Introduction to Promotion Strategy
Promotion is a strategy that is used by business organisations to encourage customers for buying products and services. Promotion techniques are wide and every company use to apply different techniques for promoting their goods and services (Kimball and Caserta, 2011). In present report, discussion will be done on promotion, its importance for business and different methods that are used. Further, this report will focus on “Premier inn” which is a hotel chain in UK and its promotional activities.
Aims of promotion in business
Promotions of goods and services are mainly intended to promote goods and services through messages and different ways of communication. Some of the main aims are discussed below:
Brand recognition: The primary objective of promotion is to create brand value and its identification in front of customers (Torresi, 2014). With this, companies use to present their purposes, and present products in which they use to deal.
Motivation to purchase: Once the brand is presented successfully in minds of customers, next step is taken to motivate buyers so that they can make purchase of products. They use attractive offers, advertisements etc. so that consumers get motivated to buy.
Sales growth: With creating motivation for buying, organisations intend to make their sales more. Besides this, it helps in generating more revenue in business (Wu, Tang and Shyu, 2010). The major aim of promotion is to communicate the consumers about a new product so that they can take interest in new goods and services. Thus, promotion is a helpful tool in inducing sales of a company.
To make new customers: Through promotions, a business organisation intends towards making new potential customers by attracting them with promotional features. The retention of consumers is also done through promotions by communicating them about new features and offers available on product (Stuttard and Pinto, 2011).
Hence, all the promotional activity focus to give explanation of the potential benefits of using the product, it also help to make differentiation a product from the competition. the main aim of the promotional activity is to develop and sustain a brand so that customers have complete loyalty in the products. It also focus to make increses in business as well as in sales. By using effective promotion activities it also help to introduce new products in a competitive market.
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Measuring success of promotional campaigns
To measure success of promotional techniques applied by organisation, several method can be used which are as follows (Meier, 2012).
Analysis of websites: If online marketing is used as promotional tool, then a company can track number of visitors of their website. This traffic will help to know their success in respective method of promotion.
Tracking calls: In this method, organisations can track all phone call that are made as a result of their marketing. In other words, the organisation can track each call generated through their marketing efforts to know the effectiveness of promotion plan.
Subscriptions and sign ups: Firms use to avail their products to customers by making an account and logging in from there to make most of the use of its services. This number can be tracked that how many customers have linked up with business by making accounts (De Graaf, 2013).
Cost per lead: By this method, manager has to keep track of all individual campaigns and leads generated by this should be calculated. This will provide more detailed information about performance of each campaign.
KPI tracking: The said method use to make a fixed standard for each activity according to which a data driven process is generated. By monitoring these KPIs, it will help in getting a detailed vision of marketing performance. Besides this, decision to make improvements can also be taken under this approach.
Hence, to measuring the success of promotional campaign, the first step is to plan the campaign and decide that how owner want to track it. After that, in the second step it define the channel like direct, referral, organic. E-mail, paid etc. that the organisation want to track it. After that marketing metrics like web content, lead conversion, individual and new visitors can be tracked and after tacking all these aspects campaings can be measure effectively.
Regulation of promotional activities
Promotions and techniques used for it is regulated by different systems of governing bodies to keep control on them. In UK there is a self regulatory system that use to govern all promotion related activities of goods and services. The two governing bodies for this purpose work together which are Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Advertising Standards Committee (ASA) (Stuttard and Pinto, 2011). It use to administer over the matters related to promotions and address any complaints as well. Other legally regulated bodies that do same work and restrict any unfair trade practices are-
Contract law: The contract law states various essential elements of an agreement according to which the companies make an offer to the general public for making a purchase. Thus, it make provisions to defend various activities that are related with promotions and fair arrangement of contracts.
Consumer protection legislation: This legal act helps consumers in protecting their interests. The companies may use unfair means to make profits on the cost of consumer safety. Therefore, this law has been framed for protecting the consumers getting cheated.
Copyright passing off: The said act helps in enforcing the laws related to unregistered trademarks. As per this, the passing off helps in defending companies their goodwill which can be misrepresented by any third party.
Lotteries and Amusements act 1976: As per this act, the companies are responsible to raise funds for charitable purposes only and not for any kind of private gains.
Sales of good act: Sales of goods act induce the agreement between the two parties in which one party is agree to given the possession of the goods to another party in the form of some payment.
All bodies use to follow a systematic procedure and abide every company with their rules and regulations that must be followed.
Promotional methods used by companies
Different companies use different ways of promotion as per their budget and target customers. Some of the methods that are used at a major level are (Loeliger and McCullough, 2012).
Advertisement: This method includes various mediums to present about companies brand and its goods and services before intended customers. This includes important messages which firm use to convey through advertisement by using mediums like television, newspapers, magazines etc. Thus, advertisement helps in covering a mass population for advertising about a new product.
Personal selling: The personal selling is one of the most effective method to induce customers for buying. In this method, buyer and seller comes in face to face contact due to which vendor can convince customer in more effective way by telling detailed features of products. The major positive point in this way of selling is personal contact of buyer with seller because of which, it becomes easier to induce the buyer for purchasing.
