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Elements of Promotion Mix


Promotion is coordination of all seller initiated efforts to setup channels of information and presentation to sell goods and services or to sell an idea or promote an idea.

The organization’s communication with the market takes place with a carefully planned and controlled promotional program.

Promotion mix is a dynamic concept and need to be reviewed from time to time. Necessary modification and improvement should be made in promotion mix in view of the changes in the environment of business.


Each component or elements of promotion i.e., Advertising, Personal Selling, Sales Promotion, Publicity, Public Relations, Direct Marketing and Internet Marketing  are medium of communication in the field of marketing management.

All these components of the promotion mix must be combined properly to develop an integrated marketing Communication System for customers to have a clean and distinct image of the retailer.

Some of the elements of promotion mix are:-

1. Advertising 2. Personal Selling 3. Sales Promotion 4. Publicity 5. Public Relations 6. Direct Marketing 7. Internet Marketing 8. Direct Mail 9. Trade Fairs and Exhibitions 10. Sponsorship.

Elements of Promotion Mix: Advertising, Personal Selling, Sales Promotion, Publicity, Public Relation and a Few Others

Elements of Promotion Mix – 4 Important Elements of Promotion Mix (With Examples, Merits and Limitations)

Promotion mix refers to various promotional tools or selling techniques used by a marketer to communicate with the target customers.


The various elements of promotion mix are:

1. Advertising

2. Personal Selling


3. Sales Promotion

4. Publicity

A business organisation may use one or a combination of all the tools to promote their products.

The use of promotional tools depends on factors viz.:

(a) Nature of product

(b) Type of target customers

(c) Promotions budget

(d) Objectives of promotion etc.



(i) A company advertising its products in leading newspapers may simultaneously use sales promotion by organising doctors’ meet to introduce their product line, appoint sales representative to visit individual doctors as part of selling techniques.

(ii) A company manufacturing industrial products may use direct or personal selling techniques.

(iii) A company introducing a new flavour of chips may use sales promotion like distributing free packets in malls, cinemas etc. combined with large scale publicity.

Let us now study in detail the various elements of promotional mix:

Element # 1. Advertising:


Advertising is an impersonal form of communication which is paid for by the marketers to promote their goods and services. It is the most commonly used element of promotional mix.

The distinguishing features of advertising are:

(i) Paid Form – Cost of advertising has to be borne by the marketer or the sponsors, thus it is a paid form of communication.

(ii) Impersonality – There is no face-to-face contact between the advertiser i.e., the seller and the prospect i.e., the target customer. It creates a monologue, therefore, referred as an impersonal method of promotion.


(iii) Identified Sponsor – Advertising is undertaken by an individual or a company who makes advertising efforts and bears the cost involved. The most common advertising means are- newspapers; magazines; television; radio; banners; pamphlets; hoardings etc.

Some Definitions of Advertising:

“If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language in which they think.” –David Ogilvy

“We find that advertising works the way the grass grows. You can never see it, but every week you have to move the lawn.” –Andy Travis

Merits of Advertising:

Advertising as a medium of communication provides the following benefits:


(i) Mass Reach – It helps business to reach a large number of potential customers spread over a wide geographical area.

For example, advertising in a leading newspaper will reach all the readers across the country.

(ii) Enhancing Customer Satisfaction – It creates confidence amongst potential customers about the quality and features of products hence they feel satisfied while purchasing the product.

(iii) Expressiveness – Use of computers, artistic designs and graphics make advertising a forceful medium of communication. It makes even simple products look attractive and thus persuade potential consumers to become customers.

(iv) Economy – It is the most economical way to communicate with a large number of potential customers spread over a wide geographical area.

(v) Legitimacy – Advertising involves giving a message publicly thus it creates confidence amongst the customers that the information provided is true.


Limitations of Advertising:

Advertising facilitates business to reach to large number of customers but due to its impersonal nature it suffers from following limitations:

(i) Less forceful – Since advertising is impersonal, there is no direct communication between marketer and the potential customer. The marketer may give a satisfactory message but there is no compulsion on the prospective customers to pay attention.

(ii) Lack of Feedback – In the absence of immediate and accurate feedback mechanism, it is difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the message delivered through advertisement.

(iii) Inflexibility – The message delivered through advertisement is standardised thus lacks flexibility. It cannot be customised to meet requirements of specific customer groups.

(iv) Low effectiveness – The advertising message reaches a large number of people, hence it is difficult to ensure that the message is heard by potential customers. This adversely affects the effectiveness of the advertisement.


Objections to Advertising:

As discussed in the above section, despite the fact that advertising is an impersonal promotional technique yet it is the most frequently used medium of promoting goods and services. Advertising is a useful expenditure as it increases the reach, brings down the unit cost of production and adds to the growth of the economy. However, the opponents of advertising say that expenditure on advertising is a social waste as it adds to the cost, multiplies the needs of people and undermines social values.

In order to understand to what extent the opponents are correct we need to analyse the points of criticism.

Argument for Advertising:

1. Adds to Cost – Advertising increases the cost of product which is ultimately transferred to the consumer in the form of increased prices.

2. Undermines Social Values – It undermines social values and promotes materialism. The advertisements about new products breeds’ discontent among people who cannot afford to purchase the same. The lifestyles shown in advertisements may not be appropriate as per our culture and may not get social approval entire.


3. Confuses the Buyers – There are too many manufacturers producing similar products. They all use advertisement as a medium to promote their products. As a result, buyers are exposed to too many brands offering products with similar features and claims. This creates confusion in buyer’s mind and makes buying decision difficult.

4. Encourages Sale of Inferior Products – Advertisements do not distinguish between inferior and superior products. They adopt all means to persuade buyers to buy the products even if they are of inferior quality. The buyers get attracted by advertisements and take buying decisions.

5. Some Advertisements are in Bad Taste – Some advertisements may show things which society may not approve.

Argument against Advertising:

1. Adds to Cost – Advertisements do involve huge cost but at the same time it approaches large number of potential customers, creates product awareness and persuade them to buy the product. This helps to increase demand. The increased volume of sales leads to increased production and ultimately brings in economies of scale. As a result, the per unit cost reduces in the long run.

2. Undermines Social Values – Advertisements spread awareness about technological changes in new products and help consumers to use products which satisfy their needs or wants more effectively. This motivates people to work harder and improve their standard of living. Also, advertisements act as a source of spreading information, the ultimate decision to buy lies with consumer.

3. Confuses the Buyers – Advertisement of similar products under different brands gives buyers the chance to compare the price, size, quality, style etc. and take an informed decision. In fact, advertisements help buyers to analyse and take rationale decision.

4. Encourages Sale of Inferior Products – The quality of product is a relative term and buyers decide to purchase products depending on their economic status and preferences. However companies should not make false claims about the quality of a product as they can be challenged in consumer forums.

5. Some Advertisements are in Bad Taste – Not all advertisements use unacceptable norms in fact many advertisements are educative and informative. Moreover, advertising agencies are guided by rules and regulations.

