Promotion mix-advertising, Personal Selling and Publicity

PROMOTION MIX ADVERTISING

In marketing, the promotional mix describes a blend of promotional variables chosen by marketers to help a firm reach its goals. It has been identified as a subset of the marketing mix. It is believed that there is an optimal way of allocating budgets for the different elements within the promotional mix to achieve best marketing results, and the challenge for marketers is to find the right mix of them. Activities identified as elements of the promotional mix vary, but typically include the following – 

  • Advertising is the paid presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor in a mass medium. Examples include print ads, radio, television, billboard, direct mail, brochures and catalogs, signs, in-store displays, posters, mobile apps, motion pictures, web pages, banner ads, emails.
  • Personal selling is the process of helping and persuading one or more prospects to purchase a good or service or to act on any idea through the use of an oral presentation, often in a face-to-face manner or by telephone. Examples include sales presentations, sales meetings, sales training and incentive programs for intermediary salespeople, samples, and telemarketing.
  • Sales Promotion is media and non-media marketing communication used for a pre-determined limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability. Examples include coupons, sweepstakes, contests, product samples, rebates, tie-ins, self-liquidating premiums, trade shows, trade-ins, and exhibitions.
  • Public relations or publicity is information about a firm’s products and services carried by a third party in an indirect way. This includes free publicity as well as paid efforts to stimulate discussion and interest. It can be accomplished by planting a significant news story indirectly in the media, or presenting it favourably through press releases or corporate anniversary parties. Examples include newspaper and magazine articles, TVs and radio presentations, charitable contributions, speeches, issue advertising, seminars.
  • Direct Marketing is a channel-agnostic form of advertising that allows businesses and nonprofits to communicate directly to the customer, with methods such as mobile messaging, email, interactive consumer websites, online display ads, fliers, catalogue distribution, promotional letters, and outdoor advertising.
  • Corporate image campaigns have been considered as part of the promotional mix.
  • Sponsorship of an event or contest or race is a way to generate further positive publicity.
  • Guerrilla marketing tactics are unconventional ways to bring attention to an idea or product or service, such as by using graffiti, sticker bombing, posting flyers, using flash mobs, doing viral marketing campaigns, or other methods using the Internet in unexpected ways.
  • Product placement is paying a movie studio or television show to include a product or service prominently in the show.

THE ROLE OF ADVERTISING IN A PROMOTIONAL MIX

The promotional mix is the blend of methods used by a company to deliver company, brand and product messages to target customers. Advertising, public relations, direct marketing and selling are common components of a complete promotional mix. Advertising is generally one of the most important promotion methods and the one with the largest budget.

Reach Target Audience

Advertising is used to “reach” and communicate with the target audience members for the promotion. For example, if a daycare center conducts a promotion to offer a week of free childcare for new customers, it might use magazine advertising to reach working moms with children under age 5. Close attention would be paid to how many readers the magazine reaches who meet the target audience criteria. Readership statistics from several magazines would then be compared to make the final selection of where to place the advertisement about the promotion.

Generate Awareness

It is important to use advertising media strategically and effectively to achieve awareness of the promotion and gain a Return on Investment (ROI). For example, a newly opened fitness club in a downtown area might develop a promotional campaign to target downtown office workers. The fitness club could strategically purchase radio advertising time to air commercials during morning and evening commute hours (also referred to as “drive time”), to reach the target audience as they listen to the radio while driving to and from work. The club could then track new members and revenue gained as a result of airing the radio commercials.

Drive Traffic

Marketers and advertisers often set a goal to “drive traffic” during a promotion. This term can encompass driving traffic to all stores in a chain, specific retail locations or perhaps a website. A tax preparation software company might place a banner ad on the website for an office supply store. The banner ad could promote a discount or free use of the program for a limited time. When people click on the banner ad they are driven (or redirected) to the website for the software company to get the free trial or purchase the software during the promotional period.

Communicate the Call to Action

The “call to action” is a major element of the advertising message. In a promotions campaign, it is used tell the target audience members what to do to participate in the promotion and gain the benefits or advantages offered. A banner ad on a website will say, “click here” for more information. A TV commercial promoting a special sale at a department store will say “shop this weekend only.” A newspaper ad promoting a free oil change might say, “bring in this ad” in order to get the free service. In each case, the advertising serves to tell the target audience to take an action that qualifies them to take advantage of the promotion.

