Marketing Your ProductsServices and Promoting Your Organizaon

Marketing Your Products/Services and Promoting Your Organization

© CopyrightCarter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

This module is in theorganization development program. However, this module can also be used by anyone as a self-study exercise to learn more about marketing the organization and its products/services.

Suggested Topics for Reflection and Discussion

Activities to Build Systems and Practices

There is often a great deal of misunderstanding about marketing. People often consider marketing to be the same as advertising. Its not. Advertising is only one part of marketing. Very simply put, marketing is the wide range of activities involved in making sure that youre continuing to meet the needs of your customers and getting value in return.

Market analysis includes finding out what groups of customers (or markets) exist, what their needs are, what groups of customers you prefer to serve (target markets), what products or services you might develop to meet their needs, how the customers prefer to use the products and services, what your competitors are doing, what pricing you should use and how you should distribute products and services to customers. Results of this marketing analysis indicates the position, or market niche, for the organization to work from — and to be seen as having. Marketing also includes ongoing promotions, which can include advertising, public relations, sales and customer service. Various methods of market research are used to find out information about markets, target markets and their needs, competitors, market trends, customer satisfaction with products and services, etc.

NOTE ABOUT THE LARGE SIZE OF THIS MODULE: This module is one of the largest in the program. The activity of marketing an organization and its products and services is critical to the success of the organization and its products and services — the marketing process is broad and sometimes quite detailed. Learners who have very limited time schedules might proceed through this module primarily by reviewing the learning materials and then thinking about how they would carry out (rather than actually carrying out) the various activities to build structures in their organization.

NOTE ABOUT BOARD COMMITTEES: Consider establishing a Marketing Committee to review and help guide implementation of the information in this learning module. Major activities and goals from this learning module could be incorporated in that CommitteesCommittee Work Plan.

Conduct Basic Market Analysis for Each Product

Draft Your Public and Media Relations Plan

Draft Your Advertising and Promotions Plan

Draft Your Marketing and Promotions Plans

The following materials will help you address each of the topics and learning activities in this module.

See the Big Picture About Marketing

First, scan the text on the following three pages to get a quick idea of what is included in each and differences between the three.

Whats Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales? (all)

Marketing– particularly the sections:

– – -Marketing (the introduction Marketing — A Commonly Misunderstood Term)

– – -Basics of Market Planning (read first 7 articles about doing a marketing plan)

– – -Market Research– particularly the sections:

– – – – – -Basic Methods to Get Feedback from Customers (read all)

– – – – – -Some Major Sources of Market Research Information (read all)

– – -Competitive Analysis (read introduction at top of page)

– – – – – -Direct and Indirect Competition – Definitions

– – – – – -What is Competitive Intelligence?

– – -Pricing (read introduction at top of page)

– – -Naming and Branding (read introduction at top of page)

– – -Intellectual Property (read introduction at top of page)

– – -Positioning (read introduction at top of page)

Basics and Planning (read introduction)

– – -Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion (read all)

Public and Media Relations, particularly the sections:

Managing Media Relations (at least 4 articles)

Customer Service (read at least 4 articles in Basics and Planning)

SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

Learners are strongly encouraged to discuss the following questions with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.

1. Define marketing. Advertising. Promotions. Public relations. Publicity. Sales. In your definitions, include how these terms are similar and different. SeeWhats Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales?

2. What is inbound marketing? Outbound marketing? SeeMarketing (the introduction Marketing — A Commonly Misunderstood Term.

3. What is market analysis? SeeBasics of Marketing — introduction.

4. What is market research? SeeMarket Research — introduction.

1. What is a target market? How does one define a target market? SeeMarketing (the introduction Marketing — A Commonly Misunderstood Term.

2. What is a competitor analysis? SeeCompetitive Intelligence — introduction.

3. What should be considered when setting the price for a product or service? SeeMarketing Pricing — introduction.

4. What should be considered when naming a product or service? SeeNaming and Branding — introduction.

5. What is intellectual property? SeeIntellectual Property — introduction.

6. What is a positioning statement? SeePositioning — introduction.

1. What is public relations? SeeWhats Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales?andManaging Your Public Image.

2. Name at least three practices in maintaining strong public relations. SeeManaging Your Image (Public Relations).

3. What is media relations? SeeWhats Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales?andManaging Media Relations.

4. Name at least three practices in maintaining strong media relations. SeeManaging Media Relations.

1. What is sales? SeeWhats Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales?andWhat is Sales?

2. What are some basic steps in the sales process? SeeUnderstanding the Sales Process.

1. What are some basic steps in the maintaining high-quality customer service? SeeCustomer Service.

ACTIVITIES TO BUILD SYSTEMS AND PRACTICES

Learners are strongly encouraged to complete the following activities, and share and discuss results with peers, board members, management and employees, as appropriate.

Various activities below will direct you to complete your Marketing and Promotions Plan by filling in theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan. The Framework is written in HTML Web-based language. You might want to re-create the Framework with your own preferred word-processing software.

As you proceed through the following activities, be sure to note any incomplete actions in theAction Item Planning List.

Writing Your Marketing Plan for Each Product/Service

NOTE: This Plan should be focused on a particular product or service, because each has its own different description, features and benefits, customers, competitors and pricing.

1. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write a description of the product/service. The description should be written as if your customers are the readers. In the description, include the specific groups of customers served by the product/service, nature of the method(s) in the product/service , outcomes for customers and any other benefits to them, and where they should go next if they are interested in using the product/service. Be careful to describe the product/service in terms of benefits to customers, not to you. For example, address pricing, convenience, location, quality, service, atmosphere, etc.

