Promotion of business offerings of an organization is a regular agenda.  However, the cost and means of promotion and advertisement becomes a definite mooting point considering the phenomenal costs especially of news paper advertisement and TV advertisement.  The question?  Should we prefer News Paper advertisement?  Who should prefer means of TV / Visual promotion?

The base criteria in deciding the means of promotion would be the targeted geographical reach or focused consumer class or both.  Other factors:

  • Density of competition: To understand competitor presence and the efforts required to push our products against such competition.  If the competitor is highly aggressive in terms of price, service or brand position, it would be very difficult for a start up and new business to spend that kind of budget and to wait for the markets to accept his product or service.  Hence, it is not prudent in the initial stages of product roll out to focus on such market geographies.
  • Market size: Business is judging the Return on Investment.  We need to understand the sales volume that could be achieved in the target geography so that you could size the promotion budget accordingly.  There could be an acceptance of your product in the area.  However, if the market size is very small, you could address this at a later stage or through dealer network.  I have seen several instances where highly reputed brands couldn’t squeeze even a small amount of sales against their big campaigns in certain geographies.  It may work for bigger companies, but for the small businesses it is never suggested to experiment their budget.
  • Dealer / affiliate network: Should consider appointing dealer or affiliate network who can push the product in to the market through their established network or proven presence.  Customers, stakeholders generally accept their recommendation.  This will alleviate the pains of reaching direct to the customer.
  • Capacity of supply chain system: Does your present supply chain system i.e. marketing personnel, means of transport, tools to coordinate and review sales and service can meet the requirement in the geography?
  • Capability to extend after sales service in the target region: This is the most important factor.  The first metric to survive in the business is after sales service.  Did you build required service network?  Can you extend prompt after sales service to the customer in the area.
  • Price competitiveness or pricing sensitivities: What is the ruling price of services or product in the area.  Is your competitor very aggressive in the region?  Do you need to compromise on the margins through discounts, free offers etc.,  Can you afford such competitiveness?

Once we have the data as required above, we should focus on the cost effective means of promotion through following channels.

  • Institutional sales
  • Direct selling
  • News paper inserts
  • Mobile hoardings
  • Cluster based campaign
  • Road shows
  • Collaborative promotion
  • Online marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Localized news paper or TV campaign
  • Consumer awareness weeks (Seminars / Workshops / Consumer participation)

There is never a one rule with respect to means and cost of promotion and advertisement of your business offerings.  It always based on market assessment and number pragmatism.