Effectively promoting your product or good marketing requires much more than just developing a product that is good, attractively pricing it and then placing it so that it is readily and easily available. Good marketing requires you to effectively communicate with all of your targeted customers both potential and current. This communication brings about and encourages consumption or the purchase of the products and services. Effective promotions require good marketing and vice versa.

Crucial to the success of the marketing plan is that good promotion and effective marketing of your services and products must happen during every stage of the buying or consumption process. This includes the pre-selling, selling, consumption and post-consumption stages of this buying process. This can happen during any one or a combination of the following processes of communication:

Advertising – this is any compensated form of presentation (non-personal) and promotion of your products

Sales promotion – this comprises various short-term incentives that encourage trial or the actual purchase of a product or service

Public relations and publicity – various programs that are designed to promote a business’s product or service and/or to protect its image

Personal selling – this includes face to face interaction with one or more potential buyers for the purpose of presenting, answering questions and/or taking orders

Direct (and interactive) marketing – this is using mail, flyers, telephones, faxes, e-mail services, SMS texting or the Internet to communicate with or to encourage a response or begin a dialogue with specific or potential customers

The marketer or his company must also communicate with customers in other ways including but not limited to the non-verbal mannerisms, the way the staff dresses and conducts itself, the impression and décor of the office, the external facilities of the building, etc. All of these things comprise the total package of the company or business and are things that potential customers can and do take into consideration.

To achieve optimum results for your marketing plan, your promotional mix should always be integrated with as many forms of communication as possible plus the other three P’s in the marketing mix (price, product and place).

Learning how to effectively promote your product or service can take both time and practice. Many businesses opt to hire professionals to assist them with this endeavor while other businesses do it themselves. It is always best to leave these things up to professionals if you are doubtful that you can handle the task yourself.

Cause Related Marketing or CRM is a strong tactic or probably one of the strongest for companies seeking to build a brand connection with customers. CRM is also an extremely effective way to sell services or products. The usual CRM campaign usually earmarks a donation for a charity that has been pre-selected to receive a portion of each product sale during the promotional period. Many consumers buy these products with an added bonus knowing that a good cause will receive a donation due to their purchase. Even though this marketing method is hugely effective, the public has recently demanded more reform in future campaigns.

Cause Related Marketing seems to be everywhere nowadays and always present making it hard to realize that the idea is fairly new. American Express dubbed the term “cause related marketing” in the eighties during a campaign that they created to support the Statue of Liberty renovation. This was the first CRM campaign to be officially considered cause related marketing. Amex donated one cent towards the renovation each time a card member used their card. Americans absolutely loved this campaign and went spending crazy. In fact, American Express had a 45% increase in card holders and an overall increase of 28% in card usage.

Many companies, especially large corporations have adapted CRM into their marketing mix and has come to be a part overall of the majority of the marketing mix. CRM is so effective because it taps into the emotional connection that a consumer makes. This is especially important in an era where consumers are even more demanding with regards to higher quality products and lower prices. This connection has become a much more important factor in the purchasing decision of the consumer. This connection is what helps to form the bond with the consumer and creates the sense of shared values.

There are critics that object to businesses using CRM as a standard business practice. Many of these critics find fault in these corporations capitalizing on a charity and reaping the benefits of huge profits while only giving a small amount of the money earned to the actual charity. There are reported cases of companies spending more to promote their CRM campaign that the final contribution to the charity at the end of the campaign.

Critics want to eliminate or severely curtail the use of cause related marketing campaigns. While that is unlikely, there may be reforms and heavy disclosure called for in the future.