Elements of Promotion Mix or promotional mix
What is Promotional Mix?
Integration of all the elements of promotion mix is necessary to meet the information requirements of all target customers. This simply means that the promotion mix is not designed to satisfy only the prospective buyer or only the regular buyer. Some elements of the mix may be aimed at the target customer who is unaware of the product, while others may be aimed at potential customers who are fully aware of the product and are likely to purchase it. Suppose you are interested in buying a personal computer. Because of your interest in the product, you started paying attention to computer advertisements in newspapers and magazines. You may even read the media reports on personal computers by experts. You also may participate in training programmes or demonstrations. You may also contact the sales persons of different computers and find out the features and relative merits. Based on all this information you may then purchase a specific brand.
Which aspect of the promotional mix brought you to the decision to buy the brand you finally selected? You may say that the expertise of the salespersons was a major influence, but the fact is that all the elements of the mix played their roles in bringing about the sale. Therefore, to get better response from the target customers, you have to adopt all the different components of the promotion mix. However, you should note that the elements of the promotion mix must be coordinated and integrated so that they reinforce and complement each other to create a blend that helps in achieving the promotional objectives of the organization.
Components of Promotion Mix
There are seven main elements in a promotional mix. They are:
1. Advertising - Any paid form of non-personal communication through mass media about a service or product or an idea by a sponsor is called advertising. It is done through non personal channels or media. Print advertisements, advertisements in Television, Radio, Billboard, Brouchers and Cataloges, Direct mails, In-store display, motion pictures, emails, banner ads, web pages, posters are some of the examples of advertising. Paid promotion and presentation of goods, services, ideas by a sponsor comes under the advertisement.
2. Personal Selling - This is a process by which a person persuade the buyer to accept a product or a point of view or convince the buyer to take specific course of action through face to face contact. It is an act of helping and persuading through the use of oral presentation of products or services. Target audience may very from product to product and situation to situation. In other words personal selling is a person to person process by which the seller learns about the prospective buyer's wants and seeks to satisfy them by making a sale. Examples: Sales Meetings, sales presentations, sales training and incentive programs for intermediary sales people, samples and telemarketing etc. It can be of face-to-face or through telephone contact.
3. Publicity: Non-personal stimulation of demand for a product, service or business unit by generating commercially significant news about it in published media or obtaining favourable presentation of it on radio, television or stage. Unlike advertising, this form of promotion is not paid for by the sponsor. Thus, publicity is news carried in the mass media about an organization, its products, policies, actions, personnel etc. It can originate with the media or the marketer, and is published or broadcast at no charge for media space and time. Examples: Magazine and Newspaper articles/reports, radio and televison presentations, charitable contributions, speeches, issue advertising, and seminars. Publicity can be favourable (positive) or unfavourable (Negative). The message is in the hands of media and not controlled by the organization/firm.
4. Sales promotion - is any activity that offers an incentive for a limited period to obtain a desired response from the target audience or intermediaries which includes wholesalers and retailers. It stimulate consumer demand, market demand and improve product availability. Examples: Contests, product samples, Coupons, sweepstakes, rebates, tie-ins, self-liquidating premiums, trade shows, trade-ins, and exhibitions.
5 Corporate image - It is important to create a good image in the sight of general public as the Image of an organization is a crucial point in marketing. If the reputation of a company is bad, consumers are less willing to buy a product from this company as they would have been, if the company had a good image.
6 Exhibitions: Exhibitions provide a chance to try the product by the customers. It is an avenue for the producers to get an instant response from the potential consumers of the products.
7 Direct Marketing is reaching the customer without using the traditional channels of advertising such as radio, newspaper, television etc. This type of marketing reach the targeted consumers with techniques such as promotional letters, street advertising, catalogue distribution, fliers etc.
These promotional efforts are of two general types involving:
1. Direct face to face communication
2. Indirect communication through some mass medium, such as television, newspapers, radio, etc.
Sometimes a mixture of personal/direct and non personal/indirect promotion is used as we use in the sales promotion. Industrial buyer will not decide to purchase equipments on the basis of advertisements or direct mail. Personal selling is preferred in this case. On the other hand a customer buying toothpaste or hair oil will have less contact with the company sales person and will be influenced more by advertisements.