Chapter 14 Communications and the Promotional Mix

How Do We Get There?

Chapter Overview

Chapter 14 is the first of five chapters dealing with the promotion element of the marketing mix. It begins by explaining that promotion is simply communications and emphasizes that marketers have to first understand the process of communications. A nine-part communications model is describes. The concepts of explicit and implicit communications are discussed and their roles are identified.

Three goals of promotion are identified: (1) to inform; (2) to persuade; (3) to remind. The relationship of these three goals to customersí buying process stages is shown.

Chapter 14 then details each of the five elements of the promotional mix: (1) advertising; (2) personal selling; (3) sales promotion; (4) merchandising; and (5) public relations and publicity. Each term is defined and its advantages and disadvantages are identified. An Excellence Case is presented on the promotional mix. Based on Chi-Chiís Restaurants, the case demonstrates how one well-known company had made effective use of many of the promotional mix elements. The chapter ends by describing four overall factors that affect the selection of a promotional mix.

Chapter Outline

I Promotion and Communications

Definition of a Promotional Mix

Components of the Promotional Mix


2.Personal Selling

3. Sales Promotion

4. Merchandising

5. Public Relations and publicity

Elements of the Communication Process

1. Source

2. Encoding

3. Message

4. Medium

5. Decoding

6. Noise

7. Receiver

8. Response

9. Feedback

The Communications Process Model

Use Transparency for figure 14-1

II. Explicit and Implicit Communications


Explicit:oral or written

Implicit: cues or messages conveyed through body language or other nonverbal means.


III. Goals of Promotion

Goals of Promotion

1. Inform

2. Persuade

3. Remind

Goals of Promotion for Buying Process

Use transparency for figure 14-5.

The ultimate Purpose of Promotion

4. Behavior modification through communication

IV. The Promotional Mix


1. Definition

2. Advantages of advertising:

a. Low cost per contact

b. Ability to reach customers where and when a salesperson cannot

c. Great scope of creative versatility and dramatization of messages

d. Ability to create images that a salesperson cannot

e. Non-threatening nature of non-personal presentation

f. Potential to repeat messages several times

g. Prestige and impressiveness of mass-media advertising

3.Disadvantages of Advertising:

a. Inability to "close" sales

b. Advertising "clutter"

c. Customerís ability to ignore advertising messages

d. Difficulty getting immediate response or action

e. Inability to get quick feedback and to adjust message

f. Difficulty measuring advertising effectiveness

g. Relatively high "waste" factor

Personal Selling

3. Definition

4. Advantages of personal selling:

a. Ability to close sales

b. Ability to hold customerís attention

c. Immediate feedback and two-way communications

d. Presentations tailored to individual needs

e. Ability to target customers precisely

f. Ability to cultivate relationships

g. Ability to get immediate action

5. Disadvantages of Personal Selling:

a. High Cost per contact

b. Inability to reach some customers as effectively

Sales Promotion

6. Definition

7. Advantages of sales promotion

a. Combination of some advantages of advertising and personal selling

b. Ability to provide quick feedback

c. Ability to add excitement to a service or product

d. Additional ways to communicate with customers

e. Flexible timing

f. Efficiency

8. Disadvantages of Sales Promotion:

a. High Cost per contact

b. Inability to reach some customers as effectively.


9. Definition

10. Advantages of merchandising:

a. Same as a-e for sales promotion plus

b. Stimulation of "impulse" purchased and higher per capita spending

c. Support if advertising campaigns

11. Disadvantages of merchandising:

a. Does not necessarily involve giving the customer a financial incentive

b. Ineffective in building long tern loyalty for company or "brand"

c. Contribution to "visual clutter"

Public Relations and Publicity

12. Definitions

13. Advantages of public relations and publicity:

a. Low cost

b. Effective because they are not seen as commercial messages

c. Credibility and "implied endorsements"

d. Prestige and impressiveness of mass media coverage

e. Added excitement and dramatization

f. Maintenance of a "public" presence

14. Disadvantages of public relations and publicity:

a. Difficult to arrange consistently

b. Lack of Control

V. Factors Affecting the Promotional Mix

Target Markets

Marketing Objectives

Competition and Promotional Practices

Promotional Budget Available