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MARKETING PROMOTION
Promotion can be defined as any form of communication introduced by a firm to inform, persuade or remind its actual or potential customers about its products, image, ideas and activities in the community. It is a means of communication with the target market and the general public or a marketing organization.

THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS

(1). Source: The source in a marketing communication activity is the company presenting a message. In presenting a message the company can use spokesperson, celebrities or actors.

(2). Encoding: It is the process of putting the thought or idea (message) to be communicated into symbols or words that would enable it to be transmitted. The words (codes) to be used must be such that are familiar to the target audience.

(3). Message: This entails the information to be relayed to the target audience it is a combination of words, signs, and symbols. For a message to be effective, its contents must be presented in a n exciting, exclusive and credible manner.

(4). Medium: This is the substance or agency through which a message travels or which helps to convey it. It could personal or non-personal in nature. Personal media include salesperson, marketing executives, sales agent, opinion leader and the public relation person of the organization. Non-personal media include television, newspaper, mail, telephone, billboards and the internet.

(5) Decoding: This is the processor means by which the message that was earlier coded and transmitted through a medium is interpreted to or by the audience.

(6) Audience/ Receiver: The audience or receiver is the target of the message. The audience and its nature must be well considered when the message is being prepared, coded and sent. This may be the target market, investors, and government officials, intermediaries, or others. Usually the target market is the main target in marketing promotion.

(7) Response: This is the set of reactions that the audience forms after being exposed to or after encountering the message. This may be new knowledge and experience, change in altitude or favorable disposition to the marketing organization and its products.

(8) Feedback: This is the aspect of the response of the audience to the message which is communicated back to the source. It may take the form of purchase, altitude change or non-purchase.

METHODS OF MARKETING PROMOTION

Methods consist of Advertising, Personal Selling, Sales Promotion, Publicity and Public Relations.


ADVERTISING
It is defined as a communication in the media paid for by an identified sponsor and directed at a target audience with aim of imparting information about a product, service, idea or course. The most popular media for advertising are radio, television, newspaper, magazines, billboard and journals.

FUNCTIONS OF ADVERTISING
The three main functions of advertising are:
(1) Preparation of customers: This usually entails directing advertisement to get prospective buyers and the channel members ready to try or prefer a particular product in the market.
(2) Communication: this essentially involves furnishing the target audience with relevant information about a particular product. The information may relate to the product’s existence, uses, care, price and comparative advantages over similar products in the market among others.
(3) Persuasion: This involves aggressively convincing and motivating the target audience to buy and use a particular product.

PERSONAL SELLING
It is defined as an aspect of marketing promotion done through face to face or person to person presentation of sales messages by the producer, his agent, or an intermediary to the target market. It involves getting attention, securing interest, arousing desire and obtaining action. It is an active, immediate and interactive relationship between two or more persons. The personnel engaged in personal selling are called salesmen or salespersons.

THE SELLING processThe personal selling process involves the following steps.
(1) Prospecting (seeking potential customers)

(2) Approach (Planning the sales call and making necessary contact with the prospects)

(3) Presentation (introducing the product and persuading the prospect to see the need for adopting the product)

(4) Objection handling

(5) Closing the sale (asking the now-convinced prospect to place an order for the product or buy it)

(6) Follow-up (to ensure product delivery and customer’s satisfaction)

(7) After-sales services


SALES PROMOTION
Sales promotion is concerned with the offering of short-term incentives to prospect in order to make them buy specific goods and services. Examples of such incentives are free samples, bargain price, free extra quantities, free services, merchandising support, contests, trade fair/ shows, premiums, and trading coupons, among others.


PUBLIC RELATIONS
This can be defined as any form of deliberate, planned effort by an organization to influence some group’s attitude or opinion toward that organization and its activities in the society.

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