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Often advertising is considered a synonym of marketing Communications because it is the most visible tool of the Communications mix. But, of course, a large variety of communication instruments exist, each with its own typical characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. The tools of the communications mix are described below.
Advertising is non-personal mass communication using mass media. The content of which is determined and paid for by a clearly identified sender. (the company)
Sales promotions are sales-stimulating campaigns, such as price cuts or couponing. This is one of the most appealing instruments to customers.
Sponsorship implies that the sponsor provides funds, goods or services. The sponsee will help the sponsor with communication objectives such as building brand awareness or reinforcing the corporate image. Sports, arts, media, and even television programs can be sponsored. Events are often linked to a sponsorship. A company can sponsor an event or organize its own events, for instance for its sales team, clients and everyone else related to the company.
Public relations consist of all the communications a company instigates with its audience or stakeholders. Stakeholders are groups of individuals or organizations with whom the company wants to create goodwill. Press releases and conferences which are some of the major public relation tools, should generate publicity. Publicity is impersonal mass communication in mass media, but it is not paid for by a company and the content is written by journalists. This means that negative publicity is also possible.
Point-of-purchase communications are communications at the point of purchase or point of sales. It includes several communications tools such as displays and advertising within the shop. These purchases are generally referred to as last-minute purchases and are made without thinking.
Exhibitions and trade fairs are, particularly in business-to-business and industrial markets, of great importance for contacting prospects and users.
Direct marketing communications are a personal and direct way to communicate with customers and potential clients. Personalized brochures and leaflets (with feedback if possible!), telemarketing and direct mailings are possible ways of using direct marketing communications.
Personal selling is the oral and/or demonstration of one or more sales-persons aimed at selling the products or services of a company. It is a personal contact between a company representative and a prospect or client. It might be one of the best ways of selling a product, but it is the most expensive method as well.
The Internet offers new ways to communicate interactively with different stakeholders, together Marketing communications try to influence of persuade potential consumers by converying a message. This message transfer may be directed to certain known and individually addressed persons, in which case it is called personal communications. The message transfer may also take place to a number of receivers who cannot be identified. Using this mass media to reach a broad audience is called mass communications and is the exact opposite of personal communications. Personal communications are mainly direct and interactive marketing actions to sell a product. All other promotional tools are mass marketing communications.
About the Author: Bruno is a web entrepreneur and social media marketing consultant working for the Norwegian dog community website Hundefeber.no. He also owns a lovely Pomeranian and a Mops dog.
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