Module MM062

Promotion Policy (Marketing Mix III)


Module authors

Ko de Ruyter

Maastrich University
The Netherlands




Debbie I. Keeling

Loughborough University

Learning objectives

After you completed this module, you will:

  • Know the difference between advertising, public relations, sales promotion, personal selling, and sponsoring.
  • Recognize the importance of rational and irrational buying motivations.
  • Be familiar with different marketing communication models and their situation-specific relevance.
  • Know which instruments are part of the promotion mix.
  • Be able to compose a promotion plan.
  • Know about the different promotion instruments and their applications.

1. Introduction
2. The promotion process
3. The promotion plan
4. Promotion instruments

Workload units 1
Read excerpt Promotion Policy


Why Open School of Management believes that knowledge of promotion policy instruments is important

The promotion stage of marketing a product is when that product is introduced to the target segment in the market. It is through this introduction that the message is sent to the potential target segment. Before this message is sent it must of course be composed and as in any other communications process, the marketing department must find a common ground with its intended audience and anticipate the questions that are likely to occur during the deciphering of the product message. Communication requires the message or idea, be encoded (generally written) through a specific medium and sent through channel at the end of which the target/recipient must interpret the message and be persuaded to take action or not. Action indicates that the message has been successful and is considered positive feedback. Inaction signifies failure of its persuasive attempt and is negative feedback. Both positive and negative feedback are required in order to make improvements as needed.


The Promotion Process

The promotion process is that by which an idea, the product, is first defined by the marketing department as it relates to the target market. Research will have provided a path to this first step, when a marketing strategy is planned and methods of creating differentiation have been established.
Arriving at the promotional phase requires that the target is once again considered for how to best send the promotional message. Persuasion for one target member may be effective while other methods would be more appropriate for someone of perhaps a different gender or age group.


The Promotion Plan and its Tools

Many will automatically associate promotion directly with advertising. Although the association is valid, the two are not one and the same. Advertising is one of several component tools of promotion.

  • Others are
  • personal sales
  • public relations and publicity
  • direct marketing
  • interactive/Internet Marketing
  • sales Promotion
  • sponsorship

Advertising is specifically promotion that has been financed — print journalism, radio and television as well as those ads we see on the placemats at our local diners. Personal Sales requires face-to-face meetings between buyers and sellers, such as the meeting one would have with a car salesman Public Relations and Publicity are metho.ds of promotion in which the product receives the attention of another organization, like a newspaper, and the burden of funding is not the responsibility of the product owners. Direct marketing is a promotional technique that delivers the message to the individual, such as mailings or telephone calls. Interactive/Internet marketing relies on the use of a Web site or social media that can offer interaction through things like product customization and even dialog as product feedback. Sales promotion is a measure taken to boost sales and is done by running specials such as buy one get one free or other motivators for purchase of this product. Sponsorship is another method of promotion that can be accomplished in several forms. One example of this kind of promotion is through activity at events. For example, a soda company might provide beverages free of charge to attendees at a seminar, thus showing that the company had goodwill toward whatever the common cause.

Having determined the target segment and the message that will be received, it is important to decide which avenues will be utilized to deliver that message. There are many means by which this can be accomplished and are generally tailored to the members who are likely to receive the message. For example, the millennials have a tendency to use electronic messaging as a predominant form of communication. Mailing a post-card to an individual in this segment is less likely to be acknowledged than through use of social media sites and other electronic channels. Household products are advertised heavily on daytime television because that audience is targeted by these manufacturers. When planning for promotion, it is essential that the general habits of the target are understood and the best possible channels of communication be used so that the message is received and understood and that the recipients will take action.

Marketing would be brought to a standstill if promotion were not carefully planned and assessed on a regular basis by management so that if changes are needed, management can control those changes in a way in which the product is improved and customer satisfaction is maintained. As today's economy proceeds through its slow recovery, it is important to establish a real or perceived need by the consumer in order to increase or at least maintain sales. This is first done through marketing communications, also known as product promotion. Without it, the company would sell little or nothing and ultimately take a loss. This kind of loss may very well lead to job loss at a time when job creation is needed. Careful planning though market analysis research will determine the need for the product. Once it is being developed that need is the foundation for how the product will be promoted and what strategies can be used (i.e. cost leadership, niche marketing, etc.). It is on this the promotional plan should have its basis, with the intent of building brand awareness and finally brand identity. Brand Identity requires more than a consumer's ability to recognize a brand. Brand awareness is responsible for general recognition while brand identity is a vital component of product placement within the mind of the consumer and his or her personal or emotional reactions to it.


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