Marketing Communication mix 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Advertising Sales promotion Events and exhibitions Public relation Direct marketing Personal Selling 1. Advertising Advertising is an important element of the marketing communications mix. Put simply, advertising directs a message at large numbers of people with a single communication. It is a mass medium. Advertising has a number of benefits for the advertiser. The advertiser has control over the message. The advert and its message, to an extent, would be designed to the specifications of the advertiser. So the advertiser can focus its message at a huge number of potential consumers in a single hit, at a relatively low cost per head. Advertising is quick relative to other elements of the marketing communications mix (for example personal selling, where an entire sales force would need to be briefed - or even recruited). Therefore an advertiser has the opportunity to communicate with all (or many of) its target audience simultaneously. Advertising Media: Outdoor (Posters or transport) New Media - Mobile devices New Media Internet - websites and search engines Newspapers (Local and National) Television Magazines Radio Others... Cinema Planning for advertising Advertising agencies and their clients plan for advertising. Any plan should address the following stages: Who is the potential TARGET AUDIENCE of the advert? WHAT do I wish to communicate to this target audience? Why is this message so IMPORTANT to them? What is the BEST MEDIUM for this message to take (see some of the possible media above)? What would be the most appropriate TIMING? What RESOURCES will the advertising campaign need? How do we CONTROL our advertising and monitor success? There are two key categories of advertising, namely 'above-the-line' and 'below-the-line.' The definitions owe a lot to the historical development of advertising agencies and how they charge for their services. In a nutshell, 'above-the-line' is any work done involving media where a commission is taken by an advertising agency, and 'below-the-line' is work done for a client where a standard charge replaces commission. So TV advertising is 'above-the-line' since an agency would book commercial time on behalf of a client, but placing an advert in a series of local newspapers is 'below-the-line,' because newspapers tend to apply their own costing approach where no commission is taken by the agency i.e. instead the agency charges the client a transparent fee. There are many facets and elements to advertising - too many to be covered in this short lesson. Try some of the other lessons to build your knowledge. 2. Sales Promotion What is sales promotion? Sales promotion is any initiative undertaken by an organisation to promote an increase in sales, usage or trial of a product or service (i.e. initiatives that are not covered by the other elements of the marketing communications or promotions mix). Sales promotions are varied. Often they are original and creative, and hence a comprehensive list of all available techniques is virtually impossible (since original sales promotions are launched daily!). Here are some examples of popular sales promotions activities: (a) Buy-One-Get-One-Free (BOGOF) - which is an example of a self-liquidating promotion. For example if a loaf of bread is priced at $1, and cost 10 cents to manufacture, if you sell two for $1, you are still in profit - especially if there is a corresponding increase in sales. This is known as a PREMIUM sales promotion tactic. (b) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) incentives such as bonus points or money off coupons. There are many examples of CRM, from banks to supermarkets. (c) New media - Websites and mobile phones that support a sales promotion. For example, in the United Kingdom, Nestle printed individual codes on KIT-KAT packaging, whereby a consumer would enter the code into a dynamic website to see if they had won a prize. Consumers could also text codes via their mobile phones to the same effect. (d) Merchandising additions such as dump bins, point-of-sale materials and product demonstrations. (e) Free gifts e.g. Subway gave away a card with six spaces for stickers with each sandwich purchase. Once the card was full the consumer was given a free sandwich. (f) Discounted prices e.g. Budget airline such as SpiceJet and IndiGo, e-mail their customers with the latest low-price deals once new flights are released, or additional destinations are announced. (g) Joint promotions between brands owned by a company, or with another company's brands. For example fast food restaurants often run sales promotions where toys, relating to a specific movie release, are given away with promoted meals. (h) Free samples (aka. sampling) e.g. tasting of food and drink at sampling points in supermarkets. For example Red Bull (a caffeinated fizzy drink) was given away to potential consumers at supermarkets, in high streets and at petrol stations (by a promotions team). (i) Vouchers and coupons, often seen in newspapers and magazines, on packs. (j) Competitions and prize draws, in newspapers, magazines, on the TV and radio, on The Internet, and on packs. (k) Cause-related and fair-trade products that raise money for charities, and the less well off farmers and producers, are becoming more popular. (l) Finance deals - for example, 0% finance over 3 years on selected vehicles. Many of the examples above are focused upon consumers. Don't forget that promotions can be aimed at wholesalers and distributors as well. These are known as Trade Sales Promotions. Examples here might include joint promotions between a manufacturer and a distributor, sales promotion leaflets and other materials (such as T-shirts), and incentives for distributor sales people and their retail clients. 