Marketing

How to Use the Marketing Communication Mix to Boost Business

Take a handful of research and grab these ingredients:

  • Advertising/marketing
  • Personal selling
  • Promotions
  • Public relations and
  • Direct marketing

Now throw that into a blender. You’ve got the makings of the marketing communication mix.

Five categories make up this mix. When used correctly, your target market will see the value of your product and services. Then they become customers.

The marketing communication mix keeps customers active. Which means more sales for you.

How to go about using it? We’ll start with…

1. Advertising/marketing

When you want people to see you, it’s time to advertise.

Advertising is passing a message — benefits, product information, company mission statements — to a specific group of people.

Note: Paid messages get more views than organic (unpaid) messages.

Think how paid posts are promoted on Facebook — the message can be viewed by thousands. But if you post on the company page (for free), you’ll be drowned out.

This is why we have budgets for advertising. Because it can get expensive.

The coveted Super Bowl spot…

You want to show a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl? It’ll run you $4 million on average. And the response can be tremendous.

Wix spent over $10 million to show one of their commercials during the Super Bowl. The response gave them an increased “brand lift” — people able to recognize them more — of 12.7% (pre-Super Bowl it was 8.7%).

Showing a commercial during the Super Bowl may put some companies in the red. For others, it can soar their sales.

Advertising is about weighing your options based on your product and customer responses.

Benefits of advertising…

  • Increase of brand identification
  • Reach global audiences
  • May see short-term sales
  • Increased customer acquisition.

2. Personal selling

Salespeople. They sell the benefits of a product to trade buyers. This is a hands-on approach to selling. it allows conversation about the product between two people. When used correctly, personal selling builds relationships between company and customer.

The real relationship builder…

That said, personal selling can also be costly. Analyzing and researching target markets can be hefty.

You’re learning who these customers are — what do they do on a Sunday morning? What’s their biggest drive to buy your product? What emotional needs does your service provide?

Then trial and erroring. Better known as A/B testing.

You try one method, examine responses, then change it. Why? To see if it gets a better response from your customers.

Despite the selling in personal selling — which is the primary function and quite important in the marketing communication mix — listening is effective too. What you learn by listening to customers is invaluable when selling to them.

So: A/B test. Use what works. Rinse and repeat.

Benefits of personal selling…

  • Relationship building
  • Active communication from both parties
  • Build brand loyalty/understanding

3. Promotions

People love discounts. If the price is right, customers will pull the trigger on products they considered but wouldn’t have bought before.

A big sign shouting, “30% off!” gets the fingers itching and the wallets out. Especially during big discount and promotion periods, like Black Friday.

Sales and promotions increase sales temporarily. And discounts create mini panics.

Customers think, If I don’t get this product now, it’ll be full price again. So I should buy it. Who knows when the next sale will happen?

That’s good for business.

But don’t be a liar…

Sales can build brand identity… when done right. This means honoring your discounts and promotions. If you don’t, then you risk losing sales and customers.

For example. Big gaming company Square Enix recently had a large sale on their video games. The sales were 50-70% off. They sent out an email to their customers advertising this promotion. The prices were the lowest ever seen!

But it was an error. Instead of, “Get X game for $6!” they meant it to say, “Get X game $6 off the original price!”

Despite it being an honest mistake, fans weren’t happy. Prices were changing as they were cashing out. While some customers got their products at the hugely discounted price (before the mistake was caught) others were told, “Too bad!”

It doesn’t have to be that way. If you honor your promotions the results can be fantastic.

Benefits of personal selling…

  • Spike in short-term sales
  • Attracts attention
  • Increase customer acquisition
  • Moves customers into action

4. Public Relations

Public relations is linked to advertising. You can pay for the exposure or not. For example, if someone interviews you for a magazine story, they will feature your company. And you didn’t pay for it.

But you can pay writers and companies to link your business in an online article. The point is to communicate your message to a multitude of avenues. Including…

  • Press releases
  • Magazines
  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Trade publications
  • Blog posts

Uncontrollable exposure…

Being seen by various audiences may generate great responses. Problem is, you rarely get to control the message — or how it’s seen. Unlike with advertising — where you write the message and decide on which medium is used — an outside party controls what is said and how.

Benefits of public relations…

  • Creates authority/credibility
  • Many mediums to communicate
  • Reaches audiences globally.

5. Direct marketing

Do you want to send a message and have customers respond? This is direct marketing. It’s personal selling meets sales promotions.

You send the message to your customer with a call-to-action (CTA). A CTA makes the reader do something. You decide what the do is.

Example: email sign-ups. The point is to get people, through direct marketing, to sign-up to the company email list.

The email sign-up CTA on this website says…

GET MORE ANALYSIS

Subscribe to our mailing list and get our articles and updates to your email inbox.

Followed by an opt-in section.

It’s clear what the reader gets (articles and updates). It’s also the CTA. In return, you give your email.

It’s a give and take situation. If it were an equation, it would look like…

Message (promise) + Medium (marketing method) = Customer Action.

Note: You can offer discounts or lead magnets to persuade customers into action too.

What mediums exist for direct marketing?

  • Surveys
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Mail-in services
  • Telemarketing/cold calling

Benefits of direct marketing…

  • Customizable
  • Various ways to do it
  • Immediate to the customer
  • Gets them to act
  • Targeted messaging
  • Interactive for customers

So…

You’ve got an idea of the many ways to communicate with your customers. The way to be successful with these methods is to choose the one your customers respond to best. That’s the point of communication right?

You can play around or combine different methods from the marketing communication mix to get the best results.

Image: oneinchpunch/Shutterstock.com

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The Author

Kiesha Frue

Kiesha Frue

Kiesha Frue is a freelance writer and editor with a love for health, wellness, and entrepreneurship. When she’s not researching into the sunrise, her nose is stuck in the latest (and cheesiest) of fantasy novels.