How the Internet Affects Traditional Media

Traditional Publishing, REST IN PEACE

This is the headline that greets you when you land on a web page erected as a memorial to commemorate the decline of Traditional Media. A photograph of a man who seems to be in distress and who’s possibly just lost his job accompanies this headline. If this does not paint a bleak picture, go on to read the 548 headlines that all sing to the same tune as the following:

  • Bad Times: NYT Says Revenue Fell 13.9% Last Month

    – Forbes.com

  • Men’s monthly magazine Arena to cease printing after 22 years

    – Guardian.co.uk

  • Cosmopolitan UK publisher to cut 100 jobs

    – Guardian.co.uk

There’s even a website entitled Newspaper Death Watch that chronicles all the publishing and newspaper houses that close down. All rather morbid wouldn’t you say?

The Deadly Spell

Let’s take a quick look at Traditional Media and how the Internet cast it’s deadly spell.

Back in the old days, we’re talking 500 years ago; Gutenberg revolutionized the printing industry by inventing the printing press. This meant bibles could be produced at a fraction the time it used to. This also meant more copies in a shorter time and the Word of God got further reach in a shorter time. Newspaper houses and Magazine publishers still use a printing press today (well thank you captain obvious).

Much later, shortly after the advent of electricity, the world was blessed with another few media breakthroughs, namely radio then a few years later, television. Marketers and Advertising agencies had it all figured out as they devised Integrated Marketing Campaigns with astronomical budgets. Ah, the good old days. Well, much to the dismay of many of these agencies, this media landscape started to change.

Behold! Enter The WWW

At first a website was seen as a cute way to put your company brochure online and on top of that the disastrous dot bomb era created skepticism that labeled the Internet as a bad media and business channel.

Fortunately, since then the Internet has matured. Now, in countries where broadband has achieved high levels of household penetration, the web has become the consumer medium of choice.

Why? Because people can do research, shop online, watch videos and connect with friends all in the comfort of their own homes. People can choose what media they want to consume, where and when they choose too, especially with mobile connectivity. Marketers can no longer dictate what advertising messages people get subjected too.

Social Media, The New Black

Then there is the phenomenon of Social Media. It changed the media landscape forever. Social Media websites have allowed consumers to connect with friends, family, colleagues and peers in ways that were never imaginable a few decades ago.

Technology has empowered the consumer to become the Prosumer. Prosumers are consumers who produce content such as videos, photos and blogs that can be instantly distributed and shared amongst millions of people via social media platforms. This is also known as user-generated content or UCG.

Here is an interesting bit of trivia about the reach of Traditional Media vs. the Internet and Social Media.

Years it took to reach a market audience of 50 Million:

  • Radio – 38 Years
  • TV – 13 Years
  • The Internet – 4 Years
  • The iPod – 3 Years
  • Facebook – 2 Years

So How Does The Internet Affect Traditional Media?

The Internet has decreased the need for Traditional Media because it enabled consumers to join social societies within their neighborhoods, across their countries and internationally. It has empowered them to converse at their leisure, 24/7, with friends.

Considering all that’s been said, the demise of Traditional Media can largely be attributed to the following factors:

  1. Decline in readership: The distribution of free news and information on the web has led to the decline in readership for traditional publications.
  2. Decline in revenues: The decline in readership means advertisers will spend their money elsewhere and this leads to a decline in ad revenue.
  3. Real-time updates: Traditional Media can’t compete with instantly updated user-generated content that’s immediately available for the world to see.
  4. The rise of UGC websites: People have the freedom of unlimited real time commentary on content while Traditional Media is static and is a one-way communication tool.
  5. Online Audio/Video channels: People can choose what they want to watch and listen, when they want to and where without any advertising interrupting their experience.

Simply put. The Internet has revolutionized the way things get done today. It has revolutionized the way we do business, the way we communicate and has broken down the walls of Traditional Media.

A recent example is the decision by Unilever UK to fire Lowe, their Ad agency of 15 years, in favor of crowdsourcing – which means it has thrown the brand creative pitch open to agencies and basically any person who can think of an idea, worldwide. This is done on the Internet of course.

Traditional Media will still be around for a while, but the Internet is getting more and more integrated into our daily lives.

