How to Develop Promotional Marketing Strategy – Step by Step

Promotion is one of the key elements of the marketing mix. It deals with any one or two-way communication that takes place with the consumers. I will discuss about promotional marketing in detail and how developing a promotional strategy for your business focuses on advertising and other ‘pull’ tactics.

Developing a promotional strategy

Deciding on a marketing communications strategy is one of the primary roles of a marketing manager and it involves some key decisions about: (1) who the customers are, (2) how to contact them, and (3) what the primary message should be. These questions can be answered using a three stage process, which is equally relevant for all elements of the marketing mix (STPM):

Segmentation:  Helps divide the marketing into distinct groups

Targeting:  Decide which of these groups to communicate with, and how to talk to them

Positioning:  How the product or brand should be perceived by the target groups

Messaging:   Delivering a specific message in order to influence the target groups

1. Segmentation

Dividing potential customers into discrete groups is vital if you want to increase the success rate of any communications message. Segmentation helps you answer:

  • Who are the potential customers?
  • How many sub-groups should you divide them into?
  • How do these groups differ?

Once you have an idea of the customer, you need to focus on specific details on the target consumer. Examples of question you would need to answer are:

  • What are their media consumption habits?
  • What are their expectations and aspirations?
  • What are their priorities?
  • How much disposable income do they have?
  • What are their buying habits?
  • Are they likely to have children?
  • How many holidays do they take a year?
  • How much money do they give to charity?
  • How can you help them?

This information can be obtained in a variety of ways, from commissioning a specialist market research agency, to examining sales patterns or social media interactions.

Commonly used market research methods include:

  • Sales analysis and buying patterns
  • Questionnaires
  • Desk research
  • Website statistics, especially social media
  • Focus groups
  • Face-to-face interviews
  • Specialist market research companies


2. Targeting

Targeting is the process of communicating with the right segment(s) and ensuring the best possible response rate.

  • Does the methods you use to target your audience relate to your marketing plan objectives?
  • Does your marketing communication generates awareness of a new product, or attract new business clients?

Above two are few critical questions to ask in using the different marketing communication methods and knowing how to effective utilize marketing communication can determine the success of your promotional marketing strategy.

Methods of marketing communications

There are several ways to increase the company’s exposure across various channels:

Advertising – a mass media approach to promotion

  • Outdoor
  • Business directories
  • Magazines / newspapers
  • TV / cinema
  • Radio
  • Newsagent windows

Sales promotion – price / money related communications

  • Coupons
  • Discounts
  • Competitions
  • Loyalty incentives

Public relations – using the press to your advantage

  • Press launches
  • PR events
  • Press releases

Personal selling – one to one communication with a potential buyer

  • Salesmen
  • Experiential marketing
  • Dealer or showroom sales activities
  • Exhibitions
  • Trade shows

Direct marketing – taking the message directly to the consumer

  • Mail order catalogues
  • Bulk mail
  • Personalised letters
  • Email
  • Telemarketing
  • Point of sale displays
  • Packaging design

Digital marketing – new channels are emerging constantly

  • Company websites
  • Social media applications such as Facebook or Twitter
  • Blogging
  • Mobile phone promotions using technology such as bluetooth
  • YouTube
  • E-commerce

3. Positioning

Positioning is the process of developing an image for your company or product in comparison with the competing brands. Combining all elements of the marketing mix to provide the full picture is very important. Your company’s positing should be in-sync with all areas of your business for generating successful and great customers’ expectations in the way you hope. Positioning also considers the competition – it would need to answer “Why your products/services are unique in the marketplace and better than your competition?”.

Branding and messaging

Branding is a powerful tool for positioning your product and often used on almost all customer facing elements of a product- including the packaging design, logo, writing style, symbol, jingles and more. Every message a customer receive must add up to form a mental picture of your brand and can influence the price they are willing to pay for your products. This ability to charge more due to the unique position of your product is “brand equity“. Your branding also needs to consider your unique selling points (USPs) and ensure these are easily recognised through your messaging – is your product the best value, longest lasting, sweetest smelling or fastest?

