Marketing Communications

Introduction to Marketing Communications Introduction to Brands Four Branding Alternatives The Loyalty Ladder Personal Selling Advertising Public Relations Advertising Agencies Direct Marketing Sales Promotion

Introduction to Marketing Communications

What are marketing communications? Marketing communications is a subset of the overall subject area known as marketing. Marketing has a marketing mix that is made of price, place, promotion, product (know as the four P's), that includes people, processes and physical evidence, when marketing services (known as the seven P's). How does marketing communications fit in? Marketing communications is 'promotion' from the marketing mix. Why are marketing communications 'integrated?' Integrated means combine or amalgamate, or put simply the jigsaw pieces that together make a complete picture. This is so that a single message is conveyed by all marketing communications. Different messages confuse your customers and damage brands. So if a TV advert carries a particular logo, images and message, then all newspaper adverts and point-of-sale materials should carry the same logo, images or message, or one that fits the same theme. Coca-Cola uses its familiar red and white logos and retains themes of togetherness and enjoyment throughout its marketing communications. Marketing communications has a mix. Elements of the mix are blended in different quantities in a campaign. The marketing communications mix includes many different elements, and the following list is by no means conclusive. It is recognised that there is some cross over between individual elements (e.g. Is donating computers to schools, by asking shoppers to collect vouchers, public relations or sales promotion?) Here are the key of the marketing communications mix.

The Marketing Communications Mix.
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Personal Selling. Sales Promotion. Public Relations (and publicity). Direct Marketing. Trade Fairs and Exhibitions. Advertising Sponsorship. Packaging. Merchandising (and point-of-sale). EMarketing (and Internet promotions). Brands. Integrated marketing communications see the elements of the communications mix 'integrated' into a coherent whole. This is known as the marketing communications mix, and forms the basis of a marketing communications campaign.

Introduction to Brands. Brands and Branding.
Branding is a strategy that is used by marketers. Pickton and Broderick (2001) describe branding as Strategy to differentiate products and companies, and to build economic value for both the consumer and the brand owner. Brand occupies space in the perception of the consumer, and is what results from the totality of what the consumer takes into consideration before making a purchase decision (Pickton and Broderick 2001). So branding is a strategy, and brand is what has meaning to the consumer. There are some other terms used in branding. Brand Equity is the addition of the brand's attributes including reputation, symbols, associations and names. Then the financial expression of the elements of brand equity is called Brand Value. There are a number of interpretations of the term brand (De Chernatony 2003). They are summarized as follows:  A brand is simply a logo e.g. McDonald's Golden Arches.  A brand is a legal instrument, existing in a similar way to a patent or copyright.  A brand is a company e.g. Coca-Cola.  A brand is shorthand - not as straightforward. Here a brand that is perceived as having benefits in the mind of the consumer is recognised and acts as a shortcut to circumvent large chunks of information. So when searching for a product or service in less familiar surroundings you will conduct an information search. A recognised brand will help you reach a decision more conveniently.

A brand is a risk reducer. The brand reassures you when in unfamiliar territory. A brand is positioning. It is situated in relation to other brands in the mind of the consumer as better, worse, quicker, slower, etc. A brand is a personality, beyond function e.g. Apple's iPod versus just any MP3 player. A brand is a cluster of values e.g. Google is reliable, ethical, invaluable, innovative and so on. A brand is a vision. Here managers aspire to see a brand with a cluster of values. In this context vision is similar to goal or mission. A brand is added value, where the consumer sees value in a brand over and above its competition e.g. Audi over Volkswagen, and Volkswagen over Skoda - despite similarities. A brand is an identity that includes all sorts of components; depending on the brand e.g. Himalaya Pharmaceuticals. A brand is an image where the consumer perceives a brand as representing a particular reality e.g. Tanishq Reassuring Expensive. A brand is a relationship where the consumer reflects upon him or herself through the experience of consuming a product or service.

Four Banding Alternatives A Branding Strategy Based upon Brand Franchise Extension A tool that a marketer can employ for branding decision-making is the Four Banding Alternatives. Four Branding Alternatives is a strategic marketing communications technique. It is a fun and creative approach that can add value to any class that likes to discuss brands and how they could be innovatively developed. It is used when an organization considers adding a product to its portfolio and its associated brand name. The two variables for this matrix are Product Category (Existing or New) and Band Category (Existing or New).

