How Did You Learn of the Product?

Promotion represents all of the communications that a marketer may use in the marketplace. Like marketing mix, promotion has its own ‘ingredients’ to customize your strategy.

Marketing Mix- Promotion

Personal selling is an effective way to manage customer relationships. Sales personnel act on behalf of the producer/manufacturer. These sales personnel tend to be well trained in the approaches and techniques of personal selling. However sales personnel can be very expensive and should only be used where there is a good return on investment.

Sales promotion on the other hand, tends to be thought of as being all promotions not including advertising, personal selling and public relations. Examples of sales promotion are BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free), couponing, dollars-off promotions, competitions, free accessories, introductory offers and other methods. Each sales promotion should be carefully compared with the next best alternative.

Public relations is the deliberate, planned and sustained effort to start and maintain goodwill between an organization and its public. It is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other promotion methods, successful strategies tend to be long term and plan for all possible outcomes.

Direct mail is another element of promotion mix. It is very highly focused upon targeting consumers based on a database. The mail is sent out to potential consumers and responses are carefully monitored to maximize ROI (Return on Investment) both short and long term. One example is using subscribers to a Cat magazine would definitely be more likely to buy cat health insurance than non-cat owners.

Participating in Trade Fairs and Exhibitions are very good approaches for making new contracts and maintaining old ones. Companies will seldom sell much at these events, but it aims to increase awareness and to encourage trial of their products. Trade fairs and exhibits offer the opportunity for companies to meet with the distributors and end users.

Advertising is a paid for communication. Newspapers, magazines, journals, television, movies, radio and the internet are used to spread the information. The images, words and feelings help to develop attitudes, create awareness, and transmit information in order to gain a positive response from the target market.

Sponsorship is where an organization pays to be associated with a particular individual, event, cause or image. For example, ROLEX sponsoring the US OPEN or PEPSI sponsoring the SUPERBOWL. The target market relates the positive aspects of the sponsored individual/event to the sponsor. WARNING: Negative aspects can also be transferred, so choose wisely.

 Just like a cake mix, the ‘ingredients’ of the promotional mix are then integrated to form a unique but coherent campaign.

Promote Away,
Samuel Carrara

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Thunder Road Marathon Complete

Yesterday (12/12/09) I began the Thunder Road Marathon in Charlotte, NC at 7:50 AM. After 4 hours, 7 minutes and 24 seconds I crossed the finish line. While not a fast time, it is not a slow time either. My main goals were to finish under 4 hours, 15 minutes and the bigger was was to just finish!

Sam Carrara Thunder Road Marathon

Sam Carrara Thunder Road Marathon

That’s me above in the red (#256), the time shown above is the gun time, my chip time was 4:07:24.

I have spent many an early day, waking up at 5:00 AM to run for 2-3 hours, shower, change, go to work and then sometimes class, church or put the kids to bed. Am I tired and sore? Yes and Yes, but mostly sore right now.

There were many people along the route cheering runners along and every two miles there was water and Powerade offered to help refuel runners. Miles 16 and 20 also had energy gels, which really were needed to help give you the energy boost needed to keep going.

I really need to thank my wife for the many morning of encouragement of kicking me out of bed. She got me going last Christmas when she got me a NikePlus to plug into my iPod. Then after some running I got Plantar Fasciitis, basically a lot of pain in my foot. I got new Saucony shoes and the pain went away, I have been running on Sauconys since 1991.

I ran a number of 5k races, along with a 10k and 15k race as milestones along the journey. Did I always feel motivated? NO. Sometimes I just wanted it to be over, but I’m glad I did it. I now have a 26.2 magnet on my car, one of the gifts from my wife. Another great gift was chocolate covered almonds.

Thank you to Melissa, Jesus, my girls, friends and coworkers that kept me going. I’m not sure what my next goal is yet, I need a few days to heal.

Thank you,

Sam Carrara

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Determination and Local Leads

I just go back from a 21 mile run! Yes I decided to do a full marathon instead of the half. What can it teach you, DETERMINATION! Set your goal and work HARD toward it.

I am giving two seminars in December in Charlotte, North Carolina to help local business owners to get more leads and customers. If you are in the area, or can find a way to get there, come on by to help your business.

