The Communication Mix consists of a set of communications tools, which marketers use to communicate with their target markets. The elements of the mix differ in their ability to influence and affect target markets. It is there therefore important to understand the real utility as well as limitations of each communication tool. However, the major elements of the communication mix are Advertising, Public Relations, Sales Promotions, and the Internet.
Advertising can reach mass markets and over great geographic areas spread very quickly.It is therefore known as the mass communication element of the communication mix. Due to this cost-per-contact is very low. Advertising can communicate the unique benefits of the product and its differential advantage over competitors. It positions the brand at the desired slot in the consumer mind.
Public and Public Relations:
Publicity and Public Relations relate to a range of programs designed to promote and protect the image of a company and its products.
Public Relations (PR) includes activities like event sponsorship, lobbying, employee and investor relations, and public affairs.
Publicity relates to any non-personal communications through the media, such as press releases, interviews, feature articles, press conferences, corporate films, photographs, and newsletters.
Sales promotion is defined as any short duration communication activity, which provides an incentive to the target market to purchase a product or service immediately. The incentives can take several forms, both monetary and non-monetary. Sales promotions activities can be directed at target consumers (Consumer Sales Promotion) or Members of the distribution channel (Trade Promotions).
Personal Selling is direct personal contact between one or more potential buyers and a sales representative, to influence the buyer in a purchase situation. There are different forms of personal selling directed to end consumers, which companies use today: Telemarketing, Exhibitions or Trade fairs, Network marketing (Multi level marketing), and Sales Force.
The growth of internet as communications tool can beast be described as rapid and formidable with a deep far reaching impact on the way companies will now communicate with their audiences. Companies have learnt today, that the internet is a very unique channel as it is a communication tool, a media tool and an e-commerce.
The tools for the internet communication include:
• The website
• Customer Extranets
• Advertising and Sponsored Content
• Web PR