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Innovative product promotions

Innovative product promotions
Highlights

Marketing mix is a term often used in marketing. The marketing mix determines how the product is marketed and consists of the four P-'s: price,...

Marketing mix is a term often used in marketing. The marketing mix determines how the product is marketed and consists of the four P's: price, product, place and promotion. Promotion is the communication of the marketers with his customers extolling the virtues and benefits of his products/services.

Traditional promotional mix consisted of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicity/public relations and direct marketing. But in the recent times newer and exciting forms of promotions have emerged. Reverse Graffiti also known as clean tagging, dust tagging, grime writing, green graffiti or clean advertising, is a method of creating temporary images on walls or other surfaces by removing dirt from the surface.

It is often done by removing dirt or dust with the fingertips from windows or other dirty surfaces, such as writing 'wash me' on a dirty vehicle. It is also explored commercially as an original way of out-of-home advertising to reach consumers in an unconventional new way. Microsoft and BBC have advertised their products using reverse graffiti.

Presence marketing is marketing to the consumer who is at the point of purchase. If P&G wants to provide a discount on Tide detergent it could use shelf talkers mounted near the shelves that carry the Tide detergent. The shelf-talker would present a coupon to every shopper who walks past the aisle.

It has been reported that 60 per cent of these types of promos actually cannibalise a brands own sales! So someone who was going to buy Tide and was willing to pay full price now gets it at a discount. In contrast “smart presence marketing” would take into consideration the shopper’s transaction history. So if the customer was buying a different brand’s detergent then a coupon could be sent to the customer’s mobile phone based on presence identification.

Grassroots marketing is tapping into the collective efforts of brand enthusiasts. Grass root marketing is marketing the company, organisation, products or services on a local and on a personal level. It is the best way to reach the customers on the basis where they get to know the company and the company gets to know them.

Wild Posting Campaigns: Posters are put up at construction site barricades, building facades, in alleyways. In short any place available at construction site. Although cost is relatively low when compared to other out of home advertising forms, wild posting is largely ineffective because the ad size is small and placement is only available on temporary construction site. Sites are not location specific and message is very hard to view unless the consumer is only feet away from poster.

Street marketing is one of the oldest ways to advertise. Street marketing is handing out flyers when the prospect is walking on the street. It is always better to be closer to the customer for the launch of a new product/service. To make it successful, the companies have to choose the best places, and have support material like stickers, free goodies etc.

The low price of this type of advertising is an advantage. One variation of this type of marketing can be traffic light selling where customers are sold why they are waiting for the signals to change at the traffic lights. Undercover marketing also called stealth marketing: An undercover campaign aims to generate buzz, is economical, and once sufficient buzz has been generated, it’s almost free, as consumers "market" the product to others, through a network of referrals which grows and grows.

An ideal consumer will not only begin using that product themselves, but will also tell their friends about it. Financial risk here is relatively small because such marketing approach; it requires fewer expenses and is usually more cost-effective as well. Undercover marketing is used when traditional marketing techniques have been exhausted.

It is the consumer's sense that this recommendation was spontaneous and unsolicited and the resulting feeling that "one good turn deserves another", that drives the buzz. So, the ‘bought and paid for’ aspect of the transaction must remain hidden. Overall the person doing the undercover marketing must look and sound like a peer of their target audience without any ulterior motive for endorsing the product.

Sony Ericsson used stealth marketing when they hired 60 actors in 10 major cities, and made them walk up to total strangers and ask them: “Would you mind taking my picture?" The actor then handed the stranger a brand new picture cell phone while talking about how cool the new device was.

Astroturfing is disguising company messaging as an authentic grassroots mass movement. Astroturfing is a form of advocacy for a corporate agenda designed to give the appearance of a "grassroots" movement. The term is a taken from AstroTurf a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.

Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual promoting a personal agenda, or highly organis000ed professional groups with money from large corporations, unions, non-profits, or activist organizations. Experiential marketing is interaction with product – Brands are now being driven by the customer themselves, through experiential elements like co-creation marketing or Nike's id system, design your own shoes.

Nike came up with an innovative idea where the customers can design their own shoes according to their likes and dislikes, material, colour, shape etc… which was definitely creating an identity for themselves. In India many companies have tried out the experiential marketing successfully. One Indian company tried out a concept called Create your Own paint. Many paint buyers find it very difficult to decide on the shades provided by the company.

To give the customers more choice the company designed paint mixers. In these specially designed shops the customers can decide on a shade or a color by themselves using a computer. Once the shade or color is decided all that the customer has to decide the quantity and the exact shade desired. The paint would be delivered to the customer within a few minutes.

Tissue-pack marketing: Companies use small, portable tissue packages to advertising products. The concept of tissue-pack marketing was first developed in Japan. Live-in Marketing (LIM) is a term used to describe a variant of marketing and advertising in which the target consumer is allowed to sample or use a brands product in a relaxed atmosphere over a longer period of time.

Much like product placement in film and television LIM was developed as a means to reach select target demographics in a non-evasive and much less garish manner than traditional advertising. Unlike traditional event marketing, LIM suggests that end-users will sample the product or service in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. The idea behind this technique is that the end-user will have as positive as possible interaction with the given brand thereby leading to word-of-mouth communication and potential future purchase.

Wait marketing on public transport, in the doctors’ waiting room, while downloading a video from the Internet, consumers have proved 2 to 3 times more receptive to advertising than when sitting in front of their television. Wait marketing helps companies turn consumers waiting time into the perfect opportunity to communicate in an innovative and effective way.

Richard Branson has launched a Wait Marketing initiative called Pitch TV. Entrepreneurs and marketing managers can promote their business in a 2-minute pitch that will be broadcasted on Virgin Atlantic Airlines flights! Ambient marketing may be defined as an activity of the business of creating brand recognition without necessarily pushing its product.

The campaign is very often carried out by finding a thing that can be clearly connected with the business and by communicating the thing instead of the business itself. Examples are messages on the backs of bus tickets, on hanging straps in railway carriages and on the handles of supermarket trolleys.

It also includes such techniques as projecting huge images on the sides of buildings, or slogans on the gas bags of hot air balloons. Marketers have turned a traditional and boring luggage claim belt into a giant roulette wheel at Venice Marco Polo Airport.

By:Dr M Anil Ramesh

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