What the marketing manager communicates is determined by target customers needs and attitudes. How the messages are delivered depends on what blend of the various promotion methods the marketing manager chooses.
A marketing manager can choose from several promotion methods personal selling, mass selling, and sales promotion. Further, because the different promotion methods have different strengths and limitations, a marketing manager usually uses them in combination. And, with other marketing mix decisions, it is critical that the marketer manage and coordinate the different promotion methods as an integrated whole not as separate and unrelated parts.
Personal selling involves direct spoken communication between sellers and potential customers. Face-to-face selling provides immediate feedback which helps salespeople to adapt. Although salespeople are included in most marketing mixes, personal selling can be very expensive. So its often desirable to combine personal selling and sales promotion.
Mass selling is communicating with large numbers of potential customers at the same time. Its less flexible than personal selling, but when the target market is large and scattered, mass selling can be less expensive.
Advertising is the main form of mass selling. Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. It includes the use of such media as magazines, newspapers, radio and TV, signs, and direct mail.
Sales promotion refers to promotion activities other than advertising, publicity, and personal selling that stimulate interest, trial, or purchase by final customers or others in the channel. Sales promotion may be aimed at customers, at middlemen, or even at a firms own employees (see the examples in the table).
Relative to other promotion methods, sales promotion can usually be implemented quickly and get results sooner.
Each method involves its own distinct activities and requires different types of expertise. As a result, its usually the responsibility of specialists such as sales managers, advertising managers, and promotion managers to develop and implement the detailed plans for the various parts of the overall promotion blend.