The role of promotion in marketing.
Promotion is one of the major "tools" used in Marketing. Marketers usually use promotion to communicate and inform the public of their product. Promotion is also however used to influence the marketers target market usually via means of interpellation, promoting their product as better than any other similar products, or by changing the views, awareness, beliefs and feelings of perspective customers.
When the marketer uses interpellation, he will be promoting his product with the help of someone famous for example. When the prospective buyers see this famous person using the product, he or she will hopefully want this product as well, due to the famous person using it.
Marketers also promote their product as the number one product to use, or the best in its class, this method hopefully convinces the customer that he or she in purchasing the best.
Changing the views, awareness, beliefs and feelings of perspective customers is also a very successful method used by marketers. This happens through promoting the product either in a way that it could help the buyer, and those around him, make the buyer feel better after he or she has bought it, or by making the buyer believe that the product is a necessity.
So basically promotion is used to change the location and shape of the demand curve for a companies product, or increase the sales of the promoted product.
As we can see here in figure "A" the shift in the demand curve o the right
When marketers promote their product they try to increase the sales volume at any given price, the marketer is trying to shift the demand curve to the right such as in the figures above. So basically promotion, in simplified terms, is the marketing strategy used to make products look more attractive to the prospective buyers, helping to increase the sales.
Marketers also use promotion to effect the demand elasticity of its product. The elasticity is the responsiveness of demand to a change in price of a certain product. So basically the marketer will make his product more attractive just before a price increase. So now with a more attractive product, when the price rises, there will still be a need for the product even if the sales quantity does drop a little it will shoot back to normal like an elastic band, such as in figure "B"
Three essential promotional tools used in marketing are informing the public about the product, persuading the public to buy the product and reminding the public about the product.
Marketers' informing the public about the product is the most essential tool, as if no one knew about the product there would be no sales. But it is not just the process of informing the public about the products' existence, it is also informing the public on how the product works, and where one can be purchased.
Due to there being such a large variety of similar products, persuasion plays a large role in promotion. Persuasion is the process of convincing the buyer to purchase their product rather than any other. Promotion plays a large role in persuasion, as the product must be promoted better than any other similar product in order to persuade the buyer to rather buy this product.
Marketers also remind consumers about their product daily via promotional methods. This is done to keep the steady or increasing product sales from dropping. It reminds the consumer about the products availability, and ability to satisfy.
Promotion is the attempt to influence the customer to purchase the product. Promotion can also be broken down into four form of promoting: personal selling, advertising, sales promotion and public relations. Each of these are equally important, as they each have their own unique features that determine the role they play in promotion.
Personal selling is a highly concentrated form of promotion. It involves more personal tasks of selling and promoting products, such as over the phone, face to face and door to door sales.
Advertising is also a highly concentrated form of promotion. This involves non-personal means of promotion. Advertising appears everywhere in daily life. We see hundreds of adverts everyday. Adverts are seen every day, spread from radio, television, newspaper, magazines, billboards, cars, T-shirts, Blimps. Internet ect.
Sales promotion is a more "post rewarding" form of promotion, this is due to the sales promotion happening, such as the product selling at half price, he company will suffer some loss unless sales double. However after the sale when prices return to normal, hopefully more people tried the product due to the sale, and now there is a larger number of consumers, which means an increase product sales.
Sales promotions also include event sponsorship, demos, contests, samples, in store displays, discounts and coupons. These all try to give the public a small "taste" of the product, hopefully making them want more and buy the product, which will increase the sales.
Public relations is a communication based form of promotion. It tries to rather give the company and product a good name, for example people will see the company sponsoring charitable events, and there for want to support them for doing good. Public relations devices such as newsletters, annual reports, lobbying, charitable events ect are also used to help increase sales.
Publicity is also a form of public relations, it is however not paid for by the company concerned, so it would be a free, as long as it is positive publicity as the company has no control over what is said about them.
So as we can see promotion plays a large role in marketing, as it helps to increase sales volumes, therefore increasing the cash flow into the company.
My advice on promoting the University of Kwazulu Natal is as follows:
Firstly the target market is needed to be sorted out (we need to identify the target market) thus being matric and 11th Graders.
Setting up communication between all schools around South Africa and UKZN would be an essential strategy, as this would allow us to inform the scholars about what UKZN is, where UKZN is, what UKZN has to offer, and the benefits of enrolling in UKZN. Thus the seed is planted and there will be a large amount of scholars who now know about UKZN.
Due to South Africa having a high standard of good Universities, persuasion would also be a key tool I would use. Thus I would be promoting UKZN as the best, with the best facilities for education and sport, excellent lecturers, a large variety of courses on offer, good scholarship and bursary funds ect. This will help in persuading people to rather enroll with UKZN, as they would get a better deal.
When dealing with the scholars, they would probably best be approached halfway through Grade 11 before they start applying for University. Thus due to it being so early the scholars will need to be reminded about the University. This would best happen in my opinion by either sending out pamphlets to the schools or sending guest speakers on behalf of UKZN.
Having knowledgeable UKZN counselors visit the schools, talk one on one with the scholars, parents, teachers and headmaster would be a wise move. This is part of the Personal selling method. It will give a more personal approach to the promotion.
Advertisement can be a very strong tool if used properly. Thus I would use it to help promote UKZN by sending out flyers, postcards, adverts in the print media in school magazines, and Free T-shirts all promoting UKZN to the schools. Billboards and television/radio adverts would also be used, as they are very effective.
Another method I would use is sales promotion. I would hold fundays and charitable functions such as fun runs, all sponsored by UKZN. This will help give UKZN a good name, showing that we support the people, hopefully they will support us. Open days would also be used to give future students a taste of what they could have. The usual sports and academic scholarships would play a large part in my promotion, as it would show how UKZN supports the community.
Due to the merger of the universities, hopefully there will be a lot of public relations going on, as well as publicity. I would use this to my advantage, as it is free advertising. Due to all the positive work done, such as scholarships, bursaries, sponsored events ect, hopefully all publicity will be positive. Also due to the University giving out the sports bursaries and academic bursaries, there will be a lot of free advertising involved through publicity. For example when one of the bursary holders excel at what they do, such as win a race, they will be on television, in newspapers and magazines with UKZN colours, proudly supporting and advertising UKZN for free.
So basically the four methods of promotion as discussed above, that I would use are: Personal selling, Advertising, Sales promotion and public relations (including publicity).
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