3. Events and exhibitions: 4. Public Relation: Public Relations (PR) is a single, broad concept. It is broad since it contains so many elements, many of which will be outlined in this lesson. Public Relations (PR) are any purposeful communications between an organisation and its publics that aim to generate goodwill. Publics, put simply, are its stakeholders. PR is proactive and future orientated, and has the goal of building and maintaining a positive perception of an organisation in the mind of its publics. This is often referred to as goodwill. Yes it is difficult to see the difference between marketing communications and PR since there is a lot of crossover. This makes it a tricky concept to learn. Added to this is the fact that PR is often expensive, and not free, as some definitions would have you believe. PR agencies are not cheap. Below are some of the approaches that are often considered under the PR banner. Interviews and photo-calls. It is important that company executives are available to generate goodwill for their organisation. Many undertake training in how to deal with the media, and how to behave in front of a camera. There are many key industrial figures that proactively deal with the media in a positive way for example Bill Gates (Microsoft) or Richard Branson (Virgin). Interviews with the business or mass media often allow a company to put its own perspective on matters that could be misleading if simply left to dwell untended the public domain. Speeches, presentations and speech writing. Key figures from within an organisation will write speeches to be delivered at corporate events, public awards and industry gatherings. PR company officials in liaison with company managers often write speeches and design corporate presentations. They are part of the planned and coherent strategy to build goodwill with publics. Presentations can be designed and preprepared by PR companies, ultimately to be delivered by company executives. Corporate literature e.g. financial reports. Corporate literature includes financial reports, in-house magazines, brochures, catalogues, price lists and any other piece of corporate derived literature. They communicate with a variety of publics. For example, financial reports will be of great interest to investors and the stock market, since they give all sorts of indicators of the health of a business. A company Chief Executive Officer CEO will often write the forward to an annual financial report where he or she has the opportunity to put a business case to the reader. This is all part of Public Relations. 6. Direct Marketing What is Direct Marketing? Direct marketing is a channel free approach to distribution and/or marketing communications. So a company may have a strategy of dealing with its customers 'directly,' for example banks (such as CityBank) or computer manufacturers (such as Dell). There are no channel intermediaries i.e. distributors, retailers or wholesalers. Therefore - 'direct' in the sense that the deal is done directly between the manufacturer and the customer. As mentioned above, 'direct' also in the sense that marketing communications are targeted at consumers by the manufacturers. For example, a brand that uses channels of distribution would target marketing communications at wholesalers/distributors, retailers, and consumers, or a blend of all three. On the other hand, a direct marketing company could focus upon communicating directly with its customers. Direct marketing and direct mail are often confused - although direct mail is a direct marketing tool. There are a number of direct marketing media other than direct mail. These include (and are by no means limited to): Inserts in newspapers and magazines. Customer care lines. Catalogues. Coupons. Door drops. TV and radio adverts with free phone numbers or per-minute-charging. ...and finally - and most importantly - The Internet and New Media. The Internet and New Media (e.g. mobile phones or PDA's) are perfect for direct marketing. Consumers have never had so many sources of supply, and suppliers have never had access to so many markets. There is even room for niche marketers - for example Scottish salmon could ordered online, packed and chilled, and sent to customers in any part of the world by courier. Many companies use direct marketing, and a current example of its use, as part of a business model, is the way in which it is used by low-cost airlines. There is no intermediary or agent, customers book tickets directly with the airlines over The Internet. Airlines capture data that can be used for marketing research or a loyalty scheme. Information can be processed quickly, and then categorized into complex relational databases. Then, for example, special offers or new flights destinations can be communicated directly to customers using e-mail campaigns. Data is not only collected on markets and segments, but also on individuals and their individual buyer behaviour. Companies such as Amazon are wholesalers of books (i.e. they do not write or publish them) - so they use Customer Relationship Management and marketing communications targeted directly at individual customers - which is another, slightly different example of direct marketing. 