Digital marketing: In modern period, the use of internet to market products and services is getting high (Shani and et.al., 2010). But this method is mostly suitable for large business organisations that have a sufficient budget. Though it is an effective method of reaching large number of customers. Presently, the increasing use of various social networking sites is very helpful in doing the marketing on these channels which cover large number of customers at one time.
Current trends in promotional methods
- Green marketing concept is getting more popular from recent years. ' Go green' term is being used by many companies to advertise products and services because of increasing environmental issues. The manufacturing of products is also being done with this concept. It shows concern and responsibility of firm towards environment. The increasing awareness of customers towards environment shows that companies must apply the green marketing concept so that clients may prefer their products for saving environment.
- Nowadays more emphasis is given on offering products that can show simple appearance with great value and utility for customers (Wei and et.al., 2013). This will engage more customers instead of using techniques of schemes and gifts. Also a sense of fun is also added so that it can attract customer's more frequent attention of viewers.
- Social networking sites: In modern trends of promotion, social networking is an effective method to contact with more number of customers. Various sites can be used to address a large number of users. Thus, it is an effective tool for turning a potential buyer into actual customer. Moreover, database of customers can be kept to make contact with them using social sites in an effective way.
- Consistency: Currently, it is a trend in market to show a level of consistency in promotional activities so that company can present themselves as more trustworthy (Nathonson, 2011). Continuing with same logo and colours etc. are some methods used so that customers can identify them easily. For instance Parle-G is one of the most old company selling biscuits and it sells the product with same logo and style used very earlier.
Importance of branding in promotion
Benefit to business: Branding reminds customers that a particular commodity or service is related to a specific company and it is a product that is serving them with best quality and features. Thus, the organisations can gain the goodwill in market in easier way by presenting their differentiated brand.
Benefits to customers: It help customers to identify a particular product they want to purchase (Wu and Gao, 2011). Besides this, it is a proof of originality as well so that consumers can trust upon it. Further, the customer can easily address their intended product without having any doubt regarding the originality of goods.
Benefits to society: As the demand of branded products are more, production of goods and services done at mass level. This helps in getting economies of scale for business and employment generation in society. In addition to this, the employees of company can have the advantage of working in a recognised brand for their career growth.
Hence, there various kinds of brands and it gives various advantages like it help buyer to identify the products, reduce the time and risk also. Positioning can be achieved by including the name of brand, image, service standards, guarantee related to the products, packaging etc. An effective brand name is easy to pronounce, remember, legally protected and short, unique. There are various kinds of brands like manufacturing brand and own label brand. All these two types of brands helps to earn higher profits, developing customer loyalty, attract new customers etc. For example: Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft etc.
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Review of objectives of campaign
Premier inn is a UK's largest hotel group that owns more than 500 hotels in different parts of world. The owner of this brand is Whitbread PLC and it provides best leisure services in its hotels (Pantrigo, Sánchez and Montemayor, 2011). The cited company launched an advertisement campaign casting famous comedian Lenny Henry in its campaign. The campaign gained biggest success and it boosted the bookings of hotel after this promotional movement. The main objective behind this campaign was:
- To present the hotel as a biggest chain of budget hotels and that are really affordable for customers.
- To make the hotel group as number one choice for every traveller.
- To increase the number of brand loyal customers of cited company.
- To provide best of leisure services to every holiday traveller at best cost (Hebden and et. al., 2011).
- To make the brand recognisable among customers.
- To communicate the highlighting features about the hotel and various benefits that will be provided to customers.
Promotional mix of premier weekend
Promotional mix is designed to attract large number of customers with different techniques. This mix is intended for both existing customer and potential customer as well. The Premier weekend campaign was made to draw attention of British people so that they can use their weekends at mentioned hotel to take a refreshing break. The campaign showed that customers can book their rooms at a very cheaper cost of £29 for four persons.
Moreover, for advertisement famous comedian Lenny Henry was featured which really worked as a magic for company. The advertisement showed him enjoying at hotel on his weekends (Hebden and et. al., 2011). This campaign was designed by an agency and directed by Paul Weiland. The campaign's broadcast is done through television, newspapers, magazines, Internet etc. It also helped in getting instant response from customer's side and presenting the innovative side of mentioned hotel in terms of advertisement and promotion of services. All the promotional activities helps to make link to price, product development so that it will increase the sell.
Selection of target market is essential as it helps in identifying consumers that will be the most potential customers for company. By focussing on this particular target, the organisation can expect greater benefits and orderly process of positioning the product or service among customers. This target market selection is done through market research which helps in selecting the best segment of market that can be a potential customer of business. For identifying a target customer, the said organisation launched an app for mobiles which facilitate customers to do bookings through app (Robinson and Robertson, 2010). Most of the business partners of cited organisation used to book their rooms through this app and it gave 5% hike in bookings. So, one target market was ready for mentioned hotel. Thus, one major target market for said venture were business class people who are active on internet at wider level.
Another target was middle class families who use to prefer affordable hotels for their leisure. These segment were mainly comprised of families who like to spend their weekends with their relatives. Besides this, it also targeted foreign tourists coming for their holiday trips and adventure purposes. They were attracted by giving them quality services at a lower rate.