New Product - a new product is developed with a series of new brand ideas and meanings to the consumer. Flanker Brand - a new brand is introduced into a category where the organization already has established products. Line Extension - a current brand name is introduced into a category where the organization already has established products. Franchise Extension - a familiar brand is taken to a product category where it is unknown.

Here's an example. Firstly let's recall that Four Branding Alternatives is a strategic tool, so you need to base it upon a very large organisation which is likely to own a number of brands. Examples would include car manufacturers, large IT companies, and conglomerates. You get the idea. An example for the Japanese company, Sony Inc is as follows:

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New Product - Sony enters the market for music downloads under a new sub-branding idea and concept. Flanker Brand - Sony introduces the Sony Vaio laptops (as it indeed has). Line Extension - Sony enter the market for digital HD TV's (as it has). Franchise Extension - Sony enters the market for innovative environmentally friendly small cars that run on solar power.

Exercise - Four Banding Alternatives Banana Computers

Banana Computers is a well-established personal computer (PC) manufacturer. Designers and computer enthusiasts alike prefer the brand and it has a cult following all over the World. Banana is innovative and creative. Your Task Apply the Four Banding Alternatives to the scenario of Banana Computers. How should they progress with their branding strategy?

The Loyalty Ladder. Turning a prospect into an advocate.

The loyalty ladder is a tool for marketing communicators. The idea is that consumers can be moved along a continuum of loyalty using a number of integrated marketing communications techniques (it is also referred to as a branding ladder). Essentially, consumers become loyal to a brand which has meaning to them in relation to a product, service, solution or experience. As with continuums of behaviour such as UACCA - Unawareness, Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action, or AIDA - Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action, the loyalty ladder begins from a point where the consumer has Not Yet Purchased, then he or she buys the product for the first time (Trialist), if the trial has been a success he or she returns to buy again and again (Repeat Purchaser) and finally the consumer buys no other brand (Brand Insistent). At the Not Yet Purchased Stage the consumer is merely a Prospect. As he or she trials they become a Customer. The Repeat Purchaser is a Client since he or she is becoming loyal. Finally, the consumer becomes an Advocate (i.e. activist or campaigner) since he or she is Brand Insistent. At this point the brand is difficult to dislodge since it has so much meaning to the consumer. Great brands such as Nike, BMW and iPod are in this highly desirable position. The marketing manager needs to decide or select integrated marketing communications that move the consumer from Not Yet purchased to Brand Insistent (i.e. from Prospect to Advocate). Once at Brand Insistent, the marketing manager should attempt to keep the level of customer loyalty at this point, again by using integrated marketing communications.

The Loyalty Ladder - Exercise. Farley's Irish Dream
Farley's Irish Dream is a brandy-based liqueur (i.e. a sweet and creamy alcoholic drink) that is popular in most parts of Canada. It is associated with the sports of skiing, bobsleigh and snowboarding. It is most well liked during the months of winter when it is seen as a warming and relaxing treat that is shared with friends and family after participating in winter sports. Farley's has decided to enter the European market, by targeting countries that have regions with a similar climate, and where the brand associations of winter sports can be exploited. Your Task Recommend an integrated marketing communications campaign that will turn Prospects into Advocates in the new European markets.

Personal Selling
Personal selling occurs where an individual salesperson sells a product, service or solution to a client. Salespeople match the benefits of their offering to the specific needs of a client. Today, personal selling involves the development of longstanding client relationships. In comparison to other marketing communications tools such as advertising, personal selling tends to:  Use fewer resources, pricing is often negotiated.  Products tend to be fairly complex (e.g. financial services or new cars).  There is some contact between buyer and seller after the sale so that an ongoing relationship is built.  Client/prospects need specific information.  The purchase tends to involve large sums of money.  There are exceptions of course, but most personal selling takes place in this way. Personal selling involves a selling process that is summarised in the following Five Stage Personal Selling Process. The five stages are: 1. Prospecting. 2. Making first contact. 3. The sales call. 4. Objection handling. 5. Closing the sale.

