Marketing Communications Mix

A company's total marketing communications mix—also called its promotion mix consists of the specific blend of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, and directmarketing tools that the company uses to pursue its advertising and marketing objectives. Definitions of the five major promotion tools follow:

  • Advertising: Any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor.
  • Personal selling: Personal presentation by the firm's sales force for the purpose of making sales and building customer relationships.
  • Sales promotion: Short-term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service.
  • Public relations: Building good relations with the company's various publics by obtaining favorable publicity, building up a good corporate image, and handling or heading off unfavorable rumors, stories, and events.
  • Direct marketing: Direct connections with carefully targeted individual consumers to both obtain an immediate response and cultivate lasting customer relationships—the use of telephone, mail, fax, e-mail, the Internet, and other tools to communicate directly with specific consumers.

Each category involves specific tools. For example, advertising includes print, broadcast, outdoor, and other forms. Personal selling includes sales presentations, trade shows, and incentive programs. Sales promotion includes point-of-purchase displays, premiums, discounts, coupons, specialty advertising, and demonstrations.

Direct marketing includes catalogs, telemarketing lists, fax, kiosks, the Internet, and more. Thanks to technological breakthroughs, people can now communicate through traditional media (newspapers, radio, telephone, television), as well as through newer media forms (fax machines, cellular phones, pagers, and computers). The new technologies have encouraged more companies to move from mass communication to more targeted communication and one-to-one dialogue.