Marketing is synonymous with Promotion, because 80% of the marketing effort is spent on Promotion.
Promotion is usually the only element of the Marketing Mix (Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, Physical Environment) that marketers can control and constantly fine tune. Price changes are quick to implement and analyze and rarely change frequently. Changes to actual products or services, their distribution channels, processes or people tend to be minor, so the focus as it rightly should be is promotion.
Although some marketers have control over product design and pricing, distribution, etc, they are or should be, the closest to understanding and correctly satisfying customer needs, they are often restricted by the parameters of the marketplace; the cost of inputs, market demand, etc, so promotion becomes the key tool in attracting customers and fighting off the competition.
Promotion, until fairly recently was a one way monologue, well suited to marketing’s focus on Products. But with the increasing focus on the Customer Experience, a dialogue is today a critical requirement for every business. Yet most marketers, despite the advances in technology, in both small and big companies are struggling with holding this dialogue, making it meaningful or even capturing and correctly interpreting what the customers are saying. Adopting new and complex technology was never going to be easy. Coupled with the consumer’s newly acquired powers of Social Media, the customer is really King!
Hence you can see that Marketing is all about Communication, which is 2-way rather than Promotion which tended to be 1-way. Marketers are trying to stop “talking at” the customer and trying to “converse with them” and this is not easy, putting marketers and business owners under real pressure!
Communication just like Promotion, is still one of the greatest costs of “doing business”, so it is vitally important to get your strategy right before blowing your entire budget communicating the wrong message, to the wrong people, at the wrong time…
Communication is a science, with it’s own principles. To get the right message in front of the right people, at the right time, and expose them to the message enough times to elicit a favorable response and then interpret that response and act correctly upon it, we need to learn the principles of effective communication.