2. In the table inFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write a brief description of the major groups of customers who will benefit from your product/service and the major benefits to them. Remember that the overall strategic goals of the organization very much determine whom you want to serve. For example, strategic goals might be to expand the overall number of customers or markets you have now, get new customers, get more revenue from current customers, etc. You may want to develop new services in a current or new market, or expand current services in a current or new market.

Understanding each of your product/service target markets makes it much easier for you to ensure that your product/service remains highly useful to each of them — each target market tends to be unique. Understanding your target markets helps you to focus on where to promote your product/service, including advertising, conducting public relations campaigns and selling your product/service. If youve done a good job so far of market research, then identifying the primary targets market should be fairly straightforward. However, it is very useful to determine several additional target markets. These additional markets are often where you should focus promotions and additional sources of assistance and revenue. (If you struggle to identify your target markets, the following links might help you, includingHow to Identify a Target Market and Prepare a Customer ProfileandMarketing Research.)

3. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write a description of each of your target markets. The more you know about your customers, the better you might be at serving them. Consider, for example, their major needs, how they prefer to have their needs met, where they are and where they prefer to have their needs met, and demographics information (their age ranges, family arrangement, education levels, income levels, typical occupations, major interested, etc). Also, consider what methods of communication they might prefer because thats how you are more likely to be successful to communicate to them, for example, when advertising your product/service.

4. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write results from your analysis of your competitors. Consider the following questions: Who are your competitors for the product/service? What customer needs are you competing to meet? What are the similarities and differences between their product/service and yours? What are the strengths and weaknesses of their product/service? How do their prices compare to yours? How are they doing overall? How do you plan to compete, for example, offer better quality services, lower prices, more support, easier access to services etc? For assistance, seeCompetitive Analysis.

5. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write results from your analysis of potential collaborators. Who are potential collaborators with your organization and specific to the product/service? What customer needs might you collaborate to meet? What resources might they bring and what could you bring? What could you do next to cultivate collaboration with other organizations? For assistance, seeOrganizational Alliances.

6. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, write results from your pricing analysis. Several major factors influence the pricing for a product/service. Strategic goals greatly influence pricing. For example, if the organization really wants to get into a new market, then it might charge lower than usual prices in order to generate more customers who buy the service. The organization might consider changing pricing if the demand for its products/services is very high or low. Competitor pricing also has a great effect. If competitors are charging much less, then the organization might do well to lower prices. Similarly, if the competitor is charging much more, then the organization might consider increasing its own prices. For assistance, seeMarket Pricing.

7. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in the sales plan. Regarding your sales planning, consider: What target markets will be approached? What should be your sales method for each target market, for example, who will make initial contacts to generate leads, do follow-ups to initial contacts, make presentations and close sales? How much do you expect to accomplish in sales (consider terms of outputs, such as dollars made, customers recruited, or other units of service). For assistance, seeUnderstanding the Sales Process.

8. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in the advertising and promotions plan. The plan includes what target markets you want to reach, what features and benefits you want to convey to each of them, what methods and media you will use to convey it to them, who is responsible to implement the methods and how much money is budgeted for this effort. The plan includes plans for a promotional campaign, including an advertising calendar and media plan. The goals of the plans should depend very much on the overall goals and strategies of the organization, and the results of the marketing analysis, including the positioning statement.

When selecting methods, consider what communications methods and media will be most effective in reaching target markets (groups of customers) and when. What are their preferences for media and when do they use them? (The linkBasic Methods to Get Customer Feedbackmight be helpful now.) Consider, for example, radio, newsletters, classifieds, displays/signs, posters, word of mouth, press releases, direct mail, special events, brochures, neighborhood newsletters, etc. What media is most practical for you to use in terms of access and affordability? (The linkMajor Methods of Advertising and Promotionmight be helpful now.)

For additional assistance, seeAdvertising and Promotions.

9. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in the customer service plan. When considering how you will ensure strong services to customers, consider: Are customers very satisfied with your services? How do you know? If not, what can you do to improve customer service? How can you do that? What policies and procedures are needed to ensure strong customer service. Include training in your considerations, including to develop skills in interpersonal relations, such as questioning, listening, handling difficult people, handling interpersonal conflicts, negotiating. For assistance, seeCustomer ServiceBasic Methods to Get Feedback from CustomersQuestioningListeningHandling Interpersonal ConflictHandling Difficult PeopleandNegotiating.

10. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in section about production planning. Note that the development and implementation of various production methods do not have to be addressed in detail in a marketing plan — these topics are usually included in the operations or management planning for the products and services. However, production should be generally considered during the marketing analysis to ensure the eventual detailed production planning takes into consideration the needs of target markets and having their needs met on time. Consider: What resources do you need to build, reproduce and provide the product/service? How do you know? Will you have sufficient resources into the near future? How do you know?

11. In theFramework for Basic Marketing and Promotions Plan, fill in section about distribution planning. Matters of distribution of products/services can be critical for organizations, especially if they are providing critically needed products/services to specific groups of customers.

Carefully consider: What distribution channels should you consider, for example, should customers come to your facility, you visit their offices, can you provide products/services over the telephone or Internet, etc? What resources are needed to bring together your products/services and your target markets? What major steps need to occur to accomplish these distribution channels? (The linkDistributionmay help you.)

Note that detailed planning about developing and maintaining distribution channels is often included in the operations or management plans, rather than in the marketing plan. However, the marketing analysis should focus on selecting the methods of distribution that best meet the needs of target markets and the organization.

In an earlier module about strategic planning, you drafted a basic operating budget. Now that you have a stronger sense of what is needed to produce and market your products, you should update the basic draft that you produced earlier.

