There can be a wide range of objectives for your promotional plan, not just a new product launch.
Targets may be general sales increase, acquisition of market share, brand equity creation, market positioning, defensive pricing, or creation of a corporate image.
Let’s take a look at the steps you should follow to define your strategy.
The objectives of promotion are normally; –
- To present information to consumers, educate and inform them about the product.
- To create or stimulate demand.
- To differentiate the product
Know your competition
Your first step is to define the product or service you are working on, and its USPs (Unique selling points) in the context of your target market, and identify what you can uniquely offer your clients. To do this, you will need to know and understand your competitors and their products and strategies.
You might use a SWOT analysis here (an overview of your products strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to help you position the product in the market and define your target market.
You may find these links helpful; –
Define your target
Then you should define your target market, defining the demographic-age, sex, marital status, geographical location, earning power.
Now define your marketing goals, such as monthly sales. Remember to make them SMART; –
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound
You are now ready to design your campaign, this is your plan to communicate with prospects and turn them into customers. This will detail the marketing mix, i.e. communication strategies, the tools and tactics you will employ, whether it will be an email campaign, press or TV advertising, leaflets, billboards, PR. We will review these in detail in the coming modules
Next you need to set your marketing budget and allocate spending across the channels you are using. Document expected returns in terms of sales and gross profits.
Remember to test and measure. Each time you change a variable, evaluate the result, build on what works and discard what doesn’t work.
Your company’s ethics and philosophy
There is a sea change taking place in the public’s attitude to business, which is going to be fundamentally important to all companies going forward, so you would be well advised to ensure that it is built into your marketing strategy. This may be a good time to review that.
Today’s public want to deal with companies that are ethically sound, that pay their taxes, care about the environment, provide good quality product and service, and give back to the community.
They don’t want to deal with companies that rip them off, offer poor service, are greedy, or exploit them.
Organisational integrity is an important part of the consumers decision to do business with a company. We see this reflected in the growth of Fairtrade business, social enterprises, cooperatives.
The public are sophisticated enough to understand that companies have to trade profitability to be sustainable, but they expect the companies they choose to deal with to have a corporate integrity, to have a sense of corporate social responsibility, and do the right thing by their customers and staff.
Aside from being customer friendly, this philosophy will also help you to attract and retain the best staff, partners and suppliers. If everyone knows the company philosophy is always to do the right thing, it gives them a solid ethical reference point for every decision they make on behalf of the company
So, as you start to write your marketing plan, try to portray your organization as one with strong ethical qualities and good organisational integrity. Make sure all your decisions reflect this integrity and everything you do is fair for all.