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C14. Communication and Promotion. Promotion. a form of communication that uses various methods to reach a targeted audience with a certain message in order to achieve specific organizational objectives. function of informing, persuading, and influencing the consumer’s purchase decision.

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Communication and Promotion



a form of communication that uses various methods to reach a targeted audience with a certain message in order to achieve specific organizational objectives.

  • function of informing, persuading, and influencing the consumer’s purchase decision


Promotional mix - related to consumer buying process







Evaluation of



Post purchase



  • Promotional mix:

  • Advertising

  • Personal selling

  • Sales promotion

  • Merchandising

  • Public relation and publicity

Types of promotion objectives

Types of Promotion Objectives

  • Build Awareness

    • New products and new companies are often unknown to a market - initial promotional efforts must focus on establishing an identity. 

    • must focus promotion to: 1) effectively reach customers, and 2) tell the market who they are and what they have to offer. 

  • Create Interest

    • Moving a customer from awareness of a product to making a purchase can present a significant challenge

    • customers must first recognize they have a need before they actively start to consider a purchase.  The focus on creating messages that convince customers that a need exists

  • Provide Information

    • Some promotion is designed to assist customers in the search stage of the purchasing process

    • get customers to mentally distinguish the marketer’s product from those of competitors.

Types of promotion objectives1

Types of Promotion Objectives

  • Stimulate Demand

    • The right promotion can drive customers to make a purchase:  

      • try the product (customer has not previously purchased)  

      • to increase purchasing by providing a reason to purchase products sooner or purchase in greater quantities than they normally do

  • Reinforce the Brand

    • Once a purchase is made, a marketer can use promotion to help build a strong relationship that can lead to the purchaser becoming a loyal customer. 


  • Sender—the person(s) attempting to deliver a message or idea.

  • Encoding processes —the verbal (words, sounds) and nonverbal (gestures, facial expression, posture) cues that the sender utilizes in dispatching the message.

  • Medium/Transmission device —all of the items that carry the message from the sender to the receiver.

  • Decoding —takes place when the receiver employs any set of his or her senses (hearing, seeing, feeling, etc.) in the attempt to capture the message.

  • Receiver —the intended audience for a message.

  • Feedback —information the sender obtains from the receiver regarding the receiver’s perception or interpretation of a message.

  • Noise —anything that distorts or disrupts a message.

Elements in the communication process

Elements in the Communication Process

Promotional mix:

-Advertising -Personal selling

-Sales promotion -Merchandising

-Public relation and publicity

Personal media


Impersonal media


Own promotional messages

Competitors promotional messages

Receivers’ state of knowledge, perception,..

Other distortions

14 - 7

W o m


  • Word-of-Mouth Marketing, or WOMM, is a term used in the marketing and advertising industry to describe activities that companies undertake to generate personal recommendations as well as referrals for brand names, products and services.

    • It is believed that this form of communication has valuable source credibility.

    • Research points to individuals being more inclined to believe WOMM than more formal forms of promotion methods; the receiver of word-of-mouth referrals tends to believe that the communicator is speaking honestly and is unlikely to have an ulterior motive


  • In order to promote and manage word-of-mouth communications, marketers use publicity techniques as well as viral marketing methods to achieve desired behavioural response.

  • very successful word-of-mouth promotion creates buzz. Buzz generates a highly intense and interactive form of word-of-mouth referral that occurs both online and offline.





Clearly defined messages that are communicated through oral or written forms

Cues conveyed through body language and non verbal means

e.g. price and quality relationship

Bahaviour/appearance of employees delivering servisec

Explicit communication

Explicit communication


implicit communication

Obstacles to effective communication

Obstacles to Effective Communication

  • Poor Encoding

    • the message source fails to create the right sensory stimuli to meet the objectives of the message. 

    • difficult for the intended audience to understand,

      • words or symbols that lack meaning or, have totally different meanings within a certain cultural groups. 

    • This often occurs when marketers use the same advertising message across many different countries. 

