Marketing in today’s world is a key aspect in business since it greatly contributes to the success of the firms. Marketing today is done through various ways such as advertising, promotions and public relations (Jayashankar & Robert, 2011). These areas are diverse and involve various strategies that help to ensure that the business, its products and services are widely known to the target consumers. According to Tehrani (2009), it is the responsibility of the businesses or any entrepreneur to lead the public to their business, to create demand for their products and services. However, marketing is just one of the key roles of the business to ensure that the business gets customers. A business has to keep its name clean to ensure that it is able to maintain its customer loyalty. This is possible through avoiding illegal business activities that will put the reputation of the business in question. Scandals involving breaking of rules will drive away customers or harm the growth of an entrepreneur, for example, Lance Armstrong.
Marketing a business will involve various aspects but essentially starts with a function of the public relations, which is corporate identity. This involves making a business known aside from its products and services. After this, then the other vital role of marketing is making known the products and services through advertising and other methods. Among these ways is promotion which is vital in marketing strategy that involves communication with the target customers about a firm’s product and services (PMA, 2001). Promotion involves the use of persuasive messages and information to reach out to the prospective customers of the firm’s products and services. Therefore, for promotion to be effective, it has to make use of good communication skills. For example, if a company is offering discounts for its products, it has to relay this information to the consumers to make them aware of the move. If they fail to communicate the move to the customers, the impact of the discount will not be seen.
Promotion is also essential for a company that offers a wide range of products. This will help to inform the customer of the variety of products and services a company has to offer. Through this the company is at an advantage since the products it is offering will be recognized widely and will therefore attract new customers. For the old or loyal customers, the promotion will aid in reminding them about the existing products and its advantages and will also help in informing them about any other products from the company that they were not aware of. This will extend the recognition of the products. Promotion entails use of the well known people for example celebrities to get closer to their target customers (Khatri, 2006). This serves as a wise move in promotion which helps in attracting people to the message being conveyed by the company through the public figure.
There are advantages that are associated with the use of celebrities in carrying out promotions. One of them is that the consumers’ attitudes are changed and will therefore buy products which are associated with persons they admire and value (Varley, 2006). Therefore, businesses should aim at using celebrities whose image and reputation are not tainted. This will also serve as a competitive advantage against other businesses who offer similar products as they will help enhance the brand name (Al Zoubi & Bataineh, 2001).
On the other hand, celebrity use in the promotion of a firm’s products could have negative effect on the marketing. This may happen in cases where the company uses a celebrity and then he/she is involved in a scandal which may cause negative thought towards the company as suggested by Hoffstadte (2007). The company may also invest their marketing promotional mix on a celebrity who charges a lot but the promotion of the product is not effective hence there are no positive returns since the consumers may not believe that he/she consumes the product.
The case on Lance Armstrong, who is a well known cyclist, shows the adverse effects of bad reputation and being involved in scandals. He risks being stripped off his titles due to drug allegations which would cost him a lot. He also puts at stake the reputation of company Nike his sponsor with charges of covering up of his drug tests that were positive. These charges might also affect adversely the reputation of other sponsors like A-B who have signed the contract with Armstrong to endorse their product, Michelob Ultra beer. It is therefore wise for firms to choose good endorsers for their products to ensure that they are not involved in a crisis like Lance Armstrong’s reputation impacted his sponsors.
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