Texas Border Business
By Mario Reyna, South Texas College Dean of Business, Public Safety, and Technology
Business leaders and entrepreneurs have many vital functions, one of which is how to market their products or services.
Marketing is a complex function that requires planning and understanding, and how to use the right marketing mix. Every business, profit or non-profit, has four things to consider to become successful: its product, the price for the product, how to distribute the product, and how to promote it. These four items are what is referred to as a marketing mix.
Your business might be the best in the world, but if you do not use the best marketing mix, how will the customers know that your business exists?
All of the components – product, price, distribution, and promotion – are extremely important; however, let’s concentrate on promotions.
Promotions are what makes your product or services tempting or sought-after. Have you ever been in a situation where you see a commercial and all of a sudden you get the urge to get that item? That is the power of advertising. For a product or service to sell, it must be advertised by a given name that will eventually become a brand. A company like Coca Cola says, “A Coke is a Coke is a Coke,” and because of its brand name, these few words mean a lot and makes people think.
Promotions, according to any dictionary, are activities that support or provide active encouragement for the furtherance of a cause, venture, or aim — precisely the reason why your business was created.
Promotions involve several activities that will help any company grow if a business has the right product or service. These popular activities are personal selling, discounts, public relations, and advertisements, so let’s concentrate on the latter.
Advertising is a component of promotions that is part of the marketing mix, and is an essential activity that one needs to understand to remain in business. Try to become the president of any country without advertising and see what happens – nothing.
Advertising is a paid activity meant to persuade someone to do something, such as buying a cell phone or going to a restaurant or even to vote for a particular candidate, but advertising for the sake of doing it is not enough.
You need the right medium (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, internet) to reach your target audience. Is your service or product consumed or used by everyone? Perhaps television is the best mass advertising tool? Are you trying to sell a Rolls Royce for $550,000? Selling this product will require a better understanding of the community to determine if they can buy this type of vehicle. The best guess is that the Rolls Royce will probably not advertise in a typical mass communication medium where the majority cannot afford their product. The medium that is selected perhaps would be one that targets individuals that can afford to buy one?
The bottom line is this. If you want to improve your sales, advertise your product through the proper medium. Otherwise, your message will be like yodeling in the Swiss Alps.