A Five Stage Personal Selling Process
Stage One - Prospecting.
Prospecting is all about finding prospects, or potential new customers. Prospects should be 'qualified,' which means that they need to be assessed to see if there is business potential, otherwise you could be wasting your time. In order to qualify your prospects, one needs to:  Plan a sales approach focused upon the needs of the customer.  Determine which products or services best meet their needs.  In order to save time, rank the prospects and leave out those that are least likely to buy.

Stage Two - Making First Contact.

This is the preparation that a salesperson goes through before they meet with the client, for example via e-mail, telephone or letter. Preparation will make a call more focused.  Make sure that you are on time.  Before meeting with the client, set some objectives for the sales call. What is the purpose of the call? What outcome is desirable before you leave?  Make sure that you've done some homework before meeting your prospect. This will show that you are committed in the eyes of your customer.  To save time, send some information before you visit. This will wet the prospect's appetite.  Keep a set of samples at hand, and make sure that they are in very good condition.  Within the first minute or two, state the purpose of your call so that time with the client is maximised, and also to demonstrate to the client that your are not wasting his or her time.  Humour is fine, but try to be sincere and friendly.

Stage Three - The Sales Call (or Sales Presentation).
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Stage Four - Objection Handling.

It is best to be enthusiastic about your product or service. If you are not excited about it, don't expect your prospect to be excited. Focus on the real benefits of the product or service to the specific needs of your client, rather than listing endless lists of features. Try to be relaxed during the call, and put your client at ease. Let the client do at least 80% of the talking. This will give you invaluable information on your client's needs. Remember to ask plenty of questions. Use open questions and closed questions i.e. questions that will only give the answer 'yes' or the answer 'no.' This way you can dictate the direction of the conversation. Never be too afraid to ask for the business straight off. Objection handling is the way in which salespeople tackle obstacles put in their way by clients. Some objections may prove too difficult to handle, and sometimes the client may just take a dislike to you (aka the hidden objection). Here are some approaches for overcoming objections: Firstly, try to anticipate them before they arise. 'Yes but' technique allows you to accept the objection and then to divert it. For example, a client may say that they do not like a particular colour, to which the salesperson counters 'Yes but X is also available in many other colours.' Ask 'why' the client feels the way that they do. 'Restate' the objection, and put it back into the client's lap. For example, the client may say, 'I don't like the taste of X,' to which the salesperson responds, 'You don't like the taste of X,' generating the response 'since I do not like garlic' from the client. The salesperson could suggest that X is no longer made with garlic to meet the client's needs. The sales person could also tactfully and respectfully contradict the client.

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Stage Five - Closing the Sale.

This is a very important stage. Often salespeople will leave without ever successfully closing a deal. Therefore it is vital to learn the skills of closing. Just ask for the business! - 'Please may I take an order?' This really works well. Look for buying signals (i.e. body language or comments made by the client that they want to place an order). For example, asking about availability, asking for details such as discounts, or asking for you to go over something again to clarify. Just stop talking, and let the client say 'yes.' Again, this really works. The 'summary close' allows the salesperson to summarise everything that the client needs, based upon the discussions during the call. For example, 'You need product X in blue, by Friday, packaged accordingly, and delivered to your wife's office.' Then ask for the order. The 'alternative close' does not give the client the opportunity to say no, but forces them towards a yes. For example 'Do you want product X in blue or red?' Cheeky, but effective. So this is the Five Stage Personal Selling Process. Now have a go at it yourself by completing the lesson.

Exercise - Personal Selling. Fishbourne Financial Services.

You are the salesperson for Fishbourne Financial Services. You have worked hard recently on prospecting and have a meeting with Mr Boosh, regarding his personal finances. You have sent some information to him prior to your call. You are about to begin your sales call, and your objective is to sell the client a pension scheme Complete the following Tasks: (a) Mr Boosh raises the following objection - 'Your pension scheme seems very expensive' - How would you handle it? [There are 4 ways to handle this objection] (b) You have reached the end of the sales call. How would you close the deal for the pension scheme with Mr Boosh? [There are 3 ways to close this deal]


Advertising is an important element of the marketing communications mix. Put simply, advertising directs a message at large numbers of people with a single communication. It is a mass medium. Advertising has a number of benefits for the advertiser. The advertiser has control over the message. The advert and its message, to an extent, would be designed to the specifications of the advertiser. So the advertiser can focus its message at a huge number of potential consumers in a single hit, at a relatively low cost per head. Advertising is quick relative to other elements of the marketing communications mix (for example personal selling, where an entire sales force would need to be briefed - or even recruited). Therefore an advertiser has the opportunity to communicate with all (or many of) its target audience simultaneously.
Advertising Media Outdoor (Posters or transport) Newspapers (Local and National) Radio New Media - Mobile devices Television New Media Internet websites and search engines Magazines


Others . . .

