After establishing the distribution system, the next stage in an effective marketing plan is product promotion. In this, awareness is created among the consumers so that they may purchase the product. This is a communication intensive process hence the need to develop a communications plan. A promotion mix comprising of the appropriate marketing media and packaging has to be identified at this stage. For Tide detergent, there will initially be the adoption of a pull strategy, which will gradually give way to a push strategy. This will be conducted through direct marketing, advertising and sales promotion. The communications strategy will involve the use of television, newspapers, price discounts, coupons and free samples. The effectiveness of the strategy will be evaluated basing on the changes experienced in the profits and communications, all of which will impact on the product demand.
One of the important elements of a marketing mix is promotion. The marketing communications mix refers to the blend of personal selling, advertising, direct marketing and public relations that the company will utilize in trying to develop customer relationships and communicate its customer value. The company will have to use a clear and persuasive way to communicate the value. Promotion comprises of a mix of a variety of tools. Within the framework of integrated marketing communications, there will be the need to coordinate the promotion elements so as to develop a compelling, consistent and clear message about Tide detergent (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009).
Advertising may be achieved through a variety of media. These include outdoor, broadcast, the internet and print. Sales promotion includes displays, discounts, displays and coupons. Personal selling involves trade shows, incentive programs and sales presentations. Public relations on its part include sponsorships, web pages, press releases and special events among others. Direct marketing covers tele-marketing, catalogs, the internet and kiosks (Madura, 2006). This paper outlines a marketing communications plan for Tide detergent.
Integrated Marketing Communications
Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is a concept in marketing management. It brings together issues in marketing management for instance public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and advertising as a single entity instead of separate and isolated ones. It is essentially a simple concept that ensures that every form of messages and communications have a strong link between them. IMC refers to the integration of the different promotional tools in order to ensure that they are operating in harmony together (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009).
While the IMC needs much effort in order to work, it has several benefits. It is capable of creating competitive advantage, boosting profits and sales and helps to save money. IMC hands over information to consumers and helps them in moving through different stages in the buying of commodities. In the case of Tide detergent, the company will be enabled to consolidate its image, create dialogue and nurture the producer-customer relationship. IMC also enhances profits by increasing effectiveness. A message that is unified is capable of producing a greater impact. Within the current busy market environment, having a consolidated and consistent message raises the possibility of being unique from many other competitors who advertise their detergents to the same consumers. An IMC is capable of making messages more credible and consistent hence reducing the perception of risk held by consumers. This therefore reduces the length of the search process, hence dictates the product of brand comparisons (Egan, 2007).
Promotion Mix Strategy
The product has two alternatives to take in its promotion mix. These are the push and pull strategies. In the push strategy, the product is pushed through the applicable marketing channels until they reach the consumers. The manufacturer will be responsible for directing the marketing activities. This will be done mainly through trade promotion and personal selling. Members of the channel are induced to take up the product and encourage the eventual consumers to buy it. In the pull strategy, the manufacturer also determines how marketing activities are conducted. It aims at inducing the eventual consumers to purchase the product, and the main approaches in this case are consumer promotion and advertising (Rosenbloom, 2004).
Having a promotional mix strategy will enable the company to get Tide detergent into the market. There are two possibilities promotion mix strategies. These are the push strategy and the pull strategy. In push strategy, the product will be taken directly to consumer through any means in order to make sure that he or she becomes aware about the Tide branch at the purchase point. The options in a push strategy include direct selling, negotiating with retailers so that they may stock the product, displays at points of sale and showroom direct selling among others. In a pull strategy, consumers will be motivated to look up the Tide brand through an active process. The customer will be encouraged to come to the buyer. The possible approaches in this case include discounts, sales promotions, media promotion, advertising and referrals by word of mouth (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009).
