Intended Audience: Mass vs. Targeted
Promotions can be categorized based on the intended coverage of a single promotional message. For instance, a single television advertisement for a major sporting event, such as the Olympics, NFL Super Bowl, or World Cup, could be seen by millions of viewers at the same time. Such mass promotion, intended to reach as many people as possible, has been a mainstay of marketers’ promotional efforts for a long time.
Unfortunately, while mass promotions are delivered to a large number of people, the actual number that fall within the marketer’s target market may be small. Because of this, many who use mass promotion techniques find it to be an inefficient way to reach desired customers. Instead, today’s marketers are turning to newer techniques designed to focus promotional delivery to only those with a high probability of being in the marketer’s target market. Google, through its AdWords service, and Microsoft, through its Bing Ads service, employ methods for delivering highly targeted ads to customers as they enter search terms. The assumption made by advertisers is that customers who enter search terms are interested in the information they have entered, especially if they are searching by entering detailed search strings (e.g., phrases rather than a single word). Following this logic, advertisers, who have the ability to associate relevant words and phrases with their ad, are much more likely to have their these displayed to customers within their target market leading to a potentially higher return on their promotional investment. The movement to highly targeted promotions has gained tremendous traction in recent years and, as new and improved targeting methods are introduced, its importance will continue to grow.
Payment Model: Paid vs. Non-Paid
Most efforts to promote products require marketers to make direct payment to the medium that delivers the message. For instance, a company must pay a magazine publisher to advertise in the magazine. However, there are several forms of promotion that do not involve direct payment in order to distribute a promotional message. While not necessarily “free” since there may be indirect costs involved, the ability to have a product promoted without making direct payment to the medium can be a viable alternative to expensive promotion options.