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Book Reading During 2016 Labor Day Weekend

This week, while taking a break from the Labor Day weekend, I had the opportunity to read the book “The 5 Love Languages: The Secrets to Love that Lasts”. It helps you refocus on how to love another person or remind you the love you did in early dating period.

People have been in many relationship – both trivial and serious. But in many relationship that lasts long time, there are several commonalities. Some of these common themes were (1) Words of Affirmation, (2) Act of Service, (3) Affection, (4) Quite Time, and (5) Gifts.

These commonalities, which are foundation for lasting love relationship, originate from several observations that Gray Chapman made, as the author of “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts”.

Words of Affirmation:
You need to express your love. Most people feel most cared for when their partner is open and expressive in telling you how wonderful they think you are, and how much they appreciate you. Expression and communication are essential foundation for lasting relationship.

Acts of Service:
Small act of sharing someone’s duty is act of service. For example, if your wife has to do laundry and dish-washing, along with taking care of the kids,  then as a loving husband, you should take time to lessen her housework. Give a hand by taking care of the kids, or doing the dishes without her asking.


You simply must “show and act”. A warm hug, a kiss, touch, and sexual intimacy make you feel most loved when this is your love language. More affectionate you are, the more your partner will feel loved.

Quality Time:
This is about being together, fully present and engaged in the activity at hand, no matter how trivial. Learn to stay next to your loved one, whether she/he is simply resting. Sometimes quite time together is as important as fun and activity time.

Take sometime in your busy life to remind your loved one by buying a small gift. A simple gift, such a cup of coffee or a flower or a chocolate, to your loved one is good enough. Just remind your loved ones that they are appreciated.

This book is really wonderful and great to read – both logically and emotionally relating. It is important to relax, read and learn about building relationship in this busy, demanding, work-driven world.

Hope everyone have a great Labor Day weekend!
Say “I love you to your parents” or to your loved ones if you have time.

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Featured in Korea – PR Pitching

Back in 2016 May, I emailed several Korean news reporters, requesting to feature the startup company SelfScore. It was rather crude approach, but most growth marketing, at its infancy, focuses on building traction that brings in results.

If I was given $0 dollar to advertise or build a brand, the best I can do are the following:
1. Create a blog – Posting daily on the Finance Tech, Credit Cards and SelfScore
2. Pitch to News Journalist/PR News writers/Bloggers about SelfScore
3. Push out a syndicated information across Medium or other web free resources to create more buzz
4. Build SNS – Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube

Out of the these four basic tools for creating initial small traction, the 2nd approach is the hardest, since there is no way to measure the growth from statistical perspective. Every growth marketer or brand manager wants to measure the success – we need to keep track of “buzz” or “mentions. The 2nd approach is also hit-and-miss method that most people don’t use. Why? Since it is relatively hard to persuade a reporter to write a news article on your website. Yet, when done right, it can bring in higher growth attraction in the long-term.

By following up on various Korean news reporters and asking them to feature SelfScore, I was able to feature SelfScore in various Korean news site, including:

1. Yonhap News (Korea’s Largest Newspaper Network) 


2. Korean IT News

3. MSN Korea News유학생에-신용카드-발급-美-핀테크-영리한-도전/ar-BBt3k7M

People say “Marketing is Easy”, but that is when marketing, in concept, is easy to build. But when in real-life, it is hard to create synergy between a brand and product marketing with positive impact, along with no advertising budget.

Getting result is easy when you have a $100,000 marketing budget, but if you have no budget, how would you solve your basic marketing/marketing problem?

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P.S I am proud Boiler Maker #PurdueMBA

Product Market Fit (PMF)

The single worst marketing decision any growth hacker can make is to start with a product that nobody wants or nobody needs.

Often times, a programmer or software engineer will spend months developing a new innovative software. In every instance, we all told ourselves that “You go to the market with the product you have, not the one you want”. Then, we start to wonder why the marketing strategies failed, and why those failures were so expensive.

In growth hacker perspective, we believe that products – even the whole businesses and business models – should be changed or tweaked until they are ready to generated explosive growth from the first people who see them. The best decision you can make is to build a product or service that fulfills a real and compelling need for a real group of people, regardless of how much tweaking and reorganizing this takes.

