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Promotion is one of the main elements of a companys marketing

mix. The marketer must know how to use advertising, sales
promotion, public relations and personal selling to communicate to
targeted customers the existence of a product or service and
convey messages relating to brand identity and customer values.
The main objectives of promotion are as follows:
support the organisations overall marketing objectives;
to demonstrate the features and benefits & value of an offering
over the competitors;
to create a demand for the product/service or brand;
to reinforce the brand and encourage repeat purchase
to increase awareness and goodwill toward and organisation
generally; and
increase the level of support offered by retailers.


The marketer need to carefully coordinate all
elements of the promotional mix to ensure that a
consistent message is delivered to the target
The main elements of the promotional mix are
advertising, public relations, sales promotion and
personal selling.
The most effective choice of elements vary with the
specific goals of the firm, the product or service,
the target market and the nature of the
organisation itself particularly its resources and

Deciding on the Marketing

Communications Mix
The Promotional tools
General Qualities:
Public presentation
Amplified expressiveness

Sales Promotion

Public Relations and Publicity

Distinctive qualities:
High credibility
Ability to catch buyers off guard

Personal Selling
Distinctive qualities:
Personal confrontation

Direct Marketing

Distinctive qualities:


The most effective promotional tools are :

A. Advertising

According to the institute of Practitioners in Advertising

(IPA) UK, Advertising is the means of providing the most
persuasive possible selling message to the right prospects
at the lowest possible cost.
In simple words, Advertising is the use of paid media to
communicate persuasive information about ideas, products
or services by an identified sponsor. This could include
advertising to promote a product such as Coca-Cola or
could include public interest messages to encourage better
health outcomes through the adoption of quit smoking
The main benefit of advertising is its high reach. Its main
limitation is the difficulty in measuring its effectiveness and
the impersonal nature of the message.
Types of advertising include television, magazine,


1 Creates awareness, interest and desire for products and services in
customers to buy them.
2 Cost effective as advertisements can reach vast number of
audiences simultaneously.
3 Message can be repeated several times, thereby creating an impact
on the mind of a customer.
4 Advertising the product in a certain way can add to its value. For
instance, TATA introduced Nano and to differentiate it TATA developed
an Ad campaign highlighting its compactness and low price.
5 It helps in boosting the sales of a company.
6 It helps in reducing the post purchase dissonance, if any
7 Helps in changing the customers perception of a product.
8 It supports the activities of the distribution network of the firm by
creating demand and encouraging purchase through pull strategy.
9 Helps in offsetting the competitors advertisement.
10 Helps in building a strong image of a product or a brand, apart
from increasing its sales.

An advertising campaign involves developing a series of advertisements and
targeting them at the potential customers through different media like broadcast
and print media.
The key steps to creating an advertising campaign :
Understanding the market environment
Regularly scanning the marketing environment and undertaking a situational
analysis to determine the organisations current position (including the
effectiveness of any existing campaigns).
Knowing the target market/ audience
A thorough knowledge of the target market is essential before deciding on an
advertising campaign. A target audience is a market segment to which a marketer
wants to communicate a product or brand message. Advertising can be targeted
towards mass markets or towards niche markets.
Setting advertising objectives
According to Russel H. Colley, The objective of an advertising campaign is to
achieve a specific communication task for a specific target audience during a
specified period of time.
The objectives should be laid down in clear, precise and measurable terms so that
the marketer can evaluate whether it has been accomplished by the end of the
campaign. Advertising objectives could include the aim to increase sales but could
also be to inform, persuade, remind or reinforce a message.

Developing the Advertising message

The key message needs to be linked to the target market and the
objectives of the advertising campaign. A successful advertising
message should be Meaningful, Distinctive, and Believable.

Allocate resources/ set the advertising budget.

The organisation needs to establish what is felt to be an appropriate
budget for the campaign as well as to allocate human resources to its
development. When determining a budget it may be necessary to
consider the stage of the product/service in the PLC, the market share,
competitive advertising levels, advertising frequency and the need to
establish and maintain product differentiation.

Selecting advertising media

There are a large number of different forms of media available for use
including newspapers, TV, radio, direct mail, magazines, outdoor
display advertising, newsletters, brochures and the internet. The cost
varies dramatically between each media as well as its advantages and
disadvantages. Marketers need to consider reach and frequency.

Produce the advertisement

The initial step is the development of content. The advertisement
should aim to grab the potential customers attention, establish a need or
want in the customers mind, highlight the features and benefits of the
product and encourage a customer response (e.g. purchase).
Place the advertisement
This involves buying and placement of media space and ensuring
sufficient human resources are dedicated to the campaign.