Planning for advertising
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Advertising agencies and their clients plan for advertising. Any plan should address the following stages: Who is the potential TARGET AUDIENCE of the advert? WHAT do I wish to communicate to this target audience? Why is this message so IMPORTANT to them? What is the BEST MEDIUM for this message to take (see some of the possible media above)? What would be the most appropriate TIMING? What RESOURCES will the advertising campaign need? How do we CONTROL our advertising and monitor success? There are two key categories of advertising, namely 'above-the-line' and 'below-the-line.' The definitions owe a lot to the historical development of advertising agencies and how they charge for their services. In a nutshell, 'above-the-line' is any work done involving media where a commission is taken by an advertising agency, and 'below-the-line' is work done for a client where a standard charge replaces commission. So TV advertising is 'above-the-line' since an agency would book commercial time on behalf of a client, but placing an advert in a series of local newspapers is 'belowthe-line,' because newspapers tend to apply their own costing approach where no commission is taken by the agency i.e. instead the agency charges the client a transparent fee. There are many facets and elements to advertising - too many to be covered in this short lesson. Try some of the other lessons to build your knowledge.

This is a warm up exercise. Consider the table below, 'Advertising Media.' Decide upon a span of time, for example a couple of hours or perhaps a whole day. The idea is to keep a record of the adverts you see in a short span of time. Look at the table below, and record 1, 2 and 3 where you see a any type of advert. Complete the grid below (You may need to print it off).
Advertising Media Outdoor (Posters or transport) 1 2 3 Newspapers (Local and National) 1 2 3 Radio 1 2 3 New Media - Mobile devices New Media Internet websites and search engines 1 2 3 Magazines 1 2 3 Others . . . 1 2 3

Advertising - Exercise

1 2 3 Television 1 2 3 Cinema 1 2 3

Having done this, summarise points below under the following headings:  What kind of products and services did you come across?  Why did the adverts catch your attention?  How were the adverts targeted at you and your segment?  Would you buy this product or service based upon the advert?

Public Relations(PR). Public relations as part of the marketing communications mix. Public Relations

Public Relations (PR) is a single, broad concept. It is broad since it contains so many elements, many of which will be outlined in this lesson. Public Relations (PR) are any purposeful communications between an organisation and its publics that aim to generate goodwill. Publics, put simply, are its stakeholders. PR is proactive and future orientated, and has the goal of building and maintaining a positive perception of an organisation in the mind of its publics. This is often referred to as goodwill. Yes it is difficult to see the difference between marketing communications and PR since there is a lot of crossover. This makes it a tricky concept to learn. Added to this is the fact that PR is often expensive, and not free, as some definitions would have you believe. PR agencies are not cheap. Below are some of the approaches that are often considered under the PR banner.

Interviews and photo-calls.

It is important that company executives are available to generate goodwill for their organisation. Many undertake training in how to deal with the media, and how to behave in front of a camera. There are many key industrial figures that proactively deal with the media in a positive way for example Bill Gates (Microsoft) or Richard Branson (Virgin). Interviews with the business or mass media often allow a company to put its own perspective on matters that could be misleading if simply left to dwell untended the public domain.

Speeches, presentations and speech writing.

Key figures from within an organisation will write speeches to be delivered at corporate events, public awards and industry gatherings. PR company officials in liaison with company managers often write speeches and design corporate presentations. They are part of the planned and coherent strategy to build goodwill with publics. Presentations can be designed and pre-prepared by PR companies, ultimately to be delivered by company executives.

Corporate literature e.g. financial reports.