From the above comparison ‘for’ and ‘against’ advertisement as a medium of promotion we can conclude as follows:

Some firms may misuse advertising to promote their products but the same can be controlled by enforcing law or developing a code of conduct by association of advertisers for self-regulation. To conclude, advertising is not a social waste rather it adds to the social cause by communicating with target customers and persuading them to buy products. It gives a boost to production and generates employment.

Element # 2. Personal Selling:

Personal selling involves oral presentation of message in the form of conversation with one or more prospective customers for the purpose of making sales. Most business firms appoint salespersons to develop personal communication with target customers to create product awareness and develop product preferences to make sales. It is a paid form of communication.

Features of Personal Selling:

(i) Personal Form – It is a direct face-to-face dialogue between the seller and the buyer.

(ii) Development of Relationship – The direct interaction with the buyer helps salesperson to develop personal relationship which is important for making a sale.

(iii) Paid form – Cost of personal selling has to be borne by the marketers.

Some definitions of personal selling:

‘Most people think ‘selling’ is the same as ‘talking’. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.’ –Roy Bartell

‘You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.’ –Patricia Fripp

Merits of Personal Selling:

Personal Selling has the following advantages:

(i) Flexibility – The direct interaction with the buyer enables the salesperson to present products in accordance to the specific needs of the buyer.

(ii) Direct Feedback – Face-to-face communication facilitates direct feedback from the customer and thus helps the salesperson to adapt the changes as required by the customer.

(iii) Minimum wastage – The contact with target customers is made after their interest in the product. This minimises the wastage of selling efforts.

Element # 3. Sales Promotion:

Sales promotion refers to the promotional activities designed to encourage customers to make immediate purchase of goods or services. These activities include the incentives viz. sales contest, free gifts, cash discounts, free samples etc.

Sales promotion usually supports other promotional activities like advertising, personal selling, publicity etc. to increase sales in the short run. Every company designs sales promotion activities specific to customers, tradesmen, middlemen or dealers and sales person.

Examples of Sales Promotion:

i. For customers – Free samples, cash discounts, contests etc.

ii. For middlemen – Cooperative advertising, dealer discount, dealer incentives or schemes etc.

iii. For salesperson – Bonus, incentive or commission on sales, appreciation awards, free holidays, contests etc.

Merits of Sales Promotion:

Sales promotion has the following advantages:

(i) Attention Value – Sales promotion activities attract attention of the people because incentives are related with sales.

(ii) Useful in New Product Launch – The sales promotional activities induce customers to break away from their regular buying behaviour and try new products. Thus, sales promotion tools help to introduce new products.

(iii) Synergy in Total Promotional Efforts – Sales promotional activities supplement the other promotional tools like advertising, personal selling etc. to make the overall promotional efforts of the firm effective.

Limitations of Sales Promotion:

Sales promotion activities help to make sealer promotional tools effective but there are certain limitations as well.

(i) Reflects Crisis – Frequent sales promotional activities may give an impression to customers that the firm is unable to create natural demand for its products or there are not too many takers for the product. It may send a message that the company is clearing stocks.

(ii) Spoils Product Image – Too many promotional activities may affect the product’s image. Customers’ may feel that the product may not be of good quality or the company may be trying for distress sale.

Commonly Used Sales Promotion Activities:

Now-a-days most business firms use sales promotion activities not only to introduce or launch new products but also to increase sales of existing products or have an edge over competitors.

Some of the commonly used sales promotion activities are:

(i) Rebates – Rebates means offering products at special price to clear off excess inventory.

For example, at the end of the year most car manufacturers offer reduction in prices to clear the stock.

(ii) Discounts – Discount means offering products at a price less than the list price.

For example, Reebok may offer discounts upto 50% during end of season sale.

(iii) Refunds – Some firms may refund part of price paid by the consumer against some proof of purchase.

For example, Sweet chocolate offered to refund if customers returned 4 empty wrappers of their milk chocolates.

(iv) Product Combinations – It refers to offering two or more products in a combination for a single price.

For example, a customer may buy a combination of blood glucose meter and blood pressure monitor for a price of Rs.1500 or a combination of Led television with DVD player.

(v) Quantity Gift – It refers to offering extra quantity of the product. It is the most commonly used offer for consumers’ products.

For example, 20% extra rice; buy one get one free; for a two night holiday get third night free.

(vi) Instant Draws and Assigned Gift – Customers participate in some contest or there may be assigned gifts for purchase of specific product or specific amount.

For example, ‘scratch a card’ and instantly get the prize mentioned on the card or buy a refrigerator and get sterilizer free or shop for Rs.10,000 and get 10% off on the bill.

(vii) Lucky Draw – Some companies offer lucky draw where customers have a chance to win prizes.

For example, buy Lux soap and win a chance to meet Sharukh Khan or buy Thumps up and win a trip to Singapore.

(viii) Usable Benefit – Companies offer usable benefits like shop for Rs.50,000 and get a holiday package worth Rs.8,000 free or purchase apparel for Rs.10,000 and get a voucher of Rs.1,000 for accessories.

(ix) Full Finance – Many marketers offer 100% financing for durable goods, where customers have the option of paying in easy monthly instalments at 0% interest.

(x) Sampling – Many marketers offer free samples to customers to test the product quality or develop liking for the product. This is commonly used to launch products.

For example, company before launching a new flavour for chips may offer free samples to potential or target customers to take their feedback or develop taste for new flavour of chips.

(xi) Contests – Many organisations conduct contests like beauty contest or a quiz where customers may participate and win prizes.

Element # 4. Publicity:

Publicity refers to spreading information about the products or services of a company by unidentified sponsors which is usually ‘media’.

It is an impersonal form of communication.

It is non-paid form of communication. It does not involve any direct expenditure by the marketing firm.

It can be good publicity or bad publicity. When favourable news is spread in the mass media about a product or service, it is called as positive or good publicity and if media informs negative points of a product it is considered to be bad publicity.

The reviews written by customers over the internet about specific products, companies or their experiences is the latest publicity tool.

Advantages of Publicity:

i. It is in the form of news rather than direct sales communication. It can be heard by even those people who may not be otherwise interested in referring to advertisements before buying a product.

ii. There is no identified sponsor or marketer as the news is usually spread by media thus considered to be more authentic.

iii. Positive publicity builds image or reputation of the organisation and builds confidence amongst customers.

Disadvantages of Publicity:

i. It is not under the control of marketer therefore the news spread may be biased.

ii. It may publicise achievements of an organisation thus may not actively promote its products.

iii. Negative publicity adversely affects the image of an organisation, as a result customers may not trust the product quality.

Elements of Promotion Mix – 5 Elements of Promotion Mix

The five elements of Promotion Mix are:

i. Personal Selling

ii. Advertising

iii. Sales Promotion

iv. Public Relation

v. Publicity.

All the above elements should be judiciously mixed in order to attain maximum benefits of each promotion programmed and obtain optimum promotion result. There is need to select a mix of at least two or more than two elements of promotion mix. A single element of promotion mix will not deliver the benefit effectively. In terms of impact and cost, two most important prevalent elements are personal selling and advertising. These are two important wings of promotion.

