Global Marketing Communication Decisions

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Sales promotion is any paid, short-term communication program that adds tangible value to a product or brand. Consumer sales promotions are targeted at ultimate consumers; trade sales promotions are used in business-to-business marketing. Sampling gives prospective customers a chance to try a product or service at no cost. A coupon is a certificate that entitles the bearer to a price reduction or other value-enhancing consideration when purchasing a product or service.

Personal selling is face-to-face communication between a prospective buyer and a company representative. The Strategic/Consultative Selling Model that is widely used in the United States is also being utilized worldwide. The model's five strategic steps call for developing a personal selling philosophy, a relationship strategy, a product strategy, a customer strategy, and a presentation strategy. The six steps in the presentation plan are: approach; presentation; demonstration; negotiation; close; and servicing the sale. Successful global selling may require adaptation of one or more steps in the presentation plan. An additional consideration in global selling is the composition of the sales force, which may include expatriates, host country natives, or sales agents.

Several others forms of communication can be used in global marketing. These include direct marketing, a measurable system that uses one or more media to start or complete a sale. One-to-one marketing is an updated approach to direct marketing that calls for treating each customer in a distinct way based on his or her previous purchase history or past interactions with the company. Direct mail, catalogs, infomercials, and teleshopping are some of the direct marketing tools that have been successfully used on a global basis. Global marketers frequently try to place their products in blockbuster movies that will reach global audiences. Sponsorships and product placement are also becoming vital communication tools that can be used on a global basis.


In 2005, China’s Lenovo Group acquired IBM’s personal computer business for $1.25 billion. The acquisition vaulted China’s top computer company into third place among the world’s PC marketers, behind Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

The crown jewel in the acquisition was the popular ThinkPad, a laptop that features an exceptionally well-designed keyboard.

Chief executive Amelio and his marketing team decided to use the Olympics as a vehicle for building awareness about the corporate name and its products. Lenovo paid more than $60 million to become China’s first Olympic sponsor.

Lenovo is also the computer provider for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Sales promotion, direct marketing, and specialized forms of marketing communication such as infomercials and the Internet are also growing in importance. Of course, personal selling remains an important promotional tool as well.

Taken together, the marketing mix elements discussed in this chapter and Chapter 13 can be used to create highly effective integrated promotional campaigns that support global brands.


• What is sales promotion?

Sales promotion refers to any paid consumer or trade communication program of limited duration that adds tangible value to a product or brand.

In a price promotion, tangible value may take the form of a price reduction, coupon, or mail-in refund.

Nonprice promotions may take the form of free samples, premiums, "buy one, get one free" offers, sweepstakes, and contests.

Consumer sales promotions may be designed to make consumers aware of a new product, to stimulate nonusers to sample an existing product, or to increase overall consumer demand.

Trade sales promotions are designed to increase product availability in distribution channels.

At many companies,...
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