There has been a tremendous amount of change in the global markets in the past few years. This has predominantly due to the fact that there is a shift in the consumer mindset, consumption patterns, changes in demography and organizational attitude brought through by advancement in technology. This has led to a change in marketing strategies and practices across the world. Marketing thinkers and companies are prompted to frequently re-think their strategies and adopt new theoretical and practical approach to address specific marketing changes and also to think beyond the scope of traditional marketing theories (Constantinides, E, 2006). A majority of the changes were influenced by the advent of internet and easy accessibility of users to this medium of communication. The internet has grown to become a highly accepted source of information and consumers can now benefit from the expanded range of timely and relevant product-related information accessible through the internet as quite rightly pointed out by Quelch and Klein (1996, cited Soumava 2001 ). In these changed circumstances prevalence of Social Media tools like YouTube, Podcasts, Wikipedia, Blogs etc has prompted businesses to adopt these as an effective and potent marketing and promotional tool and is changing the face of conventional media. Fernando opines that social media offers phenomenal opportunities to marketers with fewer pitfalls. Today Social Media refers to an intersection of software, marketing, media and entertainment. (Fernando, 2007).
‘Promotional Mix’ : An overview
‘Promotional Mix’ is the term used to describe a set of tool that businesses use to communicate the benefits of its products or services to its customers. This includes advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, personal and direct selling and public relations. ‘Promotional Mix’ is hence part of the wider marketing mix. (Guide to Promotional mix, www.cim.co.uk, 2004). Fig: 1.0 gives an illustration about the same. The success of this model works on a structured, balanced and planned use of the tools. The combination of the five tools one uses depends on the target audience,
the message one wishes to communicate and the budget
available. (Guide to Promotional Mix, www.cim.co.uk,
The Chartered Institute of Management 2004)
Advertisements and Sales promotions can be quite useful to garner market share provided the target markets and the financial implications have been identified and justified. Public Relations is another important aspect as it helps to shape a brand and helps the company maintain its reputation intact. (Guide to Promotional Mix, www.cim.co.uk, 2004).
Promotional Mix, widely practiced still, has its own limitations and shortcomings. An example would be the advertising costs as research has proved that people need to see an advertisement at least seven times for it to mean anything to them and hence can prove to be quite costly. (Guide to Promotional Mix, www.cim.co.uk, 2004) Similarly small and medium businesses might not be able to afford a robust public relations team or involve a direct marketing team. (Guide to Promotional Mix, www.cim.co.uk, 2004). Researchers dealing with issues and problems emanating within the new marketing domains often dispute the 4ps of marketing and the ‘Promotional Mix’s appropriateness as the underlying marketing paradigm, at least in its original form (Constantinides, E, 2006). One can argue that the basic drawbacks of this theory is its fixation...