Personal selling is an important ingredient in most promotional programs and it is commonly supported by advertising. Thus, in order to achieve good result in market, proper advertisement and selection of advertising media is needed. An effective and suitable promotion mix alone will be able to create a desire in the minds of customers to prefer and select a product in the market. As such importance of optimum promotion mix can hardly be overemphasized.

At times, promotion is not possible just with personal selling and advertising and it requires public relations and sales promotion. A marketing manager has to study the advantages and limitations of each promotion programme, adopt the best one and mix it with the second best one.

When promotional funds are adequate to optimize a promotional blend, a firm should continue to promote until the marginal promotional rupee cost is equal to the marginal revenue received from promotion. Also, the firm should set up its promotional mix so that the cost per message received by audience divided by cost of promotional tool is the same for all tools in the Mix.

Elements of Promotion Mix – 4 Main Elements of Promotion Mix

Communication-mix assists the managers in order to enforce the marketing strategy effectively. This promotion-mix is a concept of transmitting information to the targeted markets and to make suitable to the product proposed for sale, the dealings with the middlemen and the consumer.

William J. Stanton has said – “Promotion-mix, personal selling, advertisement, sales promotion and other promotional devices are such a perfect combination of strategy that helps in arriving at the targeted sales programme.”

In the components or factors of a marketing communication mix, the personal selling, sales promotion, advertisement and public relations are mainly included.

The main components of communication-mix are as under:

Element # 1. Personal Selling:

The buyers and sellers negotiate juxtapose under personal selling, It facilitates the mutual reactions of the buyers on the product and it enables to know and to transact the information. It is most effective factor for the sale promotion. It provides an elastic and two-way communication.

Personal selling has been considered more useful for the sale of industrial products but this factor plays a particular role in the sale of consumer products covered under large publicity. The main limitation or defect of this factor is that it is more expensive. About 55% of the total promotional expenses is incurred on personal selling.

Element # 2. Advertising:

Advertising conveys the message relating to sale to a large group of buyers who are spread throughout the country. Advertisement is one way communication system. It endeavours to modify the structures of contemporary culture. It is in itself a future philosophy.

Thus, advertisement is a mighty component of communication-mix. It influences the level of public choice, amends the concept of the best human life and influences, changes and controls the life-styles of buyers/consumers in the form of an institution for social control.

Element # 3. Sales Promotion:

Sales promotion is a branch of communication-mix. Irrespective of being separate from the advertisement, personal selling and public relations coordinates, integrates and supports the activities of advertisement and personal selling.

Promotions can be divided in two parts:

i. Consumer Promotion – The samples, coupons, premium, price reduction, proposals for refund of price competitions, exhibitions etc., are included with it.

ii. Trade Promotions – Free sample, purchase allowances, commercial sales competition, commercial allowances, cooperative advertisement etc., are included with it.

Element # 4. Public Relations or Publicity:

The commercial institutions and companies should establish. Public Relations Department under this factor and the buyers, employees’ unions’ society, government and the group of suppliers should be impressed and changed.

In order to influence the public outlook and bring their certain changes; the sellers should take help of newspapers, essays in magazines, advertisement and the personal contacts. Not only the public will be informed of regarding newly produced products but this will also win the confidence of public.

Elements of Promotion Mix – 5 Major Elements of Promotion Mix

Major elements of Promotion Mix are:

1. Advertising

2. Sales promotion

3. Public relations

4. Personal selling

5. Direct marketing.

1. Advertising:

“Any paid form of non-personal communication of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor in the “prime media” – i.e., television, newspapers, magazines, billboard posters, radio, cinema, etc. – ‘The American Marketing Association’.

Advertising is intended to attract and to inform.

The three basic aspects of advertising are:

(a) Message (what you want your communication to say),

(b) Medium (how you get your message across) and

(c) Target audience (whom to communicate).

2. Personal Selling:

“Any paid form of personal communication of ideas, goods and services by any representatives of the organization.” – ‘The American Marketing Association’

Face to face communication with potential buyers of a product with the intention of making a sale. The personal selling may focus initially on developing a relationship with the potential buyer, but will always ultimately end with an attempt to “close the sale”.

3. Sales Promotion:

“Any paid form of short-term communication of ideas, goods and services by offering some incentives to encourage the sales.” – ‘The American Marketing Association’

A variety of short-term incentives to encourage trial or purchase of the product. Providing incentives to customers or to the distribution channel to stimulate demand for a product.

4. Public Relation:

“Any non-paid form of non-personal communication intended to create a positive image of the organization through involvement in social welfare activities.” – ‘The American Marketing Association’

It is an indirect communication about the product, brand or business by placing information about it in the media without paying for the time or media space directly but by getting involved in some social activities or by sponsoring some events. Otherwise known as “public relations” or PR.

5. Director Marketing:

“Any paid form of personal and long-term communication of ideas, goods and services using direct communication platform such as – emails, newsletters, etc.” – ‘The American Marketing Association’

Direct marketing uses direct approaches to connect and communicate with the specific customers and prospects using emails, mails, business letters, telephone, and fax etc. It helps the marketer to create a dialogue with the customer for immediate and quick response.


The main objective of marketing communication is to exchange the information about the product and organization with the help of promotion in order to create awareness amongst the customers and all other stakeholders. Thus promotion plays an important role in marketing communication and is considered as one of the most important components of the marketing communication.

Elements of Promotion Mix – Top 4 Elements

By ‘Promotional Mix’ is meant the combination, types and amounts of different forms of promotion used by a marketer.

Promotion mix or media/methods of promotion comprise- personal selling, advertisement, sales promotion and publicity. In terms of impact and cost, the two most important and prevalent media are the personal selling and advertising. Personal selling is an important ingredient in most promotional programmes and it is commonly supported by advertising.

Element # 1. Personal Selling:

The American Marketing Association defines personal selling as: oral presentation in a conversation with one or more prospective purchasers for the purpose of making sales.

The hallmark of personal selling is interaction between marketer and the customer. Personal selling is both the most efficient and the most costly promotional method. It gives marketers a chance to adapt to flowing selling situation. Second a personal relationship can develop between a customer and a sales person that gives the sales person a better understanding.

Third it allows a customer to get extra details about the product or services. Finally, it is very intensive mean of promotion. But where appeal to mass market is needed, this method is very inefficient.

Personal selling, according to D. Scott is more useful:

1. When the company is small or has insufficient funds with which to carry on an advertising programme,

2. When the market is concentrated or

3. When the personality of the sales man is needed to establish support or create confidence; or

4. When the product has higher unit value and requires demonstration; or

5. Where it must be fitted to the individual customer needs, as in the case of insurance or securities or

6. Where customers goods are to be sold, such as high fashion clothing or which involves a trade in.

Element # 2. Advertising:

It is a non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, good or services by an identified sponsor. It is an inter personal method of communicating messages regarding products or services from an identified source to a particular segment of the consumers market or prospective buyers. The means of communication used vary from outdoor media, which may be purely visual (such as newspapers and magazine space) or broadcast media, such as radio; or a combined visual and annual media such as television.

