The marketing communication or the promotion mix Introduction Marketing communications according to Settler P, (2000) is a subset of the overall subject area known as marketing. Marketing has a marketing mix that is made of price, place, promotion, product (known as the four AS), that includes people, processes and physical evidence, when marketing services (known as the seven AS). Settler P, (2000) further asserted that marketing communications has a mix. Elements of the mix are blended in different quantities in a campaign.
In the opinion of Fill C, (2003), the marketing communications mix includes many different elements, and the allowing list is by no means conclusive. It is recognized that there is some cross over between individual elements (e. G. Donating computers to schools, by asking shoppers to collect vouchers, public relations or sales promotion? ). Successful marketing communication relies on a combination of options called the promotional mix. These options include advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and personal selling.
The Internet has also become a powerful tool for reaching certain important audiences. The role each element takes in a marketing communication aerogram relies in part on whether a company employs a push strategy or a pull strategy. A pull strategy relies more on consumer demand than personal selling for the product to travel from the manufacturer to the end user. The demand generated by advertising, public relations, and sales promotion “pulls” the good or service through the channels of distribution.
A push strategy, on the other hand, emphasizes personal selling to push the product through these channels Elements of Marketing Communication Settler P, (2000) cited that for marketing communication to be successful, however, mound management decisions must be made in the other three areas of the marketing mix: the product, service or idea itself; the price at which the brand will be offered; and the places at or through which customers may purchase the brand. The best promotion cannot overcome poor product quality, inordinately high prices, or insufficient retail distribution.
Likewise, successful marketing communication relies on sound management decisions regarding the coordination of the various elements of the promotional mix. To this end, Fill. C, (2003), cited that a new way of viewing marketing communication emerged in the asses. Called integrated marketing communication, this perspective seeks to orchestrate the use of all forms of the promotional mix to reach customers at different levels in new and better ways. Fill. C, (2003), illustrated a figure of marketing communication mix as shown below source Fill.
C, (2003) Advertising According to Settler P, (2000) advertising is the most visible element of the communications mix because it makes use of the mass media, I. E. Newspapers, television, radio, magazines, bus hoardings and billboards. Mass consumption and geographically dispersed markets make advertising particularly appropriate for reduces that rely on sending the same promotional message to large audiences. Many of the objectives of advertising are only realized in the longer term and therefore it is largely a strategic marketing tool. The objectives of advertising according to Manning, Gerald L. And Barry L.
Reese (1998) are broader than that of directly stimulating sales volumes. African Distillers, for example, contribute to a series of television advertisements, shown around the time of public holidays in Zombie. These warn people of the dangers and irresponsibility of driving when intoxicated. This involvement serves to enhance African Distillers’ image as a socially responsible and caring organization. The objective of this kind of advertising is to create a positive attitude towards the company on the part of its publics, e. G. Government, pressure groups, shareholders, suppliers, agents and the general public.
Some of these publics will never consume the company’s products and this kind of advertising campaign is not intended to encourage them to do so. Advertising is everywhere, from network television, to daily newspapers, to roadside billboards, to golf course signs, to stickers on fruit in grocery stores. Clutter encourages consumers to ignore many advertising messages. New media are emerging, such as DVD’s (digital video recorders) which allow consumers to record programs and then skip commercials, and satellite radio which provides a majority of its channels advertising free.
Sales promotion According to Gilbert A, Churchill, Jar. And J. Paul P (1995) this is the last traditional component of the marketing communication mix that is discussed here as part of the marketing communication process. Sales promotion simply refers to purchase incentives that you provide your customer with. These can assume a number of forms including offering free goods or services, coupons and vouchers, gifts and prizes, discounts, samples, financial incentives, charitable promotions and any other value-add over and above your standard product or services.
Sales Promotions are generally short-lived; “one off incentives intended to provide consumers with that last “push” to buy. The main takeaway is that regardless of the size and type of your business, you should continually look at ways in which to create additional value for customers. Your customers will appreciate it and, in facts, customers have been hon. to pay premium prices for real value and real service, (Siberia, F. N and Warning B. C 1988).
Public relations, The ‘public’ referred to in this definition is any group having an actual or potential interest in, or impact upon, an organization’s prospects of achieving its goals. Such publics would be: The community: An organization needs to be accepted by the local community. To this end, a community relations programmer should be established. Such a programmer should devise ways for the organization to become involved in community activities. A public relations programmer can give an organization a personality and, hopefully, one which the local community likes.
