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What is Promotional Marketing?

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reading time: 6 mins
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The term promotional marketing brings different memories to different people. 

Remember the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign?

After that ad, half the nation was laughing and the other half was jumping in their cars to buy body wash. This, in a nutshell, is the subtle art of promotional marketing.

It’s easy to think that it all happens by chance. After all, wouldn’t it be great to wake up with a famous brand thanks to the marketing fairy or SEO Santa?

However, a closer look will reveal it’s all deliberate, from the Ford t-shirt your neighbor wears when mowing his lawn to the tote bag you carry to the farmers market.

Somebody somewhere planned that. 

By the end of this piece, you’ll have learned:

  • What promotional marketing is
  • Why you should integrate promotional marketing into your campaign
  • The different types of promotional marketing

This is the last guide you’ll ever need to create a promotional marketing campaign.

What Promotional Marketing Is (And What It Isn’t)

Promotional marketing is a strategy that incorporates deliberate practices to increase the brand awareness of a product to an audience, intending to increase sales.

Promotional marketing isn’t marketing per se. It’s actually a subset of marketing you carry out to increase sales, differentiate your products, and build a brand.

With that in mind,  just because you’re marketing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re using promotional marketing. If you often mix up the two, don’t fret — it happens all the time.

Why Bother: The Objectives Of A Promotional Marketing Campaign

Ever wondered why popular brands, even monopolies like Coca-Cola, keep running campaigns?

You’re not the first to share that train of thought. In fact, the idea of marketing as a reactive strategy instead of a proactive approach still runs free.

However, there are several reasons you should join Coca-Cola in continuous promotional campaigns. They include:

Building Brand Awareness For A New Product

Every once in a while, you may choose to rebrand or release an entirely new line of products. 

From your own experience, you’ve probably learned that customers can be hostile towards unknown products. If they don’t know you, they sure as hell don’t want you.

Therefore, rebranding and product launches call for an effective promotional plan to keep previous customers and possibly gain new ones.

Establishing a Brand Image

The importance of your brand cannot be overstated. 

Developing a brand is challenging. Without a means of bringing your brand to your target audience, all those sleepless nights go to waste.

Fortunately, you have promotional campaigns at your disposal. With a few social media ads, t-shirts, and email marketing campaigns, you can be a big step closer to bringing your brand to a broader audience.

Increase Sales

This is probably the one you’re waiting for. Most of the promotional campaigns you will run are intended to increase sales and conversions in the short or long term.

Most people think they don’t like spending money — until they meet a good ad. It’s your job to bring it to them.

Product Differentiation: Standing Out 

“What makes your product different?” is one of the toughest questions for a business owner to answer. It’s probably up there with “what’s the meaning of life?”

 Once you discover what makes your product special, you can’t afford not to share it with your target audience. This is where promotional marketing comes in, and it goes a long way in helping you differentiate your product.

Converting Potential Clients into Loyal Customers

Brand loyalty is quite elusive in today’s market. Bringing a customer in is easy. Convincing them to stay is a different story altogether.

Promotional marketing is one of the most effective ways to build a loyal fanbase for your products. 

You can do this by consistently delighting your audience through offers, giveaways, tote bags and other merchandise, and sponsorships of their favorite YouTube channels. This shows them that you care and will help convince them to stick around.

6 Types of Promotional Marketing Your Business Needs ASAP

Another plus for promotional marketing is that you’re spoiled for choice. There are so many options that it won’t be long before you find one that works for your business.

Some of the types of promotional marketing you should have on your radar are:

1. Personal Selling

In personal selling, your promotional agents make face-to-face sales presentations of your product to your target audience. 

This type of promotional marketing is the most effective and more popular than you imagine. Did you know that over 6 million people in the US are involved in personal selling? 

However, there’s a catch: it requires a hefty budget and an equally hefty human resources team.

2. Direct Marketing

41% of Americans of all ages look forward to checking their mail each day. When they do so, do they find your brochure waiting? Case studies and statistics say they should.