1. Design a budget for each of your products/services. If you completedModule 6: Developing Your Strategic Plan, then you already have started basic budgets for each of your products/services. Update those budgets with results from completing this module on product design and marketing. Consider expenses of advertising and promotions, production, distribution and customer service. Also consider any updates to expected revenues as a result of any changes in your pricing policy and as a result of your sales goals in your sales plan.

1.Evaluation of Marketing and Public Relations Activities in Businesses

Evaluating Advertising and Promotions Efforts

REMINDERS FOR THOSE IN THE ON-LINE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMReminders About You

1. Are you exchanging feedback with others about what youre learning in this program? If not, you really should be thinking a lot more seriously about this — adults learn by doing something with new information and then exchanging feedback about it.

2. Are you sticking to your study schedule for this program?

3. Are you practicing your basic skills in management and leadership, including in problem solving and decision making, planning and meeting management?

4. Are you communicating throughout your organization by using your skills in internal communications?

5. Are you managing yourself? How many hours a week are you working? Are you noticing any signs of stress? If so, what are you doing about it?

6. One of the ways you might be able to tell if youre stressed out and/or losing perspective might be whether youre tracking details or not. Are you using the action item list referenced above?

7. Are you reflecting on learnings from past modules and how they build on the learning in this module? For example, are you seeing your organization from a systems view, as explained in the module Starting and Understanding Your Organization?

1. Now that youve given more thought to the design and marketing of your products and services, go back to your strategic plan and update the plans about products, services, staffing and action plans.

1. One of the first indicators that an organization or a person is struggling is that open action items are not tracked and reviewed. (Open action items are required actions that have not yet been completed.) Instead, people only see and react to the latest fires in their workplaces or their lives. Whether open action items are critical to address now or not, they should not entirely be forgotten. Therefore, update and regularly review a list of open action items (identified while proceeding through this program) that includes listing each open action item, who is responsible to complete it, when it should be completed and any associated comments. When updating the list, consider action items as identified during discussions, learning activities and assessments in this module. Share and regularly review this action item list with the appropriate peers, board, management and employees in your organization. You can use the followingAction Item Planning List. (At that Web address, a box might open, asking you which software application to open the document.)

2. If you have questions, consider posing them in the national, free, online discussion groupHRNET, which is attended by many human resource and organization development experts.

(Learners in the organization development program can return to the home page of theorganization development program.)

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Basics, Planning and General Information

Basics, Planning and General Information

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a convenient search window is included below the rows of boxes.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a convenient search window is included below the rows of boxes.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a convenient search window is included below the rows of boxes.

Note to nonprofits: Nonprofits compete with other nonprofits, too. They compete for funding, attention from their communities and for staff. Also, funders often want to see if their grantees have closely considered whether other nonprofits are already offering the same services in the same areas. So nonprofits should use competitive intelligence, too.

Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluationby Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC.There are few books, if any, that explain how to carefully plan, organize, develop and market a nonprofit program. Also, too many books completely separate the highly integrated activities of planning, marketing and evaluating programs. This book integrates all three into a comprehensive, straightforward approach that anyone can follow in order to provide high-quality programs with strong appeal to funders. Includes many online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library topic are adapted from this book.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a convenient search window is included below the rows of boxes.

Also SeePublic Relations — Recommended BooksSales — Recommended Books

Find a TopicSearch Broad CategoriesThese are the most popular topics; to see more, use Index and Search box, to the right

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Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion (Methods of External Communicaons

Major Methods of Advertising and Promotion (Methods of External Communications)

© CopyrightCarter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.

Major Methods of Advertising (Repeatedly Getting Message Out)

Promotional Activities Through the Media (Reporters, Newspapers, etc.)

Other Promotional Activities and Events

Using Direct Mail (this includes mailings directly to your customer)

Mailing Lists (its useful to have lists of people who are likely to buy your product)

Classifieds of Newspapers and Magazines

In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which have posts related to this topic. Scan down the blogs page to see various posts. Also see the section Recent Blog Posts in the sidebar of the blog or click on next near the bottom of a post in the blog.

Librarys Public and Media Relations Blog

First, A Word About Writing AdsIts almost useless to review lists of alternatives for advertising if you havent developed well-written ads. Writing ads is a skill. There are important aspects to think about, including the wording, graphics, arrangement of wording and graphics, coloring, how your audience will interpret the ads, their placement, etc. Poorly done ads can hurt you worse than not having ads at all. Therefore, very carefully consider getting help to write your first ads. (SeeWriting Your Ad.)

What Should You Write in Your Ads?The answer to this question depends almost entirely on the reading and listening habits of your current and potential customers. This is where some basic market research can help you a great deal. A lot can be learned by using a few basic methods. (SeeBasic Methods to Get Customer FeedbackandSome Major Sources of Market Research Information.)

Before you write your ads, you should give careful thought to your unique selling position so you know what unique features and benefits to convey and to whom. Review information inPositioning.

Note that a common mistake among inexperienced ad writers is to write the ad to themselves, rather than to their current and potential customers. Your ads should clearly the benefits (of products and services) to customers, not the benefits to you — clearly state the ads in terms that the customer will value, for example, easy access, low cost, easy to use, reliability, etc. Your ads should answer the customers question: Whats in it for me? Your ad should also specify what they are to do next. What action should they take and how do they take it, for example, who do they call and how.

Major Methods of Advertising (Repeatedly Getting Message Out)Brochures or flyers– Many desk-top publishing and word-processing software packages can produce highly attractive tri-fold (an 8.5 inch by 11-inch sheet folded in thirds) brochures. Brochures can contain a great deal of information if designed well, and are becoming a common method of advertising. (SeeWriting Brochures.)