Consumers: Public relations should be used to nurture a positive image of the organization and its products and services, a belief in its intrinsic fairness in dealings with customers and the perception that the organization values loyal customers. Other channel members: Wherever the organization is placed within the marketing channel (as a grower, processor, wholesaler, retailer etc. ) it should take cognizance of the need to develop and maintain positive relations with its partners within the marketing system. The public relations programmer should make them feel like partners, e. G. Y making them privy to privileged information about the organization’s products, promotional programmer, marketing plans, future developments and/or policies. Opinion leaders: Pressure groups and trade associations are examples of groups which can influence both public and government opinion and therefore should be a target for the organization’s public relations activities Where there is potential conflict between the interests of these groups and those of the organization it is vital that there remains a dialogue between them so that factual information, rather than moors, is communicated.
In many cases, an effective public relations programmer can help avoid conflicts from arising. It can do so by projecting a corporate image of a caring, responsible and responsive organization. For its part, the organization must seek to understand the position taken by pressure groups on particular issues, (Siberia, F. N and Warning B. C 1988). Direct marketing According to White, Barton W. , et al (1998) direct marketing, the oldest form of marketing, is the process of communicating directly with target customers to encourage response by telephone, mail, electronic means, or personal visit.
Users of erect marketing include retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and service providers, and they use a variety of methods including direct mail, telemarketing, direct- response advertising, and online computer shopping services, cable shopping networks, and infomercials. Traditionally not viewed as an element in the promotional mix, direct marketing represents one of the most profound changes in marketing and promotion in the last 25 years.
Aspects of direct marketing, which includes direct response advertising and direct mail advertising as well as the various research and support activities necessary for their implementation, have en adopted by virtually all companies engaged in marketing products, services, ideas, or persons. Settler P, (2000) further indicated that direct marketing has become an important part of many marketing communication programs for three reasons. First, the number of two-income households has increased dramatically. About six in every ten women in the United States work outside the home.
This has reduced the amount of time families have for shopping trips. Secondly, more shoppers than ever before rely on credit cards for payment of goods and services. These cashless transactions make products easier and faster to purchase. Finally, technological advances in telecommunications and computers allow consumers to make purchases from their homes via telephone, television, or computer with ease and safety. These three factors have dramatically altered the purchasing habits of American consumers and made direct marketing a growing field worldwide.
Direct marketing allows a company to target more precisely a segment of customers and prospects with a sales message tailored to their specific needs and characteristics. Unlike advertising and public relations, whose connections to actual sales are onuses or nebulous at best, direct marketing offers accountability by providing tangible results. The economics of direct marketing have also improved over the years as more information is gathered about customers and prospects.
By identifying those consumers they can serve more effectively and profitably, companies may be more efficient in their marketing efforts. Whereas network television in the past offered opportunities to reach huge groups of consumers at a low cost per thousand, direct marketing can reach individual consumers and develop a relationship with each of them, (White, Barton W. Et al 1998) Research indicates that brands with strong brand equity are more successful in direct marketing efforts than little-known brands.
Direct marketing, then, works best when other marketing communication such as traditional media advertising supports the direct marketing effort. Direct marketing has its drawbacks also. Just as consumers built resistance to the persuasive nature of advertising, so have they with direct marketing efforts. Direct marketers have responded by being fewer sales oriented and more relationship oriented. Also, Just as consumers grew weary of advertising clutter, so have they with he direct marketing efforts.
Consumers are bombarded with mail, infomercials, and telemarketing pitches daily. Some direct marketers have responded by regarding privacy as a customer service benefit. Direct marketers must also overcome consumer mistrust of direct marketing efforts due to incidents of illegal behavior by companies and individuals using direct marketing. The U. S. Postal Service, the Federal Trade Commission, and other federal and state agencies may prosecute criminal acts. The industry then risks legislation regulating the behavior of direct arresters if it is not successful in self-regulation.
The Direct Marketing Association, the leading trade organization for direct marketing, works with companies and government agencies to initiate self-regulation. In March of 2003 the National Do Not Call Registry went into effect whereby consumers added their names to a list that telemarketers had to eliminate from their out-bound call database. Personal selling Fill. C, (2003), opined that personal selling includes all person-to-person contact with customers with the purpose of introducing the product to the customer, convincing IM or her of the product’s value, and closing the sale.
The role of personal selling varies from organization to organization, depending on the nature and size of the company, the industry, and the products or services it is marketing. Many marketing executives realize that both sales and non-sales employees act as salespeople for their organization in one way or another. One study that perhaps supports this contention found that marketing executives predicted greater emphasis being placed on sales management and personal selling in their organization than on any other rumination mix element.
These organizations have launched training sessions that show employees how they act as salespeople for the organization and how they can improve their interpersonal skills with clients, customers, and prospects. Employee reward programs now reward employees for their efforts in this regard. Personal selling as cited further by Settler P, (2000) is the most effective way to make a sale because of the interpersonal communication between the salesperson and the prospect. Messages can be tailored to particular situations, immediate feedback can e processed, and message strategies can be changed to accommodate the feedback.