With the increase in competition among different businesses across all industries, it is vital for companies to ensure that they implement ideal promotional strategies to maintain their competitiveness. This paper presents an in-depth analysis on several aspects of business advertisement and promotions. It addresses the scope of marketing strategies, which covers the process of communication in advertisement, the organization of the advertisement industry in the United Kingdom, the regulation of the industry and the current trends in advertising. It also covers the concept of below-the-line advertisement and suggests the promotional strategies that can be used by Pringles, a well renowned snack brand.
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Advertisement and promotion play a vital role in the marketing of products and services of any company by increasing brand awareness and attracting customers (Shimp & Andrews, 2013). It is one of the four components of the 4Ps of marketing, which comprise of product, price, promotion and place (Pride, 2013). Whereas there are different approaches to advertising and promotion, they all have the main objective of communicating about what companies have to offer to their target clients (Percy & Rosenbaum-Elliott, 2012). With the ongoing increase in competition across all industries, companies that fail to advertise or promote their products and services risk losing their competitive edge regardless of how proper the other elements of the marketing mix are (Reynolds & Lancaste, 2013). This paper covers different issues of advertisement and promotion. These include the marketing communications’ scope and below the line advertisement approaches that can be used to promote Pringles, one of their products. It also designs a plan for an integrated promotional strategy for Pringles.
Task 1 – Scope of Marketing Communications
1. Explain the communication process that applies to advertising and promotion.
Communication in advertisement and promotion aims to ensure that that the messages that businesses intend to pass to their consumers are effectively relayed (Shimp & Andrews, 2013). There are different steps through which these messages undergo before arriving to their target audiences. In promotion and advertisement, the sender – in this case, the advertising company – encodes the message and relays it through a transmission device (Wharton, 2013). Encoding is the creative creation of cues that can either be verbal or non-verbal that will pass the intended message to customers in the most effective manner and also attract the highest possible attention among the target customers (Reynolds & Lancaste, 2013).
After the message has been encoded, ideal transmission devices or avenues are used to pass the message (Wharton, 2013). With the different customer segments being targeted by companies, it is important to select the most ideal avenue through which the advertisement can be passed (Pride, 2013). The message is then decoded by the receiver, where it will trigger different actions in response to the advertisement, which include making purchases of the advertised products or services (Reynolds & Lancaste, 2013). Whereas companies expect the communication processes of advertisements to lack barriers, there are several that may limit the attainment of the intended advertisement objectives (Wharton, 2013). One of these is the presence of many other adverts by competing companies that may divide the attention of target consumers this is mainly referred to as clutter (Kaser, 2012).
2. Explain the organisation of the advertising and promotions industry.
The advertising and promotions industry comprises of different entities. These include advertisers, advertising agencies, media organizations and external facilitators (Friedlein, 2014). The roles played by all these parties contribute towards the success of the industry. To ensure effectiveness of this industry, different countries have different approaches of managing these involved parties (O’guinn et al., 2011). In the United Kingdom and Europe, there are different bodies that are involved in the running of the industry. These include the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA), and the Promotional Marketing Council (PMC) (Warc, 2014). EACA represents media agency associations and full-service advertising across Europe (EACA, 2014). It is based in Brussels, Belgium, and focuses on the promotion for responsible effective and honest advertisement. The organisation also promotes high levels of professionalism and fosters close cooperation among different advertisers, agencies and media outlets in Europe. PMC, on the other hand, represents the sales promotion industry. Some of the parties represented include suppliers, clients and agencies across several countries in Europe (Warc, 2014).
3. Assess how promotion is regulated.
Regulation involves the creation or certain rules and regulations to govern different activities in advertisement and promotion. In the United Kingdom, an advertising self-regulatory system for non-broadcast advertising was set up in UK in 1961. This step was taken to ensure that advertisements are responsible and achieve the purpose of making customers aware of products and their repurchase of the products. The UK regulates the promotion industry by using a combination of practice and legislation codes (Advertising Standards Authority, 2014). There are two regulatory committees that create, revise and monitor advertising codes. These are the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP). The BCAP code creates broadcast advertising rules while CAP creates rules for non-broadcasting advertising, direct marketing and sales promotion (Farrell & Gordon, 2012). These rules are enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
With the changes that are always taking place in advertising, these rules are regularly revised to increase effectiveness (Kaser, 2012). However, keeping up with this pace is quite challenging because of the increase in advertisement avenues that has been made possible by technological advancements. As a result, increasing numbers of customers are falling prey to advertisers that advertise inexistent or poor quality products (Cho et al., 2014).