Evaluate campaign effectiveness

Evaluating advertising results is a critical step as it allows us to
determine whether the advertising objectives have been achieved in
creating awareness, knowledge or changes in preferences. As many
factors can shape the effectiveness of advertising, advertisers go to great
trouble to attempt to measure the effectiveness of their advertising. For
example, a common method where the objective is to increase brand
awareness involves comparing awareness levels before and after the
advertising campaign.

B Personal selling
Selling is an activity that we all do whether we are consciously aware of it or not. If
you are being interviewed for a job, you sell yourself by trying to persuade the
interviewer that you are the best person for the job. When you start the new job,
you need to sell your ideas to your boss or convince them that you deserve the

Personal selling is one of the most important elements of the promotional mix and
a critical activity in marketing management.
There are three main reasons why personal selling is so important.
1. As it involves direct communication between a sales representative and a
prospective customer, the organisation through the sales rep can respond
immediately to the needs of the sales prospect.
2. Unlike other forms of marketing communications, personal selling allows for
immediate customer feedback. This ensures that a company has timely information
regarding customers needs, wants and satisfaction.
3. Also unlike other forms of marketing communications, it is possible to directly
trace the effectiveness of the sales call - the sales call will either result in a sale or
it will not!

The main limitation of personal selling is its high cost. Due to this it is used more
frequently in business-to-business markets; with complex products (satellite or
cable TV); and in transactions involving trade-ins (motor vehicles).


The process involves gathering information about potential
customers (prospecting), identifying customer needs, presenting
products or services that meet these needs, leverage any concerns
or objections with further information, close the sale and follow up at
an appropriate time(s) e.g. post delivery.

Note: Students often view personal selling negatively and associate

it with the annoying and intrusive telephone calls we all receive from
telemarketers trying to promote or sell something to us over the
phone. While this is a form of personal selling it is only one area.
Personal selling is very commonly used in B2B transactions and is
extremely important in many technical and specialist fields where
detailed information about the product or service is required. For
example, a hospital about to buy a new form of heart monitoring
equipment would likely welcome a representative to come out and
demonstrate the product, highlight all its features and benefits as
well as provide advice on any additional after sales service features.

Elements of the Personal Selling Process

No two salespersons use exactly the same sales method, but it is generally
a seven step process:

1 Prospecting and Evaluating

Seek names of prospects through sales records, referrals etc., also

responses to advertisements. Need to evaluate if the person is able (for ex.
: Undergraduate degree to attend a graduate program), willing and
authorized to buy.
Blind prospecting-rely on phone directory etc.

2 Preapproach (Preparing)

Review key decision makers esp. for business to business, but also family
assess credit histories
prepare sales presentations
identify product needs.
Helps present the presentation to meet the prospects needs.

3 Approaching the Customer

Manner in which the sales person contacts the potential customer. First
impression of the sales person is Lasting and therefore important.
Strive to develop a relationship rather than just push the product.
Can be based on referrals, cold calling or repeat contact.

4 Making the Presentation

Need to attract and hold the prospects Attention to stimulate Interest and
stir up Desire in the product so the potential customer takes the
appropriate Action. AIDA
Try to get the prospect to touch, hold or try the product.
Must be able to change the presentation to meet the prospect needs.

5 Overcoming Objections

Seek out objections and address them.

Anticipate and counter them before the prospect can raise them.
Try to avoid bringing up objections that the prospect would not have raised.
Price objection is the most common
Need to provide customers with reasons for the $s, build up the value
before price is mentioned
Must be convinced of price in own mind before you can sell to customer.
Get budget info. on buyer before you try to sell, and must know what they
want, must sell service on top of product augmented product--to create
Must know value of product, provide warranties etc.!!

6 Closing
Ask prospect to buy product/products. Use trial closes, IE ask about
financial terms, preferred method of delivery.
20% sales people generally close 80% sales., Avon, over 1/2 US $1.4
bn business from 17% of 415,000 SRs.
Need to be prepared to close at any time. The following are popular
closing techniques:
Trial Close (Minor decision close)
Assumptive close (Implied consent close)
Urgency close
Ask for the sale close
If prospect says no, they may just need more reasons to buy!!
7 Following Up
Must follow up sale, determine if the order was delivered on time, installation
OK etc. Also helps determine the prospects future needs. Accomplishes four
customer gain short term satisfaction
referrals are stimulated
in the long run, repurchase
prevent cognitive dissonance


( continued)
B. Public relations (PR)
PR involves a variety of programs designed to promote or protect a
companys image or one of its individual products through the free
placement of stories in newspapers, radio and TV. The benefit of public
relations is, it appears more credible. However the company has no
control over the message and this can result in negative publicity.

