I.N.D.I.A. TRUST UPDATES
A CONCEPT NOTE ON PROMOTIONAL METHODOLOGY


Promoting Entrepreneurship Education Programme of Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India – Ahmedabad

PRELIMINARY REMARKS

The most powerful pro50_lessonmotional tools are effective programmes that address real issues and needs of our potential users. Without effective programmes, promoting entrepreneurship educational programmes and developing relationships will not be effective. We must plan programmes that include an evaluation that measures the specific impact that programmes have on the lives of people.

The questions "What difference will it and did it make?" must be asked before and after the programme. The impact must then be communicated to target target students.

For our purposes, we may define promotional as follows:
The process of identifying the current and emerging education - training - development – employability – entrepreneurial issues and needs of our publics.
Creating educational programmes to meet those issues and needs.
Communicating the impacts of those programmes.

There is an important distinction between promotion and selling. Promotion begins with a focus on our target students, their needs, and a sincere desire to develop a product that addresses their needs. Selling begins with what we have for sale, and the needs of our target students are secondary or even irrelevant. Although the term promotion is often used to mean selling, it is fair to say that when the promotional process is followed, the selling (i.e., convincing and exchanging) is very easy. In effect, the product sells itself.

Promotion maximizes our return for the effort and resources we expend, because it focuses our efforts to meet the unique needs of our potential users. Promotion is also a way of thinking. Promotional consciousness begins when we critically differentiate what we do in terms of who it attracts and who it doesn't attract.

What is there in our promotional strategy that attracts certain kinds of people and not others? Because promotion is a way of thinking, it should permeate our entire organization and all of its activities.

Promotion is a source of empowerment. To market effectively, we must know who we are and what we can do. Effective promotion boosts morale by recognizing individual knowledge, skills and abilities and communicating these to our potential users. We all have a need to be known and to be appreciated, and promotions can help achieve this.

A COMPREHENSIVE PROMOTIONAL PROCESS

Development of a comprehensive promotional programme includes the following:
Develop an organizational mission statement
Conduct an overall environment assessment and consider the implications of current trends for the organization:
social/demographic trends,
governmental support,
changes in the economy and the natural environment, and
technological developments.
Set overall goals for the organization. Goals are general statements of desired accomplishments.
Identify a large heterogeneous target students that you want to serve, and segment that target students into smaller, more homogeneous target students using one or more of these factors:
Demographics - age, sex, family size, nationality, income, education, race, religion.
Geography - region, county, community, neighbourhood, urban-rural, population density.
Psychographics - social class, life style, personality, special interests or hobbies, value systems.
Work - occupations, kind of work, size of business or organization, particular products produced, issue or problem held in common.
Conduct market research for the segments with the greatest potential.
Conduct assessments of current and future needs.
Study market behaviour of existing and potential target students.
Utilize primary and secondary data by questioning, observing, experimenting, using census data, and reviewing other studies.

Market research can be helpful to Extension, even though we may feel we know our target students well. How will we know the educational needs of urban limited income students, unless we ask them in a systematic manner? Are their needs the same as those of rural limited income students

Focus groups have been an effective and relatively easy way to conduct market research. Identify and gather together a small group (15 to 30 people) representing a target students (market segment) and ask them questions about their attitudes, knowledge, behaviour, and preferences with respect to the good or service being marketed.

It is clear that the diverse target students and rapid changes in our society will require us to conduct more market research than in the past.

ASSESS OUR OWN ORGANIZATION. WHAT ARE ITS:
Mission, values, and purposes?
Strengths and weaknesses?
Resources and capabilities?
Support groups and constituencies?

Develop a promotional strategy that identifies our niche (position) in the market. A promotional strategy is a mix of (five P's of promotional):
Product (educational programme)
Price (costs, time, and other resources necessary)
Promotion (how the product is publicized - mass media, fliers, personal contact)
Place/Distribution (Where is it offered – schools and colleges, satellite, by mail)
People (Who is providing the product - paraprofessionals, Extension faculty, subject specialists, researchers, guest speakers, coalitions, team members, competitors)

Develop a plan of action based on this position.Implement the plan of action.Evaluate and assess impact of:
The promotional mix (five P's)
The product delivery
Receptivity of the market
The impact of the product

KEEPING OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME CURRENT

The best promotional tool is a successful programme and the biggest liability for any organization is an outdated programme.

All educational programmes evolve through a process called the Program Life Cycle. This involves five stages:

1) Development:
Needs are analyzed, target students identified, measurable objectives set, the competition and community environment analyzed, the program is "positioned" in the marketplace based on organizational strengths, initial program efforts are piloted, and the program is refined.

2) Introduction
The programme is introduced to a segment of or to the entire target population.

3) Growth
Programme visibility and credibility are established and target students satisfaction grows. Resource demand is greatest and competition from other agencies is often intense.

