Marketing Management - Promotion Decisions Promotion decision is used to find the appropriate and effective method to promote a particular product to increase the sales. Integrated Marketing Communication Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is a continuous effort to plan, execute and evaluate techniques for selling or advertising a product by using traditional and nontraditional methods of promotion. The following are the major features of promotion decisions − Awareness of target consumer and their preference of media Knowledge of consumers’ beliefs that can be related to the product to get the expected response Setting different promotional tools, each tool for specific target but all linked to acquire a common target Coordinating of advertising, sales, promotion and public relation as proportional strategy Continuous broadcasting of information about the product Promotion decisions are made on the basis of characteristics. Such decisions help in target marketing of the product; this decreases the advertising expenses. Marketing Communication Process Marketing communication process comprises the following eight stages − Stage I − Source Stage II − Encoding Stage III − Transmission Stage IV − Decoding Stage V − Receipt Stage VI − Response Stage VII − Feedback The source is the information which is introduced for the promotion while the feedback is provided by the consumer, which is evaluated and changes are made for promotion. Promotion Decisions Special pricing strategy is mostly used for the promotion of the product. In this strategy, pricing is changed for a short interval of time. Promotion decision can be executed by implementing the following steps − Step 1 − Setting of the objectives Step 2 − Determining promotion budget Step 3 − Target Market Step 4 − The appeal Step 5 − Promotion Mix Promotion Mix Promotion mix is a combination of various marketing techniques, oriented to acquire a common target. It provides a structure for budget allocation for different elements of the promotional mix. Some elements of promotional mix are as follows − Advertising Sales promotion Public relations and publicity Personal selling Direct marketing Type of product market Overall marketing strategy Buyer readiness stage Product life cycle stage Direct Marketing Direct marketing is a form of marketing in which a single customer is approached for advertisement of the product. It attempts to acquire and retain customers by contacting them without the use of an intermediary. The objective of direct marketing is to garner a direct response, which may take one of the following forms − A purchase over the telephone or by post A request for a catalogue or sales literature An agreement to visit a location / event (e.g., an exhibition) Participation is some form of action (e.g., joining a political party) A request for a demonstration of a product A request for a sales person’s visit Forms of Direct Marketing The following are the different forms of direct marketing − Catalogue marketing Direct mail marketing Telemarketing Teleshopping /home shopping Database marketing Kiosk marketing In these methods, the product is advertised directly to the potential customers by approaching them.