Think about this. You could do without the Mail & Guardian or the MensHealth Mag for quite some time, perhaps live quite happily without it? But you just dare cut that ADSL connection…

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Marketing and Advertising – Similarities and Differences

Small business owners tend to confuse marketing and advertising as the same thing. Advertising is a very important component of marketing but not the same. Marketing is the process of creating customer interest in products and services. Marketing generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication and business development. Marketing is the whole package and advertising is a component.

Advertising is an important element of the marketing strategy and probably the most expensive. Advertising is about sending messages about a company, its products and services. Advertising also includes putting together a series of methods to target viewers and interest them in becoming customers. Advertising includes placing ads, deciding what media to use, the frequency and the time the ad will run. Different types of media are used to distribute the ads. TV, direct mail, newspaper, Internet, emails, radio, magazines, text messages, flyers, billboards, etc. are among the different media used to distribute ads. Different media for different businesses, not all media is for everyone.

Advertising is simply a part of the marketing mix. The other parts include product research, product design, media planning, public relations, product pricing, customer satisfaction, customer support, and the list goes on and on. All these elements work independently but they all work towards achieving the goals and objectives set by the company, sell products or services and build market reputation. Advertising alone will not produce results and copying what others are doing will certainly fail. What works for some does not necessarily mean that it will work for others.

Advertising is not effective if proper research was not followed. Research is the understanding of needs and expectations of the clients. Designing of the product comes next and can be time consuming. Followed by advertising and sales. Marketing puts everything together as it creates strategies to succeed.

Advertising can become very expensive and worthless if not done properly and if important steps are not followed. Branding is important, but a logo does not guarantee sales, a logo represents the values and the reputation of a company and it takes time to build and to be recognized. Small business owners have to first invest time and money in knowing their clients, finding out their expectations and educating them. After getting to know their clients and building aggressively a database then they should engage in advertising and promoting their products and services. A complete marketing campaign will in this way be successful and generate sales.

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Point Of Purchase Displays – Objectives and Goals

In the business world sales have to be made in order to cover the cost of production. The market though has many factors that control it; one of them is demand versus supply. This is the main driving factor in the production industry, but when it comes to production one has to try and gain the largest portion of the customers this leads to the use of sales promotion techniques, these techniques include; point of purchase displays, marketing rebates, customer contests and free travel promotions.

Point of purchase displays are a form of communication that is directed mostly to the consumer market, the display can be done in many forms and media but all are aimed at one common goal, to ensure that a specific product is more popular that the other equivalents. This is one of the most used methods of promotion though the customer hardly notices it as a promotion aspect of business. Malls, wholesale and retail shops are some of the businesses that use this technique to popularize a certain product, though in most cases the manufacturer is involved.

The first point that point of purchase displays aim to achieve is attracting customers. The methods used to achieve this may vary but the common factor in all is the increment in appeal. It has been observed that customers are attracted to beautifully packaged or decorated products, this is the reason that most companies opt to have colorful packaging that are associated with colors that will be catching to the eye. More than color the other aspect that is being explored is the packaging shape; this is usually used on products that are packaged in containers. Sachets cannot be covered in this aspect since they cannot be formed in lone standing shapes, the plastics are the most covered when it comes to creating attraction by shape. Point of purchase displays are not limited to products alone, stores and shops too use this method of promotion to attract customers. It is common to see stores that have been decorated on their exterior and interior so as to create a huge impression on customers, this is a gimmick that is mostly used in the hospitality and tourism industry but it has spread its uses to the retail sector of business.

Introducing new products in an already covered market sector needs more customer and trade promotions. The main goal of the new product manufacturers is to inform the customer of the qualities of the new product. Point of purchase displays is used in collaboration with other advertising methods, it has proven to work since it is an easy way to interact with the customers at a level they can pay attention to the goods. Informing customers of goods that are absent in the market won’t work so instead of trying to create anticipation as the fashion industry one should try out point of purchase displays in promoting the sales of newly manufactured products.

With introduction of a variety of products covering the same line, one will need to persuade customers to choose ones product. The main goal of using point of purchase displays is to influence the customers to make purchases on the products, these can be done in two ways; one is that the point of purchase displays will be used to influence the customers decision to the point of them making an impulse purchase.

The other factor that is made by using point of purchase displays is the establishment of popularity in a specific brand of products. This is useful to the retailer, wholesaler and the product manufacturer, it associates a certain point of purchase display to a brand and thus any resemblance to it will remind the customer of a specific product.

