Promotion Decisions Tutorial

promotion decisions tutorial

Those unfamiliar with marketing often assume it is the same thing as advertising. Certainly, our coverage so far in the Principles of Marketing Tutorials has stressed this is not the case. Marketing encompasses many tasks and decisions, of which advertising may only be a small portion. Likewise, when non-marketers hear someone talk about “promotion” they frequently believe the person is talking about advertising. While advertising is the most visible and best understood method of promotion, it is only one of several approaches a marketer can choose to promote their products and services.

In this tutorial we begin our discussion of the third major area of the marketing mix – promotion.

Many view promotional activities as the most glamorous part of marketing. This may have to do with the fact that promotion is often associated with creative activity undertaken to help distinguish an organization’s products from competitors’ offerings. While creativity is an important element in promotion decisions, marketers must also have a deep understanding of how the marketing communication process works and how promotion helps the organization achieve its objectives.

Decision Area Strategies

These are used to achieve the General Marketing Strategies by guiding the decisions within important marketing areas (product, pricing, distribution, promotion, target marketing). For example, a General Marketing Strategy that centers on entering a new market with new products may be supported by Decision Area Strategies that include:

  • Target Market Strategy – employ segmenting techniques
  • Product Strategy – develop new product line
  • Distribution Strategy – use methods to gain access to important distribution partners that service the target market
  • Promotion Strategy – create a plan that can quickly build awareness of the product
  • Pricing Strategy – create price programs that offer lower pricing versus competitors

Achieving the Decision Area Strategies is accomplished through the development of detailed Tactical Programs for each area. For instance, to meet the Pricing Strategy that lowers cost versus competitors’ products, the marketer may employ such tactics as: quantity discounts, trade-in allowances, or sales volume incentives to distributors.

Extensive coverage of how to use these strategies as part of a Tactical Program can be found in the How to Write a Marketing Plan Tutorial.