Corporate literature includes financial reports, in-house magazines, brochures, catalogues, price lists and any other piece of corporate derived literature. They communicate with a variety of publics. For example, financial reports will be of great interest to investors and the stock market, since they give all sorts of indicators of the health of a business. A company Chief Executive Officer CEO will often write the forward to an annual financial report where he or she has the opportunity to put a business case to the reader. This is all part of Public Relations.

Public relations as part of the marketing communications mix.
Organising events.

Corporate events are used to woo publics in both a formal and an informal manner. A formal corporate event could include a manufacturer inviting employees from all of its many distributors to visit its manufacturing plant for a training day. This has a direct business payoff. A more informal event could include a day at the races or a short-break abroad, where clients are wined and dined at the cost of a company, in order to generate goodwill. This has an indirect business payoff.

Facility visits.

Visits to a factory, such as a chocolate factory, or a facility, such as a nuclear power plant also generate a positive perception of an organisation. In the case of a factory visit, loyal customers or other interested parties can experience for themselves what is behind a well-known product. In the case of a nuclear power plant, concerned or misinformed publics have the chance to see for themselves what really occurs behind locked doors. Here the organisation has the chance to deal with a delicate topic in a planned proactive manner. Public buildings such as parliament buildings or churches would be included under facility visits.

Publicity events and 'stunts.'

Publicity events fall under the banner of guerrilla marketing. Here an organisation will take the opportunity to seize upon a particular moment to hijack public attention. Publicity events and stunts are practiced by both companies and private bodies (including pressure and political groups). A famous example of a publicity stunt was one conducted by Fathers For Justice (a British pressure group for divorced fathers), whereby individuals, dressed as Superheroes, invaded Buckingham Palace in London. Sponsorship is where an organisation pays for their product or service to be associated with an activity or event. Organisations commonly sponsor sporting events and such as The Olympics, sporting stars and other celebrities, or medium, for example television programmes. The sponsors gain exposure, and also align their product or service with the attributes of the sport, celebrity or medium. Many companies (often those in profit!) make donations to charities and good causes. When donations are publicised, again the benefits generate goodwill for the organisation. It should be noted here that Microsoft's Bill Gates donates substantial amounts to good causes that are often not reported. This is true corporate philanthropy.

Sponsorship and charitable donations.

Product placement in media.  This is an interesting and original use of PR. There are very many examples in movies and TV programmes that 'place' products. For example, a car manufacturer places a car in a movie and the hero drives it, or wears a watch that is looked at by the villain displaying the time, underscored by the manufacturer's logo. Today, computer games include banners and posters during game-play as the action unfolds. Examples of product placement in games would include field sports with adverts placed alongside a pitch, or car racing games where you pass billboards displayed in a city. Lobbying government bodies.  Lobbying is named after the 'lobby' area of the British Houses of Parliament where traditionally 'lobbying' would have occurred. Lobby in the past would have meant catching the eye of a Member of Parliament, in order to persuade him or her to take up a particular cause or argument. Today, lobbying firms are hired by organisations or individuals with a specific cause to promote. For example, a charity could lobby for a change in laws regarding pharmaceuticals or armaments. The charity would hire a lobbying firm to promote their cause with elected politicians. Press or media releases, conferences, contact and entertainment.  Press or media releases, conferences, contact and entertainment are pivotal Public Relations strategies. In the past, the press were the original target (e.g. newspapers and magazines) but today the whole media industry forms the target (i.e. radio, websites, TV, New Media and so on). Media releases are drafted by a PR company, for example, to report financial information prior to the release of company reports.

Public relations as part of the marketing communications mix.

Media conferences are called often at short notice to inform the media directly on a current event that has just happened, or that is about to happen. Media contact includes interviews with key personnel, and could include speeches, presentations and speech writing by the PR company. Finally entertaining the press, or media, is undertaken when trying to gain as much media space as possible. This could be for a product launch or to promote an acquisition.

Advertorials in newspapers, magazines or on websites.

Advertorials are paid for advertisements that are designed to appear like copy (i.e. normal reported text). Many countries insist that advertorials do contain a line of text to explain that they are sponsored or placed by an advertiser. Advertorials are often used to imply that some ground breaking treatment or solution has been uncovered.

Corporate promotional materials, websites, in-house magazines and customer magazines.