4. Examine current trends in advertising and promotion, including the impact of ICT.
The current trends in advertising and promotion have majorly been influenced by the increase in the use of the internet and social networking among target customers, which has largely been as a result of ICT development (Friedlein, 2014). There are various internet related trends in product advertising and promotion. These trends include; social media, online display advertising and mobile advertising. Advertisements on the social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are on the rise and are referred to as sponsored content (Seth & Kapoor, 2014). Companies are taking advantage of the growing number of people using these avenues because in total, there are approximately 2 billion people signed up to different social media platforms (Tuten & Solomon, 2012). Online display marketing is on the rise, and involves the advertisement of company websites on other websites that target consumers frequently use (Kaser, 2012). According to Persaud and Azhar (2012), an increase in the use of smartphones has also given rise to internet mobile advertising. This is where advertisers reach consumers personally through platforms, such as social media or sending links to company websites, in the form of text messages (Persaud & Azhar, 2012).
Whereas these developments provide a convenience of reaching a wide range of clients in a short time and on a smaller budget, there are also different associated demerits (Friedlein, 2014). One of these is the information risk that customers and companies may be prone to because of hacking (Cho et al., 2014). Social media has been regarded by some researchers as one of the fastest avenues through which information passes. Thus, any mistake by a company that may tarnish its reputation can be detrimental to its brand (Tuten & Solomon, 2012).
Task 3: Primary techniques of below-the-line technique of sales promotion
1. Explain primary techniques of below-the-line promotion and develop a BTL campaign for the brand, “Pringles”
Below-the line advertisement is a promotional strategy that tends to use other mediums apart from the typical ones like the internet, broadcast, print and billboards (Kaser, 2012). Many companies in the present-day business environment utilize this strategy alongside above-the-line and through-the-line advertisement (Reynolds & Lancaste, 2013). One of the main attributes of this approach to advertisement is that it is less expensive. However, many companies combine this with above-the-line promotions so as to maintain a better market position, below-the-line promotion being just as complement (Gautam, 2013). Several below-the-line advertisement techniques are discussed hereunder.
Field marketing or promotion: It is a process through which salespeople target customers on a one-on-one basis with the aim of promoting certain products and services (Stone & Desmond, 2007). One of the advantages of this approach is that it provides customers with a close interaction with the product being promoted and the salesmen. However, this is time consuming and some customers may not be quite welcoming to the salespeople (Sigala, 2010).
The use of coupons: this below the line approach to promotion involves handing coupons to prospective purchasers of commodities and offering incentives or discounts to attract customers, especially those who are price-sensitive (Wharton, 2013). Given that such approaches often offer product at reduced prices for a short duration, there is always a risk of reduced sales when the company resumes its original prices (Kumar & Rajan, 2012).
Loyalty programs: These are packages that offer rewards to the frequent buyers of commodities due to their loyalty to the retail outlets (Grewal et al., 2011). Such programs are common in the airline industry, where frequent flyers of a given airline numbering a specified number of flights are awarded for their loyalty in different ways, which may also include free flights. These programs are however more ideal for customers with easy accessibility to the company products (Kaser, 2012).
A below-the-line campaign for Pringles
Pringles is a potato and wheat manufactured snack owned and run under the Kellogg Company (Pringles, 2014). Below-the-line advertisement can be used to compliment the current promotional strategies used. One of the below-the-line approaches that can be used to market Pringles is the field promotion or field marketing approach.
To effectively implement this promotional strategy, it is vital for the company to recruit salespeople that have the experience and skills needed to enable them convince people they have never met before to choose the Pringles over competing products in the market (Kaser, 2012). Small samples ought to be distributed for free or be sold at a lower price. Considering that the company mainly targets teenagers and students (Gillespie & Hennessey, 2010), it is advisable for the company to use younger salespeople who are more aware of how to approach and appeal to teenagers. The most ideal places that promoters of this product can target are those with high population of teenagers, like schools, colleges or recreational parks. Though this marketing approach provides an excellent avenue for building a relationship between the target customers and the brand, companies have to invest heavily in training salespeople or promoters to enable them deal with customers of diverse tastes and backgrounds (Sigala, 2010).
2. Evaluate other techniques that can also be used in this BTL campaign.
Apart from the above below-the-line approach that can be used by Pringles, there are several other methods that may be adopted to boost sales and promote the product. They are examined below.