Push strategy essentially involves the effort by the manufacturer to get the detergent to consumers. It may entail developing appropriate distribution channels for the product and ensuring that the retailers and middle-men opt to stock it. In the push strategy, it is possible to attain greater sales for items that are of lower value for instance Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs). This applies when a consumer stands at a shelf and is prepared to put the picked item into a shopping basket and is ready to decide on what to buy on the spot (Madura, 2006).
New firms will tend to take up the push strategy in products that they want to generate greater exposure and develop retail channels. As soon as the brand acquires recognition in the market, it becomes possible to integrate it with a pull strategy. In a pull strategy, the customer will end up seeking out the product in an active manner. Retailers will place more orders for the detergent’s stock because of the rise in the product’s. Implementing a pull strategy will require that the brand be highly visible. It should also be possible to develop it by the use of mass media advertisement and other such tactics. In case customers ask for a product, retailers will tend to stock up. Demand and supply work in this case hence forming a plausible reason for adopting the pull strategy (Madura, 2006).
Considering the applicability of the two approaches, it is possible to conclude that each has an important role in various stages of Tide’s entry into the market. Tide will therefore adopt the best strategy, and this will involve both elements of the pull and push promotional approaches. Tide will be getting into the detergent market and seeks to sell out through retailers. It will therefore have to convince retail outlets to buy the product and stock it. There will also be the need to increase the levels of brand awareness for Tide. This will be accompanied by the creation of popularity through making face to face mouth referrals. The product will at the same time be designed around final consumers. The strategy taken will consider every element of the marketing mix. When this is done, the two aspects will be achievable.
The message strategy for Tide will be the primary foundation for the eventual marketing strategy. It will have to be strong in order to guarantee that marketing efforts do not end up falling apart. There will be a positioning statement for marketing, and this will be the main message to be communicated via all the promotional tools used in the strategy. Tide will be marketed as the newest product in the market, made using the latest technology in detergent manufacture. The strength will be referred to in terms of foaming for domestic use and a relatively lower price in the case of commercial buyers. The positioning statement for Tide will be; ‘Tide guarantees the best results through the best ingredients derived from the latest manufacturing technology.
Three main promotional tools will be used for Tide. These are direct marketing, advertising and sales promotion. Direct marketing involves the creation of direct contacts with individual consumers who have been systematically identified. The move is supposed to both lead to an immediate response in terms of purchases and also help to build long-lasting relationships with the targeted consumers.
There are potential benefits from the adoption of direct marketing. In the case of buyers, direct marketing constitutes a private convenient and easily usable source of information. They are able to get access to a variety of information and products, both at home and abroad. It is an immediate and highly interactive approach that allows the creation of awareness and making of choices and orders instantly. On the part of the seller, it enhances customer relationships. It also provides a relatively efficient and low-cost option in the attempt to reach respective markets. In addition, direct marketing provides an enhanced flexibility. It provides marketers the chance to adjust programs and prices continuously they can also make timely and immediate offers and announcements. It further offers sellers some buyer access that might have been difficult if another channel was used (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009).
Advertising may be carried out through various mediums. These include newspapers, billboards, magazines, television and the internet. Advertising is important as it helps to inform potential buyers about the how available the product is within the market and offers encouragement for them to buy it. Advertising is appropriate for the detergents for various reasons. First, it can support other forms of promotion. For instance in the case of sponsorship, it can have the additional role of motivating and educating the public on non-commercial issues for instance the dangers of drugs. It is possible to get advertisements on the internet. The advertisements in most instances effectively help to connect a consumer with necessary information regarding the product (Rosenbloom, 2004).
Sales promotion involves an initiative to ensure a rise in Tide’s sales. It will also ensure the trial of the detergent. The initiatives to be taken here will be unique as they will not have been dealt with by other components of the promotions and marketing communications mix. Sales promotion will precipitate a considerable change in consumer and trades people’s behavior. The promotions will therefore be capable of bringing in greater profits for the detergent’s manufacturer. This is because they will enable the existence of price discrimination. A manufacturer may cause price discrimination by using sales promotion. This can be done through charging varied prices to various trade segments and consumers depending on the sensitivity of each segment to possible prices. Discounts, coupons and clearance sales are possible examples in this case (Egan, 2007).
