Question: Should companies involve their marketing channels in the design of the promotional programs? What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? When a company is looking at promoting a new or existing product or service, the involvement of their marketing channel during the design of the promotional program is key component. According to the text Excellence in Business (Bovee, Thill, Mescon; p. 417-418), a market channel is the network of firms that work together to get goods and services from the producer to the customer.
When a company is designing is promotional program, or the manner it wishes to get information about its product to consumers, it has numerous factors and stakeholders to involve. Walk into any grocery store chain or look at any number of weekly advertisements and you will be able to see the same product advertised in numerous ways across numerous vendors. These various ways of advertising the same product across multiple vendors can also be referred to as a promotional mix.
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A promotional mix can be described as the blend of personal selling, advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion, and public relations a company uses to reach potential customers. (Excellence in Business; Bovee, Thill, Mescon; p. 487) When a company is developing a promotional mix and working with their marketing channels, it is important to understand the five elements of promotion. Excellence in Business (Bovee, Thill, Mescon; p. 487) describes the five elements as: 1. Personal selling which is in-person communication between a seller and one or more potential buyers; 2.
Advertising, or the communication which targets a market from an identified sponsor using mass communication; 3. Direct marketing sends advertising directly to potential customers; 4. Sales promotions includes sponsoring promotional events and activities such as coupons, contests, etc. ; and 5. Public relations which is the non-sales communication between business and their consumers. The inclusion of marketing channels into a company’s promotional program can help increase the products presence in the market and help ensure a solid hold.
When a company brings new products to market they can include any of the five elements of promotion in their stragegies. Including the marketing channels into the promotional program has its advantages, it can also have disadvantages. For a company to launch a new product they must be willing to weight the advantages and disadvantges of the promotional element to decide what is best for them. Below is a listing of some of those advantages and disadvantages. Personal Selling Advantage • Message is tailored to customer Direct personal communication • Highly flexible Disadvantage • Relative high cost Advertising Advantage • Large reach • Stimulates demand by presenting a constant message Disadvantage • Low to moderate cost • Limited message flexibility Direct marketing Advantage • Direct personal interaction with large reach • Tailored messages to key groups Disadvantage • Relative high cost Sales Promotion Advantage • Large reach Disadvantage • Can vary depending on promotion • Only meets short term sales objectives
Public Relations Advantage • Large reach Disadvantage • No direct cost • Unvarying message While this discussion only takes a very broad looks at the inclusion of marketing channels in the development of a promotion program, you can see that while there are advantages and disadvantages, it is something that companies must consider. The ability to reach customers is growing as more and more products flood the market. Companies must work to keep the name in the spotlight in order to strive and turn profits. 2.
Under the Practice Your Knowledge section on page 511 of your textbook, read the Handling Difficult Situations on the Job: Extolling a Better Way to Buy Insurance scenario and respond to the questions in the Your Task section. (40 points) This assignment should be at least one page long but no more than two pages. As with the assignment above, be sure to use the short-essay format and refer to the grading matrix as you prepare your assignment. When looking at a company such as the one described in the scenario (Excellence in Business; Bovee, Thill, Mescon; p. 11) there are numerous factors to promoting the Web site and offered services that could help increase traffic. Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, opined that to persuade an audience that your ideas (or in this case product) are better than somebody else’s, there are three appeals to persuasion: • Ethos (creditability), • Pathos (emotional), and • Logos (logical). When looking at a logical (Logos) versus emotional (Pathos) appeal to attract new business, you must understand the base difference between the two.
When making a logical appeal to an audience, you are presenting facts and statements to the audience. In the case of attracting more businesses to join your Web site, the logical approach would be to show that you have more site hits than a competitor or are marketing on more car dealership Web sites, etc. Making a logical appeal to a consumer or business typically involves statements and supposed facts, rather that questions and theories. An emotional appeal can play on the hopes, fears, and desires of an audience. (Excellence in Business; Bovee, Thill, Mescon; p. 99) Since these scenario deals with the selling of insurance, an example of an emotional appeal could deal with the disastrous financial effect of being hospitalized without insurance, this could include images of sad faces, graphics of budget spreadsheets with negative numbers, etc. If you were to begin trying to increase the marketing of the discussed Web site and tried to make logical and emotional appeals to various audiences, you must also understand the five promotional categories as described in Excellence in Business (Bovee, Thill, Mescon; p. 87). Below is a listing of the five categories and the potential emotional and logical effectiveness of each. 1. Personal selling – Highly effective in both emotional and logical appeals because you have direct personal face-to-face access with customer and the ability to have a highly flexible message. 2. Advertising – Highly effective in both emotional and logical appeals by constantly presenting facts/figures and/or emotional messages to large audiences at the same time through various means. 3. Direct marketing – Somewhat effective or emotional appeals, but highly effective for a logical appeal. Direct market typically involves non-personal contact with consumers, which could cause difficulty in creating that emotional appeal. 4. Sales promotions – Highly effective in both emotional and logical appeals. Companies have the ability to offer special promotions to buyers that if they do not like a product they will offer a full refund (emotional), to showing how their product is better than the other company through taste or cost comparisons (logical). 5. Public relations – Somewhat effective for emotional and logical appeals.
Public relations exist to try and create a positive image of the company through non-sales techniques. An example would be a company that attempts to present positive stories about how they are helping the environment by decreasing their waste. This type of promotion may not have anything to do with an actual product, but people will remember the company because of the supposed help in cleaning up the environment, which is an emotionally charged topic. When looking at future ways to increase sales and visits to the Web site, the use of on-line ads and blogs could be huge.
A company like the one described in the scenario could easily and effectively market themselves through the use of on-line ads by working with other Web sites, such as car dealerships or doctors offices, to place banners on their Web site. A banner or an ad which is displayed along the top of bottom of a Webpage, (Excellence in Business; Bovee, Thill, Mescon; p. 503) is an excellent, highly visible, tool by which to market a product or service to consumers. Banners can also track statistics of how many times somebody clicked on it to follow the link and from what landing page.
Going back to logical promotion, this could be valuable information to make that type of connection to possible customers. Another proven valuable tool to any business is word-of-mouth advertising. In today’s Web based world, word-of-mouth advertising in an electronic setting is called a blog. A blog, or Web based log our journal (Excellence in Business; Bovee, Thill, Mescon; p. G-1) is a highly effective way for today’s consumers to share information about products and services with other like-minded people.
Take just about any product out there and enter it into an internet search engine and you will likely comeback with thousands of postings with reviews about the product. In the end, there are numerous opportunities for an on-line business, such as the one described in the scenario, to increase their advertising and marketing through any number of means. Picking the right mix is important and must be carefully weighed to ensure you are reaching the maximum number of consumers with the minimum cost and effort.