Marketing Communication mix has eight main modes of communication by which companies inform, remind and persuade customers about the products and brands which they sell
Deciding on the Marketing Communication Mix
Firms should assign the marketing communication mix budget on eight communication modes that are: advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, interactive marketing, sales force, word- of- mouth marketing, public relations and publicity, and events and experiences. Companies differ in their marketing communication mix even within the same industry. For example, companies such as Samsung and LG spend their budget on advertising whereas Eureka Forbes does door-door selling with the help of sales team. Firms are always switching from one communication tool to another to gain efficiency.
Characteristics of Marketing Communication Mix
Each and every marketing communication mix tool has its own cost and characteristics
Advertising: It targets customers that are dispersed geographically. If Big Bazaar posts an ad for a sale, it triggers instant sales. Some forms of advertising need a large budget, for example, Television and some forms such as newspaper do not require a large budget. Even the very small presence of advertising can do wonders for the product sale. It depends on the advertising objectives how an ad is made to fulfill that objective of the advertiser. It has the following characteristics
- The advertiser has the power of choosing communication should focus on which aspects of brand and products.
- Advertising provides opportunities for showcasing the products and brand with the help of sound, color and printing effects
- It helps the advertiser to repeat a single message several times. It helps buyers in comparing messages of various competitors. If a company does a large scale advertising it depicts the positive image of the company.
Sales Promotion: Firms use various tools for sales promotion such as coupons, contests and much more. These tools attract customers and they show a quick response in purchasing various items. Sales Promotions have various benefits which are explained below
- It helps companies in getting customers who are ready for instant transactions
- These tools attract customers to the products
- It gives value to the customer by some discounts, concessions etc
Events and Experiences: There are many advantages for events and experiences if they have the following characteristics
- They are highly relevant as the customers are themselves involved in the outcome
- Customers enjoy live and real-time quality as events and experiences are much engaging
- Events are an indirect soft sell
- The messages can be prepared and targeted to individual customers
- A message can be made quickly
- The message can be altered as per the customer’s response
Public Relations and Publicity: Marketers usually underuse public relations. A well-coordinated program with a combination of other marketing communication mix elements can do wonders for a company. They have the following qualities
- Public relations helps a company to tell a story behind a product, brand or company
- News items are more credible for users than advertisements
- Public relations can reach to customers easily who do not believe in advertisements and targeted promotions
Personal Selling: It is effective at the later stages of customers’ buying process that helps in building users’ perception, conviction, and action. It has the following qualities associated with them
- The consumers are given personal choices and are also encouraged to respond directly
- It helps in building personal friendship with the consumers
- It helps to create an interactive session between 2 parties in which each party is able to see other’s reaction
Word-of-Mouth Marketing: It can take place both online and offline. It has various characteristics which are as follows
- It can be a close dialogue that reflects person’s individual experiences and opinions about a product
- It is very influential because people trust those who they know and respect
- It occurs when customers want it to happen and they are interested in doing that.
The above of all elements of the marketing communication mix are used by companies for selling their products.
Factors to be considered while Setting the Marketing Communication Mix
Companies should keep in mind these all factors while deciding their marketing communication mix: buyer’s readiness to make a purchase, product market’s type, and, the stage in product life cycle
Type of Product Market: How companies allocate their marketing communication mix differs in business and consumer markets. As an example, consumer marketers spends a lot more on advertising and sales promotion, unlike business marketers who spend on personal selling. Marketers in business markets rely heavily on personal sales but advertising also does a lot for these markets. Benefits which advertising gives to business markets include: introduce the company and its products, new features of the existing product can be explained by advertising, it can help customers in reminding how to use the product and much more. Looking at these advertising benefits one can say that advertising if combined with personal selling can increase sales for business markets over personal selling alone. In the same way, personal selling can do wonders in the consumer markets. Benefits which personal selling gives to consumer markets: salesmen can influence retailers to order more stock and allocate more shelf space to company’s products, they can help in signing more dealers, they can take care of company’s accounts.
Consumer Readiness Stage: Which marketing communication mix element is used depends on the cost-effectiveness at stages of buyer readiness. In the first stage which is awareness building- advertising and publicity play the most important role. Personal Selling and advertising affect the second stage which is comprehension. The third stage conviction is influenced by personal selling. The fourth stage ordering/ closing the sale is mostly influenced by sales promotion and personal selling. Reordering, the last stage is affected by personal selling, sales promotion, and reminder advertising.
Product Life Cycle Stage: The choice of marketing communication mix element depends upon product’s life cycle stage. In the first stage – Introduction, publicity, advertising, and events and experiences provide the highest cost effectiveness, personal selling helps to gain larger distribution coverage and direct marketing and personal selling help to achieve product trial. In the second stage- growth, a huge demand has been created by interactive marketing and word of mouth. Personal selling, advertising, and events and experiences play the most important role in maturity stage. In the final stage- decline, sales promotion are very strong, other marketing communication mix tools are reduced, and salesmen give only minimal attention to the product.