Utilizing the Promotional Mix in Marketing Planning: The Case of Nike

By: Chansamone Voralath

When we think of the promotional mix, we tend to think of it as one of the 4Ps: price, product, place and promotion, one of the four key elements in marketing planning. Marketing managers communicate with customers through promotion. The emphasis of communication is to inform, persuade or remind potential and existing customers about the firm and its products. This communication can be accomplished through advertising, personal selling, public relations (PR), sales promotion, direct marketing and interactive marketing.

Advertising is any form of impersonal, one-way, paid communication in which the company is identified that would allow it to reach a large number of people. Examples of advertising media include magazines, TV, radio or newspapers.

Personal selling is a form of one-to-one communication to a potential buyer. Some of examples include salesmen, trade shows, exhibitions, dealer- or showroom-sales activities.

Public relations help to build a positive public image for a company, support new product launches and sales and also help a company to evaluate public attitudes and communicate the overall goals of the company. Examples of public relations include press launches, PR events and press releases.

Sales promotions are methods of stimulating consumer purchase and are usually based on short-term or immediate goals. Examples of sales promotion items are contests, sweepstakes, giveaways, free samples, discounts or coupons.

Direct marketing is taking the message directly to the consumer. Examples of the direct marketing are mail order catalogues, bulk mail, email, telemarketing, packaging design or point of sale displays.

Interactive marketing is an internet-driven relationship between companies, their brands, and customers. An example of the interactive marketing is the company’s website.

Many businesses today use one or more of the above promotional mix options to inform, persuade or remind potential and existing customers about the firm and its products. As mentioned in the Nike’s Promotion – Marketing Communications Mix article I came across, Nike uses different kinds of communication in its promotion activity.

Nike uses celebrities in its advertising to represent the ideal customer and user of its products. When the target customers see that celebrities use Nike’s products they want to use it too. In personal selling, Nike puts forth an effort in stores. Store personnel are well trained in helping customers be informed and persuading them to buy the firm’s products. Nike also uses direct marketing to promote new products to the target market by utilizing salespeople to approach sports organizations in colleges to establish stronger relations and motivate them to buy its products. In sales promotion, Nike uses coupons and special offers to motivate new customers to buy the firm’s products based on the perceived benefits of the firm. Lastly, Nike uses public relations to address social issues linked to the company such as sweatshops and the use of green technology. They also use PR to sponsor charity events and promote their brand.

By utilizing these five promotional mix options in its marketing planning, Nike is able to attract new customers and, at the same time, maintain or keep its existing customers.

Nike is a good example of a company that utilizes different elements of the promotional mix in its marketing planning and successfully and effectively communicate and promote the firm products to potential and its existing customers.

Article Link: http://panmore.com/nike-marketing-communications-mix

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12 thoughts on “Utilizing the Promotional Mix in Marketing Planning: The Case of Nike

  1. cassidylebert March 10, 2016 / 11:56 pm

    It is no secret that Nike invests heavily into their advertising department but when you peek at their sales revenues the 2.75 billion the company spends on “demand creation” seems like a minuscule price to pay for their success. Although this is nearly 11% of their total revenue, Nike’s strategy to focus on advertising and promotions has proved successful not only in driving sales but also in creating their brand image. When people think of Nike they think of the best of the best and having celebrity sponsors advertising their products drives this perception. Having quality, knowledgeable employees just adds to this brand image of success and community. However, I do not think it’s fair to say that Nike uses celebrities in their advertisements because they are the “ideal customer”. Nike’s mission statement reads “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” In doing so, this opens up the target market.

    Source: Portland Business Journal

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  2. Ronald Zampanti March 11, 2016 / 7:04 pm

    I agree with Nike’s effective use of the various elements in the promotional mix. In regards to advertising, Nike has used professional athletes for decades now to promote their products. One very recognizable and popular athlete during his years of play that Nike did a great job of using in promoting their products was Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson. “Bo” was both a professional baseball player and a professional football player. He played both sports at the same time (different seasons though) and was a top performer in each of them. It is very rare in sports that one becomes a professional athlete in two sports. Nike got a lot of attention and popularity in having “Bo” Jackson promote their products. It is in getting these famous athletes to promote their products that got Nike to gain brand awareness and popularity; especially in the brand’s early years.

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    • Aishwarya Gunti March 22, 2016 / 2:45 am

      This also shows the importance of ‘picking the right person’ for promotion. Recent case of Subway longtime pitchman Jared Fogle who came out with child sex charges, made marketers to rethink about aligning brands with personalities.

