By: Szeremlei Péter
Seminar Leader: Kapitány József
Module Leader: Dr. Tom Owens
Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
In terms of the general perception of all of the marketing mix elements that a firm may employ, it is perhaps promotion' that is the most prominent P' in the 4 P's'. In fact to many people promotion is marketing. Promotion is a part of a firm's overall effort to communicate with consumers and others about its product or service offering'. Both the company and the consumer have needs which they aim to fulfill; the profit making company wishes to improve or maintain profits and market share, and gain a better reputation than its competitors, and the consumer aims to reach his or her personal goals. The total product offering allows each party to move towards these goals, offering a bundle of satisfactions' which fulfill needs in an instrumental and a psychological sense. The phrase Marketing Communications' is generally preferred to the term promotion', this term being reserved for a branch of communications called below-the-line sales promotion'.
2Promotion or Marketing Communication
In a sense all marketing communication activity is a form of promotion, that is in one way or another is attempting to promote the interest of the brand, product range and/or company. What differentiates above the line' activity from below the line activity' is a somewhat arbitrary division. There is no universally accepted definition of either. Below the line activity is loosely classed as non-media advertising. Basically if an advertisement is submitted to a publication and a commission is paid to the advertising agency to feature the piece then this is deemed to be above the line' communication. If no commission has been paid, for example in the case of a public relations press release, a trade exhibition or a sponsored sports event, this is referred to as below the line' activity. This distinction is accepted by most and is the distinction adopted here.
3Real and implied product attributes
The role of marketing communications is to communicate the benefits of the product, service or firm to potential consumers and indeed the same process is undertaken in not for profit situations' like political parties. The benefits marketing communicators try to convey can be real' although many of attributes are implied through association or suggestion. This has been described as a total bundle of attributes' that the consumer perceives in a holistic manner. In other words, consumers see the product or service offering as a unified whole, rather than a bundle of separate component parts such as it's price, packaging, shape and so on. In this way, marketing communications conveys the meaning of the company's total product offering, helping consumers attain their goals and moving the company closer to its own goals. Many products, particularly in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) category, are very similar to other products in their class. For example margarines are basically similar no matter what brand is selected, and the same goes for many fmcg products. In times of shortage, such as during the war years, goods were treated as homogenous commodities, and basically soap was soap! In less developed countries the same is true today. 4The marketing communications mix
Promotion describes the communications activities of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and publicity/public relations. Advertising is a non-personal form of mass communication, paid for by an identified sponsor. Personal selling involves a seller attempting to persuade a potential buyer to make a purchase. Sales promotion encompasses short-term activities such as giving coupons, free samples, etc. that encourage quick action by buyers. The company has control over these three variables, but has little control over the fourth variable,...