The main functions performed by PR are briefly listed below. Note that
both profit-based and non-profit based organisations including
governments use PR extensively.
Press relations designed to present information about the organisation
in the most positive light. E.g. press releases and press conferences.
Product publicity free coverage in the media. E.g. commonly seen
when a new medical treatment is shown on TV.

Corporate communications - promoting understanding of the
organisation with all stakeholders. E.g. annual reports,
Lobbying dealing with governments to influence government
policy decisions.
Sponsorship paid association with an event or a person.
Charitable donations or acts E.g. donations to breast cancer
Crisis management develop a crisis management plan.
Common events are product quality problems (e.g. when Arnotts
Biscuits received an extortion demand threatening to poison
biscuits in retail stores unless money was paid); or problems with
celebrity spokesperson (Shane Warne, the famous Australian
cricketer is a prominent example due to his capacity to constantly
get into trouble and embarrass sponsors!).

PR assists in the following tasks:

Assisting in the launch of new products
Assisting in repositioning a mature
Building interest in a product category
Influencing specific target groups
Defending products that have
encountered public problems
Building the corporate image in a way
that reflects favorably on its products

Major Tools in PR
Publications: Companies rely extensively on published materials to
and influence their target markets. These include annual reports, brochures,
articles, company newsletters and magazines, and audiovisual materials
Events: Companies can draw attention to new products or other
activities by arranging special events like news conferences, seminars,
outings, trade shows, exhibits, contests and competitions, and anniversaries
that will reach the target publics.
Sponsorships: Companies can promote their brands and corporate name
by sponsoring sport and cultural events and highly regarded causes.
News: One of the major tasks of PR professionals is to find or create
favorable news about the company, its products, and its people, and get the
media to accept press releases and attend press conferences

C. Sales promotion
Sales promotions are the use of incentives to induce customers (these
customers can include wholesaler, retailers or consumers) to buy a product and
encourage the sales force to aggressively sell it. The incentive is in addition to
the basic benefits already provided by the brand or product. The aim, of
course, is to change on a temporary basis the perceived value of the product.
The main benefit of a sales promotion is to stimulate demand (particularly in
low demand periods). The main limitation is that they can lose effectiveness
and become expected (eg consumers may wait for the end of season sales).
Sales promotion expenditures now exceed advertising expenditures and are
growing at a faster rate.

Sales promotion includes tools include:
consumer promotions: free samples, premium offers (eg bonus products),
coupons, prizes or contests, extended warranties, discounts, rebates, point of
purchase promotions and event sponsorship;
trade promotions: sales contests, trade allowances, advertising allowances,
cooperative advertising, bonus free goods and gifts, dealer listings; and

Additional forms of

additional forms of promotion to the traditional four identified above. These include sponsorship,
ambush marketing, product placement and guerrilla marketing.

Ambush marketing occurs when firms manage to present marketing messages at events
sponsored by other businesses. Tactics include staff members attending events and holding up
banners or messages or competitions associated with events that the organisation is not officially

Product placement involves the placement of products in movies or TV series. An example of this
occurred in the US drama NCIS where the characters frequently consumed Starbucks coffee.

Guerilla marketing describes aggressive and unconventional marketing approaches commonly
used by small businesses with limited budgets.

Viral marketing involves the use of email and social networking sites to spread a marketing
message. Examples include emailing of funny advertising videos from person to person; becoming
a fan of a product on Facebook, and recommending URLs to friends. As Elliott et al. point out, if
successful viral marketing can reach millions of people very quickly (2010, p. 324). Reading 10.1
(Bloom, 2009) illustrates how pervasive social marketing sites have become as a communication
medium amongst the youth.

Chapter 12 of Elliott et al. (2010) provides comprehensive coverage of electronic marketing
including electronic promotional media such as banners, pop-ups, spam, viral marketing, websites,
portals and SMS.

Push vs Pull strategies

Strategies that are targeted directly toward end customers or end
users are pull strategies. These involve advertising, publicity,
public relations, sponsorship, product placement and ambush
marketing. In response to this type of promotion, the product is
pulled by the consumer through the distribution channels. Pull
strategies are more often used with consumer goods.

Push strategies tend to be aimed at partners in the distribution
chain and involve the organisation pushing the product toward a
potential buyer through direct contact. Examples of push
strategies include personal selling and point of sale promotions.
Push strategies are more frequently used with business to
business marketing.