Pringles can use the Intercept method, where trained sales personnel are positioned at retail outlets besides the shelves holding Pringles in retail stores and supermarkets (Stone & Desmond, 2007). Their main role is to persuade incoming buyers into the stores to purchase Pringles by highlighting their advantages over other competing products. Whereas this approach can increase the sales for the company, it has been criticized for causing impulse buying among customers (Pride, 2013).
Sponsorship is also an ideal below the line promotional strategy that can be used by Pringles. This is whereby the company supports events and activities through provision of funds and other resources that are valuable to the success of the event (Woisetschlager & Michaelis, 2012). For Pringles, this strategy can be implemented by sponsoring sports for schools and youth concerts. Awareness of the company or products can be increased by ensuring by printing T-Shirts, caps or any other apparel to be worn by those attending the event. Even with this convenience that the strategy offers to customers, it can be quite cost intensive for the company depending on the size or magnitude of the event being sponsored (Lee et al., 2012). This may have an adverse impact on the company’s return on investment.
Task 4: Plan Integrated Promotional Strategies
1. Follow an appropriate process for the formulation of a budget for this integrated promotional strategy
An integrated promotional strategy refers to an approach to promotion where a company uses different avenues to and tools to increase the awareness of products (Kaser, 2012). This section presents a plan for a promotional strategy that can be used to market Pringles. Even with the current success that it enjoys across the markets that it operates (Gillespie & Hennessey, 2010), there is still a need for the company to penetrate more in the market and further increase its market share.
To implement a successful promotional strategy, it is vital for the company to identify the resources or activities that will be involved. After they are identified, the appropriate budgetary allocation will be done to facilitate the strategy (Reynolds & Lancaste, 2013). The avenues that will be used in this promotion strategy are TV commercials, billboards and online advertisement through social media outlets. The budget is summarized as below.
Promotional TechniquesBudget allocation
TV commercials?1 million
Social media promotion
YouTube video advertisements?50,000
2&3: Carry out the development of a promotional plan for the Pringles and plan the integration of promotional techniques into the promotional strategy for Pringles
The table above represents the promotional techniques that will be used in the promotion of Pringles. TV commercials will be used by airing advertisements of the product on channels that air programs that are mostly viewed by the company’s target customers, who are teenagers and the youth (Saxena, 2010). The most ideal channels on which to air these advertisements are music or sports channels. Billboards will be effective if they are located in areas that are densely populated and are located close to outlets of the products. With an increasing number of people who have signed up on Facebook and Twitter social networks, advertising products on these sites also increases their visibility among the target audience (Tuten & Solomon, 2012). It also enables the company to actively engage with the customers that it is targeting. Thus, it will be imperative for Pringles to consider utilizing these avenues for promotion.
4. Appropriate techniques for measuring campaign effectiveness
There are different approaches that can be used by companies in measuring the effectiveness of their promotional campaigns. One of these is the amount of feedback from customers. This is usually mainly in form of inquiries through different avenues about the product being marketed (Pride, 2013). When inquiries are high, it means that the advertisement strategy was effective, and vice versa. Another approach that can be used is the estimation of sales prior to and after the launch of the promotional campaign or the return on investment (ROI) (Kaser, 2012). Successful promotional campaigns ought to result in an increase in sales levels of the company and create revenues that surpass the investment that was put in the promotional activity. For social media advertisements, tools such as SentiStrength can be used to assess the reception of consumers to the advertisements. SentiStrenth is a sentiment measuring tool that evaluates the level of positivity or negativity of short texts that are mainly used in commenting on social media sites (SentiStrength, 2014).
Advertisement and promotion are vital components of the marketing mix. Some of the roles that they play include increasing of awareness among target customers about a company’s products and attracting new customers. This paper has addressed different issues that relate to this component of marketing. Under the scope of marketing communications, the paper has explained how the communication works process in promotion. It has also discussed how the organisation and regulation of the advertisement industry in the United Kingdom. The concept of below-the-line advertisement and an integrated promotional strategy that can be used to market Pringles have also been presented. For companies that intend to maintain their competitiveness in the market and attract a wide range of customers, it s vital for them to ensure that their promotional strategies are relevant to their target audiences. Whereas this paper has provided an in-depth understanding on the concepts of advertising and promotion, in future, primary research can be incorporated, with members of the marketing department and a section of its target customers as respondents.
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