Promotion of Business

Dear M & M:

How can I use my products and services lifecycles to determine promotion?

–Doug

Dear Doug:

Every product has a lifespan. Promotional priorities are influenced by that products place in its lifecycle. For example promoting an established product is generally different than promoting a new product no one has used before. Pricing considerations for a declining product are considerably different than those for a growing product that everyone wants. Sometimes factors influencing the position of a product and its lifecycle include visibility, familiarity, length on the market and popularity of use versus alternative products or new products that have been introduced that can be used as an substitute or replacement for your product or service. Length on the marketplace is not always a reliable way to gauge a products position in its lifecycle. Introduction, growth, maturity and decline are the four stages in a products lifecycle. Some companies might want to include a fifth stage called development. Development happens before introduction and of course these development costs will need to be factored into future pricing considerations. Each stage of your product or service in its lifecycle has a direct bearing on promotional activities. In the introduction stage costs are high, demand has to be generated, sales volume is generally low and many times competition is weak. In the second stage (growth) generally demand picks up, profitability begins to rise and competition begins to increase. The third stage (maturity) costs are lowered, competition is at its strongest, prices tend to drop, alternative products enter the market and market saturation takes place. The final stage (decline) profitability becomes a challenge more than production, distribution and consumer awareness of the product or service. All products pass through these five stages (development, introduction, growth, maturity and decline). Different challenges and opportunities are presented to the seller in each stage. Being aware of your products and services stage in its lifecycle is the first step toward making decisions on the best way to market your company’s product and service. 

-M&M

Dear M & M:

Promoting your business online is one of the things I continually hear or think about. Just how important is it for me to do this and where can I learn how to do this or send an employee for training?

–Beverly

Dear Beverly

According to a study done by Hipcricket34 percent of consumers in 2012 have made a purchase using their mobile phone compared to 19 percent in 2011. In addition, their survey showed 25 percent of consumers engage in online shopping only via mobile.  A study conducted by Lightspeed Research in 2012 showed 47 percent of online consumers rely on online reviews about products or services on company websites before making a purchase. Opinions and experiences of other consumers were trusted 62 percent of the timewhilerecommendations from family, friends and colleagues were trusted 58 percent.  If you’re online site does not have a place for consumers to leave comments you could be missing sales opportunities.  Hipcricket’s survey also showed 64 percent of survey respondents who have smartphones made a mobile purchase after seeing a mobile ad yet nearly three-quarters (74 percent) claim they haven’t received mobile ads from their favorite brands. Are you in the game? Cochise College Center for Lifelong Learning is offering an intense program to train employers or employees to take control of your own online web presence. The program consists of six eight week courses designed to teach the skills to integrate social media into your web presence, develop a WordPress web site, blogging, integrating video, YouTube, Facebook and to teach various mobile marketing techniques. This is a hands on series of classes where you will be able to build your own companies online marketing strategies. Classes start September 4th. To register or to find out more information call 520-515-5492 or go to training@cochise.edu . Additional information on this Social Media Certificate Program can be found at www.cochise.edu/cll . The complete program consists of 96 hours of classroom training with additional assignments to be completed outside the class room. This is 12 month commitment if you want to complete the certificate program. Classes are designed in six eight week sessions and cost $250 a session (under $32.00 a class) or $1500 for the whole 12 month certification process.  If you want to take control and learn how to do it yourself or send an employee check out this program.

– M&M

To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org .

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