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WHAT INTEGRATED MARKETING ACTIVITIES CAN A MARKETER CONSIDER TO ENHANCE THE IMPACT OF A MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS PLAN?

Marketers have several integrated marketing activities to draw upon when devising a marketing communications plan. These activities include sales promotions directed at consumers or distributors, public relations, experiential marketing opportunities, and personal selling. Each activity is designed to meet specific objectives and their inclusion depends on what those objectives are. For example, if a marketer is launching a new product and the objective is "to create awareness and secure trial purchases," there is an opportunity to include sales promotion incentives for trial and public relations to build some pre-launch buzz for the brand. The use of these activities depends entirely on the situation the marketer faces

HOW DO SALES PROMOTION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGIES HELP ACHIEVE MARKETING AND MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS OBJECTIVES?

Sales promotion plays a key role in influencing purchase behaviour and helps boost sales in the short term. Sales promotion activity can be divided into consumer promotions and trade promotions. Consumer promotions involve incentives such as coupons, free samples, and contests that encourage people to buy a certain product more immediately or help build brand loyalty. Trade promotions involve financial incentives that help secure distribution and marketing support among channel members who buy and resell the product.

Public relations plays a role in developing an organization's image and is an important means of communication in times of crisis. At the product level various activities are undertaken to generate publicity for brands or the company. Buzz marketing strategies that include product seeding are popular means of generating brand publicity. The most commonly used tools of the public relations trade include press releases, press conferences, websites, and social media. Through social media the public can be part of the conversation and help influence behaviour positively.

HOW DO EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING AND PERSONAL SELLING STRATEGIES HELP ACHIEVE MARKETING AND MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS OBJECTIVES?

Experiential marketing creates an emotional connection with consumers in the form of a brand experience. A key benefit of this tactic is consumer engagement at a time and place where consumers are receptive to brand messages. Events and sponsorships are often part of the brand experience. Participating in events presents an opportunity to reach a defined target directly and offers image-building capabilities in an environment where consumers expect brand participation.

Personal selling refers to personal communication between sellers and buyers. The salesperson is responsible for locating, gathering marketing intelligence, and offering customer service once a sale has been completed. Salespeople are the human factor in the marketing communications equation. As such, their attitude and disposition with customers plays a crucial role in building solid relationships.