Advertising and Promotions Effectiveness Article Critique


What is the best way to gain knowledge about customers and competitors? Why is this method superior to others? (Knowledge, not only information)

Although market research can be costly, it is often even more costly to make erroneous decisions based upon bad or inadequate information. In fact, an average business spends between 25 and 50% of its annual marketing budget on research activities,” and thinks of that money as well spent (“Market research,” 2007, Encyclopedia of Small Business). The most common primary methods of gathering information on customers are through questionnaires on websites, solicited surveys from current and prospective consumers via the mail box, on the phone, and asking questions through personal interviews. Secondary information “generally tracks trends within a market, an industry, a demographic group, or a geographic region” (“Market research,” 2007, Encyclopedia of Small Business).

Secondary research may be the more valuable method of information gathering, firstly because it is available “at little or no cost,” through “government reports, trade association records, newspaper and magazine surveys, university-sponsored research, local chamber of commerce records, online services, and competitors’ annual reports” (“Market research,” 2007, Encyclopedia of Small Business). It is also less likely to have potential individual biases — only a random selection of customers may answer questionnaires, or provide hasty or inaccurate first impressions on a marketing survey, but secondary research is pure data, full of information about relevant demographic trends in the industry as a whole. It also can provide valuable information as to how competitors within an industry are faring, while questions about competitors may not draw forth candid replies from individual consumers, who may buy both from the questioning company as well as its competitors.

What are key decisions in crafting market strategy?

Remember the 4 Ps: product, pricing, promotion and placement are the three key elements of creating an effective marketing strategy. The product is not simply what a consumer is buying, but how it is different and similar from what competitors are selling, and how it conveys unique value to the customer. “Product refers to the goods and services you offer to your customers. Apart from the physical product itself, there are elements associated with your product that customers may be attracted to, such as the way it is packaged. Other product attributes include quality, features, options, services, warranties, and brand name (Ehmke, Fulton, & Lusk, 2007). In B2B, bundling desirable services or products may be especially important.

In terms of pricing — is it a bargain product? Is it middle-range in price (usually not a good idea unless it is an extremely good value for the price)? Is it a luxury good? On a basic level, price “refers to how much you charge for your product or service” (Ehmke, Fulton, & Lusk, 2007). But the price “must not be so low as to make the product seem of poor quality, and it must still cover the costs of production. Whatever your price may be, ultimately it must cover your costs, contribute to your image by communicating the perceived value of your product, counter the competition’s offer, and avoid deadly price wars. Remember, price is the one ‘P’ that generates revenue, while the other three ‘P’s incur costs. [This is why] Effective pricing is important to the success of your business” (Ehmke, Fulton, & Lusk, 2007). Pricing also includes how the customer pays, whether by installments or upfront, as methods of payment can affect the long-term solvency of the business.

Place” refers to the distribution channels used to get a product to customers. “What your product is will greatly influence how you distribute it…Businesses that create or assemble a product will have two options: selling directly to consumers or selling to a vendor,” and even exclusively B2B enterprises must select what type of vendor, whether small or large (Ehmke, Fulton, & Lusk, 2007). Promotion refers to the advertising and selling part of marketing, to individual consumers or businesses. “To be effective, your promotional efforts should contain a clear message targeted to a specific audience reached via an appropriate channel. Your target audience will be the people who use or influence the purchase of your product” and ideally advertise its quality to other buyers (Ehmke, Fulton, & Lusk, 2007). Promotional strategies also must determine whether an intensive promotion campaign, targeted at wide range of buyers is appropriate, or selective or exclusive campaigns targeted at specific clientele are more likely to draw the right buyers, willing to pay extra money for a unique or luxury product that suits their specific needs.

An important promotional question today is always, what is best medium in which to purvey the product? Through one-to-one consumer interaction via personal sellers, like pharmaceutical companies use to sell drugs to doctors? Or over the Internet? Are channels that specifically target certain industries or types of consumers the best, like specific websites, or should the promotional locations have a more general character? For commercially-based goods, special promotional offers can range from everything from contests to rebates, and for selling to businesses, promotions can include 2 for 1 sale, or other value-based strategies. Promotional placement refers to how the product is ‘placed’ within the current market, in other words are the promotional strategies value-based, like a 2-for-1 sale, or do they offer extra amenities and exclusive offers in a luxury promotion, like upgrades to first class for consumers using a frequent flier program. There is no single 4 P. strategy that is correct all of the time; rather an effective strategy is determined by the needs of the business, the product and the marketing situation of the industry and company.

Marketing Strategy

Assess the Information Needs of Target Market(s). What Information will Your Potential Customers need (e.g. address of premises)?

The information needs of the target market will provide them with enough facts to make an informed decision. This will be accomplished by giving customers with information about the physical location (i.e. address), telephone number, any kind of professional organizations and the web site. These factors will help them to learn about the firm and contact staff when they have questions. (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

Indicate whether any Personal Selling will be involved and if so what forms this will take. If not explain why not.

Yes, personal selling will be involved. This will be accomplished using traditional and online sources. (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

What Training should be received?

The training that should be received is focusing on improving communication, increasing professionalism / ethics and continuing education. These factors will help to ensure that everyone is knowledgeable in answering the customers’ questions (when interacting with them). (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

What Incentives will the Sales Force Earn?

The incentives that the sales force will earn are royalties and commissions (when a new client signs up with the firm). This will be accomplished by having the marketing department provide these bonuses when someone is utilizing traditional or online advertising. (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

How will You Evaluate Selling Performance?

Selling performance will be evaluated based upon the ability to have a client sign up with the firm. This will be achieved by looking at the approach and the effectiveness in reaching these objectives (versus other strategies). (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

Set Communication Objectives for your Service. What do you want to achieve? In what time frame in terms of your communicating to your potential customers?

The basic goal will be to ensure that the firm is able to have 1,000 clients within the first year. The time frame for communicating with customers will take place by occurring on a monthly or quarterly basis (as needed). This is when staff will go over their situation and make adjustments for their needs. (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

Develop an effective Communications Strategy

The communications strategy will involve personnel contacting clients via email, telephone and though regular mail. (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

What advertising media are to be used?

The different advertising mediums include: TV, newspaper, radio, ad words, email advertising and social networking. (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

Develop an effective public relations program for your business.

The public relations program will involve sending out press releases once a week and when new programs or specials have been introduced. (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

Decide what sales promotions you are going to use.

The sales promotion strategy will show clients significant savings, more personal attention and customizable solutions for their different needs. (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)

Advertising and Promotions Effectiveness

The effectiveness of any advertising campaign will be concentrating on how the different tools are locating new clients. This will be accomplished by asking them questions concerning where they learned about the firm. These areas will be compared with one another to decide which tactics are reaching out to new customers. When this happens, these techniques can be used to help the firm grow even more. (Shimp, 2008) (Ward, 1998)


Shimp, T. (2008). Advertising and Promotion. Mason, OH: South Western.

Ward, S. (1998). Selling Places. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.

Ehmke, Cole, Joan Fulton, & Jayson Lusk. “Marketing’s Four P’s: First Steps for New

Entrepreneurs.” Purdue Extension School. AICC. Retrieved 10 May 2007 at

Market research.” (2007) Encyclopedia of Small Business. Retrieved May 10, 2007, from Web site:

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