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Apart from producing good products and services with the capacity to satisfy the needs customers have, companies have to develop product or brand awareness. They have to inform potential customers about their new products. In order to reach this objective, marketers decide about the most suitable way to promote their products and brands. There are four standard promotional tools: advertising, public relations, sales promotion and personal selling.

Advertising helps companies to persuade people to buy their products and also to improve their reputation by using institutional or prestige advertising. The majority of the organizations prefer to hire advertising agencies because of their knowledge and resources. In addition, word-of-mouth, which occurs when people discuss about products they have tried, constitutes the best kind of advertising. On the other hand, advertising has disadvantages such as the fact that after a certain period of time it becomes ineffective, people do not notice ads any more.

This is why advertising is combined with other types of promotion. Public relations constitutes an interesting option because of its better impact and lower cost. At the same time, people tend to read and believe publicity more than advertising.

Sales promotion includes several tactics. Free samples allow target customers to test new products. Temporary price reductions may attract price-conscious brand-switchers and other customers by way of loss leaders. They are also useful with competitors. A great advantage is that it is also aimed at distributors, dealers and retailers, and the sales force.

Although it is very expensive, personal selling helps companies to sell their products and services. Salespeople spread information and talk with customers, assisting them with their possible needs and problems. An advantage to take into account is that they provide information and ideas they receive from customers.

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