4) Maturity
Programme growth moderates or levels off. Visibility and credibility remain very high.

5) Decline
Visibility, credibility, and clients’ participation consistently drop. The declining credibility of the programme endangers the organization's image.

PROGRAMME LIFE CYCLE Organizational health is dependent upon a systematic and ongoing review of our programmes. Where are your educational programmes in the life cycle? How much impact and visibility has there been to date? What is the predicted life span remaining for the educational program? The goal is to achieve a mixture of programmes in varying stages of the life cycle.

Since new programme initiatives can elevate organizational credibility and visibility, rotating the inventory of educational programmes is important. Sensitivity, care, and judgement are needed in successfully managing educational program inventories. A careful balance must be struck between the infusions of new and the support of existing programmes. No matter how many "new opportunities" exist for Extension, the loyalty and support of traditional target students, which has been cultivated through years of relationship promotional, must not be sacrificed.

Careful strategic planning is needed to "rotate programme inventory" without losing critical cliental support. Programmes can "graduate" in late maturity or decline by using three promotional methods:
Downsizing programmes
Terminating programmes
Re-creating programmes

Downsizing Programmes and/or Extension's Involvement in Programmes

An option for freeing Extension resources is downsizing by reducing Extension faculty or staff or financial involvement in the program. This technique should be used with educational programmes having the least impact or visibility and long-term life expectancy. This promotional technique involves identifying a significant programme need, demonstrating the value of addressing it, building other groups' or individuals' leadership capacity for the programme, and motivating those leaders to assume primary programme responsibility. The following strategies may be used:

Empowering volunteers and target students to take more initiative for programmes. This empowerment involves Extension support through training, phone calls, personal visits, and the backup of appropriate educational material.
Co-sponsoring activities and programmes with other agencies. Ensure that the co sponsorship brings visibility for Extension and full financial and staff support from other agencies. Using electronic technology to extend staff resources. Some educational requests can be answered through computer software, videotapes, and mass media programmes.
Downsizing programmes maintains organizational linkage at reduced levels of involvement after the programmes' value is demonstrated. The benefit to Extension organizations is that of maintaining involvement, visibility, and credibility - but at a reduced resource level. This technique maintains and builds a network that can also be strategically mobilized in support of our programmes.

GATHERING INFORMATION ONLINE – GETTING STARTED

The numerous news sources and billion or so Web pages available on the Internet make finding information much easier than in pre-Internet days. Before the Internet, gathering information meant trips to the library, purchasing expensive publications and reports, and commissioning your own primary research. Now, it is a matter of knowing where to search.

We can start searching the Internet by looking in each of the general areas below. Organize useful material as you find it. Purchase, bookmark, or file each resource so you can draw upon it during promotional plan development.

These external resources, together with your internal company information, will be our initial knowledge base as we develop our Promotional Plan. As we progress along the planning process and the specific information we need become clearer, these initial resources are likely to be jumping-off points for gathering more specific information.

Keep in mind that when planning a promotional campaign, a campaign generally consists of three desired outcomes.
Outcome 1 Our promotional message reaches our intended and targeted audience.
Outcome 2: Our audience understands our message.
Outcome 3: Our message stimulates the recipients and they take action.

The question is how do we achieve these outcomes with our campaign? The process is easy, but it takes "planning" time. Here are seven steps that will get our campaign off to the right start.

Step 1: Assess Promotional Communication Opportunities.
It's important in this first step to examine and understand the needs of your target market. Who is our message going out to? Current users, influencers among individuals, deciders, groups, or the general public?

Step 2: What Communication Channels Will We Use?
In the first step of planning we should have defined the markets, products, and environments. This information will assist us in deciding which communication channels will be most beneficial. Will we use personal communication channels such as face-to-face meeting, telephone contact, or perhaps a personal presentation? Or will the no personal communication such as newspapers, magazines, or direct mail work better?

Step 3: Determine Our Objectives
Keep in mind that our objectives in a promotional campaign are slightly different than our promotional campaign. Students who have been exposed to our promotional communication should state promotional objectives in terms of long or short-term behaviours. These objectives must be clearly stated, measurable, and appropriate to the phase of market development.

Step 4: Determine Our Promotion Mix
This is where we will need to allocate resources among sales promotion, advertising, publicity, and of course personal selling. Don't skimp on either of these areas. We must create awareness among our target students in order for our promotional campaign to succeed. A well-rounded promotion will use all of these methods in some capacity.

Step 5: Develop Our Promotional Message
This is the time that we will need to sit down with our team and focus on the content, appeal, structure, format, and source of the message. Keep in mind in promotional campaigns appeal and execution always works together.