      • Differences due to translation or cultural understanding can result in the message receiver having a different frame of reference for how to interpret words, symbols, sounds, etc. 

        • This may lead the message receiver to decode the meaning of the message in a different way than was intended by the message sender.


  • In China: KFC’s slogan: “Finger lickin’ good” came out as “Eat your fingers off”

  • Also in China: Coca-Cola had thousands of signs made using the translation: “Ke-kou-ke-la”

    • Depending on the dialect this means . . .

    • “Bite the wax tadpole,” or

    • “Female horse stuffed with wax”

  • In Taiwan: Pepsi’s slogan, “Come alive with the Pepsi generation” came out as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead”

Obstacles to effective communication1

Obstacles to Effective Communication

  • Poor Decoding

  • message receiver’s error in processing the message so that the meaning given to the received message is not what the source intended. 

    • if the receiver’s frame of reference is different (e.g., meaning of words are different) then decoding problems can occur. 

    • decoding errors occur due to personal or psychological factors,

      • (not paying attention to a full television advertisement, driving too quickly past a billboard, or allowing one’s mind to wonder while talking to a salesperson…)

Obstacles to effective communication2

Obstacles to Effective Communication

  • Medium Failure

    • communication channels break down and end up sending out weak or faltering signals. 

    • wrong medium is used to communicate the message. 

      • trying to educate doctors about a new treatment for heart disease using television commercials that quickly flash highly detailed information is not going to be as effective as presenting this information in a print ad where doctors can take their time evaluating the information.

Obstacles to effective communication3

Obstacles to Effective Communication

  • Communication Noise

    • Noise in communication occurs when an outside force in affects delivery of the message. 

      • Any distraction to the sender or the receiver can lead to communication noise:

    • In advertising, many customers are overwhelmed (i.e., distracted) by the large number of advertisements they encountered each day. 

      • advertising clutter (i.e., noise) makes it difficult for advertisers to get their message through to desired customers.

Keys to effective communication

Keys to Effective Communication

  • Carefully Encode

    • Ensure that the message be crafted in a way that will be interpreted by message receivers as intended.  - having a good understanding of how their audience interprets words, symbols, sounds and other stimuli used by marketers.

  • Allow Feedback

    • Encouraging the message receiver to provide feedback can greatly improve communication and help determine if a marketer’s message was decoded and interpreted properly. 

    • Feedback can be improved by providing easy-to-use options for responding, such as phone numbers, Internet chat, and email.

Keys to effective communication1

Keys to Effective Communication

  • Choose Right Audience

    • Targeting the right message receiver will go a long way to improving a marketer’s ability to promote their products.  Messages are much more likely to be received and appropriately decoded by those who have an interest in the content of the message.

  • Reduce Noise (In many promotional situations the marketer has little control over interference with their message)

    • salespeople can be trained to reduce noise by employing techniques that limit customer distractions, such as scheduling meetings during non-busy times or by inviting potential customers to an environment that offers fewer distractions, such as a conference facility. 

    • advertising can be developed in ways that separates the marketer’s ad from others, including the use of white-space in magazine ads.






Promotion objectives related to consumer buying process



Evaluation of



Post purchase



Promotional mix:


Personal selling

Sales promotion


Public relation and publicity

Communication messages need to be design to compliment each of the promotional mix employed

Promotion objectives

Promotion Objectives

  • Building Brand Image

    • The brand should be a top of mind brand. A top choice brand is the first or second pick when a consumer reviews his or her evoked set (possible purchasing alternatives).

    • Part of building brand image and brand equity is developing brand awareness, and advertising is the best method to reach that goal. In business-to-business marketing, brand awareness is often essential to being considered by members of the buying center.

  • Providing Information

    • Typical information for consumers includes a retail store’s hours, business location, or sometimes more detailed product specifications.

    • For business-to-business situations, information from some ads may lead various members of the buying center to consider a particular company as they examine their options.

    • Information is one component in persuasion, which is another objective of various advertising programs.