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Marketing Mix – 4 Pricing Strategy Alternatives

Pricing is an important part of your marketing mix strategies. Pricing can help or hinder your product or service sales. Given that your product is good quality, that it has the features and benefits that your buyers want and need, that it is differentiated from your competition, and that it has a good cost structure and a good, strong promotion and distribution program, your pricing strategy for your product or service can help you sell it, or not. Pricing strategies can have a very direct impact on growing your market share.

Four alternative pricing strategiess for your business are:

  • Generic or economy pricing. This strategy treats generic or economy-type brands with a low price – the value to the buyer is in the low price. Your business approach to this pricing strategy must be rooted in a low cost structure, minimal features, minimal promotion but still solid (not extravagant) benefits.
  • Differential Pricing. With this strategy, you might choose to price your product differently by buyer type (e.g. retail store, online store, a department store), by geographic region (e.g. the California market might be higher priced than Illinois), by volume purchased (e.g. a customer buying a large volume would receive a different price than one buying a small volume), by national account segment (e.g. you might negotiate special differential pricing with a national account versus the price you would charge to a local account). With all of these differential prices, there must be a justifiable reason for the price differences.
  • Premium Pricing. This strategy is commonly used for luxury items or high end, high value goods, such as expensive jewellery, boats, planes, estates, etc. Only use this strategy if your product’s value is recognized by your market as being a premium or luxury good.
  • Captive Product or Companion Product Pricing. This pricing strategy is also used in product line pricing. This strategy bundles, and usually packages, like products together to be priced as companions (for example, a mixer and a mixing bowl) and as captives (for example, pens that have to have a specific refill (not generic), razors that can only use a specific blade, etc.). Captive or Companion product pricing often relies on packaging to offer the two products in one package (for example, a trial pack of blades with the razor; one pen refill packaged with the pen; or the tape refill with the tape dispenser). Then when those blades, refills or other companion products are used, the price to buy new blades, refills or other products is significantly higher than the original priced package.

Thoroughly analyze your product, your buyers, your competitors (and their possible actions and reactions), and your market before you decide which pricing strategy would best-fit your business. Then review pricing strategy by product, and by product line, on a regular basis to make sure that the fit remains the best.

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Top 10 Methods for Advertising Your Home Improvement Business

People often ask us the same question: “What’s the best way to advertise my Home Improvement business and gather leads?” We’ve compiled a handy list of the 10 most useful tools to advertise your business and see results.

1. Build a Good Online Presence

For what may seem like an obvious necessity for most, some companies still don’t value the importance of a good website. While most companies do have an online presence, it may not be attractive or user-experience optimized. A good website should convey the businesses’ goals, experience, qualities, and services in an easy to read way. There should be a blatant call to action, and sufficient information for the viewer. If the potential client can glance at your page and get all the important information needed, you are that much closer to reeling them in.

 

2. Search Engine Optimization

Many people think that SEO is solely related to building links and advertising your website link. A large part of search engine optimization is related to the way your page is set up. Are you taking advantage of meta keywords and titles? Are you using headers properly? Does your site have a large amount of unique content optimized for targeting certain keywords? These are all important things to consider.

3. Craigslist

Craigslist is a great way to advertise your services. You can hire a designer to create a small ad for you to embed into your Craigslist post, or simply use HTML to format a nice, easy to read, eye-catching advertisement. Re-post as per Craigslist’s guidelines and keep your business’s name out there.

4. Adwords

Google provides a great PPC (pay-per-click) advertising system which will target related websites that use Google Adsense to display your ads. You can target your chosen demographic, choose how much you’d like to pay for every click, and modify the appearance of your ad. They offer text ads, image ads, and rich media ads (flash, animation).

5. Social Media

These days social media is becoming the leading the way for advertising and creating a “friendly” relationship with your clients and fans. Create a Fan page on Facebook, establish a Twitter account, or create a blog. these are all great methods to attract your customers.

6. Blog Commenting

Find blogs related to your industry. Search them out, and post meaningful, relevant comments in the comments section. Be sure to add a link to your website, with a keyword that you’d like to target in the search engines. Slow and steady is the key to seeing results; keep at it on a daily/weekly basis and in due time you’ll see results.

7. Local Advertising

If your business is based locally, an ad in a local magazine or newspaper is a great option. Some companies provide direct mail advertising, which allows you to localize your advertisement in a demographic of your choice.