Measure Response and Effectiveness

Advertising provides a means to measure the overall response and results of the promotion campaign. In an online advertising campaign, the number of clicks on banner ads and number of website visitors can be tracked. In cases where the promotion has been held before, and without advertising, measurements can be taken to analyze increases (or decreases) in several areas, such as sales, attendance and repeat purchases or participation. Polling customers at check-out or at promotional events is also a useful technique to gather data to compare results when different forms of advertising are used (such as print, online banners and commercials).

 

PERSONAL SELLING

Personal selling can be defined as “the process of person-to-person communication between a salesperson and a prospective customer, in which the former learns about the customer’s needs and seeks to satisfy those needs by offering the customer the opportunity to buy something of value, such as a good or service.” The term may also be used to describe a situation where a company uses a sales force as one of the main ways it communicates with customers.

Personal selling occurs when a sales representative meets with a potential client for the purpose of transacting a sale. Many sales representatives rely on a sequential sales process that typically includes nine steps. Some sales representatives develop scripts for all or part of the sales process. The sales process can be used in face-to-face encounters and in telemarketing.

The Importance of Personal Selling

Persuading Prospects

Sales representatives use their personal selling skills to increase the chances of a successful sale. They aim to understand a prospect’s needs and offer a solution to those needs in the form of a product or service that provides strong benefits and represents value for money. If prospects pose objections, sales representatives use their powers of persuasion to overcome the objections and convince prospects that they are making the right choice by buying a product or service.

Selling Complex Products

Companies that sell complex products must be able to demonstrate or explain products to potential customers and deal with questions or queries. Sales representatives can present products in a logical way, focusing on the benefits that are relevant to different decision-makers, such as technical managers, purchasing officers or finance executives. Representatives use their experience to gauge a prospect’s response to their sales pitch and adjust their presentation to individual prospects’ levels of understanding or interest.

Managing the Sales Cycle

Personal selling is important to companies marketing products that require a long sales cycle. In business-to-business marketing, prospects move through a buying process that involves a number of stages, including identification of a need, development of a specification, selection of potential suppliers, evaluation of suppliers’ offerings and a final purchasing decision. Sales representatives can influence each stage of the process by ensuring that prospects are fully aware of a supplier’s capability and product benefits. They also ensure that prospects receive the product, pricing and technical information they need to make a decision, and they maintain contact with the important decision-makers throughout the sales cycle.

Developing Customer Relationships

To build long-term revenue for the future, representatives use personal selling skills to develop strong relationships with customers. By contacting customers after they make a purchase, for example, representatives can demonstrate that their company offers high levels of customer care. They also maintain contact between sales to ensure that customers consider their company when they are planning their next purchase.

 

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                     Figure:-Personal selling advantage and disadvantage

PUBLICITY

There are several definitions of publicity, but the most appropriate one is the one that is from a marketing angle. Publicity in its simplest form is the means of conveying information to the general public through the media. The information being publicized could be news, awareness about a product and service, etc. It is the process of creating awareness of new products and services.

Purpose of Publicity

Publicity has only one purpose – to get certain information across to as many people as possible within the shortest time frame. For you to record any sale on your products or services, your prospects have to be aware of those products and services, and they also have to know the attached benefits.

Suffice it to say that the number of sales is directly dependent on the number of people who got to know about the product.

Publicity is communication and communication is a two-way transaction. Publicity is not complete without getting feedback from the recipients of the required information. So, another part of publicity is providing means or platform for sending feedback or any other form of response from those who got the message being disseminated.

Why is Publicity Important?

Publicity helps businesses build credibility and brand awareness. It’s a cost-effective strategy, but only if you create newsworthy stories.  Publicity stories have to be interesting, timely and relevant.  Boring stories that have no merit will take you nowhere and could have a detrimental fact on your business by causing people to lose interest and stop listening. Effective publicity goes beyond news releases, and while news releases can help with search engine marketing, you’ll need a bigger and more strategic public relations program to get you the results that you desire.

Six Core Benefits of Publicity

  • Publicity can be hard to secure but if you can publicity brings along with it several benefits.
  • Publicity is the low-cost or no-cost option. 
  • Publicity positions your business and the principals of that businesses as experts in your industry.
  • Publicity helps your business to stand out and be noticed. 
  • Publicity can help in the development of partnerships and strategic alliances. 
  • Publicity builds your credibility and propels you into a competitive position.

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