The Marketing Communications (or Promotional) Mix
Your marketing plan is executed by using the tactical elements of the Marketing Communications, or Promotions Mix.
The elements of the marketing communications mix
The Marketing Communications Mix is the specific mix of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing a company uses to pursue its advertising and marketing objectives.
Advertising - Any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor.
Personal selling - Personal presentation by the firm’s sales force for the purpose of making sales and building customer relationships.
Sales promotion - Short-term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service.
Public relations - Building good relationships with the company’s various publics by obtaining favorable publicity, building up a good "corporate image," and handling or heading off unfavorable rumors, stories, and events.
Direct marketing - Direct communications with carefully targeted individual consumers to obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationships.
Setting the Promotion Mix
When deciding how to properly use the marketing communications mix to meet your marketing objectives, it is important to consider the relative strengths and weaknesses of each component of the mix. Further, you must always define your total budget first (generally defined in the Marketing and/or Business Plan) and then decide upon the best way to leverage the different elements of the mix to maximize the return on your investment. You will balance the various parts of the mix to not only create an integrated approach to your marketing communications but you must also devote enough resources for each component to be successful. Remember the Chamber, has various marketing tools that can supplement most area of your promotional mix.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Reaches large, geographically dispersed audiences, often with high frequency; low cost per exposure, though overall costs are high; consumers perceive advertised goods as more legitimate; dramatizes company/brand; builds brand image; may stimulate short-term sales; impersonal, one-way communication; expensive.
Most effective tool for building buyers’ preferences, convictions, and actions; personal interaction allows for feedback and adjustments; relationship and networking-oriented; buyers are more attentive; owners time and sales labor cost represents a long-term commitment; most expensive of the promotional tools.
May be targeted at the trade or ultimate consumer; makes use of a variety of formats including premiums, coupons, contests, etc.; attracts attention, offers strong purchase incentives, dramatizes offers, boosts sagging sales; stimulates quick response; short-lived; not effective at building long-term brand preferences.
Highly credible; very believable; many forms including news stories, news features, event sponsorships, etc.; reaches many prospects missed via other forms of promotion; dramatizes company or product; often the most underused element in the promotional mix; relatively inexpensive (certainly not "free" as many people think; there are costs involved).
Many forms including telephone marketing, direct mail, online marketing, etc.; four distinctive characteristics - nonpublic, immediate, customized, interactive; well-suited to highly-targeted marketing efforts.
When deciding upon your unique marketing communications mix, you should also consider the Product Life Cycle.