8. Content is King

Creating and publishing unique content will provide your website visitors with an interesting read, a potential link-back, and will improve your chances at getting picked up by the search engines. Google is beginning to heavily penalize websites with unoriginal content, and content of poor quality. Don’t get cut by the search engines. Keep your content interesting, unique, and greatness will follow.

9. Word of Mouth

Sometimes in these technological days we forget the importance of word of mouth! Don’t ever underestimate the power of a good recommendation. Treat your customers with respect and handle their job with excellence and you just might get the good word passed on.

10. Physical Ads

Physical advertisements such as billboards, bus benches, and other sign-age are often expensive, but they are generally high-profile and attention-getting. If you have the marketing funds available, give it a shot and see how it works. Create a marketing campaign and if the results are lower than you expected or needed, try another route.

While there are many methods that businesses use to market themselves, these are the top 10 ways to achieve positive results in this ever-advancing technological age. Try these steps for yourself and watch your business rise to success!

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A Brief History of Television Advertising

It All Began With Radio

Broadcasting was originally developed as a means for companies to sell radios. But once commercial entities realized that many households were listening to their radios a significant amount of time every day, they started to explore this medium as a way to get their message across to the masses. If one has to choose a single event that began the era of radio broadcasting, it would probably be the radio program broadcast by station WEAF in New York City on August 28, 1922 This was a ten-minute advertisement for suburban apartment housing. By Christmas of that year, several major New York department stores joined the fray and were running advertisements for their stores.

By the late 20’s radio advertising had advanced in a dramatic way. It was now dominated by advertising agencies who took control of the schedules by buying the available air time and selling it to their customers. They also handled the creative aspects of the commercials and programs and in fact even created entire series that were designed to sell one product or another. These efforts paved the way for the genesis of television advertising that would begin in a few more decades.

The Era of the Single Sponsor

Full time telecasting didn’t really take hold until 1948 as it took that long for the United States to recover from the Depression and World War II. At that time, the number of television sets reached the critical mass necessary to be considered a medium that could reach the masses. As television was a totally new phenomenon – i.e. offering both sound and moving pictures, the advertising industry moved into this arena cautiously as they were not sure what methods would work best to promote their clients products on television. In other words, should it still be treated as radio advertising but with pictures thrown in or would an entirely new approach need to be taken to reach the television audiences in a meaningful and effective manner?

After study and many surveys, the advertising agencies determined that the most effective way to reach consumers with a strong message would be by creating shows that featured a single product or a line of products from a single company. From this concept arose the typical television shows of the 1950’s including such titles as Kraft Television Theater, Colgate Comedy Hour, and Coke Time. As with radio, these television programs were produced by advertising agencies for their clients rather than the studios as is common practice currently.

This practice worked really well for the clients for a while. But as the television gained more popularity and there were more people watching it, the television networks were raising the costs of doing business (i.e. more eyeballs = more total dollars spent to reach them all) and this upward pressure on the cost of delivering a production over the television (plus the ever increasing costs of creating new content) forced a massive change in the relationship of all the parties: the advertising agencies, the clients/sponsors and the television networks. A solution had to be found if this very powerful advertising medium was to continue to be cost effective for the sponsors.

Enter the Era of Magazine Concept Advertising

NBC executive Sylvester L. “Pat” Weaver came up a with a solution that would work and would also be very favorable to the networks. He introduced the “magazine concept” of television advertising. In this arrangement, the sponsors would purchase blocks of time (typically one to two minutes) in a show rather than be a sponsor for an entire show. This idea would allow a variety of sponsors – up to four was the number imagined – for a show. Like a magazine, the networks would now control the content as no one advertiser would “own” a particular show.

Like all new ideas, this one was originally resisted by Masison Avenue but after a bit of experimentation, they found that this method would work very well for a variety of packaged-goods companies manufacturing a cornucopia of brand names, such as Procter and Gamble with such disparate products as Tide (laundry detergent), Crest (toothpaste), and Jif (peanut butter).

By 1960, the magazine concept dominated television advertising, as it has ever since. Instead of relying on audience identification with a specific show, sponsors now spread their messages across the schedule in an effort to reach as many consumers as possible. The ability to spread their advertising dollars out to reach a broader segment of the population proved to be very effective for the sponsors. Where once they were locked into a specific time block every day or every week on a particular network, they could now choose the times and the networks where they wanted their message to be seen.

