What is promotion? What does it involve?
Promotion is the act of taking on or assigning a bigger job with more responsibility. It can also mean getting people to notice products and services in order to increase sales. This article covers both meanings.
A job promotion usually involves rising to a higher position in the organization, often with a higher salary. It can also mean to move sideways to a role with wider remit but not necessarily more managerial responsibility. Another term for this is horizontal promotion.
A dry promotion involves taking on a higher role but without an increase in salary. For instance, the promotion of a university professor to head of department can sometimes fall into this category.
There are two sides to job promotion: that of the seeker and that of the giver. The following sections deal with these in turn.
Criteria for promoting employees
According to Workable.com, decisions to promote employees should be based on continuous performance and conduct. They should not be unduly influenced by recent or sporadic events.
The hiring software company suggest that criteria governing such decisions should reflect “the bigger picture of an employee’s work.” These criteria include the following:
- Sustained higher performance.
- Skills that match the minimum of the new role.
- Motivation and readiness to take on new responsibilities.
Positioning oneself for job promotion
Individuals looking for job advancement need to do more than “just ask for it,” says Ashira Prossack who helps organizations attract the right talent. In a 2018 Forbes article, she suggests four ways to position oneself for promotion:
- Get noticed – make sure that your supervisor and others with influence see the quality of your work. Find opportunities to lead, mentor, propose solutions, and take on tough challenges.
- Consider the bigger picture – think beyond your current job. If you spot problems, propose solutions. If you see an improvement opportunity, make a plan and present it.
- Work smarter, not just harder – identify the right things to work on and do them well. Prioritize tasks and don’t lose yourself in a sea of busy work. Show you can handle extra responsibility.
- Practice delegation and leadership – learn to assign tasks that match people’s skills. Also, be prepared to have tough conversations about poor performance and hold people accountable for their actions.
Promotion in marketing
According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), promotion is one of the seven “Ps” of marketing. The CIM lists the seven Ps as: Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, and Physical evidence.
CIM defines promotion as “the way a company communicates what it does and what it can offer customers.”
In this context, the purpose is to gain attention. The messages that do this must be appealing and consistent.
“[A]bove all,” note CIM, “[promotion messages must] give the customer a reason to choose your product rather than someone else’s.”
Businesses use various ways to promote themselves and their offerings. These range from branding and corporate identity to advertising, public relations (PR), and reaching out via social media. Other methods include special offers, sales management, and exhibitions.
A subtle but important requirement is that promotion messages should emphasize benefits as well as features. A well-designed promotion campaign also stimulates two-way communication with customers.
While the number of channels available for marketing promotion are many, it is important to have the strongest presence in those that the target customers also frequent.
If you use the Internet as a promotion channel, i.e., if you are involved in online marketing, make sure to keep messages fresh and up to date.
Firms also benefit when they promote themselves and their offerings to their staff and other stakeholders. Stakeholders are people, companies and organizations that have an interest in the company or its products.
A bridge between two viewpoints
Perhaps one of the most enduring product messages has been, “you can have it in any color you want, as long as it is black.” These words are those of Henry Ford, creator of the Model T car, in the early 1900s.
However, the founder of the Ford Motor Company also said: “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.”
Good marketing promotion bridges the two viewpoints.
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