Abstract This chapter introduces visual representations of promotion within the marketing mix. The effectiveness of advertising and sales promotion, post-promotion dips, public relations, personal selling, and interactive marketing are discussed and illustrated with figures and graphs. Comparisons of these elements and their coordination for a successful marketing communication strategy are also investigated.
Keywords Advertising • Sales promotion • Interactive marketing • Repetition • Public relations • Personal selling • Promotion mix
Companies use various promotion tools to communicate the value created by products/services to consumers. Promotion practices have two principal goals: offering information to consumers about products’ features and attributes; and building the right image and identity to convince or persuade consumers to buy the product by changing their beliefs about it. In every communication process, there are always three major components:
- 1. Audience—Who is your audience? What do they like? What do they want to hear?
- 2. Message—What are the appealing signs, symbols, semiotics you need to use? What is the content or feature of your message? What do you want to tell your audience?
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S.U. Kucuk, Visualizing Marketing,
3. Channel—What is the best way to reach your audience: TV, Internet, or print? Which source do they use when they need information? Or, when and how do consumers use various message channels?
Every promotion communication uses four major marketing techniques to reach these goals: advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and personal selling. These four tools are also called the promotion mix elements.
Advertising on TV or radio is a perfect tool to reach the mass of the population as the cost per contact is very low compared to other promotion-mix elements. On the other hand, the total costs of advertising can be quite high compared to other promotion tools. However, personal selling (business-to-business selling or door-to-door selling) requires one-to-one communication with buyers and is generally used in industrial markets or B2B markets. Personal selling focuses on influencing and convincing the other party to buy the products. Because the marketing communication happens at a personal level, selling efforts generally focus on building a trusted relationship with the buyer. Thus, it generally takes a long time and can be very costly as it is difficult to convince buyers one at a time. But this technique may be the most powerful of all in informing and persuading the potential buyer as it focuses on long-lasting relationship building. On the other hand, sales promotion (coupons, premiums, and temporary price reductions) does not have the same long-term effects as personal selling. Sales promotion is more likely to accelerate sales by stimulating impulse purchase decisions. Although it is low cost, it does not aim to build long-term relationships with consumers. Yet sales promotion can be very effective and competitive in synergy with other aspects of promotion. Finally, public relations, which is building publicity about the products/ services delivered in the markets, aims at major media sources and critics. It is the only non-paid communication tool that focuses on convincing product experts and opinion leaders to deliver positive reviews to build a positive public image. Thus, it can be seen as a strong trust-building tool when there is uncertainty surrounding the company and its products.