This evolution of magazine concept advertising is truly the birth of most modern television advertising. The one exception is the infomercial which is really a throwback to the sponsored show model used in the early days of television advertising.

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10 Outrageous Tips For Marketing a Mental Health Or Psychotherapy Private Practice

No introduction, you want the tips:

TIP #1: Put All Clients on Your E-mail List

Keep an e-mail list of your clients, both current and former. Get permission to send them a dead-simple newsletter from your private practice–one page! NOT TWO! And, heavens to murgatroid–not four.

Encourage clients or patients to print, forward, and distribute your newsletter to friends and family. Make this simple newsletter nothing more than mental health tips, seasonal stories, common sense right thinking, and articles so good that readers hesitate not to fold it up into their pocket.

If you e-mail your clients, send the newsletter to yourself and “blind copy” clients. Only your e-mail address will show to avoid violation of patient confidentiality. Don’t make a mistake in doing this procedural step.

A safer and better way is to print and mail a copy of your simple-dimple, yet punchy and powerful newsletter to your clients. Studies have shown that postal mail in an envelope is read 15 times more often than e-mail! Consider doing both.

TIP #2: Send Your Simple Dimple, Yet Powerfully Punchy Newsletter to the top 50 (and 50 only) Recreation, Mental Health, and Community Centers.

Send it to half-way houses, adult protective services, and other social service agencies. Only 50. Forget massive coverage. 50 will cost is $.44 x 50 in postage plus envelopes. The key is do this each month–no breaks. You are building powerful top-of-mind visibility and newsletter is going viral. Viral marketing is the passing along of sale information from human to the next. Recreation and community centers frequently post health and wellness information on their lobby bulletin boards, and may be happy to post your newsletter.

TIP #3: Ditto A Few Other Places

Grocery stores — try them too. Many small businesses with customer waiting areas like Jiffy Lubes, etc also post on visible bulletin boards. These include oil change and car repair centers, hardware stores, coffee shops, and more. Keep copies of your newsletter with you in your car for sudden insights and posting ideas. (Don’t forget to keep a mini-stapler in your glove compartment — one of those little red jobbers.)

TIP #4: Promote Presentation Topics That People Want And Will Eat Up

At the bottom of your simple-dimple, yet punchy and powerful newsletter, give visibility to the topics that you are willing to speak on for FREE. Get a boost by mentioning your expertise in specific terms and offering presentations with yourself as the speaker, especially on seasonal or hot topics.

Read that again. Season, or HOT TOPICS.

Do this: Go to “Google AdWords”. Find the “Key Word Tool”. Google “Google AdWords Key Word Tool”. Now, type in “Problem with” and see what comes up. Or, to the same thing with Twitter. You will find what the world is worried about. You will discover the most common searches that begin with these few words. (Writing this article for you, I just did this exercise. Problem with – brought up “men” “women” “money” “teenager” “food” etc. Now do it again, and expand. You will discover what people want hear from you. Put together five presentations that last 25 minutes each. You will promote these 25 minute presentations (not 30, but 25 minutes) at the bottom of your simple-dimple, yet punchy and powerful newsletter.

TIP #5: Keep Copies in Your Waiting Room.

Keep copies of simple-dimple, yet punchy and powerful newsletter in your waiting room. Clients will pick it up, stuff them in a purses and pockets, give them to friends, and pass them around at work. This will put your newsletter in motion with leverage. This is called viral marketing.

TIP #6: Distribute Copies to Your Doctor, Dentist, and Other Medical Practices That You Patronize.

Ask if you can place your simple-dimple, yet punchy and powerful newsletter in the waiting rooms of your doctor. (A few copies on a coffee table, for example.) Put one copy in a clear plastic, top-loading sheet protector. This shouts “DESK COPY” even without those words written on it. When clients and patients see this copy, they almost never walk off with it, thereby leaving it for scores of other people to see in the course of a month. These medical professionals who you patronize owe you. Don’t ask the nurse or the front desk secretary for permission. Ask the doctor or medical professional in the middle of the anatomical procedure you’re paying for. No, I am not kidding.

