Message structure for promotion


One of the considerations in a message for sales promotion is its structure. This refers to the body of the message. The marketer has to assess whether the message will have a conclusion drawn for the target customer group. Will it be one sided and tells the marketer’s part of the story or a two-sided, one to compare with competition.

Conclusion drawing messages are those which raise an issue or a question and then answer it also. This type of a message, as mentioned earlier, works well in a market which is either unaware of the issue or the product, or the issue is complex wherein an average buyer cannot understand it with ease. Issues like AIDS awareness, or fight drug abuse or technology products require messages that draw the conclusions for the customer.

However, conclusion drawing messages do not work in the following situation:

1. Where the product or issue is perceived to be personal.

2. Where the product or issue is simple or target audience is intelligent enough to understand it.
3. Where the communicator is perceived as not reliable and the sender or source of communication lacks credibility.

One of two sided arguments refer to whether it is advisable for the marketer to only talk about his or her product or service or also compare it with competition. The issue of effectiveness of these messages remains unresolved and still nothing can be said on whether one sided argument works or two-sided. Some guidelines apply in this context.

(a) Two-sided argument works where the target audience is aware and educated.

(b) Two-sided arguments with the target audience that is exposed to counter propaganda.

© In India, using a two sided argument, a marketer has to be careful to use only those arguments that can be supported by facts.

(d) One-sided arguments work when the customer is favorably predisposed towards the marketer.

The next issue in the message structure is the order of presentation, i.e. what should be said at the beginning and at the end. For example, should the company tell the target audience that it is the first to get ISO9000, international quality certification at the beginning or at the end of the message?

Research is still unclear but one conclusion based on learning theory in consumer behavior is that the message must start and end with the pros in the product or the company. Pros or strong positive points do not belong to the centre or middle portion of the story Remember what is said first and the last is always remembered, the rest often forgotten.