Primary vs Secondary Demand Stimulation

Before you market your new product, have a deep understanding of what your marketing objective is. Traditional marketing theory categorizes marketing objectives into two buckets: primary demand stimulation and secondary demand stimulation.

Primary Demand Stimulation

Primary demand stimulation refers to advertising messages that promote the merits of an entire product category rather than a particular brand. It can be thought of as growing the overall pie, rather than taking a bigger piece of the pie from competitors.

The major purpose of primary demand stimulation is either to inform customers about a brand new product or technology that they are unfamiliar with, or to persuade customers that they haven’t recognized the benefits of a given product. Primary demand is typically used in one of two scenarios: to launch a completely new product category or to garner more attention to an under-appreciated category. The idea behind new product primary demand is that before a pioneer can promote its benefits, the product category must be explained to target customers. This is especially true in complex categories like technology, where innovative leaders must inform audiences about the new product category before investing in secondary demand stimulation.

General guidelines to use primary demand stimulation is if you meet the following criteria: (1) you own significant market share, (2) all or most of the growth will go to you, or (3) if your are advertising on behalf of a trade association.

Secondary Demand Stimulation

Secondary demand stimulation, also called selective demand stimulation, is the better recognized form of traditional marketing. Secondary demand stimulation ads try to take a bigger piece of the pie from competitors by distinguishing the products unique advantages.

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