It usually consists of besides magazines and newspapers, direct mail (catalogue or brochures), motion pictures, novelties (calendars, ball point pens) radio and television (both local and network), signs, and posters, car cards (printed advertisements appearing on buses taxies and railway compartments).

The basic goals of advertising are:

1. To sell products and services

2. To create favourable images of products and firms and

3. To allow firm to compete successfully

In most of the cases, it is designed to encourage repeat purchases.

Advertising is designed to catch the attention of large group of customers rather than individuals. Because of low cost per message, its is highly useful for developing initial products awareness or acceptance which makes the final selling job becomes easier. When the large number of prospects one to the contacted, or a special reduction sale done or announce a new credit policy, advertising work best.

Element # 3. Sales Promotion:

It has been defined as “those marketing activities, other than personal selling, advertising and publicity that stimulates consumer purchasing and dealers effectiveness such as displays, shows and demonstrations etc.

Sales promotion activities are non-personal and usually non-recurring in nature and are directive to ultimate consumers, individual users and middlemen.

The basis goals of sales promotion are:

1. To Introduce New Products – To induce buyers to purchase a new product, free samples may be distributed or money or merchandise allowance may be offered to business to stock and sell the product.

2. To Attract New Customers – New customers may be attracted through issue of free sample, contests and similar device.

3. To Induce Present Customer to Buy More – Present customers may be induced to buy more by knowing more about a product, its ingredients and uses.

4. To help Firm Remain Competitive – Sales promotion may be undertaken meet competition form a firm.

5. To Increase Sales in off Seasons – Buyers may be encouraged to use the product in off seasons by showing them the variety of uses of the product.

6. To Increase inventories of Business Buyers – Middlemen may be induced to keep in stock more units of product, so that more sales can be effected. Sales promotion thus is the marketing device to stimulate or restimulate demand for a product.

Element # 4. Publicity:

It is also called marketing public relations. Publicity is not paid for by the organisation. Publicity comes from news, reporters, and journalist people. It comes to the receiver as the truth rather than as a commercial. Public relations and publicity taken together became the fourth major ingredient of promotion mix. These activities are, however not controllable, by the firm. Every firm tries to create good public relations so as to get good publicity.

Defective products, unfair trade practices, anti-social activities often result in unfavourable publicity, consumer protests, government regulations and so on. The firm having a poor public image will have lower sales and lower profits. Reducing the impact of bad news is as important as creating good publicity.

Under the social marketing concept, publicity and public relations are assuming unique importance in the firm’s promotion mix. Consumerism is altering consumer attitudes not only towards products, but also towards the firm and dealers selling the products of the firm.

Element # 5. Public Relations:

Public relations have not become an important marketing function. The total process of building goodwill towards a business enterprise and securing a bright public image of the company is called public relations. It creates a favourable atmosphere for conducting business.

There are four groups of public:

(i) Customers

(ii) Share holders

(iii) Employees

(iv) The community.

The marketer should have the best possible relation with these groups. Public relations complement advertising by creating product and service credibility. Effective marketing communication is not possible without establishing and maintaining mutual understanding between the company and its customers. The lubricant making the wheel of marketing run smoothly is public relations. Bright image is created and maintained only by public relations.

Elements of Promotion Mix

Each element of the promotion mix has a different way for the orga­nization to communicate with its customers:

1. Advertising – Nonpersonal promotional com­munication about goods, services, or ideas that is paid for by the firm identified in the communication.

2. Sales promotion – A set of nonpersonal com­munication tools designed to stimulate quicker and more frequent purchases of a product.

3. Personal selling – The two-way flow of per­sonal communication between a salesperson and a customer that is paid for by the firm and seeks to influence the customer’s pur­chase decision.

4. Public relations – Communication focused on promoting positive relations between a firm and its stakeholders.

Historically, the four elements of the promotion mix were handled by self- contained areas within an organization, with very little attention paid to how the elements fit together. The advertising department would plan and implement advertising messages without coordinating with the sales force, which might be focusing on a different message during customer visits.

Today, firms work to inte­grate the four elements so that the contribution from the whole promotion mix exceeds the sum of the individual elements.

Elements of Promotion Mix – 7 Important Elements

Let us look at the individual components of the promotions mix in more detail. All of the elements are ‘integrated’ to form a specific communication campaign.

Element # 1. Personal Selling:

It is one of the oldest method of selling, used in an era where communicating to mass was expensive and unattractive. Till today, many companies such as Eureka Forbes use personal selling and often salesmen are found in car showrooms. Personal Selling is an effective way to manage personal customer relationships. The salesperson acts on behalf of the organization. The salesperson tends to be well trained in the approaches and techniques of personal selling.

Element # 2. Sales Promotion:

Sales promotion stimulates purchasing and sales with the objectives to increase sales, inform prospective customers about new product and new offers. This also includes the idea of establishing a strong positive relationship with the consumers. So, each sales promotion should be carefully planned and compared with the next best alternative.

Sales promotion strategies are offered to price sensitive segments of the society. Every offer released in the market can trigger other strategies by competitors. Cost-benefit analysis is imperative. In the process of offering something free to the consumer, the company should not stand to lose.

Here are a few examples listed:

i. Buy One Get One Free.

ii. Providing coupons – this reduces the price on subsequent purchase

iii. Money-off promotions- offering discounts on the quoted MRP Competitions [asking the consumers to write in one hundred words or in one sentence as to why they like a particular brand of toothpaste or snacks etc.]

iv. Free accessories (such as free blades with a new razor),

v. Introductory offers (such as buy digital TV and get free installation) or 25% extra for the same price [popular with FMCGs like packed snacks such as potato chips, detergents etc.] and so on.

A strategy once announced cannot be withdrawn; else, it can lead to adverse results to the company in terms of brand image. Therefore, tremendous planning is required to have successful sales promotion activities. Monitoring the program closely helps collect feedback on the effectiveness of the program and also hints at future possibilities of similar programs. Feedback is important, as, sometimes, consumers perceive certain offers otherwise leading to negative word of mouth.

Element # 3. Public Relations (PR):

Public Relations helps an organization to influence a target audience. It is a deliberate, planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organization and its publics. Companies give news releases to announce newsworthy developments such as launch of a new product, mergers, achievements, new distribution channels, facilities, profit statements. It is relatively economical.

Element # 4. Direct Mail:

Direct mail is not for mass of people; rather it is for a class of people. It is focused upon a targeted segment. Two forms of direct marketing prevail in market one is by rinted mail or by e-mail. It is a one-way communication from a company to prospective customers about bulletins, inquiries and product promotions.

The process start with making a database of such customers and in bulk forwarding of the mail. For example, if you are marketing medical text books, you would use a database of doctors or a list derived from a medical college consisting of medical students’ names as the basis of your mail list.

Element # 5. Trade Fairs and Exhibitions:

Such approaches are very good for making new contacts and renewing old ones. Companies will seldom sell much at such events. The purpose is to increase awareness and to encourage trial. They offer the opportunity for companies to meet both the trade and the consumer.

Element # 6. Advertising:

Advertising is a paid form of non-personal communication. It is one of the best forms of promotion, it reaches the mass and with the influence of technology it reaches in a customized way. Some of the positive gains of advertising are that it helps in creating positive attitudes, awareness, and transmit information so that the one the advertiser can get a feedback from the target market.