Step 6: Develop the Promotion Budget
This is the exciting part. We must now determine the total promotion budget. This involves determining cost breakdowns per territory and promotional mix elements. Take some time to break down allocations and determine the affordability, percent of sales, and competitive parity. By breaking down these costs we will get a better idea on gauging the success potential of our campaign.

Step 7: Determine Campaign Effectiveness
After promotional communications are assigned, the promotional plan must be formally defined in a written document. In this document we should include situation analysis, copy platform, timetables for effective integration of promotional elements with elements in our promotional mix. We will also need to determine how we will measure the effectiveness once it is implemented. How did the actual performance measure up to plan objectives? We’ll need to gather this information by asking our target market whether they recognized or recall specific advertising messages, what they remember about the message, how they felt about the message, and if their attitudes toward the company was affected by the message.

The benefits of a planned promotional strategy are numerous. Business owners often rely solely on their intuition to make business decisions. While this informal knowledge is important in the decision making process, it may not provide us with all the facts we need to achieve promotional results. A promotional strategy will help us in defining business goals and develop activities to achieve them.

Here's How:
Describe our project’s unique selling proposition (USP).
Define our target market.
Write down the benefits of our products or services.
Describe how we will position our products or services.
Define our promotional methods. Will be advertise, use Internet promotional, direct promotional, or public relations?

Promotional Strategy
Every manager should develop a written guideline that sets forth the institution's promotional strategy. This document is used to judge the appropriateness of each action that the institution takes.

A good promotional strategy provides specific goals and can include:
A description of the key end user
Competitive market segments the institution will compete in
Distribution channels
The unique positioning of the institution and its products versus the competition
The reasons why it is unique or compelling to clients

An overall company promotional strategy should also:
Define the services
Position the service as a leader, challenger, follower, or niche player in the category
Define the image that is desired in the minds of end users
Define life cycle influences, if applicable

Use the following checklist to help create a promotional strategy.

Promotional strategy checklist:
Define what our institution is
Identify the products or services that our institution will provide
Identify our target end users
Describe the unique characteristics of our products or services that distinguish them from the competition.
Identify the distribution channels through which our products/services will be made available to the target market/end users
Describe how advertising and promotions will convey the unique characteristics of our products or services
Describe the image or personality of your company and its products or services

Strategy statement tests

If the statements in our strategy are measurable and actionable and work to differentiate our company and products apart from the competition, If they are not measurable and actionable and do not differentiate our company from the competition, revise them until they are.

A good working promotional strategy should not be changed every year. It should not be revised until company objectives (financial, promotional, and overall company goals) have been achieved or the competitive situation has changed significantly, e.g., a new competitor comes into the category or significantly different or new products emerge from existing competitors.

The promotional tools that we keep in our toolbox help you in the success of our promotional goals. A primary and essential tool is the promotional calendar. A promotional calendar assists us in launching our promotional vehicles in a way that can drive us to our goal in a structured and thought-out manner.

By using a promotional calendar effectively we will not only be enabled to coordinate all our promotional efforts but it also assists us in budgeting our adventures.

A promotional calendar can keep us on track, making sure that we are using every opportunity that we have to market without lapsing in our efforts. With it we can rest assured that our planning; budgeting and staffing are taken care of. This alone could save our hundreds if not thousands of rupees.

How to Create and Use a Promotional Calendar?

Promotional calendars can be created to address our specific needs.

Most promotional calendars break down the weeks of a year and address the promotional activities that will take place in each week. A calendar will be best used if it is specific, spelling out individual promotions or events. I've personally found it best in my experience to include the promotional cost for each event and the results that came from the event. By doing this it is easy to see at a glance which events and strategies were productive and on target. This aids us in planning our promotional in the future.

A promotional calendar also crystallizes our focus and allows us to see the investment and value in our promotional programme. By doing this we are able to build a consistency in our planning. This again will aid us in preventing promotional lapses that cause the "feast and famine" effect that many businesses experience.

Remember to be flexible when creating our calendar. Rest assured there is no right or wrong way. The purpose of our promotional calendar is to create results - this is just the first piece to mapping to those results.

Primary and essential tool is the promotional calendar. A promotional calendar assists us in launching our promotional vehicles in a way that can drive us to our goal in a structured and thought-out manner.

Explore Settings, Channels, and Activities to Reach Intended Audiences

In this step, begin to think about the best ways to reach the intended audiences.

