Discuss the elements of the promotional mix and their role in the marketing mix?
More often the promotional mix is referred to as the marketing mix, whereas this is not the right thing, for promotion itself is one ‘P’ from the marketing mix. Here it needs to be clear that the marketing mix as a whole forms the bases of marketing and one part of it is the promotional mix. In the promotional mix are different heads which make up the mix. Among those are Advertising, Sales Promotion, Public Relations, Personal Selling and Direct Marketing (written as the fifth part of the promotional mix in some texts).
The Promotional Mix: The promotional mix as stated earlier is a mix of 4 heads, which form the actual mix, in some cases promotional mix is also referred to as the communication mix, because if you read clearly, and try to grasp the idea behind the promotional mix, it is actually a company’s idea of communicating about its product/ services to the customers or the general public. The following are the heads that come under promotional mix:
Advertising: Stated as the paid promotion of a product or service by a known source, for a large number of customer base. Advertising comes in two forms; Print and electronic. Print advertising is also differentiated into different print types, to start with lets begin with the most simple and easy to see one, that is the paper print advertising, this includes newspaper advertisements, magazines, and pamphlets.
The advertisements that appear on the newspapers and the magazines are a bit costly as they cater to a very large group of people. Moreover the pamphlets are also costly but they are distributed ion a fixed number of people therefore the costs are high, whereas the outcome may also vary. In the other range of print advertisements are the billboards that are setup on prime locations for a fixed number of days, the ‘air space’ of the billboard is rented and usually the costs are really very high.
The other form of advertising is electronic advertising, which includes the TVC (television commercials) and the radio commercials, in all the radio commercials are the cheapest form of adverting as compared to the print and the TVC, because the radio only caters to a specific range of people who at different times tune into these radio stations also these people may switch to other radio stations when they feel bored or whenever advertisements come up.
The last and the most effective way to reach through advertisements is the TVC, these high cost commercials that take up the advertising expense of a company, these also have ranges and the viewer-ship of a particular channel also sets the price level of that channel’s advertisement rates. As far as research has shown the advertisements on TV are the most effective as they are far reaching and can also be very direct for people of different sorts. Sales Promotion:
The sales promotion is at times mixed with advertising but this isn’t so, as advertising takes into account only mediums like paper or electronic, advertising cannot be live or in other words in front of your eyes, that is where the sales promotion comes in, when a person is seen selling some item at a kiosk that is especially set-up for the promotion of that product people see it as marketing tactic or simply advertising, but this isn’t advertising, this is sales promotion, this way people come in front to sell the product and make the product familiar with the market, providing information with the product and before the product is sold, therefore selling and promoting the product at the same time. This sort of promotion is suitable if you have placed the product in a place where you know that your target audience can come easily and that they will find it easy to reach there.
And that they are going to listen to what you have to say, for if they don’t do that, you might sell the product but you might not have the chance to promote the product which will induce the next sale idea into the mind of the customer. Personal Selling: When a person is making sales, he/she is not only selling the product that he is supposed to sell, he is also selling himself with the product. Now the question arises, why would anyone want to sell himself with the product, doesn’t it sound absurd? Yes it does because personal selling is not the physical selling of a person, its when a person makes the other person (customer) so comfortable with him that the customer not only listens to what he has to say but also believes him and does what he tells him to do, that is in the end persuade the customer so much so that he actually ends up buying the product.
This has to be bore in mind that sometimes the salesperson has to identify the personality traits of different people as some might not like the idea of another person telling them what to do, therefore he must be polite and know what to say an when to say it , and to whom to say it to. Public Relations: Whenever a company tries to address a problem that exists in the society and that doest actually have a direct link to its product or services, it is actually creating rapport, what does that mean? Well this means that the company is merely trying to create goodwill with the general public so that the people begin to trust the organization as a whole and not just the products.
This trust is actually the first step for any organization to get a hold of the target audience, for when somebody trusts a person he trusts everything the person says or does, in exactly the same way when a company creates goodwill in the market the people in general and the target market in particular begin to trust the company and this leads them to trust the products that are being offered by the company as well, which eventually creates sales for the company and generates profits for them. Direct Marketing: This is the fifth part of promotional mix, it is more like sales promotion but in some texts it is referred to as the fifth head of promotional mix.
It deals with every way that the company comes into contact with the customer, and directly offers the products to the customer, this is done normally in big malls when companies set up small kiosks to inform and educate the general public about their role in the society and what their product is all about. Conclusion: All in all the promotional mix is actually a means for the company to communicate to the general public or their target audience. This process not only deals with the company but also its sales people who actually form the level of trust with the customer in the end. It should also be noted here that alone the promotional mix does have an importance to it but it cannot survive in isolation, therefore going about with the rest of the marketing tools and processes is also as important as the promotional mix.
1. Kotler , Philip , & Armstrong, Gary (2007). Principles of Marketing,.Prentice Hall; 12 edition.