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Taco Bell Hershey's: What Types of Promotions Are Available, What Are the Objectives of the Various Consumer Promotions?

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Taco Bell’s success resulted from a top down approach to change. Along with the new organizational structure came the job position of Market Manager

Management added this new position to send a strong signal that they wanted different behavior. They wanted people to be broader managers, good at managing P & L, to be decisive and to take ownership. The Market Managers had a lot of responsibility because management had pushed down a large deal of decision making

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Promotion is an attempt by marketers to inform, persuade, or remind consumers and B2B users to influence their opinion or elicit a response. Most firms use some form of promotion. Because company goals vary widely, so do promotional strategies. The goal is to stimulate action from the people or organizations of a target market. In a profit-oriented firm, the desired action is for the consumer to buy the promoted item. Mrs. Smith’s, for instance, wants people to buy more frozen pies. Not-for-profit organizations seek a variety of actions with their promotions. They tell us not to litter, to buckle up, to join the military, or to attend the ballet. (These are examples of products that are ideas marketed to specific target markets.) Promotional goals include creating awareness, getting people to try products, providing information, retaining loyal customers, increasing the use of products, and identifying potential customers, as well as teaching potential service clients what is needed to “co-create” the services provided. Any promotional campaign may seek to achieve one or more of these goals: Creating awareness: All too often, firms go out of business because people don’t know they exist or what they do. Small restaurants often have this problem. Simply putting up a sign and opening the door is rarely enough. Promotion through ads on social media platforms and local radio or television, coupons in local papers, flyers, and so forth can create awareness of a new business or product. Large companies often use catchy slogans to build brand awareness

For example, Dodge’s wildly successful ads where a guy in a truck yells over to another truck at a stoplight, “Hey, that thing got a Hemi?” has created a huge number of new customers for Dodge trucks. Hemi has become a brand within a brand. Now, Chrysler is extending the Hemi engine to the Jeep brand, hoping for the same success.

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There is also a growing trend of fast food vendors in schools. About 20% of US high schools offer brand-name fast foods, such as Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, or Subway (Craypo L, Purcell A, 2002). The results from the 2000 California High School Fast Food Survey conducted in 171 US school districts with 345 public high schools found that 24% of districts with a fast food or beverage contract gave exclusive advertising promotion rights to that company, including placement of the company's name and logo on school equipment and facilities. Only 13% of the districts did not allow advertising on campus. There are many types of direct advertising in schools, such as soft drink, fast food, or snack food corporate logos on athletic scoreboards, sponsorship banners in gyms, ads in school newspapers and yearbooks, free textbook covers with ads, and screen-saver ads on school computers for branded foods and beverages. The US GAO report found that the most visible and prevalent types of direct advertising in schools were soft drink advertisements and corporate names and logos on scoreboards (Tevlin J. Star Tribune, 2001)

Recently, food marketing to youth in schools has become even more intense, persuasive, and creative. Some schools are now selling food advertising space on their athletes' warm-up suits, as well as inside and outside of school buses.

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Ultimately, these types of activities create synergies between the sales promotions and other marketing activities

IMC activities can amplify the message about the sales promotion and encourage active participation from target customers. Finally, it is important to recognize that sales promotions cannot compensate for a poor product, a declining sales trend, ineffective advertising, or weak brand loyalty. If these fundamentals are not working, sales promotions can serve only as a temporary solution.

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Wechsler H, Brener ND, Kuester S, Miller C. Food service and foods and beverages available at school: results from the School Health Policies and Programs Study 2000. J Sch Health. 2001;71:313–324.

French SA, Story M, Fulkerson JA. School food policies and practices: a state-wide survey of secondary school principals. J Am Diet Assoc. 2002;102:1785–1789.

Craypo L, Purcell A, Samuels SE, Agron P, Bell E, Takada E. Fast food sales on high school campuses: results from the 2000 California high school fast food survey. J Sch Health. 2002;

Tevlin J. Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN; 2001. General Mills ad campaign turns sour after protest; p. 1D.

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