Defined as a “dialogue between business unit and its present and potential customers that takes place during pre-selling, selling and post-selling stages”, marketing communication mix, or promotion mix is considered to be a fundamental aspect of business marketing initiatives.
Kotler and Keller (2009) divided marketing communication mix into the following six categories: advertising, sales promotion, events and experiences, public relations and publicity, direct selling and personal selling.
1. Advertising is “a paid non-personal communication about an organisation and its products transmitted to a target audience”. The following are important platforms of print and media advertising:
- Billboards & posters
- Viral marketing
- Celebrity endorsement
- Product placement
2. Sales Promotions is a marketing strategy which involves using temporary campaign or offer to increase interest and demand on products and services. The following are popular sales promotion techniques:
- Seasonal sales promotions. Businesses may reduce the prices of certain items during holidays and festive seasons such as Christmas holidays.
- Money off coupons. Customers receive coupons by mail, in store or they cut coupons our of magazines or product packaging to purchase the product next time for lower price.
- Purchase of a product allows the customer to participate in a game to win a price.
- Discount vouchers. A voucher that can be used to purchase a product at a reduced price.
- Free gifts. Customers get an item for free if they purchase a product.
- Point of sale materials. Use of posters, display stands and other promotional tools to present the product to customers within the shop.
- Loyalty cards. Possibility for customers to earn points for buying specific products or buying from specific sellers. Accumulated points can be exchanged for goods or other offers. For example, Tesco Clubcard, Sainsbury’s Nectar etc.
3. Events and experiences, as a marketing mix component relate to a range of marketing techniques that include providing entertainment, supporting various charitable causes, organising festivals and arts etc. Companies can organize events and experiences to promote specific products or as an attempt to increase brand awareness in general.
4. Public relations can be defined as a “discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics”
Public relations and publicity refer to building good relationships with the company’s various publics by obtaining favourable publicity, building up a good ‘corporate image’, and handling or heading off unfavourable rumours, stories, events.
5. Direct marketing is marketing of products and services directly to consumers, without intermediaries. Direct marketing is “a marketing strategy to build stronger, more personal relationships between the buyer and selected customers directly”.
6. Personal selling is “person-to-person communication with a prospective customer in order to develop a relationship, identify customer needs, match goods/services with those needs, communicate benefits to customers, and gain commitment to purchase goods/services that satisfy customer needs.”
In this portal you find marketing communication mix analyses of major international companies.
 Trehan, M. & Trehan, R. (2011) “Advertising and Sales Management” FK Publications, p.42
 Kotler P. and Keller K.L (2009) Marketing Management (13th edn). Pearson Education International, Prentice Hall
 Pride, W.M., Ferrell, O.C, Lukas, B., Schembri, S. & Niineten, O. (2012) “Marketing Principles” Cengage Learning, p.411
 Chartered Institute of Public Relations (n.d.) Available at: http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/careers-advice/what-pr
Moore, K. & Pareek, N. (2010) “Marketing: The Basics” 2nd edition, Taylor & Francis, p.168
Siguaw, J.A. & Bojanic, D.C. (2004) “Hospitality Sales: Selling Smarter” Cengage Learning, p.2