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Unit 18 Advertisement and Promotion Business Assignment
Diploma in Business (Marketing)
Unit Number and Title
Unit 18 Advertisement and Promotion Business
3.1 Explain primary techniques of below the line promotion and how they are used in an integrated promotional strategy for a business or product?
The advertising and marketing communication process incorporates various techniques, which are used by companies to sell their products or services. Some of the techniques are, Above the Line (ATL), Below the Line (BTL) and Through the Line (TTL). Some of the factors associated with ATL are that, it entails the usage of media and channels to focus on larger masses and audiences; it involves communication strategies which focus on delivering the intended message to large section of the targeted crowd in least possible efforts. The metrics or measures to evaluate the effect or impact of these ATL communication techniques are very difficult due to the vastness of its nature.
Whereas, BTL communication strategies are the focused and niche oriented with the usage of media channels which deliver the intended message to highly localized set of targeted consumers or customers. The evaluation metrics for the efforts ensued during the BTL communication techniques is very well structured and easily calculable. BTL interaction gives the marketers ability to tailor their messaging in a highly personalized manner to its target audience.
Hereby, we take an example of Sony’s BTL activities and how they were integrated in their integrated promotional strategy
Since, BTL techniques are highly focused; they generate huge response in consumers where the recall value is not high and the consumers rely on current information, rather than pre-researched ones, for example “Touch and Feel” products, like mobile phones and accessories launched by Sony.
Another technique, which is generally involved by the companies like Sony, is of deployment of sales personnel at retail stores and other strategic places for any newly launched products like mobile phones, electronic gadgets etc. this ensures one on one relationship with consumer or client and helps in detailing out the features of the newly launched products and generate trials for it.
Since, BTL promotions also mean non-media promotions and are highly focused in consumer approach, FMCG and electronics giants like Sony are increasingly using this technique, marketers with limited budgets and urgency for gaining short term gains, directed towards consumers, are increasingly using it (Pallakoff, 2001).
Some of the other techniques, which are generally, implemented along with the usual ATL techniques too, i.e. in an integrated marketing communication (IMC) effort or integrated brand promotion (IBP) strategy involving both BTL and ATL are usage of personalized messages sent across to consumers in the form of mails, emails, tweets, chat messages etc. (Shukla, 2010).
Highly channelized technique, which has emerged nowadays in the BTL segment due to emergence of technology, is of “Mobile or Smartphone marketing”. This technology helps marketers from brands like Sony to focus on their targeted audiences, like youth and professionals, who are extremely mobile too, through the usage of Mobile Apps (applications) which can be of any generic utility nature, but ensures delivery of highly customized messages to the users about the company, i.e. Sony and its products (Ambler, 2003)
Cosmetics Giants like Revlon, Lakme, P&G and Unilever etc. have started using many above mentioned BTL techniques and have started devicing and implementing various integrated promotional strategies to pronmote their brand. The main focus of all these brands have been user engagement through promotional exercises. The engagement medium and platform has traditionally been marketplace, surveys or tradeshows, which is now shifting to Social Media and Online platform. All these companies have launched their comprehensive marketing tactics for Social Media and Online promotions, huge budgets have been allocated to it. Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Whatsapp, Websites, Blogs and E-Commerece etc. have all become their favorite hunting grounds. Mobility has become another key area of impetus. Mobile based Apps and online apps for using and applying all the cosmetics virtually, for all the clients have been some of the major gamechangers. Color combination and relative permutations on makeups (virtual) have become huge and instant hits with consumers these days of these companies.
3.2 Evaluate other techniques used in below the line promotion?
For an organization like Sony, apart from the above mentioned below the line techniques (BTL), there are few other examples too, which they can use to garner sales in short term and impact on their consumers. The primary BTL techniques mentioned above in the case of Sony, during the present day (after the advent of the various ICT measures) period and based on the maximum impact generated are, Focused Sales personnel, Touch & Feel, Mailing/Emailing & messaging customized promotions and Mobile or Smartphone marketing. Some of the other techniques apart from these ones, which are highly channelized in their approach, cost less and generate maximum short term returns with customized impacts are as follows –
Rebates or Promotional pricings – Nowadays, companies like Sony on the launch of their new products like, Xperia series of Smartphone, make agreements and tie-ups with E-Commerce websites or retail companies and some exclusive retail chain companies and outlets to promote some promotional (competitive) pricing for their product before its launch and try to garner as much interest as possible from the consumers. The bookings are done by the consumers before the launch of the products, based on the only information available to them on internet and through brochures and pamphlets, because of the slightly lower price or extra discounts on a newly launched phone.
