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Five Major Communication Elements That Form a Business Firm's Promotional Mix

Essay by   •  March 22, 2012  •  Case Study  •  1,001 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,807 Views

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Promotion

Promotion refers to using methods of communication with two objectives which first is informing the existing and potential consumers about a product, and second to persuade consumers to buy the product (McCarthy 1998). It is an important element of marketing mix. In the absence of communication, consumers may not be aware of the product and its potential to satisfy their needs and desires. Various elements of communication form part of promotion mix. Companies must decide which elements should be used for larger sales and in what proportion. The elements should be combined. These decisions are known as promotion-mix decisions. There are five major components of promotion-mix that are advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations (publicity) and direct selling (Kotler and Armstrong 2004). Thus, promotion-mix is a company's total communication program which consists of different blends of its components and which is used to achieve the company's marketing objectives.

Elements of Promotion-mix

Advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations (publicity) and direct selling are the major elements. The marketing manager must recognise the characteristics of each tool and costs involved while deciding on the promotion-mix.

Advertising

Advertising is an impersonal form of communication for which the seller pays in order to promote a physical product or service (Belch and Michael 1998). It may be in print form as in newspapers and magazines, or in audio form as on the radio and other similar methods, or in audio-visual forms as on the Television or cinema screen. The merits of advertising is that it reaches a larger number of people, the message can be repeated, its cost is not high, and with the development of art and computer graphics, simple statements can be transformed into forceful messages. The other side of advertising is that it does not provide any feedback, it is not as forceful as personal selling, it is not flexible, and good advertisements cost a lot.

Personal selling

Personal selling is a personal communication with one or more prospective buyers for the purpose of selling a product or service. These days, personal selling is considered to be the most effective element because of various characteristics. It involves personal interaction, hence feedback is received immediately. It is also quite flexible as salesman can adjust communication according to the level of customer's under-standing. It is more persuasive so buyers can be convinced about the utility of the product (Weitz and John 2003). An impressive salesman leaves an impression on the prospective buyer, therefore it may increase sales in the future. Personal selling suffers from a few drawbacks too. It is the most expensive element of promotion. Secondly, it requires too much dependence on sales force.

Sales Promotion

Sales promotion means the use of short-term incentives which are designed to encourage immediate purchase of a product or service by the buyer (Griffin 2002). It may include offer of discounts, free gifts, free sample, coupons, demonstration or store display. One tooth brush free with one 100gm close-up dental cream is an example of sales promotion. Generally this element supplements the efforts made through personal selling and advertisement. Most of the sales promotion activities come in the form of some incentive for the buyer, hence sales generally increase immediately. Big business enterprises use

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