, to resellers, salespersons, and consumers.
Some decisions of which promotional techniques to incorporate in a product's promotion mix are a company's promotional resources, intentions and procedures; personality of the target market; characteristics of the product; cost and accessibility of promotional methods; and whether a push or pull policy is used.
Promotional actions can assist consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, but they have also stirred up many criticisms. Promotion has been blamed as deceptive. Though some misleading or ambiguous promotions do exist, laws, government regulation, and industry self-regulation reduce illusory endorsement. Promotion has been blamed for "increasing prices, but it usually tends to lower them." Other condemnations of promotional activity are that it influences the public, and that customers do not profit adequately from marketing campaigns to validate its high cost. As a final point, some...