Many years ago when we were still well and truly in the industrial age, manufacturers thought all they had to do was to produce a great product and it would sell itself.
That was before they knew anything about marketing and promotions. They had yet to discover the secret that true business success occurs in understanding the needs and desires of their specific target market.
Business leaders then worked out that if they were to identify what it was people needed, then concentrate on producing just that, they would have a ready market. But even doing this didn’t guarantee them overnight success. It wouldn’t necessarily result in consumers falling over each other to buy.
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Why? Because if the consumers didn’t know the product was available and if they didn’t know where to get it – how could they clamour for it? They realised they had to promote their product or service and their business.
This is still the position today. Yet how many businesses, in this advanced technological age, this age of information, actually devote enough resources to promotion.
Test and measure
The key to successful promotion is consistency. It’s wise to develop promotion strategies that promote your business in a consistent, deliberate manner and on a regular basis. It’s a planned activity – not something that just happens.
The greatest business people and marketers understand the concept of testing and measuring all their promotional activities.
When you are testing and measuring, every step brings you closer to the right formula and the right approach. If you approach your marketing expecting everything to work the first time, you’ll be disappointed when you discover it doesn’t.
You may give up before you should. Marketing and promotions have certain rules, but it’s still largely a matter of trial and error.
You give it your best guess and then find out for sure. It’s essential that you record every result. It’s extra work, but you will be relieved when you have a marketing strategy you know will produce results. That confidence comes only from testing and measuring.
There is another concept I would like to introduce. This is the concept of the relationship.
It’s important that you understand what a relationship can do for your business.
One of the most powerful results promotional campaigns bring to any business is the relationship that develops between the business and its target market.
A good relationship means your customers will trust what you say; they will be more likely to take your advice than if the relationship was non-existent. Also, your promotional campaigns will become interactive.
Just know that when it comes to attracting customers, the only real difference between your company and Nike, Apple or Burger King is greater, bigger promotions. Let’s look at why such well-known, successful brands spend millions on promotions.
Take Coca-Cola. Do you think this company really needs to invest the money it does on promotional activities even though the product probably enjoys the highest levels of brand recognition in the world?
Of course it does. If Coca- Cola were to back off just a little, the company would lose vital ground to its opposition. It’s all about top-of-mind awareness.
Companies like Coca-Cola have been doing this for a very long time and they do it in a systematic way. Its promotional machine has developed momentum but the company needs to keep it rolling. If it were to slacken off, it would lose momentum and of that you can be certain.
So what does the term promotion actually mean? According to the dictionary, the word ‘promotion’ is to ‘help the progress of’. Promotional activities are designed to bring in leads.
They involve activities like publicity, advertising, sponsorship, direct mail, in-store signage, window displays, network functions, to name a few. There is nothing mystical about promoting a business.
It’s very straight forward and logical once you know how, and it’s imperative for your business success that you learn how.