Discussion Questions on Robert J. Dolan’s Framework for Marketing Strategy Formation

1. Explain the various promotion/communications tools/vehicles. What are the various objectives they serve?
There are various communication vehicles that are available to a business as it aims to promote its product to the intended audience. These vary according to the nature of the communication and are understood to be either one- or two-way communication or mass media versus a customizable communication. In this respect, major communication tools are on a one-way communication such as through television ads, newspapers, and magazines which are one-way communication, or two way incorporating either lagged or instantaneous responses. Informercials and catalogues portray a lagged response rate from customers while direct emails and telemarketing techniques by a salesperson show an instantaneous response rate. The main objective of these promotional options is to build awareness on the product to further the purchase decision of the final consumer or influence their purchase decision in favor of the product.
2. What are the differences between a promotional push strategy versus pull strategy
Push or pull strategies determine whether an organization will opt for either depending on the market situation. Push strategies favor trade promotions and other incentives that favor the intermediaries in creating demand for the product. Still, pull strategies aim at creating the demand in customers through focusing on customer promotion strategies. In a pull strategy, the retailer’s purpose is reduced to merely having the product available and convenient for the consumer while in a push strategy, the retailer is the main factor to use means within their reach to produce demand for the product. The use of either option varies with each product as well as the budget allocated for product promotions.
3. What are consumer promotions? Trade promotions?
Consumer and trade promotions are additions to product advertising which serves the purpose of adding to the communications mix. On the one hand, consumer promotions are geared towards the customer and aim to gain their trust or keep their loyalty through options such as coupons, continuity programs, or free samples. On the other hand, trade promotions are for retailers in which they get to earn incentives for any advantages that they offer the product. They get to earn free products or cheaper pricing if they display the product on the best options available in their stores. These options add variety to the product promotion strategy deployed by an organization.
4. Be prepared to discuss the 6Ms model for marketing communications planning.
The 6Ms model is divided into three sections, namely the objectives, tactics, and results. The objectives house the first two Ms which are the market and mission and aim to provide information on the organization’s objective and intended market. The tactics provide the third to the fifth Ms which are the message, media, and the money. Overall, this section aims to understand the strategy at the disposal of the organization keeping in mind the budget, available communication vehicles, and the precise message to the end users. Finally, the results include one M which is the measurements and aims at assessing the results of the promotional methods used. The 6Ms model is normally implemented as a unit to ensure adequate strategies in product promotion.
5. Explain the objective-and-task approach to marketing communications budgeting. What are alternative approaches?
The objective-and-task approach is best used to explain the one of the 6Ms in the 6M model, money. It posits that each objective must have its specific tasks which get funded. These tasks determine the economic viability of every objective and are best with alternative options. With a clearly defined objective, there are a number of tasks which can be used to arrive at the goal. Any other task apart from the first option can be understood as an alternative approach due to variations in spending abilities in each organization.

Works Cited
Dolan, Robert J. “Framework for Marketing Strategy Formation.” Harvard Bussiness School Publishing (2014).