Choice of media
The company selected various mediums to attract its target customers. This mediums were as follows (Adnan and et.al., 2011)
Television: Television is considered a best medium for advertisement as it can communicate with large number of customers at a time. Besides this, famous advertise campaign featuring Lenny Henry gave most of the advantage to company. The use of this media was done in an ideal way by addressing all those consumers who do not use internet at wider level.
Internet: The mentioned organisation offers easy method to book hotel rooms through online website. 70% of bookings are done through their websites using internet. Moreover, suggestions given by search engines like google for Premier inn has increased in bookings of hotel.
Social media: The company use to track their customers needs and choice and according to that, company use to advertise about their different products and services (Spais, 2011). Besides this, through the app launched by aforesaid company also helped in boosting sales.
Newspapers: Newspapers ad are most effective to a large number of local customers at one time. Through this medium, those customers can also be addressed who are not much active on social networking sites and do not have access of internet.
Products: The cited hotel use to provide a range of services to customers that provide most comfortable stay in hotel. It offers rooms with special facilities like comfortable beds, spacious rooms, desk area, hair dryer, iron desks etc. all at a cheaper rate and with discounts.
Price: Due to its price strategy, company is able to gain a large market size of UK. It gives best facilities at comparatively lower rates than other hotels (Duchessi and Lauría, 2013). Thus, by adopting an effective pricing strategy, the said hotel has used its ability to gain more number of customers. Price of products is set as per the market conditions, competitor pricing strategies and also seeing the substitutes. Thus, price of a products make an important role and it also help to enhance the productivity of an organisation.
Promotions: Mentioned organisation uses all media to advertise their product among target customers. The famous ad campaign of Lenny henry is best example for this mix. In addition to this, it has done the marketing through print media, internet etc. which helped in addressing a large number of customers. It include all the promotional activity like personal selling, advertisement, online marketing etc. so that it can attract large number of customers and which make positive impact on company's growth.
Place: The company has targeted its market in most of the UK countries as it is the best place for their business. Right selection of place for business is essential to gain more market share. The services of organisation is quite accessible as well which is an added advantage for gaining better response of customers. To provide goods at a appropriate place also a part of marketing mix. In this, manufacture focus on such areas where the demand is high for a particular products, in this way, right place also make great impact in marketing strategies.
Aims and objectives of campaign
Premier inn has planned to open a new hotel in UK at new location. For this planning a new promotional campaign can be designed so that it can communicate to its target customers about new hotel (Falessi and et.al., 2010). The hotel will be opened in Bulgaria to increase its customer base. The baioms and objectives for new business plan will be:
- To communicate with large number of intended customers to make them aware of new hotel.
- To place the position of company as best brand hotel providing quality services at most affordable rates.
- To earn more profits by making more customers.
- To serve customers their most comfortable visit in hotel.
Choice of target market
The company has targeted the customers of Bulgaria as this place has lots of natural beauties located here (Wei and et.al., 2012). The said hotel has chosen business class people and middle level earning families as target market as they are the major segments who use to travel and have stays in reasonable hotels. So, it has more number of tourists which gives opportunity to serve more number of customers. Besides this, here number of hotels with cheaper rates providing quality services are very less. So cited company can make large profits by gaining large market share. For attracting large number of customers it can offer different schemes, packages for stay, vouchers etc. For increasing the sale and attracting the customers, company can follow different promotional activities like online marketing so that they can attract the customers in a large level. By choosing the online marketing strategies it help to evaluate the demand of the customer and after analysis the demand, by making improvement in the selling techniques helps to increase the sell of the products.
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Suitable promotional activities
The company is going to attract both local and international customers, hence best mediums to attract both type of customers will be :
- Social networking sites
- Personal selling
- Giving discounts
The above mentioned mediums are best suitable techniques for promoting the products as they have the potential to address a large number of customers at a single time (Falessi and et.al., 2010). Besides this, cited tools for promoting will address various segments who are good users of internet and also those persons who are not active on internet. Hence, by use of social media, mail order marketing, product giveaways, point-of-sale emotion marketing, cause and charity, branded promotional gifts and after sale customer survey etc. are the part of promotional methods which are used by the companies.
The plan will be implemented with defining objectives clearly to its stakeholders (Kim, 2010). The various promotional activities and other related functions will be carried out according to a budget set by company. It can have various retained earnings as well which can be invested in new plan. The preparation related to all legal formalities have to be done with consideration of full knowledge about Bulgaria. Besides this, different strategies can also be set out to meet objectives of new company. Hence, by making a plan all the time factor such in which time consumer want the goods and how much time the demand are higher are included in it. It also include the money which are invested to make a promotional activity in the target market etc. are considered before implementing the plan.
The present report is focussed on promotion and various techniques that are used for this. The promotion is an important tool to develop business hence, the report has also suggested its various implications in business (Wu,Tang and Shyu, 2010). The famous hotel chain Premier inn is taken in context to show the success of company due to right application of promotional tool. Moreover, it has also discussed a plan about new hotel in Bulgaria to expand its services.
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