TIP #7: Cooperate and Make Money While Increasing Referrals

Offer the bottom section of your simple-dimple, yet punchy and powerful newsletter to allied professionals as advertising space that includes one line of text. These should be professionals with whom you do not compete. These professionals would love to pay you for the exposure. Trade with them so you get exposure to all of their clients and patients. You have just formed your own “linked-in” group. One or two lines of text will do the trick. Have enough space for five to six advertising lines, and widen your distribution. Everyone wins, especially you. We suggest holistic health professionals, therapeutic massage professionals, chiropractors, even vitamin stores! Your local Walgreens may buy advertising space. It will improve the “stature” of your newsletter and you can make money to cover your newsletter’s cost.

TIP #8: Send Hard Copies to Media Outlets Locally.

Your local community has media outlets-radio, television, and newspapers. The reporters of these outlets scramble in desperation to find any warm-bodied mental health professional that they can interview when a crisis occurs or a national news event affects the psyche of the nation. The crisis at Fort Hood is a good example. It is happening as I write this article.

Other topics include stress, downsizing and survivor syndrome, or depression and the current 2009 economy crisis are good examples. They need experts. That’s you. Send your newsletter to a reporter or “news desk” contact every month. When a pertinent news event hits, phone your contacts I-M-M-E-D-I-A-T-E-L-Y! Say, “I am expert on ____. I am available for an interview if you need it.” You may be on TV or the radio within hours. I’ve done this–believe me, it works. (You will be happy you read this article for this tip alone.) If you do a good job, and it is an a.m. radio station, ask if you can have your own hour once a month to answer mental health questions from the audience.

Keep phone numbers of media outlets in your cell phone or taped to the dashboard of your car because that is where you will be when you hear a news story you will want to crash. Call this “crashing a news story”. You’ve heard of crashing a party?

TIP #9: Send Copies to Your Competitors.

Am I nuts? No. Every mental health professional in private practice refers clients or patients to other therapists. Whom do they choose? Most of the time the choice is made based on familiarity, as much as expertise. Reputation as well. And where does a reputation come from? One place – familiarity. Don’t kid yourself. You know this is true. The name you hear the most is the best guy. Everybody thinks like this to some degree. So, exploit reality. Your name and face must come to mind. These professionals will enjoy the newsletter and you will achieve “top-of-mind” visibility. It will take six months to achieve this effect. Then, Katie bar the door.

TIP #10: Send simple-dimple, yet punchy and powerful newsletter to EAPs.

EAPs are great referral sources, but it can be hard to get an appointment with them to discuss your services. And you need more than one touch to get noticed. Let your newsletter do the talking for you. Contact the Employee Assistance Professionals Association at 703-387-1000 and discover where the local chapter in your area meets. Collect business cards and send your newsletter to these folks. If you join EAPA, you will find their addresses online. After a few issues to these folks, it will be easier to obtain a face-to-face appointment. Recipients will feel like they already know you. They will think you are a celebrity. That’s because of repetition and seeing your name and your simple-dimple, yet punchy and powerful newsletter.

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Promotion "Above the Line" and "Below the Line"

Promotion can be loosely classified as “above the line” and “below the line” promotion. The promotional activities carried out through mass media like television, radio, newspaper etc. is above the line promotion.

The terms ‘below-the-line’ promotion or communications, refers to forms of non-media communication, even non-media advertising. Below-the-line promotions are becoming increasingly important within the communications mix of many companies, not only those involved in fmcg products, but also for industrial goods.

Some of the ways by which companies do BTL (below the line) promotions are by exhibitions, sponsorship activities, public relations and sales promotions like giving freebies with goods, trade discounts given to dealers and customers, reduced price offers on products, giving coupons which can be redeemed later etc.

BELOW THE LINE SALES PROMOTION

Below the line sales promotions are short-term incentives, largely aimed at consumers. With the increasing pressure on the marketing team to achieve communication objectives more efficiently in a limited budget, there has been a need to find out more effective and cost efficient ways to communicate with the target markets. This has led to a shift from the regular media based advertising.

A definition of below-the-line sales promotion given by Hugh Davidson:

‘An immediate or delayed incentive to purchase, expressed in cash or in kind, and having only a short term or temporary duration’.

Methods of below the line sales promotion

1. Price promotions

Price promotions are also commonly known as” price discounting”. These can be done in two ways:

(1) A discount to the normal selling price of a product, or

(2) More of the product at the normal price.

Price promotions however can also have a negative effect by spoiling the brand reputation or just a temporary sales boost (during the discounts) followed by a lull when the discount would be called off.