Come Think Outside The Box, for more information visit:

I’ll help you grow your business,
Sam Carrara

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A Calamity That United a Nation

Below is a personal news report I asked one of my team members (Ingrid) to write about her experience in Manila, Philippines:

“Raining? On the weekend?! C’mon!” That’s what I thought when Typhoon Ondoy (International name: Ketsana) reached Manila. The sky was pitch dark and poured rain as if there was no tomorrow. I was really upset that day because weekends are used for quality family time usually spent outside the home. I wasn’t aware of what was happening beyond the four walls until the heavy rain turned into a drizzle. We looked outside and saw the flood water was about ankle-deep and thought to myself that it didn’t rain that much until my in-laws called for help. The home office, located at the basement was flooded! The water was knee deep and everybody was moving as fast as they could to save things from pieces of furniture to important documents. A line of bucket was formed from the nearest drain to the basement to drain the water faster. When a little sunshine peeped through the heavy clouds, we were realized that the storm was over – or so we thought.

Heavy rains came again but this time it was scary. The rain was pouring hard as if there was a flock of birds flapping their wings. The sound was deafening. The water rose faster, flooding our garage in a couple of minutes. We decided to evacuate the house when the water reached our foyer and seek refuge from my parent’s house located at a much higher place. I emailed everybody I know if they were affected by flooding and got instant messages that some of them are trapped on their rooftops and others trapped in their cars. Never had Manila been hit by such a devastation, people were unprepared for this degree of calamity. and became the hotline for help and rescue in Manila. People sending out shout outs asking for help or telling people they are okay. These sites also became the channels for asking donations after the storm subsided. According to news reports, 80% of Manila was under (and some areas after two weeks from the storm are still flooded) flood water after the typhoon left. The President declared Manila and neighboring provinces in a state of calamity and rescue efforts were done as soon as the flood waters were still. Private corporations pitched in to help by giving out immediate relief effort such as food and clothing. The Army was deployed for rescue especially to hard hit areas such as Marikina, Cainta and Pasig. People from these areas sought shelter at public schools. Seeing them first hand was really heart breaking and grateful that we weren’t hit that hard. People lost loved ones and properties during this calamity. Babies were crying for food, old people were given immediate medicine due to some of them were soaked in water for hours. Most of them didn’t have time to save any of their property, all they have for now is the clothes on their back.

Because of the Internet, young Filipinos were the frontrunners in the relief efforts. Every Filipino I know has a cell phone and has at least the basic knowledge how the internet works. They gave time to volunteer and pooled money to buy food and other necessities for the affected families. Techie savvy people set up a Google document of a list where to donate money and drop off points for in kind donations. People where blogging about what damage they saw in their area and asking more people to help out. Filipinos leaving overseas also made donations in cash and in kind. This is what makes me proud to be Pinoy everybody helps out everybody in times of crisis. It doesn’t matter in what economic class you are, whenever you need help on something they won’t hesitate and won’t ask anything in return. They would even put a smile on their faces even if they are suffering.

This calamity brought a nation together, helping out one another without any expectation of any pay. Now that rehabilitation of the areas have started, I hope and pray that the spirit of reaching out and helping will continue until most of the affected families have settled.

If you would like to donate money to help in the area, Samaritan’s Purse is helping there:

Thank you,
Samuel Carrara

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Goal Setting- Half Marathon

Do you have anything you are working towards? What are your goals?

Without goals, whatever you are doing can be pointless. Goal setting is a powerful way to increase motivation about your ideal future, and for turning your goal into reality.

Just listen to a few known people about the importance of Goal Setting:

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”
Earl Nightingale

“Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.”
Viktor Frankl

“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.”
Norman Vincent Peale

One of my personal goals is to do a Half-Marathon in December in Charlotte, North Carolina. I will be running the Amica Insurance Half Marathon on December 12th, 2009. If you decide to join me the link is below:

I didn’t just roll out of bed one morning and decide to run the half marathon; I have been running for awhile. I mentioned before that my wife got me the Nike Plus to track my running for Christmas last year. Since then I have been running 5 kilometer races and will run a 10 kilometer one this weekend, and have a 15 kilometer one scheduled for next month.

2XU Compression Tights

2XU Compression Tights

Recently I purchased some compression tights by 2XU to give better knee support, help my muscles to stay warm and to reduce fatigue. Just this morning I ran 10 kilometers in my neighborhood as part of my training routine and I shaved off two minutes wearing the compression tights. My wife says it was all mental, I can partially agree with her. But whatever it was, I ran two minutes faster.

You have to be SMART about your goals, I’ll talk about that in my next goal setting post. Until then, here are some links to other Goal Setting posts:

Half Marathon, here I come,
Samuel Carrara

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