Coupons, Trade-ins and Loyalty programs – Similar to the above business strategy, Sony also tie-up with various financial instrument providing companies and banks etc. for providing some extra discounts to their loyal set of customers, who have add-on facilities of the agreeing financial institution like credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts with privileged membership. The partnering financial institution bears the extra discount cost or at-least guarantees certain number of pre-orders of the newly launched product in return of the discount offered to their customers, in terms of coupons, trade-ins and loyalty programs
Contests and Engagement exercises – These are the BTL techniques where consumers are directly involved in some sort of promotional activity by the company itself, like Sony sponsored contests and matches. These are events where some kind of game or contest is played involving consumers and the resultant winner is prized with the newly launched product, this whole activity garners a whole lot of media coverage and interest of other consumers
Demonstrations, Free Sampling/Trials, Personal appearances and Sponsorships – These are some of the last few techniques of BTL communication strategy involving various measures as cleared from their names. The most important among all these, is Sponsorship, which is a huge part of any company’s marketing or advertising budget like Sony’s. Giving sponsorship or financial awards and cash etc. to an event like sports match, live shows, movies, serials, college events and company events etc. is a massive exercise under the BTL activity and helps in highly focused depiction of company products, intentions, ideas, values and future strategies and hence generate a huge impact on targeted consumers (Smith, 2004)
4.1 Follow an appropriate process for the formulation of a budget for an integrated promotional strategy?
Integrated advertising promotion Strategy is considered to be a cohesive approach using various media channels, like, digital, print, internet, etc. various communication techniques, like ATL, BTL and TTL etc. various marketing methods, various marketing communication processes etc.
An integrated approach to address the total target set of one’s own consumers, by companies like Sony for their any product, existing or new launch and which will also affect their sales, revenues, re-purchases, customer lifetime value, customer lifetime etc. incorporates multiple communication channels and strategies and come under IMC or IPS. To undertake this unified approach, any organization, for example, Sony, requires a handsome amount of money or cash as their budget, which is known as IMC Budget. The process of allocation of this budget to various tasks and de-structuring as per the combined IPS is known as Budgeting, this can be undertaken by the company itself, like Sony, or by any management consultant, who does all the report work for them beforehand like Accenture or Boston Consulting Group and finally the Full service advertising agencies like WPP, Publicis and Omnicom etc. Budgeting for any integrated promotional strategy involves a series or a number of steps like as follows –
- First of all, calculation and estimation of the overall marketing budget is very essential. This total gives an idea to how best it can be divided among various marketing communication actions. Generally, this number is a percentage of the previous year's sales or can be a set increase over the marketing budget of the previous year, depending on the financial parameters, overall performance and environmental situation of the companies like Sony, i.e. their revenues, profits, and economic conditions etc. for any specific year, maybe 2010.
- Secondly, types of advertising, which will be done throughout the year are decided, this is done basis the kind of impact it can generate in the present scenario. This step will lead to further allocation of the budget to different advertisement heads, as per the chosen selects. Typical segments of a marketing communication budget include Print media, i.e. newspapers and magazines, Web, Radio, TV and outdoor advertising, though the allocation varies depending on the advertising needs.
- Thirdly, previous year's advertising budget and return on investment are reviewed through the internal reports, if applicable. This helps in gauging the costs for advertising campaigns, as well as the most lucrative and effective advertising investments that can be made.
- Then next comes, assigning of an amount to each section of the advertising campaign and breaking it down further on the basis of time and frequencies, i.e. by month or week. For example, Radio advertising campaigns often work in quarterly or yearly contracts. Divide this sum by the months affected to get a monthly breakdown.
- Next, some of the marketing budget is set aside for any new advertising ventures, which may attract the marketers in the later stages of the implementing phase of this Budget. A last-minute deal might be offered or an advertising opportunity which wasn’t taken into account during calculation of the yearly budget.
- Lastly, a segment of the advertising budget for marketing materials, such as letterhead, flier printing, T-shirts or giveaway items is also included. Such tangible products are very good promotional items and are an effective branding tool (Sirgy, 1998).
4.2 Carry out the development of a promotional plan for a business or product?
Promotional plan is an integral part of a marketing plan holistically. Though it is an important document, it not only includes a company’s market evaluation, goals, direction and marketing result, it has complete breakdown and structure with chronological flowchart of efforts to be undertaken under the heading of positioning in the overall scheme of marketing things, i.e. STP A typical approach generally includes –
- Goal Setting – Organization’s mission defined as “a mission describes the organization’s basic function in society, in terms of the products and services for its customers.” Sony’s goal is, “To experience the joy of advancing and applying technology for the benefit of the public”.
- Situational Review – This is done with the help of various tools like marketing audit, done by PESTLE or SWOT analysis of the company, product, SBU etc. It identifies existing external and internal factor which will influence marketing planning of the company. It also clarifies opportunities and threats and allows the stakeholders to make alternations to the marketing plan if needed.
- Defining marketing objectives and strategies based on the overall objectives of the company and vision. The marketing objectives can be deduced easily following, models like that of “Ansoff’s Model”, “BCG matrix”, “PLC matrix” and “4Ps” (Ansoff, 1987).