Advertising ‘media’ are of many types, such as newspapers (local, national, free, trade), magazines and journals, television (local, national, terrestrial, satellite) cinema and outdoor advertising (posters, bus side boarding).

Element # 7. Sponsorship:

Sponsorship means that an organization is paying to be associated or linked with a specific event, cause or image. Companies often sponsor sports events, such as the Olympics or Formula One or tennis tournaments etc. The attributes or the nature of the event are then associated or linked with the sponsoring organization where the organization reflects the character of the event say a tyre company sponsoring formula one race.

The advantage of such an activity can be to create awareness or gain more customers. Events which go with the image of the brand should be chosen. This will help to reach out to the target audience, as they will participate in such events or shows. The elements of the promotional mix are then integrated to form a unique, but, coherent campaign.

Elements of Promotion Mix – 4 Major Ingredients of Promotion Mix of any Organisation

The promotion mix of any organisation includes four major ingredients/elements.

They are:

1. Advertising:

The American Marketing Association has defined advertising as “Any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services by an identified sponsor”. Advertising is impersonal salesmanship for mass selling. It is a means of mass communication. It is salesmanship in print. It is an extremely attractive medium for the larger customer base.

The purpose of advertising may also be to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful. Advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through “branding,” which involves associating a product name or image with certain qualities in the minds of consumers.

2. Publicity:

Publicity is non-personal stimulation of demand for a product, service or a business unit by placing commercially significant news about it in a publication or obtaining favourable presentation of it upon radio, television, or stage that is not paid for by the sponsor. It is the deliberate attempt to manage the public’s perception of a subject. Publicity is the act of attracting the media attention and gaining visibility with the public. In short it is giving out news and information about your product or services to prospective customers.

3. Personal Selling:

In personal selling, people are used to sell products by way of face to face meeting with customers. In personal selling, a personal presentation of the product or service is made to the potential prospect by the sales person. Personal selling is the best means of verbal, face-to-face communication and presentation with the prospect for the purpose of making sales. There may be one or more prospects in the personal conversation. All presentations may not result in sales but this process will give rise to sales with some customers.

4. Sales Promotion:

Sales promotion covers those marketing activities other than advertising, publicity and personal selling that stimulate consumer purchasing and dealer effectiveness. It includes various incentives and offers that encourage people to buy the product or service. Sales promotion activities also include displays, shows, exhibitions, demonstrations, and many other non-routine selling efforts at the point of purchase. Sales promotion tries to complement the other elements of promotion. Sales promotions can be directed at the customer, sales staff, or distribution channel members (such as retailers).

All the elements of the promotion mix together play the important role of communication channels between the marketer (the sender of the message) and the consumer (the receiver of the message).

Promotion as an element of the marketing mix has three broad objectives:

a. Information

b. Persuading

c. Reminding.

The overall objective of promotion is to influence the buyer behaviour and predispositions (needs, attitudes, goals, beliefs, values and preferences) positively towards the products and services offered.

Elements of Promotion Mix – 4 Elements which Make Up the Promotional Mix

Most service marketers have access to numerous forms of communication, referred to collectively as the marketing communications mix/promotional mix. This essentially brings together the various promotional tools used in the marketing programme in a coordinated and controlled way.

Promotion mix performs the following tasks:

a. Providing information to the universe of customers about the availability of services.

b. Undertaking activities to promote services to the targeted customers from the universe.

c. Undertaking perception building exercise through promotional campaigns for the service and the service providing company.

d. Undertaking customer education and information programs through a series of promotional campaigns.

The elements which make up the promotional mix are:

1. Advertising

2. Personal selling

3. Publicity/PR.

4. Sales promotion.

The promotional mix will be adjusted according to the organisation’s promotional objectives and its marketing situation. Generally, however, in consumer services marketing, advertising will be by far the main component (and the most expensive) while in industrial and business-to-business sectors greater reliance is placed on personal selling, trade fairs and other promotional tools.

Element # 1. Advertising:

Advertising is paid-for publicity, transmitted through a wide variety of media. The media space and time must be bought (although this is sometimes provided by the media for certain charitable or public information announcements) with the target audience in mind.

In this way, advertising is distinctive in that the advertiser has control over what is to be said and when and how it is to be transmitted, by which means. This is in contrast to PR, for example, which aims to attract favourable publicity or editorial comment, for example, neither of which can be guaranteed.

All advertising is however subject to fairly strict controls and even government legislation, especially television advertising. ‘Legal, decent, honest, truthful’ is the slogan of the advertising industry’s watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority. Consumers are invited to write in if any adverts do not stand up to this code, or are offensive or misleading.

Advertisements may have to be withdrawn or modified if the Authority finds that complaints are justified or rules are being breached. The Independent Broadcasting Authority also monitors advertising very closely and regulates what can be presented and at what time of day.

There are a number of advantages to using advertising over other forms of media:

(i) Control

(ii) Mass communication

(iii) Supports other elements of the marketing mix

(iv) Can be highly effective in creating strong brand image and appeal

Advertising is non-personal and involves mass media communication of messages to large numbers of people at the same time. Although company advertising expenditures can be very high, especially in the case of consumer goods and services, the cost of reaching vast numbers of people is often far cheaper than other promotional means.

Where there is little tangible difference between service providers and service offerings within a particular market sector, advertising can play a fundamental role in differentiation and positioning. Advertising is an extremely powerful tool for developing a strong brand or organisational image. It can be used to create awareness, and stimulate demand, and can successfully underpin the other marketing mix elements.

There are some disadvantages associated with advertising, however:

i. High development costs

ii. Rising costs of media space and airtime

iii. Lack of immediate feedback

iv. Problems concerned with credibility

v. Low attention focus of audience

The costs of developing and producing an effective advertisement can be very high, especially for television advertising. Advertisers are also dependent on the availability of suitable media and have to meet increasing prices for the best media. The majority of advertisements do not attract direct feedback so there are difficulties in monitoring the effectiveness of a poster campaign, television commercial or newspaper advertisement.

Advertising may also lack credibility with consumers who do not perceive it as genuine and are skeptical about claims made. Additionally, consumers frequently pay little attention to advertising, screening out those in which they have no special interest.

‘Information overload’ arises when consumers are bombarded by too much information from advertisers and other sources and they tend to switch off and quickly become unreceptive. This reinforces the importance of getting the right message across, in a way which will be well received and which is not at risk of being misinterpreted or misunderstood.

Element # 2. Personal Selling:

Personal selling takes many forms but consists of the seller engaging in some kind of personal contact with the customer or potential customer in order to persuade them to make a purchase (or become a member of a club, or to enroll at a college or become a regular donor to a charity). It differs from advertising in that there is this personal contact, either face-to-face or by telephone.

There is an inbuilt element of flexibility in personal selling because the salesperson can judge the customer’s responses to the message as the contact takes place and modify it accordingly.

