Promotional mix is one of the four P’s of marketing and is defined as the forms of marketing that are used by an organization to create a strong hold for its products or services and establish a way to influence the buying behavior of the targeted customers. It should be designed to inform customers about the values and benefits being offered.
The promotional mix consists of the following elements:
- Public Relations
- Personal Selling
- Sales Promotion
Using the right promotional mix ensures an increase in the customer base and attaining business success.
Advertising plays a key role in promoting a business whether done on traditional or digital platforms. Depending on how mature the product is and what stage of the product life cycle it is at, the advertising function varies. For instance, during the introductory or the growth stage, advertising is done to inform the target market about the product, whereas, during product maturity, the purpose of advertising is reminding and is done quite aggressively to maintain top of mind recall. Some of the most memorable advertising campaigns from the last century are still remembered for their brilliance, for example, Coca-Cola’s Hilltop advertisement that starts with the melodious sentence, ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke …’
2. Public Relations:
Public relations is the art of reputation management and portraying a positive image of a company in the minds of stakeholders. A good PR manager should be able to manage both negative and positive situations and use both to create opportunities that would positively impact the company. In today’s era, social media plays a vital role in spreading news that affects companies and should be managed tactfully. Anything controversial shared or a negative situation utilized to write a seemingly witty statement could backfire, for instance Kenneth Cole’s tweet during the riots in Egypt in 2011 reflected poorly upon the company’s image and was followed by an apology. Similarly, H&M used a graffiti artist’s artwork without permission for one of its campaigns much to the artist’s dismay who took action. First the company acted rigidly and expressed that it did not need permission, however, later it had to give an apologetic statement.
3. Personal Selling:
Personal selling is often the most expensive yet effective tool in the promotional mix as it helps build long term relationships. The sellers should be well equipped with product knowledge and have great attitude and appearance to be able to inform and engage with the customer thereby creating selling and relationship building opportunities.
4. Sales Promotion:
Sales promotions help in increasing business revenue and are particularly useful in the service industry where packages could be altered to cater to individual needs, for instance in case of a vacation package as far as the hospitality industry is concerned. Restaurants also use this tactic to create deals for different course meals. Likewise, product bundling and co-branding are also used to create more value for a product and attract customers. Companies make it a point to keep sales promotions recurring for maintaining a healthy promotional mix.