Direct mail– Mail sent directly from you to your customers can be highly customized to suit their nature and needs. You may want to build a mailing list of your current and desired customers. Collect addresses from customers by noticing addresses on their checks, asking them to fill out information cards, etc. Keep the list online and up-to-date. Mailing lists can quickly become out-of-date. Notice mailings that get returned to you. This should be used carefully and it can incur substantial cost, you dont want to inundate your stakeholders with information so make the most of your message. (SeeUsing Direct MailandMailing Lists.)

E-mail messages– These can be wonderful means to getting the word out about your business. Design your e-mail software to include a signature line at the end of each of your e-mail messages. Many e-mail software packages will automatically attach this signature line to your e-mail, if you prefer. (SeeNetiquette – Techniques and styles of writing e-mail messagesandE-mail vs. voice mail.)

Magazines– Magazines ads can get quite expensive. Find out if theres a magazine that focuses on your particular industry. If there is one, then the magazine can be very useful because it already focuses on your market and potential customers. Consider placing an ad or writing a short article for the magazine. Contact a reporter to introduce yourself. Reporters are often on the look out for new stories and sources from which to collect quotes. (SeeClassifieds of Newspapers and Magazines.)

Newsletters– This can be powerful means to conveying the nature of your organization and its services. Consider using a consultant for the initial design and layout. Todays desktop publishing tools can generate very interesting newsletters quite inexpensively. (SeeNewsletters.)

Newspapers(major)- Almost everyone reads the local, major newspaper(s). You can get your business in the newspaper by placing ads, writing a letter to the editor or working with a reporter to get a story written about your business. Advertising can get quite expensive. Newspaper are often quite useful in giving advice about what and how to advertise. Know when to advertise — this depends on the buying habits of your customers. (SeeClassifieds of Newspapers and Magazines.)

Newspapers (neighborhood)– Ironically, these are often forgotten in lieu of major newspapers, yet the neighborhood newspapers are often closest to the interests of the organizations stakeholders. (SeeClassifieds of Newspapers and Magazines.)

Online discussion groups and chat groups– As with e-mail, you can gain frequent exposure to yourself and your business by participating in online discussion groups and chat groups. Note, however, that many groups have strong groundrules against blatant advertising. When you join a group, always check with the moderator to understand what is appropriate. (See the groups listed on the right-hand side,Netiquette – Techniques and styles of writing e-mail messagesandE-mail vs. voice mail.)

Posters and bulletin boards– Posters can be very powerful when placed where your customers will actually notice them. But think of how often youve actually noticed posters and bulletin boards yourself. Your best bet is to place the posters on bulletin boards and other places which your customers frequent, and always refresh your posters with new and colorful posters that will appear new to passers by. Note that some businesses and municipalities have regulations about the number of size of posters that can be placed in their areas. (SeeSigns and Displays.)

Radio announcements– A major advantage of radio ads is they are usually cheaper than television ads, and many people still listen to the radio, for example, when in their cars. Ads are usually sold on a package basis that considers the number of ads, the length of ads and when they are put on the air. . A major consideration with radio ads is to get them announced at the times that your potential customers are listening to the radio. (SeeAdvertising on Radio and T.V.)

Telemarketing– The use of telemarketing is on the rise. (SeeTelemarketing.)

Television ads– Many people dont even consider television ads because of the impression that the ads are very expensive. They are more expensive than most of major forms of advertising. However, with the increasing number of television networks and stations, businesses might find good deals for placing commercials or other forms of advertisements. Television ads usually are priced with similar considerations to radio ads, that is, the number of ads, the length of ads and when they are put on the air. (SeeAdvertising on Radio and T.V.)

Web pages–You probably would not have seen this means of advertising on a list of advertising methods if you had read a list even two years ago. Now, advertising and promotions on the World Wide Web are almost commonplace. Businesses are developing Web pages sometimes just to appear up-to-date. Using the Web for advertising requires certain equipment and expertise, including getting a computer, getting an Internet service provider, buying (usually renting) a Website name, designing and installing the Website graphics and other functions as needed (for example, an online store for e-commerce), promoting the Website (via various search engines, directories, etc.) and maintaining the Website. (SeeBuilding, Managing and Promoting Your WebsiteandOnline Advertising and Promotions.)

Yellow Pages–The Yellow Pages can be very effective advertising if your ads are well-placed in the directorys categories of services, and the name of your business is descriptive of your services and/or your ad stands out (for example, is bolded, in a large box on the page, etc.). The phone company will offer free advice about placing your ad in the Yellow Pages. They usually have special packages where you get a business phone line along with a certain number of ads.

Promotional Activities Through the Media (Reporters, Newspapers, etc.)Articles that you write– Is there something in your industry or market about you have a strong impression? Consider writing an article for the local newspaper or a magazine. In your article, use the opportunity to describe what youre doing to address the issue through use of your business. (SeeBasic Writing Skills.)

Editorials and letters to the editor– Often, program providers are experts at their service and understanding a particular need in the community; newspapers often take strong interest in information about these needs, so staff should regularly offer articles (of about 200 to 900 words) for publication. (SeeManaging Media RelationsandBasic Writing Skills.)

Press kits– This kit is handy when working with the media or training employees about working with the media. The kit usually includes information about your business, pictures, information about your products, commentary from happy customers, etc. (SeeManaging Media Relations.)

Press releases or news alerts– They alert the press to a major event or accomplishment and requesting, e.g., it get included in the newspaper; they explain who, what, where, why and when; some include pictures, quotes, etc. to make it easier for the reporter to develop an announcement or story. (SeeManaging Media Relations.)

