Good communication is everything
The Marketing Communications Mix or Promotion Mix integrates one, many or all of the following techniques: public relations; publicity; sales promotions; rebates; advertising specialties; POP displays; slotting fees; trade promotions; institutional and corporate advertising; advocacy advertising; affordable method; percentage-of-sales method; CPM, competitive-parity method; objective and task approach; USP; AIDA; selectivity; reach; frequency and copy testing; cause-related marketing; product placement; pay-per-click advertising and click fraud.
The promotion mix, also known as marketing communication mix includes publicity, sales promotion, advertising, direct marketing and personal selling.
Integrated Marketing Communications
Integrated Marketing Communications is a communication strategy under which an organization attempts to use all of the promotion tools it has available to present a unified, consistent, clear, and coherent image/message to customers.
Corporate firms have to communicate with various publics, their customers, employees, stockholders, potential investors, channel members, governments, and the general public. It is important for a corporate firm to have a solid reputation and a positive image. A company that is thought of as unethical will not only have trouble finding employees and investors, but might also attract unwelcome government interest.
Many companies are raising money for charity. One key benefit to the firm is enhancing its reputation. Also, consumers, especially those who are under 30, will buy brands that are helping improve the world. Teenagers claim that they are more likely to buy products that support charitable causes.
Do not confuse cause-related marketing with social marketing.
Social marketing is usually done without the assistance of businesses. The purpose may be to help society or groups by using marketing tools. It may take the form of trying to get people to do something positive and /or avoiding something that are negative. It is not meant to benefit any companies so you generally do not have the mutually beneficial relationship.
Publicity (Public Relations)
Publicity, as a tool used in public relations, is non-personal communication, that is typically in the form of a news story, which is transmitted through the mass media. The purpose of such publicity is to draw favorable attention to a company and/or its products without having to pay the media for it.
The way it often works is as follows: a company sends a press release, often with a video tape, to the media with the hope that it is newsworthy enough to be mentioned in the mass media.
The advantage of publicity, besides the fact that it is free, is that it tends to be more credible than advertising. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that the media will find the story newsworthy. Also, they might change the press release around so that it does not help the organization in any way.
Sales Promotions are inducements or gimmicks whose purpose is to encourage the purchase of a product/service immediately. Unlike advertising, where the objective is usually to influence long-term buying behavior, sales promotions are concerned with the short-term.
A problem with promotions is that they sometimes cause consumers to focus more on the promotion than the product. In fact, sometimes consumers are not at all loyal to the product but are attracted to the coupon, gift, or rebate.
Some examples of sales promotions aimed at consumers: coupons; free samples ; refunds and rebates ; demonstrations ; premiums ; contests; sweepstakes ; advertising specialties ; point-of-purchase displays ; shows; exhibits for consumers ; special events ; frequent-shopper gifts.
Mail-in rebates are the major cause of customer complaints. There are a huge number of complaints about rebates; customers tend to lose them or the required receipts or, are late in sending them back. Indeed, 40% of rebates never get redeemed.
Advertising specialties are a good way for a company to increase awareness of its name, phone number, and or brands. It can be a way to keep the company’s name or logo in front of the customer for hours every day (e.g., on a mouse pad, mug, or pen).
Point of purchase displays
Point of purchase displays or POP displays, are important to marketers since the best time to influence customers is when they have the money and are ready to make a purchase, i.e., when they are in the store. A good POP display attracts attention. POP displays include signs, displays, cardboard cutouts, and posters. Today, digital signs are used in stores at the checkout counter to influence shoppers.
Retail Marketing is persuasive.
Serving as the last three feet of the marketing plan, P-O-P advertising is the only mass medium executed at the critical point where products, consumers and the money to purchase the product all meet at the same time. It is no coincidence that with 74 percent of all purchase decisions in mass merchandisers made in store, an increasing number of brand marketers and retailers invest in this medium.
Retail Marketing serves as the silent salesman.
P-O-P signage and in-store media educate and draw attention to consumers about a product’s availability and attributes. Coming at a time when most consumers want more information, and retailers have reduced staffing levels, Retail Marketing performs a vital service and augments cost-reduction efforts.
Retail Marketing is flexible.
It is the only mass advertising medium that can convey the same overall strategic message in differing languages to varying audiences in the same village, city or region.
P-O-P Advertising is increasingly sophisticated in its construction and utilization. Today’s P-O-P displays are easily assembled, maintained and, at the same time, more powerful in entertaining and informing in the retail environment. Retail Marketing is increasingly used by retailers to enhance the shopping experience of the customer. P-O-P is used to help overhaul a store’s image, re-direct store traffic and bolster merchandising plans.
Trade Promotions, aimed at wholesalers and retailers, include advertising; allowances ; display allowances ; slotting fees (payment for shelf space) ; trade shows ; sales contests ; free merchandise ; training ; cooperative promotions (manufacturer pays part of the expense of advertising or giving away caps with names of manufacturer and retailer).