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Functional Areas of Marketing Communication

Marketing is all about the activities companies undertake to bring their products to the market.

What makes marketing communication so exciting and challenging is that there are so many tools from which to choose from.

Here are the eight most common tools:

1. Advertising

Any paid form of presenting ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. Historically, advertising messages have been tailored to a group and employ mass media such as radio, television, newspaper, and magazines. Advertising may also target individuals according to their profile characteristics or behavior; examples are the weekly ads mailed by supermarkets to local residents or online banner ads targeted to individuals based on the sites they visit or their Internet search terms.

2. Sales Promotion

Sales promotions are marketing activities that aim to temporarily boost sales of a product or service by adding to the basic value offered, such as “buy one get one free” offers to consumers or “buy twelve cases and get a 10 percent discount” to wholesalers, retailers, or distributors.

3. Direct Marketing

This method aims to sell products or services directly to consumers rather than going through retailer. Catalogs, telemarketing, mailed brochures, or promotional materials and television home shopping channels are all common traditional direct marketing tools. Email and mobile marketing are two next-generation direct marketing channels.

4. Public Relations

The purpose of public relations is to create goodwill between an organization (or the things it promotes) and the “public” or target segments it is trying to reach. This happens through unpaid or earned promotional opportunities: articles, press and media coverage, winning awards, giving presentations at conferences and events, and otherwise getting favorable attention through vehicles not paid for by the sponsor. Although organizations earn rather than pay for the PR attention they receive, they may spend significant resources on the activities, events, and people who generate this attention.

5. Personal Selling

Personal selling uses people to develop relationships with target audiences for the purpose of selling products and services. Personal selling puts an emphasis on face-to-face interaction, understanding the customer’s needs, and demonstrating how the product or service provides value.

6. Packaging

A package is a container and conveyor of information. A package can help in brand building.

7. Events and Sponsorships

Events are highly targeted brand-associated activities designed to actively engage customers and prospects and generate publicity.

8. Customer Service

Customer service is a company’s attitude and behavior during interactions with customers.

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