The role of promotion in a company is to communicate with individuals, groups or organizations with the aim of directly or indirectly facilitating exchanges by informing and persuading one or more of the audiences to accept the company’s products.’ Dibb, Simkin, Marketing: Concepts and Strategies, 2002

Promotion is about communicating with customers in order to inform and persuade by changing people’s attitudes, via a multitude of online and offline channels.  Attitudes are made up of values and beliefs that influence the way people think and feel. Promotion contributes to the customer’s perceptions of a product, influencing their view of the benefits provided, changing their attitudes – and perhaps changing their behaviour so that they buy a product or service.

Since the dawning of the digital age, social media channels and online advertising have begun to play a major role in this as they open up a whole new level of communications as people spend more and more time online.

Perceived value can be set out as having three levels (shown below). The first only contains the physical product, with no services attached. The second has the support services that must be provided to meet customer satisfaction, whilst the third includes intangibles such as brand, perceptions of quality, and the company’s reputation.


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The Three Levels of Perceived Value

The Promotional Mix

Promotion takes a variety of forms, including advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion, public relations, and personal selling. Some of these are more personal than others – for example, personal selling is personal whereas advertising is impersonal. Personal communication – e.g. personal selling – is used more when purchasing is expensive or risky (cars, houses), since impersonal communication – e.g. advertising – is more easily turned off.

Once a new product has been created, how is it going to find a market? A few products will find their way without any help, but most will require the aid of promotional efforts.

Effective Communication

In order to build effective communication, the following steps are worth remembering:

  • Credibility – content should be highly believable and trustworthy
  • Precision – create a communication experience where the receiver can share your message
  • Perception – anticipate and predict how the message will be received and shape it to meet this
  • Control – control the message to get the desired response

The choce of communication tools can be linked back to the business mission, by a series of steps as shown in the following diagram:

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Steps Linking Business Mission to Choice of Communication Tools


In next week’s blog post we will continue to look at promotions, particularly the strategies in promotional efforts and how the marketing message is determined.