Promotion is any form of communication a business or organization uses to inform, persuade, or remind people about its products and improve its public image. A business uses product promotion to convince potential customers to buy products from it instead of from a competitor. In doing this, the business also explains the major features and benefits of its products, tells where those products are sold, advertises sales on those products, answers customer questions, and introduces new products.
A business uses institutional promotion to create a favorable image for itself (especially in relation to competitors). Institutional promotion does not directly sell a certain product. However, by creating a favorable image, institutional promotion may ultimately result in increased sales of a companys products.
Promotion is an important part of our economy. Each year billions of dollars are spent on promotional activities and millions of people perform promotion related work.
There are four basic types of promotion and one of these is advertising. Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. Advertising is distinguished from other forms of promotion by three features: first, the time or space devoted to it is paid for. Second, it uses a set format to carry the message rather than personal selling, one-on-one selling. And third, it identifies the sponsor of the message.
Here are some of the advantages of advertising and why big businesses spent billions on this.
First, a large number of people usually see the advertisers message. Whenever you let your pocket folder printing be advertised for instance either in print or broadcast advertising, customers will know that you exist and that you have a wide variety of products like pocket folders, business cards and other print materials.
Second, advertising costs per potential customer (whether the customer is a viewer, a reader, or listener) are usually lower than other forms of promotion.
Third, businesses can choose the most appropriate media to reach their target market; since there are many different ways to advertise (you can advertise your pocket folders using billboards, newspapers, radio, and television to name a few).
Fourth, a business can control the content of an advertisement and adapt it to the medium and method of presentation.
Fifth, advertisements are subject to repeat viewing. This helps to keep the advertisers message in peoples minds.
Sixth, advertisements can pre-sell products- that is, they can influence people to make-up their minds about a purchase before they even start to shop.
As overwhelming as its advantages might seem, advertising also has drawbacks:
First, advertising cannot focus well on individual needs because the message is the same for all customers.
Second, some forms of advertising, such as television, can be too expensive for some businesses.
Third, in certain respects, advertising is wasteful and inefficient. Many of the people that read magazine ads or view television, for example, are not potential customers for the advertised product.
Fourth, because of the cost involved and the need to attract and hold the attention of potential customers, advertisements often must be brief. Sometimes a page of advertising copy or a few words on a billboard, for example, are too brief to inform in depth. Other forms of promotion, personal sales presentations for example, can be far more complete.
Knowing these advantages and drawbacks can now help you consider what type of promotion you will engage in to generate the most sales for your business to become successful.