Create a Unified Marketing Promotion Plan Create a Unified Marketing Promotion Plan

Reaching customers may require using a variety of promotional tactics. Some promotional tactics include traditional advertising, public relations, digital marketing, community involvement, and partnerships. All these functions work together to comprise a unified marketing promotion plan.

We will focus on four primary tactics: advertising, public relations, in-store promotions, and digital marketing. Integrating these tactics should result in a higher return on investment for your marketing dollars.

Buyers receive information in a variety of ways, with each having their own preferences. Therefore, integrated marketing is critical. Start by planning your overall marketing program to accommodate different buyer preferences.

One buyer may be digital-savvy and prefer surfing the Internet for information about product availability, features, benefits, etc. Another may get primary information via television and newspaper advertising. If your marketing promotion tactics are not unified – meaning that you use various techniques – you could miss an audience segment critical to your success.

Unified marketing promotion tactics can facilitate a better understanding of your company and product lines. This factor will make it easier for consumers to receive more information.

In unified marketing, the key is to cross-promote your communications media.

You might list your website in a newspaper ad or send a news release promoting a contest on your Facebook page. You could promote a Twitter hashtag in your television commercials or post a video to your YouTube channel and website. All of these scenarios feature cross-promotion among your marketing channels.

Below are the strengths and weaknesses of the individual pieces of unified marketing. Considering how each piece operates will help design a unified marketing strategy that strengthens each component through unification.


Advertising includes any paid method of spreading the word about your company: print ads, television ads, radio spots, web advertising, and direct mail. This promotional tactic has solid benefits:

  • You control the message. You create the ads. You write the words, choose the visuals, and determine how and when the advertisements will be delivered. With advertising, you are in charge.
  • You control the cost. Advertising campaigns create, by definition, spending limits. You spend what you choose to spend. You can then evaluate that spending against the return on your advertising to determine whether the expenditure made good business sense.
  • You create calls to action. Good advertising creates a call to action, inspiring customers to purchase.

Counterpoints to consider:

  • Advertising can be expensive. While you control the cost, sometimes the cost may be prohibitive. Television advertising is relatively high-ticket, as are some forms of print advertising. Be sure to test different media channels and calculate where you enjoy the best ROI for your advertising budget.
  • You may miss your audience. Not all advertising is targeted. A newspaper print ad may be seen by a few people in your demographic. If your customer base is national or international, reaching that audience can be incredibly expensive. Research methods to reach large audiences on a budget.

Digital Marketing

In this form of promotion, you can add websites, social media, content marketing such as blogging, columns and white papers, pay-per-click ads, email marketing, and other online tools to your portfolio of tactics. Among the benefits are the following:

  • Flexibility. Digital marketing is an effective way to cross-promote media and drive information to the consumer.
  • Cost-effective. Most of your expenses are for personnel to execute the plan instead of advertising placement fees.
  • Level playing field. Small companies compete equally with big companies when promoting themselves digitally.
  • Global audience. Access via the Worldwide Web is global, increasing the size of your potential customer base.

Consider this:

  • Uncharted territory. Digital marketing is an unfamiliar journey for many, and the methods for effectively utilizing it are still being evaluated.
  • Calculating results. Standards and metrics for digital marketing are just now evolving; the impact may need to be calculated for several months after you start a campaign.

Public Relations

Public relations activities include issuing media releases, getting media attention, participating in charitable or community efforts, etc. Some public relations efforts are relatively low-cost or free – for instance, a local television interview provides cost-free exposure. Other strengths include:

  • Credibility. Third-party mentions of your company are inherently more credible than advertisements. You are expected to say great things about your company, but positive comments from another person carry a lot more weight.
  • Community involvement. Participating in community efforts may create a relatively intangible benefit for your company, but at the same time, you and your employees will feel good about helping others in need.

Points to ponder:

  • You lose some control of the message. It’s wonderful if a third party endorses your company, but you cannot control everything that person says. The same is true if you are interviewed by a local reporter. You will not be able to choose which quotes run in the newspaper.
  • Your target demographic may not notice. A feature about your company on the local television station may seem wonderful, but not if your target demographic rarely watches that station.

In-Store Promotions

While most marketing efforts strive to attract customers to your business, marketing continues beyond the entrance. In-store sales, loyalty programs, and promotions can generate additional revenue and turn casual customers into long-term clientele. Here are additional benefits:

  • Customers are already interested in what you provide. A customer who has entered your premises is pre-disposed towards making a purchase.
  • You control the message. Like advertising, you can decide exactly how you want to incentivize customers.
  • The cost is low. While the cost of providing discounts or other promotions should be factored in, signage and promotional display costs within your store are low.

Counter Considerations:

  • Customers must be present. In-store promotions are only seen by patrons who enter your premises.
  • Promotions must be tied to other efforts. Customers want to feel they are allowed opportunities. Ensure your in-store promotions complement and support other sales, discount, and loyalty programs.

Finally, advertising, digital marketing, and in-store promotions should work together to drive business and revenue. As a unified marketing promotion plan, they likewise will enhance the image and brand of your business.