For many years I have been considering the idea of learning a foreign language: for example, Italian or Spanish. I was always interested in foreign languages and linguistics, especially in European languages of Latin origin. Besides, some of my far relatives have Italian roots and can speak Italian very good.
I could hear this language occasionally since my childhood and was truly fascinated with its melodiousness and beauty. But, unfortunately, I did not have a good deal of free time for learning a second language when I was studying in high school, because I had to take care about my little brother.
This summer when I was staying with my family in my home town, I saw an attractive bright advertisement in a local newspaper. This ad was informing people about opening new language learning facilities and inviting people to join the lessons. Unfortunately, the newspaper was a little old and I was late to enter the course. Nevertheless, to my mind, advertising in a newspaper was a good promotional idea, because it was necessary to attract attention of general public and inform target audience about opening the course.
Three-four weeks later I bought a fresh newspaper and found there an article about that language school. The article was not only informing about opening some extra courses, but also presenting opinions of the students and interviews with some teachers. Publicity, as an element of promotional mix, was also quite successful technique, because a great deal of potential customers of such courses are young businessmen or officials, who plan to join international enterprises and are regular readers of newspapers.
In addition, the author of the article gave detailed explanations as to the company’s discount policy. In particular, students and youth were offered up to 20% discount. Besides, those who could bring “a friend” as one more student of the course could receive extra 10% discount. Certainly, in such situation discounts are also among the most effective elements of sales promotion, because language courses can be interesting for students and even for teenagers, who can be financially embarrassed.
Couple of days later I visited my favorite bookstore in the center of the city and saw there a promotion agent, who was distributing flyers and leaflets to potential students of the course. He also had a variety of other promotional materials: for example, he was giving a pen and a colorful notebook to the people, who were entering their names to his list and intended to join the course.
Probably, this was a little less effective strategy, because there were not many people in the bookstore who could be really interested in language courses. But it was a good opportunity to talk to a representative of the school about the details of their programs.
In addition, the company spent a lot of resources for advertising their services in Internet. An up-to-date site was created, which had all necessary information about the lessons and was quite easy to navigate. Besides, I could see their banners and small ads on other local Internet sites, attracting attention of numerous Internet users. I suppose that this strategy could also bring good results, because nowadays everyone uses Internet and it is easy to reach potential customers through the web.
Finally, there was one more very interesting promotional technique, which was directed not only on attracting new customers, but also on challenging and stimulating the students to achieve great success in learning languages. As I could learn from Internet site of the language school, they were going to award the best students of the courses with different prizes, including a trip to the West Rim of the Great Canyon. I suppose, this is one of the best promotional ideas, which can bring to very good outcomes.
Unfortunately, I could not join the class of Italian because it would take me minimum three months to complete the first level. But I had to be back to university to continue my study. Nevertheless, it was an amazing opportunity for me to observe how different promotional strategies work and can be effective in this particular marketing environment. I have to admit that marketing specialists of the language school were very well qualified, and they managed to organize a very successful promotion campaign.
PACE, Unit 15. (2001) Promotional Basics [Brochure]. The Center on Education and Training for Employment, The Ohio State University. OH: Columbus.