Before deciding on a final campaign, marketing managers need to decide what the promotional goals will be for their overall marketing strategy. Depending on the type of product, marketers need to either inform, persuade or remind consumers about product benefits and features.
Purpose of Promotion
The entire marketing plan begins with the marketing mix, which consists of the four Ps: product, place, promotion and price. Companies spend enormous amounts of their marketing budgets on promotional planning, or the ‘P’ of promotion. The marketing manager must decide why the company is creating a promotional or advertising message. Are they trying to educate, persuade or remind consumers about their products?
Traditionally, companies with established product lines need to have a promotional message that reminds consumers about why they should buy or continue to buy certain products. New products need to have a promotional plan that concentrates on educating customers about product features and benefits. Promotional plans that focus on persuading need to be used where competition is fierce and consumers will need to choose one brand over the competition. This type of promotional persuasion can be either for an established product or a new product.
Let’s discuss a scenario in which Sugar Rush Candy company’s marketing team utilizes promotion to modify behavior within their target market. They need to inform, persuade and remind consumers about their products.
Sugar Rush Candy’s promotional plan for their new product line is dependent upon the goal of informing. The purpose of informative promotion is to convert a consumer need into interest in a new product. Sugar Rush’s new product is a plastic candy cane filled with red and green Bolt candy for the holidays. The coolness factor is that consumers can use the candy canes as decoration and then eat the candy inside. The marketing team needs to introduce the dual use of the candy cane to their target market so they are informed about the new product and its intended use. Marketing managers also set goals for informing the target market when they make changes or improvements to current products.
For example, when Sugar Rush made their mint candy stronger and introduced new flavors, they also needed to utilize an informative promotional campaign to educate their target market. High-tech products almost always partake in some type of informative promotion in order to communicate their product features and benefits. For example, most expensive audiovisual systems are promoted through magazine or Internet ads where there is room to detail all of the features and benefits of the system.
Sometimes, the ultimate promotional plan, or goal, is to get the target market to make a purchase or take an action. For example, Sugar Rush might want to get their customers to buy more Bolt candy during the holidays or use their candy for birthday party grab-bags. This type of promotional goal is called persuading. Sugar Rush’s ads should promote brand switching, which is persuading customers to leave their current candy brand and try a new company’s products. The marketing team needs to persuade consumers to use Sugar Rush candy for their holiday and birthday needs.
Another key use of persuasive promotion is to help change consumers’ attitudes toward or views of a product. Through marketing research, a company might uncover a weakness about their product based on consumer feedback. The company must then address the weakness and persuade consumers to consider their product. For example, a dessert company finds out that consumers think their products have too much fat content. The dessert company could create a promotional campaign to persuade consumers that, per serving size, their treats are actually less fatty than what the competition offers.
More established products and brands traditionally use a type of reminding promotional strategy. Most of these campaigns are created to trigger a mental reminder to purchase the product. This strategy is used when most consumers have already been persuaded to buy the product.
A company that produces ketchup does not need to spend their promotional dollars on a campaign informing consumers about ketchup. Since their ketchup product has been around for more than 60 years, most consumers have already made up their mind about the benefits of using ketchup. The sole promotional goal for a ketchup company, then, would be to remind consumers to buy and use the product for specific purposes, like BBQs, meat and kid meals.
Sugar Rush is a new company, so all of their products are new to the target market. This means that the promotional target of reminding is not yet in their marketing plans.
Marketing managers must develop an effective promotional plan. Each of the company’s products must have a specific promotional objective – whether that is to educate, persuade or remind the consumer about the product’s benefits and features. New products need to have a promotional plan that informs consumers, while existing products tend to have persuasive or reminder goals.
You’ll be able to explain the promotional objectives of informing, persuading and reminding, which are all part of the ‘P’ of promotion, after viewing this lesson.