Public service announcements (PSAs)– Many radio and some television stations will provide public service announcements for nonprofit efforts. Usually, these PSAs are free.

Other Promotional Activities and EventsAnnual reports- Disseminate these to key stakeholders; theyre ripe with information if they include an overview of your years activities, accomplishments, challenges and financial status. (SeeAnnual Reports.)

Collaboration or strategic restructuring- If youre organization is undertaking these activities, celebrate it publicly. (SeeOrganizational Alliances.)

Networking- Spread the word to peers, professional organizations and those with whom you interact outside the organizations, e.g., educators, consultants, suppliers, clients, etc. (See Networking.)

Novelties– It seems more common to find ads placed on pens and pencils, coffee cups, T-shirts, etc. These can be powerful means of advertising if indeed current and potential customers see the novelties. This condition often implies additional costs to mail novelties, print T-shirts, etc.

Presentations– Youre probably an expert at something. Find ways to give even short presentations, for example, at local seminars, Chamber of Commerce meetings, trade shows, conventions, seminars, etc. Its amazing that one can send out 500 brochures and be lucky to get 5 people who respond. Yet, you can give a presentation to 30 people and 15 of them will be very interested in staying in touch with you. (SeePresenting.)

Relationships with key stakeholders– Identify at least one representative from each major stakeholder group and take them to lunch once a year. What seem as short, informal exchanges can cultivate powerful relationships of interest and concern.

Special events–These tend to attract attention, and can include, e.g., an open house, granting a special award, announcing a major program or service or campaign, etc.

Special offers–We see these offers all the time. They include, for example, coupons, discounts, sweepstakes, sales, etc.

Social networking involves a variety of online tools that can be used by people and organizations to quickly share a great deal of information at very little cost. Many people are now hearing of some of those tools, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Youtube. Experts are asserting that social networking is a must for people and organizations wanting to share information with others — after all, thats what marketing is all about! For more information, see

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a convenient search window is included below the rows of boxes.

Also SeeCrisis Management — Recommended BooksInsurance (Business) — Recommended BooksMarketing — Recommended BooksRisk Management — Recommended Books

Find a TopicSearch Broad CategoriesThese are the most popular topics; to see more, use Index and Search box, to the right

Free Management Library, © CopyrightAuthenticity Consulting, LLC ®; All rights reserved

Website developed Graphics byWylde Hare CreativeProvided by

Marketing Promotional Methods

Limited budgets often impact the promotional methods used by small companies.

Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

[Ten Promotional Strategies] Top Ten Promotional Strategies

[Different Types] What Are the Different Types of Advertising?

[Achieve Marketing Objectives] How Promotional Activity Is Integrated to Achieve Marketing Objectives

Promotions is the part of marketing that specifically involves communicating company or product information to targeted customers. This is a key component of the broader marketing system, because it is what usually makes customers aware of you, attracted to your brand, interested in buying and ultimately, loyal customers. Advertising, public relations and personal selling are three staple methods of promotion, though some new techniques have emerged in the early 21st century.

Advertising takes up a significant portion of a companys budget allocated toward marketing and promotion. It includes the development and paid delivery of brand or product messages through media. Companies usually have internal advertising departments that design and develop ads, or they work with advertising firms who specialize in the advertising process. Since you pay for ad placement in media such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines, you generally have more control over the message than you do through some other promotional methods.

Maintaining goodwill with the public is an important long-term strategy for both small and large companies. A variety of public relations tactics are used to reach out to customers through unpaid-for media messages. Press releases are one of the most common and routine PR tactics. This is when a company sends an overview of a major change or event, product launch or other news to various media outlets. Press conferences, features news reports and newsletters are other common PR tools. A general objective of PR is to keep your brand in front of people even beyond paid ads. The challenge is you cant always control the way your PR messages are delivered or received.

While business typically engage in some level of advertising and public relations, the use of personal selling tactics varies considerably. Some small businesses dont employ active sales associates based on the small-scale products or services they sell. Companies with big-ticket items, such as electronics or appliances, more often use sales associates to stress the benefits of products to customers and to overcome their concerns. Selling is one of the most interactive forms of promotion.

The evolution of the Internet and related technologies has given rise to digital and interactive promotional methods. Email marketing, online advertising and mobile advertising have all become common components of promotional campaigns. These methods are often relatively affordable for small businesses and offer direct connections to tech-savvy consumers who spend significant time online. Social media portals such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube also provide inexpensive ways to interact with customers in real time.

Authenticity Consulting: Basic Definitions: Advertising, Marketing, Promotion, Public Relations and Publicity, and Sales

Ad Age: BMWs Mini Returns with Interactive Promotion

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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Kokemuller, Neil. Marketing Promotional Methods.

Kokemuller, Neil. (n.d.). Marketing Promotional Methods.

Kokemuller, Neil. Marketing Promotional Methods accessed May 28, 2018.

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9 Ways to Promote a New Product or Service

If youve ever come out with a newproduct or service, you know how tough it can be to get the word out. You could be offering the best new product or service in the world, but if you dont promote it properly, you may end up losing money down the line. Here are some creative ways to promote a new service or product for your small business.

When it comes to promoting a new product or service for your business, it can seem like there are endless options. It can be difficult to figure out where to get started and which methods of promotion will give you the best results. The truth is that there are many ways topromote your business, and what works may depend on your business.  Here are 9 ways to promote a new service or product for your business.