Personal selling can be used to get far more information across than an advertisement can do, and is used very widely in industrial selling where complex specifications and technical details need to be discussed. It is also widely used in the financial services sector for similar reasons, in that both the customer and seller need to ask many questions and provide substantial amounts of information for the right service offering to be specified.

Personal selling has other advantages in that it can be aimed at specific target markets and prospects and also provides more direct feedback than other promotional methods.

There are some disadvantages associated with personal selling. There is a very high cost per contact (when compared with advertising and other, promotional methods) and setting up and training a sales force represents a significant investment for the organisation.

Some organisations have developed a very negative image with the public for unethical practices using high-pressure sales techniques as a result, consumers tend to regard all salespeople with suspicion and distrust.

Telephone selling has also become widespread and, while it has a very useful role to play when the consumer has already shown interest, by responding to an advertisement for example, it is often done on a ‘cold call’ basis and is seen as irritating and intrusive by the consumer.

Element # 3. Publicity:

Publicity refers to communication about organisation’s products or services, which is not paid for or sponsored by the organisation in question. Often it takes the form of news reports and announcements. Not all publicity is good publicity, as organisations find to their cost sometimes.

Whenever there are health or safety scares over a particular type of product, dramatic media coverage will ensure that consumers find out about it. Organisations will then attempt to restore good public relations through the use and application of PR tools.

These include:

i. Publicity through the media

ii. Involvement in social and community initiatives

iii. Sponsorship of events

iv. Public announcements and special publications

v. Corporate brochures and other publicity material

One of the main advantages afforded by publicity as opposed to paid-for advertising is enhanced credibility with audiences. Editorial features attract more attention generally than advertisements and are perceived as being more genuine and impartial.

PR managers will plan and distribute information on a systematic basis to try to ensure that the organisation is presented in the best possible light. PR has traditionally been viewed as playing a supporting role in the promotional mix, underpinning activities such as advertising and sales promotion, but it is gaining wider attention and recognition as a communications tool in its own right.

Element # 4. Sales Promotion:

Sales promotion consists of all those activities which can help to stimulate purchase of goods and services. Sales promotion activities can be aimed at the end consumer or at intermediaries in the channel, sometimes referred to as ‘out of the pipeline’ and ‘into the pipeline’ promotions respectively.

Sales promotion tools include:

i. Free Samples

ii. Money-off coupons and special offers.

iii. Point-of-sale displays

iv. ‘Free’ gifts and other incentives

Sales promotions play a useful role in helping to stimulate trial of new products and maintaining interest in established brands. Many financial service providers offer free gifts of small electrical appliances, gift items and even weekend breaks to customers who buy life insurance and savings plans.

Sales promotions should be regarded as tactical methods of stimulating sales over a period whilst a particular promotion is running. They should not be used to replace other elements of the promotional mix as their effects are temporary nature and will not have long-term impact on the consumer.

Trade fairs and exhibitions can be viewed as a form of sales promotion when they are used, like the Ideal Home Exhibition, to introduce products and services to consumers and stimulate demand. Trade fairs can also be treated as publicity for organisations in situations where appearances at trade exhibitions are seen as a tool for corporate image building rather than as a selling tool as is often the case in industrial market sectors.

Elements of Promotion Mix

Promotion is coordination of all seller initiated efforts to setup channels of information and presentation to sell goods and services or to sell an idea or promote an idea. The organization’s communication with the market takes place with a carefully planned and controlled promotional program.

The tools used by the marketer to communicate in the market place are called promotional mix. The traditional promotional mix had advertising, sales promotion; personal selling, publicity and public relation as its elements but the modern promotional mix has direct marketing and internet marketing as two additional tools in it.

The Promotional Tools:

Element # 1. Advertising:

Advertising is a paid, non-personal form of communication about an organization, product, service, idea by an identified sponsor. The time and space taken by the sponsor from the agency which advertises is paid by the sponsor. Only the public service announcements are not paid for by the sponsor as the media donates the place and time for such announcements, e.g., the ‘Pulse Polio Campaign’, or the ‘Beti Bachao Campaign’ is the advertisements where media may also participate in the social responsibility towards masses and provide the advertising space and time for free.

The non-personal aspect of advertising means that advertising involves mass media like radio, television, magazines, newspapers etc., which can transmit the message to large groups of people at the same time. Advertising has been known to be the best form of promotional tool because of its pervasiveness.

Companies which have masses as their target audience use more of advertising as their promotional tool to reach large number of customers. The marketers who are keen on building brand and maintaining brand images are inclined towards advertising as a promotional tool as it is the most cost effective and fastest way to reach out to the masses.

It is an important tool also for building an organisations brand image by providing customers with information and also to influence their perceptions about the product/service of the organization. Advertising can be used to create favorable images and associations for a brand which can be very useful for companies selling products or services that are difficult to differentiate on the basis of functional attributes. The brand campaign is the best way to build a brand.

Classification of Advertising:

Advertising can be most commonly classified as national, local or selective demand. Primary demand of advertising is on one hand and B2B advertising, professional advertising and trade advertising on the other hand.

i. Consumer Market Advertising:

(a) National Advertising:

When advertising is done by large business houses on nationwide basis or in most regions of the country to inform consumers about their brand, its features, benefits and users, it is called national advertisement. The national advertisement creates and also reinforces the image of the company in the minds of consumers in order to influence them to purchase the product/service of the advertiser.

(b) Local/Retail Advertisement:

The advertisements which are done by local merchants or retailers to influence the customers towards their stores, local services etc., are called local or retail advertisements. The local advertisements tend to emphasize specific patronage goals such as – price, services, hours of operation, assortment of goods etc. Retailers are concerned with increasing the store footfall so they design the advertisements to produce immediate store footfall and sales.

(c) Primary Demand Advertising:

Primary demand advertising is designed to stimulate demand for the general product class. Primary demand advertising is often used as a part of a promotional strategy to help new product gain market acceptance, since the major challenge for the marketers is to sell customers the concept as well as the brand e.g., Aloe Vera juices are supposed to be good for health so the strategy here should be to engage customers with the advantages of having juices regularly for health and then suggest that Aloe Vera is the one juice that is the best.

For selling the concept of fresh air in Indian homes, first we have to create a demand for any organization’s product called “Air Purifier”. Industry, trade associations also try to stimulate the primary demand for their member’s products, among them are skimmed milk, air fryers, convection ovens etc.

(d) Selective Demand Advertising:

Selective demand advertising is focused on creating a demand for a specific company’s brands. Most advertisements are in the category of selective demand advertising as here the challenge for the marketer is to create a demand for a specific company’s brand. The advertisements here speak about why the consumers should go for the company’s product. The advertisements speak about the reasons for purchasing the company’s product.

The marketer here tries to also differentiate his brand from others so as to influence the potential customers towards his brand. Thus, the selective advertising campaigns try to sway the consumers away from other brands and come towards the marketer’s product. This makes the marketer’s brand dominant in the market place.

ii. Business and Professional Markets Advertising:

(a) B2B Advertising:

This kind of advertising targets individuals who are buyers of goods for industrial purposes or influence the purchase of industrial goods and services for their organizations. Industrial goods are those goods which become an input in the manufacture of other goods.