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  3. reganka March 15, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    Nike’s marketing efforts have been successfully recognized by many. They are apparent in various forms as this article mentions such as the use of celebrities, special offers, coupons, direct marketing etc. There is no doubt that through these channels, Nike is reaching a large customer base. As all of these marketing efforts work simultaneously, and the promotional mix is implemented throughout them, Nike holds a strong position in the market.

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  4. Meghan Gulbrandsen April 3, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Nike does a great job at using all of these different types of marketing elements to reach out and connect to their customers. Whether it be advertising, personal selling, public relations, sales promotions, direct and indirect marketing, Nike tries to capitalize on all. Nike uses the unique element of tying in celebrities to reach out to people on a whole new level. Like the article states, by tying this aspect in with all of the elements is uses they are able to reach out to new customers they might not have had without doing so.

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  5. kentma April 7, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    I agree that Nike does a phenomenal job at advertising and this was evident to me once again the other day. As the Masters tournament is approaching, I just saw a Nike advertisement on television featuring star professional golfer Rory Mcilroy. The commercial highlighted his drive to be the best consistently getting up at 5am every day and training on and off the golf course. The commercial was very motivating and I thought it really drove home Nike’s message of working hard and ‘Just doing it’.

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  6. Alicia April 14, 2016 / 6:28 pm

    Nike is excellent at promoting their products and attracting a variety of markets. Having so many celebrity endorsements certainly helps with promoting their products and I would say it is the strongest form of marketing the company uses. Nike does not have a ton of sales, but they do send frequent emails notifying customers of new products and great deals. Nike has a very user friendly website and their products are always packaged very nicely. The packaging the company uses is traditional, but also eye-catching and unique, in order to grab buyer’s attention. Nike does an outstanding job in each of these categories which is a major reason why the company has become the number one sports brand in the world.

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  7. Andie-Jane Phinney April 15, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    Nike is without a doubt a company who uses the promotional mix extremely well. They have communicated to their consumers, have promoted and advertised, and have shown the world how great they are. The endorsements they have had are endless, with some of the greatest athletes. This draws attentions to Nike, but having familiar faces promote them. We see Nike signs everywhere, whether it is a sign walking in the city, or on clothes of products, or even on TV. They focus on having the best Brand name and finding ways to promote their brand. They send promotions, deals and create buzz within the online media. Being a big fan of Nike, I believe they have used the promotional mix to have become so successful, and I feel they will continue to do so.

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  8. Julie Wusenich April 17, 2016 / 1:36 am

    Nike has used celebrities to promote products, however, they are a well known brand and individuals purchase their products for the quality and style. Their mission statement says it all – If you have a body, you are an athlete – making their products available to any individual that wants to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

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  9. Meg April 21, 2016 / 5:15 am

    This brief outline of the promotional mix and the techniques used by Nike simplify the strategy of Nike, and does not emphasis the care Nike took with its strategy. One of Nike’s greatest techniques is to utilize celebrities in its campaigns, and they find great success through this method. Nike has a successful marketing strategy, and it is common to see a Nike product, sign, or advertisement frequently throughout the day. Their promotional mix is fine-tuned by Nike, and you can expect Nike to always think through their strategy.

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  10. Colleen Flynn April 25, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    In today’s society, it is almost a must to use different forms of the marketing mix in order to be successful. Companies can no longer just rely on one element of the promotional mix. Nike is undeniably a successful company and a large part of that success can be seen related to how they market themselves. A huge part of Nike’s marketing relates to their sponsorships and endorsements. The number of top celebrities and athletes that Nike has contracts with is astronomical and one of the top sponsorship companies. No matter what sport you watch, at least one athlete is usually sponsored by Nike. I think that would probably be their biggest form of promotion and marketing mix. It is even more important to see however, that Nike does not stop and continues to reach across the marketing mix. They have proven that this is a must and no one can deny they have seen success through this. They are a model for other companies in this sense.

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  11. Tyler Finigan May 5, 2016 / 11:05 pm

    Nike’s use of sponsoring athletes and teams might be the greatest contributor to its rise to the top. Michael Jordan is obviously the biggest star sponsored by Nike, and they knew that when they gave him a lifetime contract and his own Jordan brand under Nike. When Bo Jackson was at his peak, Nike sponsored him and gave him his own commercial and merchandise. Then when the Fab Five wore the black Nike sneakers and socks, Nike gained even more popularity. They know how important this is and they continue to utilize it by contracting Kobe, Durant, and Lebron. I think Nike recently gave Lebron a “lifetime” contract as well.

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