The 4 P’s of Marketing – Promotion

The marketing community has revolved a main concept for the last 50 years. In the move from the production mindset to marketing/value mindset, Jerry McCarthy created a framework as a way for marketing managers to guide their marketing campaigns and efforts. This framework has been called the 4 P’s – Promotion, Price, Product, and Place.

Now, even though this is a marketing concept, it revolves around the idea that marketing involves every area of the organization and is applicable to virtually any business in the world.

Over the next four days, we will be going over each of the 4 P’s, especially how they relate to online and local companies. The first P we’ll be discussing is Promotion.

Promotion is what most people think of when the word “marketing” pops into their head. According to Joe Cannon (author of Essentials of Marketing):

“Promotion communicates information between buyer and seller (interactive is a great method whether via personal selling or with a blog where comments allow you to interact) or others in the channel to influence attitudes and behavior.  Different communication methods might include advertising, public relations, personal selling, after-sale customer service – and a wide range of social media.  All of these can be used to build relationships with customers.  Such relationships are incredibly valuable.”

Promotion involves all of the communication involved in getting customers into the sales pipeline. As stated above, this could be posters, TV ads, Pay-per-click ads, or even your companies’ Facebook page. Every message you put out to your customers is involved in promotion. This piece of the 4P Puzzle is the most closely related to your branding. It’s usually what tells prospects what kind of brand you are, what you sell, what your prices are, etc.

If you run a local company, this aspect of the Ps is probably the least accessible to you. You likely don’t have the budget for a multi-national Superbowl ad spot, and don’t have the opportunity to put up an ad in Times Square. However, the sign you place in your front window is just as powerful to your local customers. The Facebook promotion you launch, the signs in the store, the smile on your face as the customer walks in are all promotional items. They should be targeted towards a very specific audience, one that relates to your product selection and has the potential to bring in customers.

If you’re a little different and operate in the online realm, then you’re more likely looking at drastically different promotions strategies and decisions. The good news: you get more feedback. You get click-through rates on PPC ads, Impressions from your facebook news feed, and on and on.

Good questions to ask yourself going into any Promotion decision: Does this reflect our brand correctly? Is this what I would tell a customer if we were standing face-to-face? Is this the message I REALLY want to be sending?