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Marketing Mix | The 4Ps > Best Practices > Promotion Mix | Marketing Communications Mix

Promotion Mix | Marketing Communications Mix
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
The term Promotion Mix (PM), also called Marketing Communications Mix, must not be confused with the Marketing Mix (4 Ps). In fact, the Promotion Mix breaks down one of the 4 Ps: Promotion.
The PM can be defined as the specific blend of promotion tools that a company uses to engage prospects and customers, persuasively communicating customer value, and developing customer relationships.
It’s important that a company not only creates but also communicates its value propositions to its prospects and customers in a planned and clear way to create and develop profitable customer relationships. This is what promotion and the PM are all about.
The PM consists of a blend of 5 variables that a marketer can control:
  1. ADVERTISING: Any paid form of (non-personal) communication and marketing used to convince or persuade viewers, readers or listeners about the benefits of certain products, services, a company or even ideas.
  2. SALES PROMOTION: Short-term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service. Examples: discounts, demonstrations, contests, coupons, displays.
  3. SALES (PERSONAL SELLING): Personal interactions with and presentations to prospects and customers by a company’s sales force in order to make sales and develop customer relationships. Typical sales tools are sales presentations, trade shows, and incentive programs.
  4. PUBLIC RELATIONS. Note that PR is somewhat special among the 5 variables in that it, besides its promotional function towards customers, also aims at building good relations with various other parties, such as: investors, the media (press), and the government (lobbying).
  5. DIRECT MARKETING and DIGITAL (INTERNET, MOBILE) MARKETING: Addressing commercial messages towards targeted individual consumers to obtain an immediate response and/or develop customer relationships.

Note that coordinating / managing these 5 variables is just one major part of the entire marketing strategy and communication efforts, which also need to integrate the other 3 Ps: Product, Price and Place. And three more in the case of services: People, Process and Physical Evidence (see: Extended Marketing Mix).
This makes Integrated Marketing Communications such a complex, demanding yet interesting field.
Source: G. Armstrong and P. Kotler (2015) "Marketing: An Introduction"

Promotional Mix Includes PR
zacharia mwendwa, Student (Other), Member
I like the way Jonge brought PR into the promotional mix, even if it does not only promote the product, but also connects the company to the public which makes PR more important than the other 4 elements.
If every organization wisely uses PR effectively, the product will also help to build the image of the organization.

Another Perspective on Integrated Marketing Communication
Gandhi Heryanto, Management Consultant, Indonesia, Premium Member
The Journal of Integrated Marketing Communication describes IMC as, "a customer-centric, data-driven method of communicating with customers". According to the JIMC, "IMC - the management of all organized communications to build positive relationships with customers and other stakeholders - stresses marketing to the individual by understanding needs, motivations, attitudes and behavior."
Being customer-centric begins with knowing your customer. A data-driven Integrated Marketing Communication approach is based on research and analysis to help you better understand your customers and how and why they buy. Where do your customers live? What are their goals and preoccupations? What are the best ways of reaching them and what message will be most impactful?
Source: Blog: Sales and marketing for you.

Measuring the Promotion Efforts
Andrew Blaine, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
To be successful, any marketing/promotional initiative needs to ask (and answer) the following questions:
1. What do I want to say?
2. To whom do I wish to say it?
3. What is the most appropriate manner in which to deliver my message? And
4. How do I measure the response to my message?
The last question is probably the most important. Too many initiatives are misdirected, misconstrued and not measured. The net result is likely to lead to throwing good money after bad ideas and could, in extreme circumstances, damage the fundamental core business?

The Essence of Integrated Marketing Communication
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
@Gandhi Heryanto: Thanks for sharing this perspective of the Journal of Integrated Marketing Communication, apparently describing IMC as "a customer-centric, data-driven method of communicating with customers".
In my opinion, such perspective has several flaws:
  • Of course, "customer-centric…", and "…data-driven…" are very important, but they are not essential to define the concept of Integrated Marketing Communication. Even without being customer-centric or data-driven, a marketer could still integrate all marketing communications. Even if these 2 things are currently 'hot' due to the possibilities of new technologies.
  • "…of communicating with customers": Although integrated marketing communication is perhaps aimed primarily at customers, its not only aimed at them.
  • So what I believe is more important in the term "Integrated Marketing Communication" is the aspect of INTEGRATION, meaning that a company needs to meticulously align and coordinate its many communication channels to deliver a crisp, consistent, and compelling message about the organization, its brand, its products and services to its customers and other stakeholders.

Powerful Customer Interaction at the basis of the Promotion Mix
Fidorra, Manager, Germany, Member
From my experience, one of the most powerful customer interaction options are expert workshops. It’s all about understanding customer’s strategic focus and unmet needs / challenges properly.
Targeting at jointly creating ideas for new and innovative projects => open-innovation workshops proved to be very successful. One of the key success factors is the organization of a professional follow-up supported by management commitment and allocation of sufficient project resources from both partners.
Targeting at identifying joint growth opportunities with more focus on available solution offerings => I recommend Strategy-Alignment or Cooperation Workshops with diverse expert-teams from both partners.
Important for both: Preparation with selection of "fields of mutual interests" and concept briefings of both partners’ management, professional facilitation and a well-organized follow-up.
Integration of these in the Focus Customer Concept is key.

Engagement Gearing
Helen Strong, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
There is absolutely no doubt that different types of communication and promotions must work together to build awareness and attract consumers to interact with a company. (See also the model "Engagement Cogs").
Astute marketers will first understand the target market’s needs. They will frame their message and talk their language.
In today's world social media will be an essential component of FMCG communications. However a combination of branding elements and traditional media is also required to consistently drive consumers to the organisation's electronic presence.
Importantly marketers should also build in a system of monitoring to establish where and how their target market learns about their products… That lets them establish the optimal media combination that will result in loyal users.

Understand the Profile of the Customers First
jorge anibal hoyos hoyos, Manager, Colombia, Member
Not only the customers’ needs but their entire profiles, that is their finance situation, organization, positioning, reputation, etc. is important to define how we should apply the promotion and marketing mix.
The Promotion Mix and Marketing Mix are weapons to have an inside track into the customer and the market. Every case must be revisited all the time to adjust the mix not only to the customer actions but also to the competitors. While always envisaging a long term dominant positioning.

Tools in the Promotion Mix can be Treated Separately too
Jafeth Quintanilla, Teacher, Peru, Member
I believe that the five tools of the promotion mix are very important even if you work with only one of them. You do not necessarily have to take all five. The key is to design each tool correctly and make it properly customer-oriented.

Sales Promotion Through Exhibitions
vijay, Manager, India, Member
Historically, exhibitions have been one of the major channels for sales promotion for industrial products. There is a trend of declining customer visits to exhibitions due to the following reasons:
1. Decision makers have little time to visit exhibitions shows.
2. There are too many shows each year.
3. Lack of innovation resulting is same products display.
4. Gap between customers requirements and product features.

Through internet marketing, customers have access to product knowledge in advance and they prefer to visit exhibitions only to see new products or new technology. Therefore these need to be displayed aggressively to attract the customers.

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