Direct marketing refers to any marketing that relies on the direct distribution of information to your audience. This can be an alternative to reliance on third-party mass media options.

Some direct marketing channels that can work for your brand include:

  • Direct mail
  • Email campaigns
  • Social media marketing (direct messaging)
  • Phone calls
  • SMS messages

3. Advertising

When advertising, you employ openly sponsored and non-personalized marketing communication promoting your products and services.

Advertising is a broad term that covers a large subset of marketing procedures, many of which you’re likely already familiar with. It can be anything from content marketing to online marketing to paid influencers.

4. Digital Marketing

If you’ve not heard of digital marketing, there are only two possibilities: either you’re from the future or the past. 

Digital marketing is also another broad marketing term. It just refers to using digital methods for outreach to your prospective clients. 

5. Sales Promotion 

You probably have a few items sitting in your home that have come from promos. 

Sales promotion refers to any additional good or service you can offer with your product. These promotions may lead to short-term cost increases. On the upside, however, they buy you long-term clients and brand recognition.

6. Public Relations

Public relations is a section of marketing where you can build rapport with the public and the media. 

In public relations, you lean less on sales and conversions and more on the lens through which society views your company. Through public relations, you can:

  • Hire a brand ambassador
  • Organize for TV interviews
  • Run ads about social issues such as climate change 

The Anatomy Of A Good Promotional Marketing Plan

According to a Welcome-Sirkin study, 44% of marketers struggle with unplanned work. That’s why a marketing plan has never been this crucial.

The best thing about promotional marketing is that it isn’t as hard as it seems. Even a kid’s lemonade stand can run a promotional marketing campaign. 

That said, each successful campaign shares some things in common, exemplified by the following actionable steps.

Understand The Needs Of Your Potential Customers

Before you start a promotional campaign, it’s essential to embrace customer-centricity. Ensure that you have an idea of what your customers want, and most importantly, what they want to hear

Settle On The Marketing Channels To Use For Outreach

Once you’ve prepared what your customers want to hear, you must settle on a marketing channel to bring that information to them.

Fortunately, this is not a problem in this day and age — your options are endless. You can go for email, social media, or more traditional means. In fact, nothing is stopping you from going for all of them!

Decide On The Objectives Of Your Promotional Marketing Strategy

Seeing the end from the beginning is the secret of running a successful marketing campaign. What do you want at the end of your campaign?

Your objectives could vary and may include:

  • Increased sales and conversions
  • Improved brand awareness among the general public
  • A change in public perception of your brand

Create an Effective Promotion Mix

As you’ve noticed, promotion campaigns have an almost endless list of components. That said, it’s not always wise to settle on just one approach. 

Subsequently, it’s almost impossible to include every aspect in each campaign. That’s why coming up with an effective promotion mix is your best bet at not leaving anything important out.

Some considerations to make when coming up with a promotion mix include:

  • People
  • Price
  • Place
  • Product
  • Promotion

Set Budgetary Constraints

You’re almost done. What’s left is coming up with a budget for your promotion and comparing it to the available resources. Where you’re strapped for cash, compromises can be made given the number of alternatives available in promotional marketing.

Come Up With Metrics To Track Progress

A Welcome-Sirkin study shows that 84% of marketers believe that demonstrating meaningful results is crucial. 

Once you have your objectives and timelines set and ready, what’s left is a strategy for tracking progress. You can do this by coming up with a list of metrics relevant to your promotional campaign.

Where To Start

From everything you’ve read above, it should be apparent that running a successful promotional campaign can be overwhelming. 

Think about the social media campaigns, hundreds of emails, tons of content marketing, and looming deadlines as the cherry on top. 

That’s why you need a solution that brings everything under one dashboard. And for this, look no further than Welcome.

Welcome offers a platform where you can track progress, organize workflows, and get metrics on one dashboard. For more, contact us today, and our teams will be more than willing to help.

Done reading and ready to try Welcome?

Welcome’s marketing orchestration software is free for up to 5 users, so grab 4 of your closest marketing buds and see what we’re all about.