Promotion is an important part of marketing mix of a business enterprise. Once a product is developed, its price is determined the next problem comes to its sale i.e., creating demand for the product. It requires promotional activities. The activities are technique which bring the special characteristics of the product and of the producer to the knowledge of prospective customers. Promotion is a process of communication involving information, persuasion, and influence. The term 'selling' is often used synonymously with promotion. But promotion is wider that selling. Selling is concerned only with the transfer of title in goods to the purchaser, whereas promotion includes techniques stimulating demand. These techniques include advertising, salesmanship or personal selling and other methods of stimulation demand.
Advertising and sales promotion techniques are indirect and non-personal whereas personal selling or salesmanship is a direct and personal technique. All these techniques, however, should be integrated with the marketing objective of the enterprise. The salesmen can report about the different advertising and other promotional appeals as they are in close touch with the consumer public and market conditions.
Promotion is essentially the sales efforts of a business enterprise and includes the function of informing, persuading and influencing the purchase decision of the existing the prospective consumers with the object of increasing sales volume and profits. Promotion is the efforts of the seller to sell the product effectively. Promotion is the communication with the customers to pursue them to buy the product. It is the duty of the marketing manager to choose the communication media and blend them into an effective promotion programme. These are more than one type of tools used to promote sales. The combination of these tools with a view to maintain and create sales is known as promotion mix. Promotion mix is the name given to the combination of methods used in communicating with customers. There are four tools of promotion mix viz. advertisement, personal selling, publicity and sales promotion. These are called elements of promotion mix.
Elements of Promotion Mix
There are four elements of promotion mix:
Advertising is a non-personal presentation of goods, services or idea. In advertising existing and prospective customers are communicated the message through impersonal media like radio, T.V., newspapers and magazine. It involves transmission of standard message simultaneously to a large number of people. The message transmitted is known as advertising.
Personal selling is the process of assisting and persuading the existing and prospective buyer to buy the goods or services in person. It involves direct and personal contact of the seller or his representative with the buyer.
Publicity is a non-personal non-paid stimulation of demand of the product or services or business unit by planning commercially significant news about the services or business unit by planning commercially significant news about in the print media or by obtaining a favorable presentation of it upon radio, television or stage.
Sales promotion consists of all activities other than advertising, personal selling and publicity, which help in promoting sales of the product. Such activities are non-repetitive and one time offers. According to American Marketing Association, sales promotion include, "those marketing activities other than personal selling, advertising and publicity that stimulate consumer purchasing and dealer effectiveness, such as point of purchase displays, shows and exhibitions, demonstrations and various non-recurring selling efforts not in the ordinary routine."
The main aim of sales promotion is to increase sales and profits of the firm but it is quite different from personal selling and advertising. In personal selling, customer is persuaded by a sales person face to face. Advertising is a non-personal mass communication media. Sales promotion, on the other hand, is a non-recurring and non-routine method. Its main aim is to supplement and coordinate the personal selling and advertising. It is a supporting and facilitating element of promotional strategy. Sales promotion bridges the gap of advertising and personal selling.