Promotions are messages delivered by companies through various media to connect with targeted customers. Advertising, public relations, social media and direct marketing are among common promotional tools. Regardless of the promotional method, promotions share common traits that are necessary to successful projection of a company or product message.
A promotion without an audience either doesn't exist or has no logic. The point of company or product promotion is to appeal to your targeted customers. You not only need an audience for a promotional message, but you want to efficiently reach the right people. This makes choosing the right promotional option and the right media critical to your success. Paying for advertising, for instance, allows you more control over who sees or hear your message than relying on PR opportunities like feature stories.
Promotions are, by definition, messages. Whether you pay for the delivery or find other means, you project a message to your audience. In advertising, the goal is usually either to build the value of your brand by expressing company or product benefits, or to attract customers immediately through sales promotions and inducements. PR is used to generate goodwill with the public and to announce new events or activities to your community.
Effective promotions have sensory appeal. The more senses your message appeals to, the more impact it generally has. In television ads, for instance, you have the ability to not only describe benefits, but to also show off products through demonstrations and stories. Using social media or direct marketing, you can interact directly with customers to understand their problems and needs, and to address them with your messages. In-store promotions can add the sense of taste and smell, such as with food samples.
Promotions, especially those that are paid for, such as advertising, are used to persuade customers to act. Initially, companies try to create awareness and get customers to take their product or service offerings seriously. Over time, promoters shift into creating favorable associations with their brands, inducing buying activity, and, ultimately, generating loyal, emotional attachments from core customers. Persuasion is vital to success in competitive markets where all companies are trying to garner attention of customers with their own value propositions.