I think this goes without saying that promotion is important. Despite the clear conception, many small business owners are still reluctant to go all out in this function.
This is understandable, however, from their perspective, because promotion can be costly. Small business owners may want to focus on other day-to-day business aspects.
However, promotion is essential marketing tool, and the cost is usually justified with its benefits. What benefits promotion can bring into your business?
There are many types of promotion you can choose, from buying space for advertisement, demonstrating products in public space, delivering catalogue, and so on.
You’ll want to pick a promotion method that gives you the best return on investment (ROI), or the one that gives you the most sales or awareness (depending on your target) per dollar you paid. That way,
But, what kind of promotion is important and what kind of promotion you’re better off not doing? Later we’ll learn the strategy of good marketing. But, before that, check out the list of the benefits of promotion below.
- It raises brand awareness
First and foremost, promotion creates exposure to your product or service. It tells the public that your brand exists, and hopefully it stays in their mind so the next moment they require a product or service, they’ll remember your brand.
To raise your brand into one of the top-of-mind brand in your category, however, is not easy. You’ll need constant and frequent promotion, so you can bring back the public’s awareness toward your product whenever it starts to fade. You’ll need unique and memorable promotion if you have many competitors offering similar product or service.
- It conveys information
Information is the key in promotion. If public don’t have any information about your product or service, do you think they’ll want to buy it? Some adventurous ones may, but most of them, especially risk-averse people, would rather buy a more familiar brand. Information, however, reduces their fear.
Basic information such as materials, specification, benefits, dimensions, varieties, advantages compared to competitor’s products, and such gives your future customers a clear picture of the product or service you’re selling. That way, risk-averse and risk-neutral people to be willing to at least try your product or service. Information can also raise further curiosity.
- You can raise positive association for your product
You can convey more than basic information during your promotion. Not only that, you can even create positive association with additional information. People are more likely to buy products or services that give them feel-good feeling. With advertisement showing people having fun while eating chocolate, for example, people will associate chocolate with fun. Another example is toothpaste advertisement showing a girl who catches the attention of a guy she likes with a smile showing perfectly white teeth that will make people associate the toothpaste brand with attractiveness.
- You can target idealists too
If your brand promotes a good cause such as nature preservation or abolishment of child labor, you can even sell your products to idealists who will only buy product or service that support their value. You can get exposure in community as well.
However, the most important key to note in this kind of promotion is it doesn’t work if you lie. As customers get smarter and information is more accessible than ever, it’s impossible to hide your lie forever. When they find out, they will smear your brand reputation or even boycott your product or service. You could be accused for green washing as well.
With all those benefits, it actually makes sense for promotion to be costly. What you need to do is to ensure that every penny you spent returns something back to your company, if it’s not yet in the form of sales, but at least in other value, such as increasing prospects.
What kind of promotion yield high result? It depends on many factors, from the specification of your product or service, your target customer, your market’s demographic area, and others. When you’re planning a promotion, make sure to adopt a strategy that will work the best with your target customers.
If you’re targeting customers in lower class and lower middle class, discount, bonuses, and gimmick like buy one get one usually works, because these types of customers are more price-conscious. In the advertisement, put emphasize on the more functional aspect of your product and value-per-price. If you’re targeting premium customers, cutting price may reduce the exclusivity that makes your product valuable in the first place, so focus on emphasizing the finesse and quality. If you’re targeting middle class customers, then use a mix of both.
The channel you choose is important. Products aimed for senior, for example, will better reach them via television or radio that social media or printed media, since seniors usually watch TV or listen to radio to spend their time, rather than browsing through a smartphone or reading newspaper with tiny font.
The specific genre in where you’ll promote your product or service is also important. If you sell anti-aging cosmetics, for example, it won’t do if you pay an automotive magazine to display your advertisement. Buying space in morning newspaper may give you some customers, but buying space in woman magazine will be much more effective. The one who reads the magazine is more likely to care and get interested to your product.
The next important thing is the timing. For media like TV, radio, and internet, timing is key for exposure. Products for kids should be advertised during holiday, for example, or when their favorite cartoon is airing. The peak time for people to access social media is between 7PM-9PM, since they are unwinding from their day work.
With the right strategy, you can maximize the benefits of promotion for your business. Many business owners pay thousand to million dollars for advertising, but without the right strategies, those promotions may not even reach their target audience. Make your promotion counts by applying the right strategies above.