2. Coupons

Coupons are another, very versatile, way of offering a discount. Consider the following examples of the use of coupons:

– On a pack to encourage repeat purchase

– In coupon books sent out in newspapers allowing customers to redeem the coupon at a retailer

– A cut-out coupon as part of an advert

– On the back of till receipts

The key objective with a coupon promotion is to maximize the redemption rate – this is the proportion of customers actually using the coupon.

It must be ensured when a company uses coupons that the retailers must hold sufficient stock to avoid customer disappointment.

Use of coupon promotions is often best for new products or perhaps to encourage sales of existing products that are slowing down.

3. Gift with purchase

The “gift with purchase” is a very common promotional technique. In this scheme, the customer gets something extra along with the normal good purchased. It works best for

– Subscription-based products (e.g. magazines)

– Consumer luxuries (e.g. perfumes)

4. Competitions and prizes

This is an important tool to increase brand awareness amongst the target consumer. It can be used to boost up sales for temporary period and ensure usage amongst first time users.

5. Money refunds

Here, a customer receives a money refund after submitting a proof of purchase to the manufacturer.

Customers often view these schemes with some suspicion – particularly if the method of obtaining a refund looks unusual or onerous.

6. Frequent user / loyalty incentives

Repeat purchases may be stimulated by frequent user incentives. Perhaps the best examples of this are the many frequent flyer or user schemes used by airlines, train companies, car hire companies etc.

7. Point-of-sale displays

Shopping habits are changing for the people living in metropolitan cities. People prefer big retail outlets like Big Bazaar to local kirana stores. Most of the decisions of buying are taken by the virtue of point-of-sale displays in these retail outlets.

SOME INTERSTING EXAMPLES OF BTL PROMOTION

Most of the big brands are following the suit of BTL promotion because of rising prices of media based promotion, advertising clutter and increased impulse purchasing.

Some of the interesting examples are:

Most of the educational institutes like career launcher, Time and PT are holding informative workshops and free tests for students which give a direct interaction of these institutes with the target customer and hence a suitable platform to sell themselves.

Ring tones and music videos on cell phones are helping the entertainment industry to promote for a music video or a movie for dirt-cheap rate as compared to media promotion.

Various companies sponsor sport events to promote their brand, but nowadays media companies like Hindustan Times are holding weekly events through out the country in which companies can put up their stalls, display banners and posters and arrange for some fun activities. These events give the companies a platform at very low price to promote their brand and increase visibility among target consumer. These companies also give discount coupons to winners in the games, which in turn boost the sales of the products and ensure that first time users try these products as well.

Pepsi organized an inter school cricket event for 425 schools across 14 cities which did wonders for the company by promoting the brand amongst the right target customer for almost no cost.

Most of the pharmacy companies do BTL promotion by getting shelf space through doctors to display their products or by giving away free calcium tablets again through doctors, knowing that for a patient a personal advise from a doctor would hold more value as compared to a commercial advertisement.

Another interesting BTL promotion was by NIKE, an athlete dressed up in Nike sportswear could be seen jogging on an elevated treadmill for the whole day on National Highway 8, Delhi.

BTL promotions are gaining popularity among all big companies nowadays considering their effectiveness because of the “individual customer promotion” at a price, which is much lesser than the normal media promotions.

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Viral and Direct Marketing

The marketing approach techniques are countless. There are many ways to approach the potential customer. There are two marketing approaches that are very interesting, due to their specific techniques. They are viral marketing and direct marketing.

The Viral Marketing is a marketing technique that is using the social networks, both online and offline, for transmitting the message or advertisement, through self replicating viral process. This process promises to spreading computer viruses or biological viruses.

Almost anything can be the subject of viral marketing effect: information, web link, video clip, e-Books, etc.

Methods of viral marketing expansion can be:

Word of mouth – simple communication between people who knows each other.

Social Media such as Facebook are the perfect examples of viral media. The number of people who are using these services is huge. The members of these social media environments are connected very well, since each user has many contacts. Finally, method of sharing idea or message is very simple, through different sharing techniques.

"Invite Your Friend" calls from different e-services. These messages that provokes the actions are moving significant part of population who wants to share the message, but they are not willing to invest effort.