Forms of Promotional Media
In advertising, the main tools that will be used will be newspapers and television. Newspapers are among the most common traditional mediums in the advertising of detergents. This is mainly due to a number of advantages that it has. First, it enables access to many people in the geographic area. In addition, it provides flexibility bin decision-making. The manufacturer is able to choose the best size of placement or advertisements in the newspaper. Exposure to the advertisement is usually unlimited, so that a reader can go over it over and over if they desire so. This is in addition to the fact that in cases of a quick turnaround, the advertisement will be able to reflect changes in market conditions. An advertisement that is made today may reach the customers in a day or two (Rosenbloom, 2004).
Television on its part has several advantages. It allows the marketer to have the reach to many people, both at the regional and national levels. This is achieved in a relatively short time. The many cable service providers and independent stations also provide new chances of pinpointing local audiences. Television is a visual and image-building medium. For this reason, it gives a chance to convey a message with motion, sound and sight (Madura, 2006).
In sales promotion, price discounts and coupons will be used. In price discounts, buyers will be informed about such offers through advertising. The price reductions may be announced in package tags or storefronts. For coupons, legal certificates will be granted by both retailers and the manufacturer. These will offer savings rates for given amounts of Tide when they are shown at points of purchase. The two tools will have considerable benefits to the company. First, they help to raise buying confidence. When more of the commodity is given to consumers, they tend to be pushed into buying it again. As they feel satisfied, they will get greater confidence to buy the product, especially now that it is new. The sales promotion will ease entry into new market areas. It will enable an easier capturing of previously unaware market segments. Lastly, it is an effective way of raising profitability. This is because it increases sales volumes. Sales promotion tools have been proved to favorably affect product sales. There is a high possibility of increased demand when sales campaigns are in progress (Egan, 2007).
In direct marketing, there will be no channel intermediaries between the company and the consumers. A good example will be through giving of free samples. Here, a small package of Tide will be attached to either another product from the same company, or shoppers will be given the sample at intervals within the shopping stores. This is an important step. This is because people usually need to know that the product being offered is worth their money and time. In case they are offered something that they value for free, it is more likely that they will examine it further. They will not feel as if they are being trapped into making quick sales. As a result, chances of new loyalty to the product developing are higher. This will be highly effective, especially for Tide, which is a new product (Rosenbloom, 2004).
Evaluation of the Communication Strategy
There is need for accountability in the promotion strategy. The marketing department will evaluate it on two grounds; the profit and sales effect and the communication effect. An evaluation of the communication effect will determine if the message is being passed on well enough. For instance, individual advertisements will be tested prior to and after being run. Initially, the advertisement to members of the public and inquire their opinions about it. They will then measure the attitude or recall changes that will have been occasioned by the advert. Afterwards, the advertiser will measure the same effect of the advert. The communication effects can also be made for the whole promotion in general. The evaluation of profit and sales effects will be done through a comparison of past profits and sales against advertising expenditure. However, it is worth noting that there are various factors that may limit the effectiveness of advertising. Some of these may be controlled while others are beyond such control (Egan, 2007).
Promotion is an important element in the marketing mix. This is because information about the product needs to be transmitted to the consumers in order for them to make purchasing decisions. In the case of Tide, there will be the needs to effectively coordinate its marketing mix, beginning from its packaging to its selling to the consumers. A pull strategy to marketing will be adopted, although this may be changed as it gets its position within the market. The message strategy will be founded on the technological superiority of Tide and its appeal as a new product. Direct marketing, advertising and sales promotion will be used to drive its sales and evaluations conducted to check on effectiveness. Newspapers, television, price discounts, coupons and free samples will be used as promotional tools in the process.
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