They are those goods which help the company to conduct its business, e.g., office supply of stationary, computers, raw materials etc. Services such as – travel services, insurance, banking, healthcare, beauty culture etc., are also included in this category.

(b) Professional Advertising:

The advertising which targets professionals like doctors, lawyers, dentists, architects, engineers or teachers to encourage them to use a firm’s product in their business operations. A professional may also be encouraged to recommend a firm’s product to the end users e.g., an architect may recommend the usage of a particular brand of cement for building the structure to the client or a doctor may recommend a particular brand of medical cotton bandage to his patients.

(c) Trade Advertisement:

Some advertisements are targeted to marketing channel members such as – the wholesalers, distributors, retailers etc. The main objective of such an advertisement is to encourage these middle men to stock, promote and sell the manufacturer’s branded product to their customers. If the middlemen are not influenced by the marketer they may not be fully charged to sell the product of the marketer at the market place and thus the firm will lose the share in the market.

Element # 2. Direct Marketing:

In direct marketing, organizations communicate directly with target customers to generate a response and a transaction. Direct Marketing was not considered as a part of promotional mix in the traditional times but now it has become an integral part of integrated marketing communication.

It involves specific objectives, budgets and strategies and a variety of activities like direct mailing, mail-order catalogue, database management, telemarketing, the Internet, the various broadcast and print media and so on. Some companies like Amway, do not use other distribution channels but rely on an internet of independent contractors to sell their products to the consumers independently.

Direct response advertising is an important tool of direct marketing where the producer influences the customer through an advertisement and asks him to purchase the product directly from him. Direct mail has always been the medium for direct response advertising, although magazines, television and the Internet have become very popular measures of direct response advertising.

The latest means to direct marketing is Internet shopping where consumers place orders on company’s website, they use company catalogues and telephone the producer or place on line orders for the sake of convenience. The producers also have recognized the importance of direct response market to augment their sales through traditional retail channels.

The last two decades have seen direct marketing tools being used also by organizations that distribute their product through traditional distribution channels or have their own sales force. Direct marketing plays an important part in the Integrated Marketing Communications of consumer product companies and business-to-business companies.

These organizations spend an appreciable amount of resource in building the database of consumers containing the addresses, phone numbers of present and prospective consumers. The consumers are then called directly in an attempt to sell them the product or services.

The consumers are also qualified as sales leads and are distributed samples of products so as to influence them towards the marketer’s products. Marketers also send letters, flyers, detailed brochures, catalogues and videotapes to potential customers to inform them about their products or services.

Element # 3. Internet Marketing:

Marketing has been driven by advances in technology and developments that have led to unprecedented growth of communication through interactive media like the Internet. Interactive media allows the flow of information from the marketer to the consumer and also from the consumer to the marketer where the users can participate in and modify the form and content of the information they receive in real time.

The traditional means to communicate was one way in nature and so did not allow this interaction between the seller and the buyer. The seller is subject to many queries in the internet marketing and he responds to these queries and thus encourages the consumers and potential consumers to go for purchase of his goods and services.

Mobile phones are used for interactive marketing so are the other mobile devices such as – smartphones along with decisions of carriers such as – AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Jio Wireless etc. Marketers are keen on mobile marketing as interactive messages can be delivered that are specific to a customer’s location or consumption situation.

There are mobile applications which are more economical, efficient and productive. Mobile applications provide customers with price comparison apps which allow them to compare prices at a given location and get feedback on mobile devices before making a purchase. Marketers develop their own apps to connect customers with their mobile devices.

Internet is a multidimensional tool as it not only is used as an advertising medium but also viewed as marketing communication tool which influences all elements of promotional mix. Marketers advertise on the web, offer sales promotion incentives such as – coupons, contests and sweepstakes online, and use Internet for direct marketing, personal selling and public relation activities most effectively.

Interactive nature of Internet enables marketer to use it for gathering personal information of prospects and customers and adjust their offers accordingly. Another advantage of Internet is that because it allows two way communications, it can measure the effects of advertising and other types of promotional tools. There are a number of metrics which can be generated when consumer’s visit websites, which allow marketers to see how consumers are responding to their campaigns.

Element # 4. Sales Promotion:

Sales promotion is defined as all those activities that provide extra value or incentives to the sales force, the distributors or the ultimate consumers and can stimulate immediate sales. Sales promotion can be of two kinds – Consumer oriented activities and trade-oriented activities.

In consumer oriented schemes of sales promotion consumers are targeted with samples, rebates, discounts, contests coupons, samples etc. Trade oriented sales promotion is targeted towards market intermediaries such as retailers, wholesalers, distributors etc. These people are offered merchandize allowances, price deals, trade shows, sales contests etc., to encourage the middlemen to promote company’s products.

Sales promotion activities are given a lion’s share in the total promotional baggage. The major reason for this seems to be declining brand loyalty by consumers these days and also increased consumer sensitivity towards promotional deals.

Another reason for popularity and increased budget on sales promotion seems to be the growing size of retail houses which are making them more powerful than ever before e.g., Reliance, Walmart, More, Easy-day etc., asks for more promotion support from the organizations for selling their products in their retail houses.

Promotion is an element of marketing by which firms communicate with their consumers and distributors, but some practitioners use the term narrowly to either refer it to consumer or distributors only. In fact, sales promotion is a very pervasive tool of promotion which engulfs all marketing communication activities of any marketer/organizations.

Element # 5. Publicity:

Publicity is the non-personal communication about the organization, product service or an idea not directly paid for by the identified sponsor. It is a communication about product or service of organization coming from a news story, editorial etc., which is non-personal. It is meant for mass audience but unlike advertising, publicity is not directly paid for by the company. Publicity has an advantage over all other tools of promotion which is its credibility.

When any communication comes from publicity, consumers are generally more favorable for the products and services Masses feel that the information is unbiased. If critics review a program, we are more inclined to accept their opinion as we find them more objective. Secondly, publicity is a low cost tool of promotion as compared to other promotional tools. Publicity can be challenging also for an organization as it is not always under control of an organization.

A negative talk about the organization’s product or service can be severely damaging for the company. Very recently the publicity of the presence of BVO in cold fizzy drinks like Coke, Pepsi, Limca etc., created a negative impact on the sale of the fizzy drinks in India till a clarification came from the producers of Coke and Pepsi with regard to this issue.

Once the consumer’s confidence gets shaken in any product or service, it is very essential for the marketer to have an informative dialogue with customers to do away with the anxiety caused to them by a negative publicity. Sometimes, the sale may have to be halted by the organization till the issues surrounding the negative publicity are resolved.

Element # 6. Public Relations:

When any organization systematically plans and distributes information about itself with the objective of controlling and managing its image, it is engaging in public relations. Public relations have a broader aim then publicity. Public Relations try to establish and maintain a positive image of the company among its various publics e.g., potential customers, vendors, distributors and all other stake holders. Public relations evaluate public attitudes, identify the policies and procedure of an individual or organization with the public interest and execute a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.