Your loyal customers are a key part of how to promote your product, because they are most likely the first ones who will buy it. Offer customers an exclusive preview of your new product. This can take the form of a private, pre-launch party, an online preview, or a special invitation to test out your latest service. Theseexclusive offers to loyal customerswill make them feel good and keep them coming back.

Contests, giveaways, and sweepstakes are a very popular tool among top quality marketers. Why? Marketers know that social media contests work!

Social media contests are a fun, easy way of connecting with customers and bringing in more fans for your social media platforms.A simple Facebook contestfor example, garners 34% new fans on average per campaign. Thats huge considering that organic reach is low on Facebook!

Instagram giveaways give customers an exclusive chance to be the first person to get their hands on your new productfor free! The giveaway can be marketed all across your social media channels and through email.Run an Instagram giveawayto get more direct traffic, put your business in front of new customers, and for a fun way to connect with fans.

Did you know that 82% of consumers open emails from businesses, and that 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email?Email marketing via newslettersis a fantastic vehicle for advertisement, and is one of the best ways to promote a new service or product.

Email newsletters allow you to easily share news of your product, photos, and information with customers. From there, offering an exclusive discount or promotion is a great way to seal the deal so to speak, and get cash flowing your way. For more ideas, check out this post onemail newsletter topic ideas.

With 1.44 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a window to a huge market. Thats whyFacebook ads are an incredibly effective marketing tool.Facebook is particularly useful in concisely targeting your audience, as Facebooks impressive data collection allows businesses to target by gender, age, location, interest, and more. You also have an array ofoptions for the type of ad you want, and you can easily stick to your budget by creating a cap on how much you want to spend daily or monthly.

Businesses with brick and mortar locations have the added opportunity topromote a new product or service in-store.If you want to know how to promote your product in your studio or store, the 1 thing you need to do is to give people a reason to go to your store.

Aside from having attractive logos and signage, you can promote your new product or service in store with signs and promotional materials inside. Offerexclusive in-store discounts, such as a buy-one-get-one-free or a percentage discount. You could also market your product as being exclusively available at your retail store. Whatever your promotion, be sure to emphasize that it wont last forever. Customers whose purchase power is limited, either by time or inventory, feel a more pressing sense of urgency to buy when it comes to your product.

Another way to get people to your physical location is tohost an event or an open house at your business. Hosting an event is a great way to get people physically into your business, which makes them more likely to become a customer. Events dont have to be fancy and super organized; something as simple as an open house or an info session will work for locations like salons, fitness centers, yoga studios, spas, and retail stores.

If your business is in a location with other local businesses, you can work together to have a sidewalk sale or outdoor open house to draw even larger crowds! This is a great way to promote a new product or service that youre offering.

If your business is more service-based than product-based, like a salon, spa, fitness center, or consulting business, you can offer an upgrade for customers to try out your new service. Offering a new facial or massage at your spa? Provide a complimentary upgrade for existing customers to try it out! Expanding your consulting services? Offer expanded services to loyal clients so they can see the difference!

If your new product is, in fact, an upgrade on an older one, you can consider crafting a trade-in promotion. Trade-in promotions are proven to be effective because they incentivize consumers to buy a new product using a token or credit they already have (the product they own). You can also resell the old trade-in products, provided they are in good enough condition, or use them for future giveaways.

One of the best ways to promote a new product or service is to let your customers speak for you bysharing reviews. If you take advantage of some of the ideas previously mentioned and offer an upgrade or free preview to customers, ask them to review the new service or product online or to provide a testimonial for you to share. People will be more likely to sign up or try it out if theres a glowing review from another customer.

Another way to promote new products and services is to announce and share this on social media. If youre using the tactics mentioned above, make sure to share any of them on social media, including: customer exclusive events, open houses, trade-in or upgrade opportunities, giveaways, customer reviews and photos. If you find that customers are posting on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, make sure to share those photos with your own followers to entice people to try out your new service or product!

If youve got a new product or service that youre looking to promote, try out one of these 9 ideas for your business. If youve been successful with another promotion, let us know in the comments below!

I thought it was interesting that you suggest offering an upgrade or trade in. This method would work well with new technologies, asking for the old phone to get a discounted price on the new phone. That then gives you the opportunity to resell the older phone at a discounted rate as well. Making double the money off of the one product.

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Youve found a product and created your online store. Now, what?

Once youre up and running, its time to start driving traffic to your store and closing sales. Whether youre trying tomake your first saleor youve been open for business for a while, its always good to find more ways to promote your products.

Struggling to grow sales? Learn how to go from first day to first sale in this free training course.

Here are 20 creative ways to promote a new or existing product on your online store.

What do you do when youre struggling to find a good gift idea? If youre like most people, you Google holiday gift ideas for co-workers or unique birthday presents. Then you scroll through the piles of gift guides that pop up in the search results.

Why not get your own product included in these gift guides? They exist for just about every industry, type of person, and holiday you can think of. Look for the lists that rank on the first few pages of Google and reach out to see if you can be included. They could drive a lot of traffic back to your store.

Remember, you need to provide a reason why you should be included. Mentioning your product on the list has to add value to the author or editor of the post, so be sure to highlight what makes your product a distinct or unique addition to their current list.

Learn More:How to Use Gift Guides to Boost Your Holiday Sales

Email is one of the most consistently effective channels for acquiring new customers. And while channels like search can take a while to start generating organic traffic, email marketing canstart working right away. Thats why you should be using email to promote your store.

Free Ebook: How to Grow Your Ecommerce Business with Email Marketing

Whether youre just getting started or dreaming up your next big campaign, this email marketing guide will provide you with insights and ideas to help your business grow.

