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Marketing Mix Promotion

Build Your Marketing Communication Mix

Marketing mix promotion is a key element of a successful marketing plan; and needs to be part of your brand marketing strategy. You will increase awareness, acceptance and grow sales, by raising product and brand recognition through strong marketing communication mix and promotion mix programs.

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Marketing mix promotion is one of the 4 Ps of Marketing: product, price, place (or distribution) and promotion.

Promotion for your products must include raising awareness, understanding of the features and benefits, acceptance of your brand's identity, and from acceptance, encouraging action.

The goal of Marketing Mix Promotion is to help you sell; therefore all promotional efforts need to be developed with performance measurements 'built-in'.

Promotion Mix

Promotion is also called sales promotion or marketing promotions. It includes:

  • Personal selling, such as face to face (sales person) or voice to voice (sales by phone);
  • Advertising, such as internet, newspapers, trade and consumer magazines, radio, television, posters, billboards, even advertising on cars, buses, trucks, hockey ice, football stadiums and more;
  • Consumer promotions such as trial or sample packages, coupons, prizes, cash refund offers, point of purchase displays,and more;
  • Public relations, which includes press releases, building corporate and brand identity in the community and the marketplace;
  • Direct marketing (also know as one-to-one marketing), which includes variable printing, direct mail, email marketing and more;
  • Business to business promotions, such as trade shows, conventions, sponsorships, contests, give-aways such as pens, notepads, hats, etc (all imprinted with the company's identity on it);
  • Print communications, such as brochures, catalogues, flyers, single sheet promotions, etc.

Brand Marketing Strategy

One of the most common forms of marketing mix promotion is retail or consumer promotions. This type of marketing is focused on product incentive promotion tactics, such as offers of free trials, discount coupons, and cash refunds.

Business to business marketing is typically focused on promoting the company's identity (it's brand marketing strategy), along with the product. Business to business marketing is about trying to build longer term relationships with customers; consumer marketing recognizes the short attention span of its market and tries to draw consumers in with incentives.

A Creative Marketing Communication Mix

Most small businesses do not have the promotion budget to do all, most or even three or four of the above tactics. So get creative.

  • Print small flyers and brochures and insert them into folders or packages with your business card and direct mail (on a personal one-to-one basis), with a letter (on your business letterhead) hand-signed by you, the owner.

    Mail your first 100 pieces to your top 100 prospects and within two weeks of the mail out - follow up with each prospect. If you don't do the follow-up, you are wasting cost; the most effective sales promotions need to have follow-up and follow-through on contacts to help customers continue down the decision making path.

  • Instead of television advertising, which can cost thousands of dollars for a few minutes of advertising (not including the cost to produce the ad) to a large audience, consider creating your own video. Hire a videographer to create 4 minutes of film and post it on your website and/or on YouTube.

  • Consider social media, such as facebook and twitter to communicate with your market. Consider developing your own blog - but only do this if you can produce (or hire someone to produce) relevant and interesting content.

  • Putting up a website is a lot less challenging than it used to be. Consider putting your business online but keep it fresh, current, professional and full of valuable information.

Marketing Mix Promotion

But with most of these promotion strategies (except for the mail-outs), remember that you still need to drive traffic to your website, to your blog, to your YouTube video. Think carefully about your customers and how you can best reach, and attract, them. (Using an example of a marketing mix will help you to develop your own mix strategies.

Another element of marketing mix promotion is understanding whether you plan to create a push or a pull strategy to gain sales.


A push strategy requires personal selling and is typically used in business to business (B2B) marketing. For example, if you sell your products to a distributor who in turn sells to end users, you would likely wish to use a push strategy. Push strategies will help you convince your distributor to carry your product and sell it in store.


A pull strategy is often used in consumer markets (business to consumer (B2C) sales) where demand for the product (by using a great marketing mix promotion program), will encourage distributors to carry it. The promotional effort needs to build brand recognition and identity: so that consumers 'line-up' for the product or service.

Think of the toy store industry at Christmas time, there are always certain products that fly off the shelves - those products are able to use pull strategies which require less personal selling (although order takers are still required) and more advertising efforts.

Promotional strategies also need to be developed with the product life cycle stages in mind:

  • in the introduction stage, advertising and public relations efforts need to be high to build awareness and recognition of the product;
  • in the growth stage, demand is high and less needs to be spent on promotion;
  • in the mature stage, promotion efforts will need to be ramped up, along with some new production differentiation strategies if possible (to extend the product's life);
  • and in the declining stage, a more focused, less all encompassing approach should be taken (for example, move your top sales people onto the new products, keep your maintenance sales people on the declining products).

Your promotional efforts need to be aligned with your business strategy, strategy, your sales efforts, your sales plan and your overall small business plan.

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Additional Reading:

More about the 4 Ps of Marketing (place - the forgotten P), product, price, and an example of promotion: postcard marketing.

Understand Competition Analysis and how to manage your competitive tactics.

Conduct an Industry Analysis to learn more about your marketplace.

Build strong Market Strategies to win more market share.

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Marketing and Life–Cycle

Marketing is a requirement for all businesses: without marketing strategies and tactics your business will struggle to survive.

Not all marketing activities are planned: you might be building your brand recognition through a social media campaign (that's marketing); you might be conducting market research to analyze your competitors and/or segment and target your potential market or to develop the most desirable features, advantages and benefits of your products or services (that's all marketing).

Marketing is pretty all–encompassing; and a challenge for many business owners. The additional challenge is recognizing that the different stages of your business life–cycle: start–up, mid–cycle, mature or late–in–life.

During start–up you need to develop your marketing strategies to grow sales; for example, you might want to use a market penetration pricing strategy to build sales quickly.

During mid–cycle, you need to grow your customer base (often through lead generation) and that need requires different marketing strategies, such as cold calling on prospective clients, email marketing, newsletter and blog sign ups and distribution (all to grow your list of prospects).

During the mature cycle, you need to build your marketing efforts around your brand; your competitive advantage can be in your reputation, history, and identity and on what differentiates your business from your competitors.

Marketing your products and services is not something that you do once (such as a marketing plan) and then never change or do again. You need to be continually researching and building your strategies and tactics to be ahead of the market, and ahead of your competition.

The market is constantly evolving; ever more rapidly with the impacts of globalization and technology. You need to invest resources into marketing to ensure that you build and sustain your business.

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Outsource Your Marketing

If you need support in your marketing efforts, or if you'd like a review of your marketing plan, contact us for more information on our marketing services.

If marketing is not your core strength, or if you don't have enough staff to commit to developing your marketing efforts (and acting on the plan), outsourcing your marketing strategy and implementation will allow you to concentrate on developing your business.

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