As a growth marketer, we want the best product-market fit, yet this only happens by series of product tweaking and changes. And most startups don’t want to go through the series of change due to their existing investment, and time spend on building a product. But when push comes to shove, you have to make the final decision of Tweak or Not-to-Tweak.

The role of a growth marketer in this series of changing product situation is to actively contribute in the process. You need to isolate who your initial customers are, figure out their needs, design a product that will blow their minds – These are the growth marketer’s decisions, not just developers and designer choices. Everyone in the team of a company should contribute in this process.

In order to achieve the Product-Market Fit (PMF) for any early startup or product, you need to do what Marc Andreeseen have said – “Do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people. rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don’t want to, telling customers yes when you don’t want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital – whatever is required”.

Additionally, you must be able to openminded of feedback from your users. We need to ask the socratic method of repeatedly question every assumption we made about the service or product. You need to be scientific and survey your users through using tools like SurveyMonkey, Google Doc, WuFoo or Qualaroo. Ask them following questions below:

1. “What is it that brought you (the user) to the this product?”
2. “What is holding you (the user) from referring other people to do it?”
3. “What’s missing in this product?”
4. “What’s so good about this product?”
5. “What do you think needs to improve and how do you propose that?”

PFM is not something that happens magically. Many companies work for it, crawl toward it and even throughout weeks or months of their word because the evidence supports that decision. If you need to change all of your product features based on the survey, then you should go about the change, and believe in the change is positive.

Thank you for reading this post on August 3, 2016.
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남자는 동시에 두 여자를 사랑할 수 없다


□ 남자는 여자에 대한 환상을 가지고 있다.
항상 남자는 여자를 생각할 때 알 수 없는 동물이라고 생각한다. 여장의 육감에 대해서도 의아해 한다. 남자의 환상을 깨뜨리거나 심어주지 못한 여자는 매력이 없는 여자.

□ 소유한 여자에겐 더 이상 흥미가 없다.
섹스란 사랑하는 사람이 할 수 있는 가장 확실한 애정의 표현이다. 그러므로 그 이후에는 사랑이 더욱 깊어갈 수밖에 없다. 만약 그와의 관계 이후 헤어졌다면 그건 섹스 때문이 아니라 그가 당신을 사랑하지 않았다는 증거다.


□ 남자는 동시에 두 여자를 사랑할 수 있다.예로부터 남자의 사랑은 하나라고 했다. 이 말은 평생 한사람만을 사랑한다기 보다는 한번에 하나밖에 열중하지 못 한다는 뜻이다. 그가 만약에 양다리를 걸치고 있다면 그것은 당신에 대한 애정이 식어가거 나 당신을 충분히 사랑하지 않는다는 뜻이다.

□ 남자는 첫사랑을 잊지 못한다.

남자는 아무리 현실이 행복하다고 해도 진짜 사랑했던 여자는 잊지 못한 다. 원래 남자란 이루지 못한 것에 미련이 강하기 때문이다. 그리고 남자는 현실과 사랑을 분리해서 생각할 수 있기 때문이다.

□ 남자는 예쁜 여자를 좋아한다.
남자는 아주 철저하게 여자의 외모에 집착한다. 만약 당신은 성격미인이라면 다시 한 번 가승에 새겨야 한다. 외모는 여자의 능력이라고들 한다. …

□ 남자는 성욕을 억제할 수 없다. 
이건 책임지기 싫어하는 남자의 변명일 뿐. 여자가 분위기를 유도했든, 사랑 때문이든 절대 남자는 자신의 성욕을 절 제하지 못하는 것은 아니다. 절정에 다다른 순간에도 피임을 위해, 혹은 여자에게 기쁨을 주기 위해 적 당히 조절할 수 있는 것이 남자의 생리다.

□ 남자는 여자가 원하는 것을 모른다. 
여자가 무엇을 원하는지 남자는 잘 안다. 하지만 한번 챙겨주기 시작하면 이것 저것 다 신경을 써야 하므로 귀찮기 때문에 모르는 척 할 뿐이다. 하지만 당신을 사랑하는 강도에 따라 귀찮음을 무릅쓰는 희생정신이 발휘 할 수 있다. 그러므로 무엇을 원하는지 잘 아는 남자일수록 당신을 사랑하 는 것이다.