Theres no need to spend all your time writing and sending emails. Make it easy on yourself by setting up a collection of automated email campaigns that are designed to increase your revenue. There are many options available, such as:

Emailing new subscribers and offering them an incentive to shop.

Emailing new customers a post-sale email to upsell and delight.

Emailing visitors whoabandoned their cartand reminding them to finish their purchase.

Learn More:8 Post-Sale Emails To Turn New Buyers Into Lifelong Fans

If youre struggling to make sales and you dont have the cash to hire sales or marketing help, consider adding an affiliate program to your store. Affiliate marketing programs enable other people to promote your product for a commission. Youll only have to pay them if they make a sale.

Affiliate programs typically work by creating a custom URL for each person promoting your products. They can share this link on social media, in a blog post reviewing your product, or evenin a YouTube videowhere theyre showing it off. Through the custom links, youll be able to track who is driving sales for you so you can compensate them.

A little bit of education is usually helpful if you plan on introducing affiliates. Remember: theyre promoting your products for you, so in some sense theyre handling a marketing function of your business. If you dont provide best practices, theyll make up their own.

Learn More:How to Set Up an Affiliate Program for Your Shopify Store

Getting publicity is a great way to reach new customers and help more people discover your product. Its also notoriously difficult to do. Mainstream journalists are inundated with press releases and pitches for stories. Improve your odds by targeting bloggers instead.

Instead of sending bloggers press releases, reach out with a personal email and ask if you can send them a sample. You can target bloggers in your industry, product-focused websites, and evensocial media influencers.

Learn More:Clever Ways to Get Free Press Coverage with Zero Budget

While Periscope is still a comparatively newsocial platform, it has definitely demonstrated marketing potential. Many businesses are already promoting themselves with this live-streaming tool. Although youll no longer be an early adopter, fewer companies do short, live video well versus, say, posting tweets or Facebook updates.

There are many ways you can use Periscope to promote a product. In particular, you can use Periscope to offer a demo of your product, answer questions through a Q&A, and even take your customers behind the scenes toshow them whats specialabout the way you do things.

Learn More:How To Use Periscope To Grow Your Ecommerce Business

Pinterestis the place to be if you want to buy or sell products online. 93% of active pinners say they use Pinterest to plan purchases. Not surprisingly, many people use Pinterest to build wish lists. This makes it a great place to promote productsespecially well-designedproducts that photograph well.

Whats even better is that pins tend to stick around for a long time. Its not uncommon for pins to get viewed for months after theyre posted. Optimize your pins by posting when more people are online, using the right keywords, and using captivating images. You can even run contests to extend your reach.

Make sure you enableRich Pinsto have additional product information included.

Learn More:5 Powerful Tools for Growing Your Business on Pinterest

If you run a Shopify store that meetsthe eligibility requirements, you can take your Pinterest marketing to the next level by enabling Buyable Pins. This option makes it easier for Pinners to buy products they see on Pinterest while helping merchants sell more.

You can enable Buyable Pins by adding thePinterest Channelto your Shopify store. Once ready, all your product pins will include a buy buttonno matter who pins it.

Learn More:Everything You Need to Know About Pinterests Buyable Pins

Billions of people are on Facebook, and as anadvertising platform, it offers very targeted options for running paid ads. Facebook Custom Audiences in particular, is a useful way to advertise a product.

With Facebook Custom Audiences, you can advertise to your website visitors or email subscribers. These ads tend to be very effective because you know more about who youre targeting and can tailor your ad accordingly.

Learn More:The Beginners Guide to Facebook Custom Audiences

You can take your Facebook marketing a step further by adding a Facebook Shop Section to your Facebook page. This option makes it easier for people who discover your products on Facebook to buy them.

If you have a Shopify store,add Facebook as a sales channel. Youll be able to create your own Shop Section on your Facebook page where fans can learn about your products, look at pictures, and click the buy button to make a purchase.

Learn More:How to Set up the Shop Section on Your Facebook Page

Although it takes a while to get going, search offers one of the few opportunities to build predictable, compounding web traffic.

An effective search strategy involves a number of steps, from forming a keyword strategy, to conducting more granular keyword research, to optimizing your site architecture and performance (e.g. category pages), to building links back to your website. Like I said, its an uphill battle, but its one you can fight in the background as your store starts to gain traction.

If you already have a basic search strategy in place and need to take things to the next level, I recommend you check out ourIntermediate Guide to Ecommerce SEO. For everyone else, the article below is a good way to get started.

Learn More:The Beginners Guide to Ecommerce SEO

Uncrate is one of many product curation websites with a massive, loyal following. The people who frequent Uncrate dont just like looking at cool products, they like to buy them too. Getting your product featured on Uncrate can drive significant sales and lead to other press opportunities down the road.

Getting featured on Uncrate isnt easy. Theres no formal process, but one thing is certain: your product has to be cool to make the cut. Some companies get discovered by Uncrate, but others have had success after contacting the company to tell them about their product, or even sending them a sample.

Learn More:How to Get Your Product Featured on Uncrate (And Increase Your Sales by 385%)

Referral marketing, also known as word of mouth marketing, is one of the oldest marketing methods around. Referral marketing is all about getting other people to talk about your product in a way that will drive awareness and sales.

These days you can use the web to drive even more referral marketing. Not only does it allow you to reach more people, the web makes it easier for other people to share your contentand for you to track its impact.

Learn More:Referral Marketing 101: 7 Tactics to Launch Your Own Referral Campaign

One of the most difficult parts of starting a new business is promoting a product when you dont have an audience. If you dont have your own community built up, you either have to pay to drive traffic to your website, or tap into someone elses audience until you have your own.

