Strategic Insights: Marketing part 2

Last week I briefly described the overall role of marketing, and the 6 functions the department is typically responsible for. One of those functions is to promote new products or services a company is offering.

When you think of how a company promotes new products or services you typically think of advertising. But advertising and promotion are different tactics used to influence the market and each have distinct strategic objectives within the marketing mix. Understanding these different tactics helps designers to develop more effective visuals or layouts that support the strategy for attracting customers.

Advertising is generally targeted at end users (someone using the product), as opposed to the channels of distribution (where someone can buy the product). It’s used for many purposes including;

  • Establishing awareness
  • Providing information
  • Creating brand loyalty

In its role of providing information advertising can communicate, or modify, a products positioning and even promote new uses for it (anyone remember the “Orange Juice isn’t just for breakfast anymore” campaign?).

By focusing on end users advertising can also indirectly influence the channels of distribution. If advertising is effective in generating interest in a product, the channels (stores) may be more interested in carrying the product. When this happens, advertising “pulls” the product through the channels of distribution (into the store). For this reason advertising is often called a “pull strategy”.

Next week I’ll describe how promotion is strategically different from advertising and how the design approach should be different too.


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