Definition: The Promotion Mix is the blend of several promotional activities (Advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing) used by business to create, maintain and increase the demand for a product.
The management must consider the following factors in determining the promotion mix, these are:
- Nature of Product: The different type of product requires different promotional tools. Such as, for the industrial products Viz. Machinery, equipment or land personal selling is more appropriate as a great deal of pre-sale and after-sale services is required to sell and install such products. On the other hand, advertising and publicity are more suitable for the consumer goods, especially the convenience goods.
- Nature of Market: The number and location of customers greatly influence the promotion mix. In case the group of potential customers is small and are concentrated in a particular locality, then personal selling is more likely to be effective. Whereas, if the customer base is large and widespread, then the blend of advertising, personal selling, and the sales promotion is required to sell the product.
Also, the type of customers influences the managerial decisions of the promotion mix. The type of promotion for the urban, educated and institutional customers would be different as compared to the rural, illiterate and household customers.
- Stage of Product’s Life: The promotion mix changes as the product moves along its life cycle. During the introduction stage, the principal objective of the promotion is to create the primary demand by emphasizing the product’s features, utility, etc. therefore, the blend of advertising and publicity is required. As the product reaches its maturity stage the advertising and personal selling is required to maintain the demand of the customers.
And finally, during the decline stage the expenses on other promotional activities are cut, and more emphasis is laid on sales promotion with the intent to push up the declining sales.
- Availability of Funds: The marketing budget also decides the promotion mix. If the funds available for the promotion are large, then the blend of promotional tools can be used, whereas in the case the funds are limited then the management must choose the promotional tool wisely.
- Nature of Technique: Each element of the promotional mix has unique features that significantly influences the purpose of promotion. Such as, the advertising is an impersonal mode of communication that reaches a large group of customers. Its expression can be amplified with the use of colors and sound that helps in developing the long lasting brand image in the minds of the customer.
The Personal selling involves face to face interaction that helps in developing cordial and personal relations with the customers. Likewise, the sales promotion is short-term incentives given to the customers with the intent to boost sales for a shorter period of time.
- Promotional Strategy: The promotion mix largely depends on the company’s promotional strategy, i.e. whether it accepts the Push Strategy or a Pull Strategy. In a Push strategy, the manufacturer forces the dealers to carry the product and promote it to the customer, i.e. convince the potential buyers to buy it. Here, personal selling and trade promotion are likely to be more effective.
In the case of a Pull Strategy, the consumers ask the dealers to carry the product, i.e. customers themselves purchase the product. Here, advertising and consumer promotion are more appropriate.
- Readiness of Buyer: Different promotional tools are required at different stages of buyer readiness. Such as, at the comprehension stage, the blend of advertising and personal selling plays a vital role. Whereas at the conviction stage, personal selling is more effective. At the time of sales closure, the blend of sales promotion and personal selling is likely to be more effective.
Hence, the advertising and publicity are more effective at the early stages of buying decision process while the sales promotion and personal selling are more effective during the later stages.