MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS FOR SERVICES [ Part 2 ]
Modern marketing process involves something more than Just developing a good product (the First P), Pricing it attractively (the Second P), and Making it accessible (the Third P).
It also calls for communication with the present and potential stakeholders and the general public (the Fourth P). Marketing communications, in one form or another, are essential to a company's success.
For most companies today, the question is not whether to communicate, but rather what to say, to whom, and how often. So managers need to debate the question: “How should the Marketers communicate what our service has to offer?”
In addition to being a global force, communication is the unique tool that marketers use to persuade the consumers to act in a desired way, say to vote, to buy, to donate, to patronise, etc.
The location and atmosphere of a service delivery facility, corporate design features like the consistent use of colours and graphic elements, the appearance and behaviour of employees, website design—all of these factors contribute to an impression in the customer's mind.
Communications are in many forms, like verbal, visual or symbolic, and convey special meaning that the marketers want to impart to the consumers. Communications can evoke emotions that put consumers in more receptive frames of mind, and it can encourage purchases that help consumers solve problems or avoid negative outcomes.
In short, Communications is the bridge between marketers and consumers, and between consumers and their socio-cultural environments.
Definition of Sales Promotion :
Sales Promotion is an MC function that offers a tangible added value designed to motivate and accelerate a response.
“Adding tangible value” means offering something more to the buyers who respond to SP.
Examples may be 20% price off, 20% more goods, free samples of other products, “buy two get three”, one soap case free with two soaps, free talk time with handset, etc. SPs are mostly for a “limited period only”,
There are two basic types of SP, like :
Consumer Promotions :
The consumer promotions are targeted and designed for the end users directly.
Here, the marketers use a PULL strategy, which is the use of incentives to motivate end users to purchase a brand and thus put pressure on the retailer to stock that brand.
The consumers thus “PULL” the products thro’ the distribution line towards themselves.
Trade Promotions :
The trade promotions are targeted and designed for members of the distribution channels, such as distributors, wholesalers, retailers.
Here, the marketers use a PUSH strategy, which is the use of incentives to motivate the buying and reselling of products.
The traders thus “PUSH” the products down the distribution line towards the consumers.