One of the prominent issues that seems to create a great debate in business meeting, is the point when it comes to defining what the marketing function actually is. We meet a lot of business owners who define marketing as the process to which they get their advert in a magazine, or, by how their sales team have come up with a sales promotion to generate a quick upturn in sales. It is this miss-conception about marketing which fosters the departmentalised way of thinking, ie, pass it onto marketing, they will deal with it?
Who is this ‘marketing’ that sales people look over the fence to and business owners seek to ‘buy in’ as a short term project, in order to bring a quick turnaround to the sales pipeline? Without going into text book answers I will simply say the marketing function, whether you are fully aware of it or not, is your WHOLE business and it involves EVERYONE.
I believe what the majority of laymen actually refer to when discussing marketing, is they mean the promotional mix, or the communications mix as sometimes expressed. The promotional mix is one part of the marketing mix, which consists of Product, Price Place, Promotion. It is the direct way in which an organisation attempts to communicate with its various target audiences and consists of 5 main elements.
- Advertising – Presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. Examples: Print ads, radio, television, billboard, direct mail, brochures and catalogues, signs, in-store displays, posters, motion pictures, Web pages, banner ads, and emails. (Not Always Paid For)
- Personal selling – A process of helping and persuading one or more prospects to purchase a good or service or to act on any idea through the use of an oral presentation. Examples: Sales presentations, sales meetings, sales training and incentive programs for intermediary salespeople, samples, and telemarketing. Can be face-to-face or via telephone.
- Sales promotion – Media and non-media marketing communication are employed for a pre-determined, limited time to increase consumer demand, stimulate market demand or improve product availability. Examples: Coupons, contests, product samples, cash back, tie-ins, trade shows, trade-ins and exhibitions.
- Public relations – Paid intimate stimulation of supply for a product, service or business unit by planting significant news about it or a favourable presentation of it in the media. Examples: Newspaper and magazine articles/reports, TVs and radio presentations, charitable contributions, speeches, issue advertising, and seminars.
- Direct Marketing is often listed as a the fifth part of the promotional mix.
Whilst still working within the categories above we have extended the traditional mix to include for social media integration and other digital communications which the internet age has brought. This list below is our promotional mix map which we currently use when assessing tactical marketing activities for our clients.
Extended promotional mix