Marketing is a broad business function that includes product research and development, merchandising and distribution processes and pricing, as well as communication or promotion. The communication mix refers to specific methods used to promote the company or its products to targeted customers. Some depictions of the promotional mix include five elements. while others add a sixth event sponsorship.
Advertising is often the most prominent element of the communication mix. In fact. marketing and advertising are often misconstrued as the same thing. Advertising includes all messages a business pays to deliver through a medium to reach a targeted audience. Since it involves the majority of paid messages, companies often allocate significant amounts of the marketing budget to the advertising function. While it can be costly, the advertiser has ultimate control over the message delivered, since it pays the television or radio station. print publication ox website for placement.
Personal selling is sometimes integrated with the direct marketing element. However, many companies make such extensive use of a sales force that it is important to consider this component distinctly. Distribution channel suppliers use salespeople to promote products for resale to trade buyers. Retail salespeople promote the value of goods and services to consumers in retail businesses. Selling is more emphasized by companies that sell higher-end products and services that require more assertive efforts to persuade customers to buy.
Discounts and Promotions
Sales promotions or discounts are similar to advertising in that they are often promoted through paid communication. However, sales promotions actually involve offering a discounted price to a buyer. This may include coupons, percent-off deals, and rebates. Along with ads to promote deals and coupon mailers, companies use exterior signs and in-store signage to call customer attention to the discounts. Goals of this communication tool include increasing revenue and cash flow, attracting new customers and clearing put extra inventory.
Public relations is sometimes somewhat similar to advertising in that much of it involves messages communicated through mass media. The major difference is you don’t pay for the time or space for the message. A television or newspaper feature story mentioning a business, for instance, isn’t paid for and can provide brand exposure.The downside of PR is that you don’t always control the messages. You can try to influence them through press releases and invites for media coverage, but the media could put a negative spin on the story.
Direct marketing includes some aspects of both sales promotions and personal selling. It is interactive communication with customers where the company’s message seeks or implores a response from targeted customers. E-mail and direct mail are common formats. These messages are sent to customers with special offers or calls to action, often promoting limited-time deals or new product launches. Mail-order clubs, online or print surveys and infomercials are other examples of direct marketing communication.