Promotional services are all the ways that you get the word out about your company, product, or service. They are one of the four major components of marketing. Each of the promotional services engages your target audience in a different way or in a different space. The variety ensures that every member of your audience is reached in a way that most suits them.
Related: Successful Brand Messaging Strategies
What Are Promotional Services
Here are the 7 different types of promotional services:
Digital marketing is any promotion found on the internet. This online advertising may be in the form of SEO, content marketing, PPC, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. It comes through some of the following channels – websites, email, social media, search engines, and mobile apps. Digital marketing is less expensive and faster to develop than the other forms, but it can take a little longer to show impact. Consumers rely on digital marketing to be kept up to date on the latest goods and services available to them from brands they trust and to research potential purchases.
Google’s marketing insights tell us that 48% of people begin their product inquiries on search engines, with 33% visiting brand websites, and 26% searching on mobile apps.
This is the oldest form of selling and promotion. It usually takes place one on one – over the phone or in person. An example of this is door-to-door sales or cold calling consumers to persuade them to make a purchase or place an order.
The method seems ancient, but it has its advantages. The message is customized to the target audience, and the message is directly received. If there are questions or misunderstandings, they can be cleared up immediately. And the salesperson can tailor their approach to the individual with whom they are speaking.
The disadvantages are obvious. It is a lot of work and time to reach only one person or household. Additionally, the salesperson may be aggressive, condescending, or just plain annoying, leading to no sale and a disheartened prospect.
Direct marketing is sending mail, email, or other media directly to the target consumer. Direct mail is the most popular form of direct marketing and is the cheapest. Like personal selling, a message can be tailored and made quite specific for the prospective client. Campaigns can be quickly put together along with offers, discounts, or even product research. The mail is sent only to prospects who are likely to purchase or participate, rather than a broad-scale mailing. Unfortunately, unsolicited mail is often viewed as ‘junk mail’ and discarded – at times, rendering this method unprofitable.
Related: 25 Product Launch Strategies (and Steps) for a Flawless Launch
Public relations as a marketing tool works wonders. It’s the method of using mostly free means to inform potential customers and clients of your company, products, or services. It’s inexpensive but effective to send out press releases about new products or services. People trust newspapers, so not only does this lend credibility to your story, but it is also at no cost to you.
Public relations can strengthen your company’s reputation and soften the public perspective. You can use public relations to create great stories about your company in the following areas:
- Inform of new products
- Relaunch old products
- Introduce new employees
- Apprise of financials
- Update on company news
- Educate about market trends
When you’re considering releasing your story to the press, take these into account:
- Significance. The more your story affects other people, the more significant it will be.
- Timing. A release just when a new product is dropping is great timing or time with another event.
- Sensation. If your story can generate a little stir, more people will be interested.
- Proximity. Your story will be better appreciated if it has to do with the local community.
- Conflict. Although, as a company, you may have views on current affairs, be careful about creating conflict. It may not go in your favor.
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Still in the vein of public relations, sponsorships are about your company giving money or resources to groups, events, or organizations. We’ve all seen company logos on athletic team uniforms or at events in exchange for funds. This method of promotion is effective and can positively impact your company’s brand and public view.
Sponsorships are expensive, although the return on the investment is usually high. And there is always the risk that tying your company to a team, group, or person can negatively impact you if they do something that the public does not support. Your reputation will be damaged by association. However, on the flip side, if they do well, your company shares in their glory.
Advertising is paid promotions using mass media, including newspapers, magazines, television commercials, internet banners, and billboards or posters. Although this method is less targeted (most of them), it is a great way to grow brand awareness. But because they aren’t very targeted, it can be a ‘hit or miss’ method.
Sales promotions are a strategy where your company uses short-term offers or giveaways to gain the public’s attention. You can use a variety of means to influence the buying behavior of your target audience. The campaigns should be so compelling that customers are eager to purchase or otherwise ‘act now’ to gain the advantage of your product.
Here are some of the benefits of sales promotions:
- Create brand loyalty
- Increase sales and revenue
- Support other company interests
- Engages existing customers
- Customer behavioral insights
The one main disadvantage is that you shouldn’t depend too heavily on them. If your company is ‘always’ running a sales promotion, they will become less and less effective. Your customers will become weary and price-sensitive.
Related: The 4 Keys to Building Brand Loyalty with Millennials
Last Thoughts on Promotional Services
Promotional services are the ways your company can communicate its values, news, and offerings to the public. Some of these services are inexpensive, some are free, and some are pretty expensive to use. These also reap rewards on varying levels. Consider how you may use them in your marketing campaigns to reach and engage with your target audience.
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