Marketing and promotional strategies can provide businesses with a number of benefits, ranging from upticks in sales to brand building and increased market share. An entire industry exists due to the fact that businesses benefit from marketing efforts. These same strategies, when overused or poorly conceived, can also yield unintended disadvantages that adversely impact the bottom line, product line or reputation.
Marketing and promotional efforts that rely heavily on advertising run the risk of oversaturation in the targeted market. This can take two forms. In markets with lots of competition, advertising from one business tends to get lumped and ignored along with advertising from every business in that industry. The second form occurs when a business or product receives so much advertising and promotion that the targeted consumers get turned off by the mere mention of the business or product.
Many businesses employ discounts and special pricing as a promotional strategy to capture market share. Special pricing strategies, when used sparingly and for very limited periods of time, can generate positive results. When overused or maintained for extended periods of time, discount pricing strategies can decrease the perceived value of the product. After the discount pricing period ends, many consumers decline to pay the regular retail price for a product.
Converting prospects into paying customers almost always costs more than making sales to existing clients. In spite of this, many marketing and promotional strategies fixate on capturing new customers with little or no thought given to existing customers. This type of new customer tunnel vision effectively discards a large group of people with which the business already has a relationship, and who probably maintain an interest in new products or services in the industry. The absence of marketing aimed at existing customers loses the business money, as sales to these customers often require nothing more than sending emails to a client list.
While online marketing and promotional strategies do level the playing field to some extent, cost represents the big disadvantage for most marketing efforts. Television spots, particularly during high viewership hours, can cost more than the entire marketing budgets of some businesses. In general, the larger the geographic area the marketing needs to reach, the higher the costs. Publications with higher circulation numbers tend to charge more for ad space. In some cases, reaching the right areas requires negotiating separate arrangement with a number of media outlets, which incurs time costs, as well as financial costs.