Public relations uses publicity and a set of other tools like publications, participation in community services/activities, fund raising, sponsorship of special events etc., to enhance the public image of an organization. Many organizations use advertising as a public relations tool. There is an increasing recognition of public relations and publicity as important tools of promotion. Public relations as a communication tool can take over many functions of conventional advertising and marketing.

Element # 7. Personal Selling:

Person to person communication where the seller attempts to influence the prospective buyers to purchase company’s product is called personal selling. Advertising does not involve any personal contact with the buyers or prospective buyers but personal selling is done either face-to-face with buyers or through telecommunications. This gives the seller enough flexibility to modify the message as quickly as required which does not happen in advertising where messages are made and sent to media etc., to be then communicated by them on a non-personal basis.

Besides, the above advantages of personal selling, it is the only tool which gives the seller an immediate feedback. If feedback is unfavorable, the sales person can modify the message. Personal selling effort can be targeted to specific markets and customer types that are the best prospects for company’s product or services. Personal selling though is not a part of market communication or advertising campaign, yet IMC tools like sales promotion and advertising must be coordinated with the personal selling efforts of the company.

Elements of Promotion Mix – 5 Elements of Promotion Mix (With Examples)

Promotion mix which covers advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicity relations, exhibition and demonstration used in promotion. Largely it deals with non-price competition.

The elements of Promotion mix are as follows:

1. Advertising

2. Sales Promotion

3. Personal Selling

4. Public Relations, and

5. Direct Marketing.

1. Advertising:

Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience like viewers, readers or listeners to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behaviour with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common.

Advertising messages are usually paid for by sponsors and viewed via various traditional media; including mass media such as newspaper, magazines, television commercial, radio advertisement, outdoor advertising or direct mail; or new media such as websites and text messages.

Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through “Branding,” which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate certain qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers.

Non-commercial advertisers who spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies. Non-profit organizations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement.

2. Sales Promotion:

Sales promotion is the activities which supplement and co-ordinate personal selling and advertising to attract customers to buy a product. Sales promotion methods include displays, demonstrations, expositions, exhibitions and other non-recurrent selling efforts which aim at impelling spot buying action by prospective customers.

Sale promotion techniques are indirect and non-personal. Sales promotion activities are more common for consumer’s goods marketing than for industrial goods. Consumers are attracted by displays, packaging and publicity. Sales promotion devices are also a source of information to the customers.

Features of Sales Promotion:

Features of sales promotion are listed below:

i. It is a part of market promotion. It involves all the promotional efforts other than advertising, personal selling and publicity.

ii. The primary purpose is to induce customer for immediate buying or dealer effectiveness or both.

iii. It is optional. Many companies do not practice it.

iv. It is directed for multiple objectives, like to maintain sales during off season, to increase sales, to face competition, to clear stocks, to improve image, to promote new products, etc.

v. It consists of offering, wide variety of tools/incentives.

vi. Sales promotion efforts consist of special selling efforts for the specific time period in forms of short-term incentives and schemes undertaken at consumer level, dealer level or at salesmen level.

vii. It involves the non-recurrent selling efforts. They are not a part of daily activities. They are not undertaken repeatedly.

viii.Sales promotion incentives are imitative. Competitors can easily imitate them.

ix. Sales promotion is expensive. It may affect adversity the profitability of company.

x. Excessive use of sab promotion may affect sales and reputation of company adversely.

xi. It supports personal selling and advertising efforts. It is like a bridge between advertising and personal selling. It can increase effectiveness of other promotional efforts.

xii. It includes impersonal incentives. They are offered openly to all.

3. Personal Selling:

Personal selling is a broader concept and involves oral presentation in conversation with one or more prospective buyer for the purpose of making sales. The purpose of personal selling is to bring the right products into contact with the right customers and to make certain that ownership transfers takes place. Personal selling is a direct method of selling the products to the salesman.

Features of Personal Selling:

The main features of personal selling are:

i. Personal Form – Personal Selling is a personal form of communication which involves an interactive relationship between the seller and the buyer.

ii. Development of Relationship – Personal selling ensures development of relationship between the sales person and the prospective customer. This helps in making sales. It is seen that in some cases, despite knowing some shortcomings of a product, customer tend to purchase it simply because of personal relationship with the seller.

iii. Flexibility – Personal selling allows a lot of flexibility; sales presentation can be easily modified or adjusted according to the requirements of an individual customer.

iv. Direct Feedback – It facilitates prompt feedback because of direct face to face communication between the Buyer and the seller. This feedback helps in bringing necessary changes in the sales presentation.

v. Minimum Wastage – Before starting with the personal selling, the company can choose the type of customers it has to deal with and prepare the presentation according to the same. This results in reduction of wastages.

4. Public Relations:

Public relation is an activity carried on between advertising, to make the public understand what the product actually is and thus posing confidence in prospects about the product.

Public relation plays a very important role in marketing operations. Public relation creates a convert image of the product and the producer. Public relations is the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an organization with the public interest and executes a programme of action and communication to earn public cum understanding and acceptance.

Feature of Public Relations:

Following are the main features of public relations:

1. Securing Co-operation of Public – Public relation is an activity to get support from public. Every organisation wants to run successfully. For this public (i.e., all related protagonists like consumers, employees, shareholders and society) support is essential or needed. And the support of public can be earned through Public Relations.

2. Successful relation with Public – Sometimes Public develops negative attitude towards any company. This attitude could be changed by establishing public relations which helps in developing better relations with public.

3. Satisfying different Groups – Public relation is an effort to satisfy different groups (like-consumers, employees, shareholders and society). For example, with the help of Public relation, the expectation of any particular group is acknowledged. Group tries to satisfy by most possibly meeting their expectations.

4. Engaging in Dialogue – Every organisation wishes to enjoy goodwill among all related protagonists. For establishing good reputation it is essential to engage in dialogue (i.e., exchange of ideas). During dialogue organisation provides information and this is possible only through Public Relations.

5. On-going Activity – This is an effort which has to be repeated again and again. For example, to keep the employees satisfied, meetings must be arranged with them from time to time.

6. Specialized Activity – Public Relation is recognised in the form of a specialized activity. For example, like-the other activities (purchase, production, sale, finance, marketing etc.) in a business organisation, Public Relation activity is also performed under the same series of activities. This is the reason why all big organisations establish Public Relation Department separately.

5. Direct Marketing:

Direct marketing involves the business attempting to locate, contact, offer, and make incentive-based information available to consumers. Direct marketing is often distinguished by aggressive tactics that attempt to reach new customers usually by means of unsolicited direct communications. But it can also reach out to existing or past customers. A key factor in direct marketing is a “call to action.” That is, direct marketing campaigns should offer an incentive or enticing message to get consumers to respond (act).

Features of Direct Marketing:

Direct Marketing is characterized by the following:

i. Customer or Subscriber or Prospect databases that make targeting possible.

ii. A view of customers as assets with life time value.

iii. On-going relationships and affinity with customers.

iv. Data based market segmentation.

v. Research and Experimentation (testing).

vi. Benefit oriented direct response advertising.

vii. Measurement of results and accountability for costs.


ix. Multi-media promotion.

x. Multi-channel distribution.

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