The following points highlight four main steps involved in determining optimal promotion-mix. The steps are:- 1. Identifying the Target Audience 2. Developing Communication Objectives 3. Designing the Message 4. Selecting the Communication Channel.
Step # 1. Identifying the Target Audience:
The marketer must identify target audience which may be individual or group or public. He should identify the image of the target audience.
Step # 2. Developing Communication Objectives:
There is no use of trying to apply communication-mix without clearly defining the objectives, i.e.:
(v) Preference, and
These must be clearly defined.
Step # 3. Designing the Message:
What should be the message content? Emotional appeal? Moral appeal? Utility appeal? Message format? Message source?
Step # 4. Selecting the Communication Channel:
Should personal selling be considered more important (e.g. industrial goods)? Should advertising be considered more important (e.g. consumer goods)?
Promotion budget must be examined carefully so that benefit exceeds the cost of promotional mix. In principle, four important criteria should determine promotion budget.
(i) Percentage of sales,
(ii) Competitive parity,
(iii) Objective, and
The consumer goods require more advertising and less personal selling, whereas industrial goods justify more spending on personal selling than on advertising.
Managing and coordinating the promotion-mix must receive considerable skill and effort of the marketer. Philosophy of the role of each of the promotion-mix must be the guiding factor, and the various stages of the product life cycle must be kept in mind.
The relative importance of each of the promotion-mix with respect to the consumer goods and the industrial goods as shown below should guide the marketer:
It will be seen from the above that sales promotion is more important than personal selling in the case of consumer goods. Here, it accounts for mote outlay whereas publicity such as public relations, press news, conferences and articles are least important.
In contrast to this, in the case of industrial goods such as machinery, raw materials, and components and office equipment’s, personal selling is much more important than sales promotion. Therefore, it accounts for highest amount of outlay of all the four mix.
Durable consumer goods which are new and complex such as T.V., personal computers, two wheeler, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, and cooking range cannot be sold merely by advertising. They need very aggressive salesmanship and must be given serious consideration however good the quality may be.
In view of increasing competition and changing demographic and consumer psychographics, personal selling (i.e. salesmanship) must be assigned a major role next to sales proration i.e. third place as shown in the list above.
In the case of industrial goods, personal selling is of highest importance because they have to be demonstrated, product features explained, objections answered and the buyer has to be persuaded to buy as against those of competitors.
Often salesmen have to visit several times the office of the customer who is a firm and where several executives have to be interviewed and convinced. No one person in such firm makes a decision to buy because the goods may be expensive plant and machinery.