Advantage of viral marketing is that it takes very little or no investment. The viral marketing system is powered by the will of transmitters to pass the message further. The power of exponential growth is tremendous. If every person is distributing the information to 5 people and further, this gives are 3.125 informed people after 5 levels from original message transfer. The viral marketing experts know this formula very well, therefore, the viral marketing is part of marketing techniques portfolio.

Disadvantage is that viral marketing is not reliable as a standard method of information transfer, since it is not likely that every idea will be transferred at the same rate. Simply, the outcome of the viral marketing campaign is unpredictable, since the power of campaign depends of many parameters.

Also "viral competition" dictates the effectiveness of viral campaign. If two similar campaign are present at the same period to the similar audience, it is likely that the social group will transfer the message that seems more interesting at the moment.

There is no secret formula for guarantied success of Viral Marketing campaign, but good ideas, with tone of humor, anticipation and value adding elements can help the viral marketing campaign to succeed.

On the other hand, Direct Marketing is a sales method where advertisers approach potential customers directly with advertising, products or services. The most usual methods of direct marketing are telephone sales, solicited or unsolicited emails, catalogs, leaflets, brochures, direct visits etc.

There are two main differences that distinguish it from other types of marketing. The first characteristic of direct marketing is that the message is transferred directly to consumers, without use of intermediate communication media and mass media campaign. The second characteristic is "call to action" principle of communication to the consumers.

Direct marketing is attractive to many companies since the campaign results can be measured directly. For example, if a marketer sends out 5,000 messages by mail and 250 respond to the promotion, the company easily calculates that campaignave 5% response rate.

On the other hand, the measure of other media (TV, Radio) must often be indirect, since there is no measurable calculation of message recipients. Measurement of results is a key element of every activity.

Direct marketing is practiced by businesses of all sizes – from the smallest start-up company to the multinational corporations. The decision of using direct marketing approach is not related to the size of the company. If the niche of targeted population is too small, the direct marketing may pay off more than large scale advertising campaign.

The Direct Marketing and Viral Marketing have completely different approach. The power of both marketing approaches can be leveraged, depending on the situation. Every person is the potential shopper, it only takes a little to trigger the shopping mechanism.

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Advertising As A Tool Of Communication

Basketball remains one of the most revered games played today. The jerseys sported by players on court actually assume a very significant shape in the lives of the NBA fans, who sport pro-cut uniforms of their favorite teams in a bid to show their love for the same. A typical basketball uniform consists of sleeveless upper halves, shorts, knee caps and head bands. There are a lot of factors considered before selecting basketball uniforms and today, we’re just going to take a look at what those factors are.

Comfort

Yes! At the heart of the selection of these jerseys is comfort and there are so many things that needed to be taken care of in order to ensure comfort. The right fit and fabric are the two most important factors that need to be taken into account here. A tighter upper half might hinder mobility in a major way, while a fabric unable to absorb sweat is not really fit for humid conditions. So, a choice needs to be made in accordance.

Convenience

A manufacturer selling the entire ensemble is more likely to be preferred by the buyers instead of those selling only the upper halves or the lower halves-firstly because, the former offer products within a more affordable price bracket and secondly because it is generally more convenient to get your needs fulfilled by only one manufacturer instead of hunting several suppliers at the same time. It’s a matter of double the research or double the groundwork. You have to conduct background research and price comparisons for every other product differently.

Team consensus

Team uniforms (irrespective of whether they’re sported by cricketers, soccer players, basketball players and so on) are generally selected after securing common consensus. The jersey designs and colors are only zeroed in on after all team members put forward their opinions regarding suitability. A team is known by its jersey. As basketball fans, we understand how important our favorite team jerseys are for us. Every other team is driven by different sensibilities as far as their passion, overall team outlook, and their approach towards their game are concerned. The team jersey thus selected serves to reflect different sensibilities in a major way. A team, for instance, which is new in the circuit and are known for their rawness might as well have the color red present dominantly in their team uniform or in patches.

You need to find a credentialed manufacturer in a bid to get your hands on quality stuff. Be sure enough to consult manufacturers that are actually known for providing custom team jerseys that are the right combination of affordability and quality. Plus, they should be able to deliver orders before within the desirable timeframe. The use of advanced machinery ensures that jerseys are crafted fast without compromising on the quality.

Seek recommendations from peers and browse through the plethora of online reviews in order to find out how different manufacturers have been rated and reviewed.

Hope this primer will help you in your quest for the right team uniform.

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