7. Personal Selling Personal selling occurs where an individual salesperson sells a product, service or solution to a client. Salespeople match the benefits of their offering to the specific needs of a client. Today, personal selling involves the development of longstanding client relationships. In comparison to other marketing communications tools such as advertising, personal selling tends to: Use fewer resources, pricing is often negotiated. Products tend to be fairly complex (e.g. financial services or new cars). There is some contact between buyer and seller after the sale so that an ongoing relationship is built. Client/prospects need specific information. The purchase tends to involve large sums of money. There are exceptions of course, but most personal selling takes place in this way. Personal selling involves a selling process that is summarised in the following Five Stage Personal Selling Process. The five stages are: 1. Prospecting. 2. Making first contact. 3. The sales call. 4. Objection handling. 5. Closing the sale. A Five Stage Personal Selling Process. Stage One - Prospecting. Prospecting is all about finding prospects, or potential new customers. Prospects should be 'qualified,' which means that they need to be assessed to see if there is business potential, otherwise you could be wasting your time. In order to qualify your prospects, one needs to: Plan a sales approach focused upon the needs of the customer. Determine which products or services best meet their needs. In order to save time, rank the prospects and leave out those that are least likely to buy. Stage Two - Making First Contact. This is the preparation that a salesperson goes through before they meet with the client, for example via e-mail, telephone or letter. Preparation will make a call more focused. Make sure that you are on time. Before meeting with the client, set some objectives for the sales call. What is the purpose of the call? What outcome is desirable before you leave? Make sure that you've done some homework before meeting your prospect. This will show that you are committed in the eyes of your customer. To save time, send some information before you visit. This will wet the prospect's appetite. Keep a set of samples at hand, and make sure that they are in very good condition. Within the first minute or two, state the purpose of your call so that time with the client is maximised, and also to demonstrate to the client that your are not wasting his or her time. Humour is fine, but try to be sincere and friendly. Stage Three - The Sales Call (or Sales Presentation). It is best to be enthusiastic about your product or service. If you are not excited about it, don't expect your prospect to be excited. Focus on the real benefits of the product or service to the specific needs of your client, rather than listing endless lists of features. Try to be relaxed during the call, and put your client at ease. Let the client do at least 80% of the talking. This will give you invaluable information on your client's needs. Remember to ask plenty of questions. Use open questions, e.g. TED's, and closed questions i.e. questions that will only give the answer 'yes' or the answer 'no.' This way you can dictate the direction of the conversation. Never be too afraid to ask for the business straight off. Stage Four - Objection Handling. Objection handling is the way in which salespeople tackle obstacles put in their way by clients. Some objections may prove too difficult to handle, and sometimes the client may just take a dislike to you (aka the hidden objection). Here are some approaches for overcoming objections: Firstly, try to anticipate them before they arise. 'Yes but' technique allows you to accept the objection and then to divert it. For example, a client may say that they do not like a particular colour, to which the salesperson counters 'Yes but X is also available in many other colours.' Ask 'why' the client feels the way that they do. 'Restate' the objection, and put it back into the client's lap. For example, the client may say, 'I don't like the taste of X,' to which the salesperson responds, 'You don't like the taste of X,' generating the response 'since I do not like garlic' from the client. The salesperson could suggest that X is no longer made with garlic to meet the client's needs. The sales person could also tactfully and respectfully contradict the client. Stage Five - Closing the Sale. This is a very important stage. Often salespeople will leave without ever successfully closing a deal. Therefore it is vital to learn the skills of closing. Just ask for the business! - 'Please may I take an order?' This really works well. Look for buying signals (i.e. body language or comments made by the client that they want to place an order). For example, asking about availability, asking for details such as discounts, or asking for you to go over something again to clarify. Just stop talking, and let the client say 'yes.' Again, this really works. The 'summary close' allows the salesperson to summarise everything that the client needs, based upon the discussions during the call. For example, 'You need product X in blue, by Friday, packaged accordingly, and delivered to your wife's office.' Then ask for the order. The 'alternative close' does not give the client the opportunity to say no, but forces them towards a yes. For example 'Do you want product X in blue or red?' Cheeky, but effective. So this is the Five Stage Personal Selling Process. Now have a go at it yourself by completing the lesson.