To reach intended audiences effectively and efficiently, first identify the settings (times, places, and states of mind) in which they are most receptive to and able to act upon the message. Next, identify the channels through which our programme’s message can be delivered and the activities that can be used to deliver it. In making these decisions, weigh what will best:
Reach the intended audience
Deliver the message
Explore Settings

To identify possible settings for reaching the intended audience, think of the following:
Places where our programme can reach the intended audience (e.g., at home, at school or work, in the car, on the bus or train, at a community event,)
Times when intended audience members may be most attentive and open to our programme’s communication effort
Places where they can act upon the message
Places or situations in which they will find the message most credible

Interpersonal Channels:
Interpersonal channels (e.g., friends, family members, counsellors, parents, and coaches of the intended audiences) put messages in a familiar context. These channels are more likely to be trusted and influential than media sources. Developing messages, materials, and links into interpersonal channels may require time; however, these channels are among the most effective, especially for affecting attitudes, skills, and behaviour/behavioural intent. Influence through interpersonal contacts may work best when the individual is already familiar with the message, for example, from hearing it through mass media exposure. (Similarly, mass media are most effective at changing behaviour when they are supplemented with interpersonal channels.)

Group Channels:
Group channels (classroom activities, school discussions, neighbourhood gatherings, and club meetings) can help our programme more easily reach more of the intended audience, retaining some of the influence of interpersonal channels. Health messages can be designed for groups with specific things in common, such as workplace, school, club affiliations, or favourite activities, and these channels add the benefits of group discussion and affirmation of the messages.
As with interpersonal channels, working through group channels can require significant levels of effort. Influence through group channels is more effective when groups are already familiar with the message through interpersonal channels or the others described here.

Interpersonal Channel:
Interpersonal channels have shown great success in delivering credible messages that produce desired results. When the one-to-one message comes from highly recognized professionals, people are especially likely to listen.

Organizational and Community Channels:
Organizations and community groups, such as advocacy groups, can disseminate materials, include our programme’s messages in their newsletters and other materials, hold events, and offer instruction related to the message. Their involvement also can lend their credibility to our programme’s efforts.
Organizational/community channels can offer support for action and are two-way, allowing discussion and clarification, enhancing motivation, and reinforcing action.

Mass Media Channels:
Mass media channels (e.g., radio, network and cable television, magazines, direct mail, billboards, transit cards, newspapers) offer many opportunities for message dissemination, including mentions in news programmes, entertainment programming ("entertainment education"), public affairs programmes, "magazine" and talk shows (including radio audience call-ins), live remote broadcasts, editorials (television, radio, newspapers, magazines), health and political columns in newspapers and magazines, posters, brochures, advertising, and public service campaigns. We may decide to use a variety of formats and media channels, always choosing from among those most likely to reach the intended audiences.

Mass media campaigns are a tried-and-true communication approach. They have been conducted on topics ranging from general health to specific diseases, from prevention to treatment.

Overall, research has demonstrated the effectiveness of mass media approaches in:
Raising awareness
Stimulating the intended audience to seek information and services
Increasing knowledge
Changing attitudes and even achieving some change (usually) in self-reported behavioural intentions and behaviours

However, behaviour change is usually associated with long-term, multiple intervention campaigns rather than with one-time communication only programmes.

Interactive Digital Media Channels:
Interactive digital media channels (e.g., Internet Web sites, bulletin boards, newsgroups, chat rooms, CD-ROMs, kiosks) are an evolving phenomenon and are useful channels that should have even greater reach in the future. These media allow communicators to deliver highly tailored messages to and receive feedback from the intended audience. These channels are capable of producing both mass communication and interpersonal interaction. Use these media to:
Send individual messages via electronic mail
Post program messages (such as information about health-related campaigns) on Internet sites that large numbers of computer users access
Create and display advertisements
Survey and gather information from computer users
Engage intended audiences in personalized, interactive activities
Exchange ideas with peers and partners

Using interactive digital media is not without challenges. If you choose to do so, consider credibility and access issues.

Internet and Multimedia Channels:

CD-ROMs—Computer disks that can contain an enormous amount of information, including sound and video clips and interactive devices.

Chat rooms—Places on the Internet where users hold live typed conversations. The "chats" typically involve a general topic. To begin chatting, users need chat software, most of which can be downloaded from the Internet for free.

Electronic mail (e-mail)—A technology that allows users to send and receive messages to one or more individuals on a computer via the Internet.

Intranets can be used to send an online newsletter with instant distribution or provide instant messages or links to sources of information within an organization.

Kiosks—Displays containing a computer programmed with related information. Users can follow simple instructions to access personally tailored information of interest and, in some cases, print out what they find. A relatively common health application is placing kiosks in pharmacies to provide information about medicines.

Mailing lists—E-mail−based discussions on a specific topic. All the subscribers to a list can elect to receive a copy of every message sent to the list, or they may receive a regular "digest" disseminated via e-mail.

Newsgroups—Collections of e-mail messages on related topics. The major difference between newsgroups and listservs is that the newsgroup host does not disseminate all the messages the host sends or receives to all subscribers. In addition, subscribers need special software to read the messages. Many Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer, contain this software. Some newsgroups are regulated (the messages are screened for appropriateness to the topic before they are posted).

Websites—Documents on the World Wide Web that provide information