□ 남자는 연애와 결혼을 별개라고 생각한다. 

남자는 여자보다 현실적이다. 그러므로 사랑의 강도와는 별개이다. 결혼은 둘만의 문제가 아니라 가족까지 얽혀 있는 문제이기 때문이다. 그러므로 결혼이라는 것에 대해 철저하게 계산한다. 물론 그가 당신에게 완전히 빠져버린 경우라면 예외가 될 수 있다.

하지만 그 뒤 그가 이성을 회복한 날, 남자의 태도는 어떻게 될지…

□ 남자는 연상의 여인을 좋아한다.
남자는 항상 여자를 리드해야 된다는 생각 때문에 시달린다. 그러므로 그런 부담이 없는 연상의 여인을 좋아하는 것이다. 주독권 장악에 애 쓸 필요도 없고, 자신감 있는 척 할 필요도 없고… 보통의 남자들이 결혼은 생각지 않더라도 이런 편암함을 느낄 수 있는 여 자를 좋아한다.

□ 남자는 여자의 과거에 관심이 있다.
남자는 여자의 과거의 내용이 궁금한게 아니라 과거의 유무에 대해 궁금해 한다. 그러므로 과거가 있더라도 절대 알고싶어 하지 않는다. 사랑이 깊어질수록 더더욱 과거는 궁금하지만 확인하고 싶어하지는 않는다.

□ 남자는 똑똑한 여자를 싫어한다. 
남자는 2세를 위해서, 맞벌이를 위해서, 대화를 위해서도 똑똑한 여자를 원 한다. 다만 자신 앞에서만은 똑똑해하지 않는 여성을 원하는 것이다. 그러므로 잘난척 하는 여자를 싫어할 뿐이다.

□ 남자는 여자의 섹스 심리를 알지 못한다. 
여자의 섹스 심리는 남자와는 완전히 다르다. 여자는 육체적인 욕구와 정신적인 욕구가 복잡하게 얽혀 있으며 성욕 그 자체가 천차만별이다. 그러니까 불쌍한 건 여자뿐이라니까.

□ 남자는 적극적인 여자를 싫어한다.
당신에게 애정표현을 하는 남자가 싫지 않듯이 남자도 사랑하는 여자가 자 신에게 애정표현 하는 것을 싫어할리 없다. 그러나 매달리고 아다닐수록 남자는 도망가고 싶은 심리가 강해지므로 적당한 선에서 적당하게 해야 한다.

□ 남자도 사랑의 확인을 원한다.
남자들은 감성적이기 때문에 여자가 표현하지 않으면 항상 불안해 하고 헷 갈려 한다. 그의 구애에 당신이 화답하지 않으며 그는 떠난다.

□ 남자는 여자의 눈물에 약하다. 
남자는 여자의 눈물을 귀찮아 한다. 눈물에 약해 보이는 이유는 여자가 우는 상황 자체가 남자에게는 익숙치 않으므로 거북한 상황을 피하는 것을 잘못 해석한 것이다. 순진한 남자들은 자책하기도 하지만… 여자의 눈물을 무기가 될 수 있지만 너무 자주하면 효과가 떨어진다.

□ 남자는 여자와 음담패설 하기를 좋아한다. 
음담패설은 남성만의 언어이다. 절대 함께 즐겨서는 안된다. 그러다가는 당신의 인격과 상관없이 별볼일 없는 여자가 되기 쉽다. 남자가 만약 당신에게 음담패설을 원한다면 다음 세가지 이유중의 하나일 것이다. 첫 번째, 사랑이 무르익어 성적인 부분이 자연스러웠을 때 두 번째, 당신이 어떤 여자인지 의심스러울 때, 마지막으로 당신을 여자로 의식하지 않던지.

□ 남자는 잘난 여자에게는 접근을 하지 않는다. 
남자는 매력있는 여자를 좋아한다. 잘난것과 매력있다는 것은 별개. 그러므로 여자가 똑똑하다는 이유만으로 접근하지 않는 남자는 없다. 그 이유는 똑똑하기만 했지 매력이 없다는 것이다.

남자 및 여자의 심리를 알자. 알고보면 참 복잡하다..