- After all these marketing activities are done, promotional plan succeeds in the overall scheme of things and which includes, following steps –
- Identifying prospective customer set from the overall target set (which has been deduced after Segmentation Targeting and Positioning, STP of the overall consumer population set)
- Conducting budgeting for promotions and deciding on the budgetary details
- Selecting the promotional components as per the selected promotional budget
- Understanding the usage of various promotional components, in terms of Return on Investments (ROI), impact generation, reach to target audience etc.
- Devising the chronological flowchart of events and implementation strategy with exact timelines and deadlines
- Actual implementation with clear roles and responsibilities
- Capturing, recording, delivering and evaluating feedback and then incorporating the insights for future (Humble, 1989)
Taking an example of an automotive major, such as Audi or BMW, we can analyze in the following way, their marketing plan and steps followed in development of the plan for these companies and their products.
- Goal setting - To become World's largest car manufacturers
- EnviornementalAudits - Market expansion, Product expansion through PESTLE, Ansoff and BCG Matrix
- Deciding STP for the chosen market set
- Defining sgementation, targetting and positioning of the consumers in the expanded territory
- Applying stages in the segmentation and targetting
- Deciding products, promotions, prices, places, people, packaging and potential for new geographies and targetted client segment
- Implentation strategy
- Actual ground working and clearances
- Launching and pitchng
- Sales and conversion
- Service and maintenance
4.3 Plan the integration of promotional techniques into the promotional strategy for a business or product?
Considering the case of Sony, we have learnt about the various promotional techniques followed by them, i.e. above the line (ATL), below the line (BTL) and through the line (TTL) etc. and the development of a promotional strategy for them (the steps involved).
Now during the process of promotional strategy or a promotional plan, the main step is to identify the right ix of promotional set, i.e. deciding on all the possible set of advertisement channels and Medias. This process is done in consideration with certain factors like, last year’s promotional mix, ROI on different channels last year, developments over the past year, new upcoming and emerging technologies and interventions cropped up during the past one year and finally the current economic situation and financial constraints and overall budget available with the marketing team for allocation. In the case of Sony, we can very well deduce as per their previous year’s records and performances that –
For ATL techniques – They have always relied heavily on media based communication techniques targeted towards a large section of masses, with the usage of such processes their target audience set has always been huge. In all the countries of its operations, Sony’s annual budget on advertisements based on TV or Radio with billboards, Newspapers and magazines have been huge. This has clearly paid a rich dividend to them in past and hence should keep on having the larger chunk of their budgetary allocation, but the percentage increase from last year’s number shouldn’t be there, instead of increasing overall budgetary allocation for marketing department, i.e. because of incorporation of new upcoming methods of promotions.
For BTL techniques – Apart from all the techniques, discussed above in the BTL communication strategies that can be adopted by Sony, they should allocate the largest chunk of difference in last year’s and this year’s marketing budgetary allocation, i.e. the increase in their marketing budget from last year, should go only to new emerging BTL techniques of communication like Mobile marketing and Web based usage of marketing (Fill, 2002).
4.4 Use appropriate techniques for measuring campaign effectiveness?
Sony’s marketing mix (Borden, 1964) for a product named, Xperia (Smartphone) and subsequent evaluation of campaign effectiveness can be ascertained as –
Pricing Policy – Wide range of pricing models available, the pricing is done based on geographies and product variants.
Distribution Policy – Distribution all across the countries of operations for Sony Corp. distribution channel comprising of locally selected models of vendors, retailers, wholesalers and distributors.
Communication Mix – It includes, branding, promotions, channel sales, tie-ups, merchandising and all other marketing activities. The advertisement and promotional strategies included a comprehensive ATL, BTL and TTL techniques being implemented by Sony and discussed above (Lavidge, 1961). The effectiveness of their campaign can be measured by following appropriate techniques –
- The advertising and promotion campaign effectiveness is equivalent to the revenues generated and the return on investments (ROI) garnered from the campaign, i.e. Campaign Effectiveness = Revenues + ROI
- There are other measures and techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaign, such as –
- Cognitive (Knowledge) Response/Test –
- Media Audience Measurement
- Physiological Measurement
- Affective (Attitude) Tests –
- Opinion measurements
- Attitude measurements
- Conative Tests –
- Motive Tests
- Sales Analysis Measurements (Salmon, 2001)
Advertising and Brand promotion exercises are the integral part of the 4Ps or the marketing mix of an organization, which comes under their positioning efforts for their existing or newly launched products or services. An effective promotional planning, budgeting and implementation is very much essential for the success of any marketing campaign for any product or service of any organization. Hereby, in the case of Sony, we learned about their various efforts and strategies related with integrated marketing communication or integrated promotional strategy. It has been found to be very effective and rewarding for them as it has always met their ROI, Revenue and impact measurement on their consumers to create a super brand known as Sony.
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