Marketing communication is the promotions element of the marketing mix that includes product, price and placement. Elements of marketing communication include senders transmitting messages to receivers via media. The business is often the sender and consumers are the receivers; messages sent from consumers back to the business are known as feedback. Noise is any interference in receiving the message or feedback. How the receiver acts is the response -- most marketing communication is designed to have buying as a response. Many businesses discuss marketing communications in terms of the marketing communication mix, which is also know as integrated marketing communications. The elements of IMC include advertising, personal selling, public relations, sales promotions and direct marketing.

Advantages of Advertising

Advertisements in the IMC mix are paid spots in media such as television, radio, magazines, billboards and websites. Advertisements are good at informing and persuading mass audiences. Advertising reaches consumers both before and after their purchase, persuading them to buy and then reinforcing the purchase. This before-and-after influence helps with valuable post-purchase word-of-mouth advertising as consumers recall their experience with the product.

Advantages of Personal Selling

Personal selling involves salespeople who are paid to personally promote a product face-to-face with the consumer. This type of marketing communication all but eliminates noise and allows immediate feedback and response. Personal selling is one of the most persuasive forms of marketing communication. It reaches consumers as they make their purchase and influences them immediately following the purchase.

Advantages of Public Relations

Public relations are indirect, unpaid communications through news outlets and other credible sources. This type of marketing communication requires the cooperation of the news media. Consumers are likely to believe public relations messages above all other types of marketing communications. Public relations reaches consumers best before they make their purchase.

Advantages of Sales Promotions

Sales promotions are discounts such as coupons, sales and giveaways. This type of marketing communication is highly effective at changing consumer response at the time of purchase. Marketers often use this type of communication in the maturity stage of the product life cycle to spur renewed interest and to remind consumers of the product.

Advantages of Direct Marketing

Direct selling is marketing communication through postal mail, email or over the telephone. It’s information that’s prepared quickly and customized to consumers whose contact information is kept in the business's database. Direct selling creates a rapport with the customer and is often combined with sales promotions such as coupon mailers. Like sales promotions, direct marketing affects the consumer at the point of purchase.