Promotion consists of the messages intended to help sell a product or service. The types and direction of messages and the method of presentation may be extremely diverse, depending on the company, product, and country of operation.
A. The Push-Pull Mix
Promotion strategies may be categorized as push (uses direct selling techniques) or pull (which relies on mass media). Most firms use a combination of both. The factors that will determine the mix of push and pull strategies include the type of distribution system, the cost and availability of media, customer attitudes toward sources of information, and the relative price of the product as compared to disposable income. Push is more likely when self service is not predominant, advertising is restricted, and product price is a high portion of income.
B. Some Problems in International Promotion
One key question is whether to standardize promotion. Standardization can result in cost
savings and in better quality of advertising by preventing the confusion associated with different
national messages. For certain reasons, it is difficult to completely standardize promotion:
1. Translation. When a media transmission spans multiple countries, there is no opportunity to translate a message into other local languages. When messages are translated, numerous difficulties can be encountered with both language (content and meaning) and images.
2. Legality. What is deemed to be legal advertising in one country may in fact be illegal elsewhere. Differences result mainly from varying national views on consumer protection, competitive protection, standards of morality, and nationalism.
3. Message Needs. An advertising theme may not be appropriate everywhere because of national differences in how well consumers know a product, how they perceive it, who makes the purchasing decision, and what features are most important.
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