The market for promotional materials is large. Promotional materials include items such as pens, balloons, mouse mats, and so on. They tend to carry a company's logo and contact details, and are another way to promote goodwill between and organisation and its publics. Websites are a vital marketing communications and public relations tool that can convey information to publics on how to contact an organisation, key personnel, products and services, corporate history, and financial reports, as well as any other targeted and planned information. In-house magazines are used for internal marketing, communication and change management from within the organisation. In-house magazines are targeted at internal publics. Conversely, customer magazines help organisations to communicate with external publics (mainly customers) on all sorts of topics such as good news stories, product launches, customer clubs and many other subjects.

What is an advertising agency? The Client Agency Relationship.

An advertising agency handles part or all marketing communications activities on behalf of a client organization. The agencies themselves tend to vary in size from small, perhaps a handful of people, to vast - where many thousands of employees make up the company. A commission is generally taken by the agency which tends to be taken from the media purchases of the client organisation. This is done rather like a theatrical agent would take a percentage of the income of an actor for whom employment had been found. The agency may also take payment from the media owners (i.e. sometimes take a discount and do not pass it on to the client). More transparent means of payment are becoming more popular, with some agencies being paid-byresults. There are many types of agency, but it is generally accepted that the main ones are include full-service agency, a la carte agency, or specialist agency. A full-service agency will take on the whole project or campaign. An a la carte agency will offer some aspects of a campaign such as media buying, rather like buying items from a menu. A specialist agency tends to be small and more focused on a specific aspect of marketing communications and/or a specific market such as Internet Marketing.

A Full-Service Agency will offer:
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Account management. Creative. Media. Traffic and production. Account planning. Account management.

Account managers work for an agency with the client (an agency's customers are called 'clients'). Very often they will spend a lot of time with the client working as part of their marketing team. This is one way in which an agency works closely with its client and why the 'chemistry' between a client and its agency needs to be right. The account manager makes sure that the correct information is passed from the client to the other members of the agency. He or she is a co-ordinator and time manager. The account planner will work on a brief that is fed back to the agency team.

Creative Team

The first internal agency team members to see the brief tend to be the creatives and the media planners. The brief contains a 'proposition' that the client wishes to communicate to the target audience. The creative team will transform the proposition into something exciting and attractive to the target audience. The creative team decide upon the 'creative concept.' This will be a motivational idea. The words used to express the creative concept are called 'copy.' The images, pictures and diagrams are created i.e. the 'design' or 'layout.' This is done by 'designers' and 'copywriters.' Beware some creatives! Creatives tend to be artistic and innovative. Hence their advice should be highly regarded and any criticism should be constructive.

Traffic and Production Team.

The traffic and media team are in charge of the production of the physical and artistic output, i.e. the marketing communication. In the case of a TV advert, they would commission scripts, recruit a ctors (mainly via agents), film crews and supporting activities (such as costumes and catering). All ads are different and so the specifics will vary. In the case of print advertising, the traffic and production team would commission and sign-off all printed advertising material such as direct marketing materials, magazine ads or posters.

Account Planning Team.

The account planning team work on the 'customer's' perspective, and take an outward look at the world. They support the creative teams by supplying data and opinion on what I actually occurring in the marketing in which advertising is to be placed. They tend to use secondary data to support decisions, and would rarely commission original research. However, with material supplied my organisations such as Mori, Datamonitor, ACORN, and other - the account planning team can build an image of segments to help the creatives.

Media Team.

The media team will organise the timing and scheduling of the marketing communications campaign. They will look at the range of media to be exploited, and then look at the best slots in which to run advertising. They will help a client to decide upon the duration of and individual slot, and how many of them to run. Here the expense and return to the client are key factors that influence decision-making. The two main skills of the media team are media planning and media buying. Today there is a wealth of data on which media buying can be based. There is software for planning and simulation.