  • Persuasion

    • Advertisements may be designed to convince consumers that a particular brand is superior to other brands.

    • Changing consumer attitudes and persuading them to consider a new purchasing choice is a challenging task.

    • Persuasive advertising is used more in consumer marketing than in business-to-business situations.

  • Supporting Marketing Efforts

    • Manufacturers use advertising to support trade and consumer promotions, such as theme packaging or combination offers.

    • Both manufacturers and retail outlets use advertising in conjunction with coupons or other special offers.

    • When ads are combined with other marketing efforts into a larger, more integrated effort revolving around a theme, the program is called a promotional campaign.

  • Encouraging Action

    • Many commercials encourage the audience to take action by dialing a toll free number or going to a Web site.

    • Action-oriented advertising is heavily used in the business-to-business sector. The most common goal is to generate sales leads.

Elements of the promotional mix

Elements of the Promotional Mix

  • Promotional mix: blend of personal selling and nonpersonal selling designed to achieve promotional objectives

    • Personal selling: interpersonal promotional process (one to one) involving a seller’s person-to-person presentation to a prospective buyer

      • Most effective tool for building buyers’ preferences, convictions, and actions

      • Personal interaction allows for feedback and adjustments

      • Relationship-oriented

      • Buyers are more attentive

      • Most expensive (coverage) of the promotional tools

    • Nonpersonal selling : conducted without face to face interaction with the buyers

      • includes Advertising, Product placement, Sales promotion, Direct marketing, Public relations

Elements of the promotional mix1

Elements of the Promotional Mix

  • Advertising

    • Paid, nonpersonal communication through various media by a business firm, not-for-profit organization, or individual identified in the message with the hope of informing or persuading members of a particular audience

  • Reaches large, geographically dispersed audiences, often with high frequency

  • Low cost per exposure, however overall costs are high

  • Consumers perceive advertised goods as more legitimate

  • -ve: Impersonal; one-way communication

Elements of the promotional mix2

Elements of the Promotional Mix

  • Sales Promotion

    • Marketing activities that stimulates consumer purchasing (includes: displays, trade shows, coupons, premiums, contests, product demonstrations, and various nonrecurrent selling efforts)

    • Trade promotion – targeted at sales intermediaries

  • Attracts attention, offers strong purchase incentives, dramatizes offers, boosts sagging sales

  • Stimulates quick response

  • Short-lived

  • Not effective at building long-term brand preferences

Elements of the promotional mix3

Elements of the Promotional Mix

  • Merchandising – point of purchase advertising, including materials used in-house to stimulate sales

    • Does not involve media advertising, personal selling or public relation

    • Use of menus, lists, cards, signs, posters, displays and point of sales promotional items

  • Stimulation of impulse purchase

  • Support advertisement campaign

  • Cannot build long term loyalty

  • Limited audience reach

  • Elements of the promotional mix4

    Elements of the Promotional Mix

    • Public relations: firm’s communications and relationships with its various publics

    • Public relations is the art and science of managing communication between an organization and its key constituents to build, manage, and sustain its positive image

      • press release is a written statement distributed to the media

      • Lobby groups are established to influence government policy, corporate policy, or public opinion

      • others

    Elements of the promotional mix5

    Elements of the Promotional Mix

    • Publicity: Publicity is the spreading of information to gain public awareness in a product, service, candidate, etc. by unpaid placement of commercially significant news or favorable media presentations

    • publicity is the management of product- or brand-related communications between the firm and the general public. It is primarily an informative activity (as opposed to a persuasive one), but its ultimate goal is to promote products, services, or brands

    Elements of the promotional mix6

    Elements of the Promotional Mix

    • Product Placement

      • Marketer pays a motion picture or television program owner a fee to display his or her product prominently in the film or show

    Set Jetting

    Factors affecting promotional mix

    Factors affecting promotional mix

    • Target market

    • Marketing objectives

    • Competition and promotional practice

    • budget

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