Blogger outreach is a great way to build prestige around your product and get it in front of interested shoppers. Ask authoritative bloggers to feature or review your product. If they have an engaged audience that trusts their opinion, it could drive a lot of traffic and sales.

Learn More:4 Creative Ways to Promote Your Product Through an Influential Fashion Blogger

While most businesses dont use Reddit ads, they can be quite effective. In fact, sometimes the least used advertising networks are the most profitable because the cost is lower, and there is more opportunity to stand out.

Try advertising on Reddit to promote your product. You can create a sponsored post in subreddits related to your business. Use it to talk about your product and offer a discount. The key is to make sure it blends in with the other posts in the subreddit.

Learn More:How to Make Your First $1,000 With Reddit Ads

If your business is online, you dont have to open a retail store to get thebenefits of selling in person. You can run a pop-up shop instead. Chances are theres an unused space in your city that would love to have you come in for a weekor even just a weekendand open shop.

Running a pop-up shop will help you create exclusivity around some of your products, get covered in local media, take advantage of seasonal shopping, unload old inventory, and chat with your customers in person to learn more about them.

Learn More:How to Set Up and Run Your First Pop-up Shop

Bloggingis a great way to promote your store. With the right approach, blogging can be an effective way to drive traffic and promote the lifestyle around your products. In fact, onestudyby HubSpot found that the more you blog, the more traffic your website gets.

Use your own blog to drive traffic and promote your products. When done effectively, blogging drivessearch engine traffic, attracts customers, and captures the attention of the media and high-profile bloggers who could write about you.

Learn More:4 Ecommerce Blog Post Templates To Build Traffic For Your Store

Instagramhas over 400 million active users and its visual focus is perfect for promoting products. Half of those users are on Instagram every day. Any brand would do well to share their products on this network.

There are several ways to use Instagram to promote your store. You can share captivating images of your products, share a stop motion video of one of your products in action, run a contest, or reach out to influential Instagram accounts and ask them to share your product.

Learn More:How to Use Instagram Stories for Marketing (And Why You Should)

YouTubehas become one of the worlds largest search engines for finding fresh content. Whats more, YouTube videos can also rank in traditional search engines like Google. This presents a huge traffic opportunity.

You dont need to create aviral videoto get results on YouTube. You can still promote your products with interesting or helpful videos. Many people may already be looking for your products or brand on YouTube. By creating a branded channel, with your own videos, you can control the narrative.

Learn More:How to Get More Subscribers on YouTube: 8 Tips to Grow Your Following

Product Huntis a popular destination and community for people who love finding new products. Although apps and software are more popular than other industries, youll regularly see physical products make an appearance on the front page.

The stores most likely to land on Product Hunt are typically selling a single (or small set) of highly novel items. This usually means oddly customizable products, fresh takes on an existing product category, or products that are aesthetically unique. Commodity products or daily purchases arent a great fit.

Learn More:How One Company Used Product Hunt to Launch a Million Dollar T-Shirt Business

Contests are an easy and affordable way to get your brand in front of a lot of people. By giving away your product, you can make sure your contest gets in front of the right kind of people: potential customers.

However, many contests fail. There are a few key mistakes to avoid when running a contest to promote your business. Make sure the platform, the timing, the messaging, and the steps people have to take to enter your contest are well thought out.

Learn More:Are You Making These 11 Mistakes With Your Giveaways, Sweepstakes and Contests?

Products dont sell themselves, Fortunately, there are many ways to promote a product in your store. Find one you like from the list above and follow the link to learn how to do it!

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Youll start receiving free tips and resources soon. In the meantime, start building your store with a free 14-day trial of Shopify.

Casandra Campbell is an entrepreneur, craft beer nerd, and works on product and growth at Shopify.

Get free online marketing tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.

Youll start receiving free tips and resources soon. In the meantime, start building your store with a free 14-day trial of Shopify.

Get free online marketing tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.

Youll start receiving free tips and resources soon. In the meantime, start building your store with a free 14-day trial of Shopify.

Ways to promote your product or service

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Ways to promote your product or service

Ways to promote your product or service

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Marketing is more than just an advertising campaign; it should result in revenue for your business. Understanding the different ways to promote your product or service can help you make the right choice for your business.

Depending on the type of message you want to communicate to your customers, print media offers different options, including: brochures, business cards, newspaper ads and magazines.

are a cost effective way to provide a variety of messages and detailed information about your products and services.

can be used to support your networking activities and give potential customers the information they need to contact you.

a way to reach people in your community and repeatedly exposes them to your message in order to create a stronger local presence for your business.

have the advantage of targeting a more specific audience of subscribers who are interested in the topics it covers.

Electronic media is a general term for any media that requires an electronic device for the content to be accessed. Some of the most common forms of electronic media include television, radio, internet and content for mobile devices.

content captures more audience time than any other media and is targeted at home audiences.

is cost effective, and the audience is usually loyal to a stations program format.

offers you a variety of different ways to market your product or service on a website or by email.

allow for marketing tactics that let you reach customers directly on their mobile devices.

marketing encourages online interaction between your customers and your business using various social networking sites.

Promotional gifts,like pens, key rings and calendars, can be given to individuals and groups that you know personally to help create a positive opinion of your company and improve its reputation.

Networking and community involvementcan also support the promotion of your business. You can make new contacts and reach out to potential customers by participating in trade shows, conferences, community activities and other networking events. Speaking to people about your business can be one of the most effective ways of promoting your product or service.

Planning your marketing strategy will help you determine the best way to promote your product or service, allow you to measure your success against set goals and provide you with a clearer idea of where your strategy may need adjustments.

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