Direct Marketing. What is Direct Marketing?
Direct marketing is a channel free approach to distribution and/or marketing communications. So a company may have a strategy of dealing with its customers 'directly,' for example banks (such as CityBank) or computer manufacturers (such as Dell). There are no channel intermediaries i.e. distributors, retailers or wholesalers. Therefore - 'direct' in the sense that the deal is done directly between the manufacturer and the customer. As mentioned above, 'direct' also in the sense that marketing communications are targeted at consumers by the manufacturers. For example, a brand that uses channels of distribution would target marketing communications at wholesalers/distributors, retailers, and consumers, or a blend of all three. On the other hand, a direct marketing company could focus upon communicating directly with its customers. Direct marketing and direct mail are often confused - although direct mail is a direct marketing tool. There are a number of direct marketing media other than direct mail. These include (and are by no means limited to):  Inserts in newspapers and magazines.  Customer care lines.  Catalogues.  Coupons.  Door drops.  TV and radio adverts with free phone numbers or per-minute-charging.  . . . and finally - and most importantly - The Internet and New Media.

The Internet and New Media (e.g. mobile phones or PDA's) are perfect for direct marketing. Consumers have never had so many sources of supply, and suppliers have never had access to so many markets. There is even room for niche marketers - for example Scottish salmon could ordered online, packed and chilled, and sent to customers in any part of the world by courier. Many companies use direct marketing, and a current example of its use, as part of a business model, is the way in which it is used by low-cost airlines. There is no intermediary or agent, customers book tickets directly with the airlines over The Internet. Airlines capture data that can be used for marketing research or a loyalty scheme. Information can be processed quickly, and then categorised into complex relational databases. Then, for example, special offers or new flights destinations can be communicated directly to customers using e-mail campaigns. Data is not only collected on markets and segments, but also on individuals and their individual buyer behaviour. Companies such as Amazon are wholesalers of books (i.e. they do not write or publish them) - so they use Customer Relationship Management and marketing communications targeted directly at individual customers - which is another, slightly different example of direct marketing.

Sales Promotion. What is sales promotion?
Sales promotion is any initiative undertaken by an organisation to promote an increase in sales, usage or trial of a product or service (i.e. initiatives that are not covered by the other elements of the marketing communications or promotions mix). Sales promotions are varied. Often they are original and creative, and hence a comprehensive list of all available techniques is virtually impossible (since original sales promotions are launched daily!). Here are some examples of popular sales promotions activities: (a) Buy-One-Get-One-Free (BOGOF) - which is an example of a self-liquidating promotion. For example if a loaf of bread is priced at $1, and cost 10 cents to manufacture, if you sell two for $1, you are still in profit - especially if there is a corresponding increase in sales. This is known as a PREMIUM sales promotion tactic. (b) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) incentives such as bonus points or money off coupons. There are many examples of CRM, from banks to supermarkets. (c) New media - Websites and mobile phones that support a sales promotion. For example, in the United Kingdom, Nestle printed individual codes on KIT-KAT packaging, whereby a consumer would enter the code into a dynamic website to see if they had won a prize. Consumers could also text codes via their mobile phones to the same effect. (d) Merchandising additions such as dump bins, point-of-sale materials and product demonstrations.

(e) Free gifts e.g. Subway gave away a card with six spaces for stickers with each sandwich purchase. Once the card was full the consumer was given a free sandwich. (f) Discounted prices e.g. Budget airline such as EasyJet and Ryanair, email their customers with the latest low-price deals once new flights are released, or additional destinations are announced. (g) Joint promotions between brands owned by a company, or with another company's brands. For example fast food restaurants often run sales promotions where toys, relating to a specific movie release, are given away with promoted meals. (h) Free samples (aka. sampling) e.g. tasting of food and drink at sampling points in supermarkets. For example Red Bull (a caffeinated fizzy drink) was given away to potential consumers at supermarkets, in high streets and at petrol stations (by a promotions team). (i) Vouchers and coupons, often seen in newspapers and magazines, on packs. (j) Competitions and prize draws, in newspapers, magazines, on the TV and radio, on The Internet, and on packs. (k) Cause-related and fair-trade products that raise money for charities, and the less well off farmers and producers, are becoming more popular. (l) Finance deals - for example, 0% finance over 3 years on selected vehicles. Many of the examples above are focused upon consumers. Don't forget that promotions can be aimed at wholesales and distributors as well. These are known as Trade Sales Promotions. Examples here might include joint promotions between a manufacturer and a distributor, sales promotion leaflets and other materials (such as T-shirts), and incentives for distributor sales people and their retail clients.

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