Marketing communication tools are used to promote a company's products and services. Most companies have marketing communications (MARCOM) departments strictly devoted to planning and developing these tools. There are many different types of communication marketing tools, including advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct mail and even sponsorship. Most companies use a combination of these various tools.
Advertising is a highly prevalent marketing communication tool. Advertising can be used to efficiently get a company's message to large audiences. Companies can use a number of different types of advertising, including magazine, newspaper, radio, television and even Internet advertising. The most effective usually follows the general formula of AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action), according to the article "The Advertising Formula That Always Works" at copywriting.com. The heading of the ad typically gets the reader's attention, then piques her interest and desire for a company's products. Consequently, she acts by going to the store and purchasing the product.
Sales promotions are another effective communication marketing tool. Sales promotions can include product demonstrations, contests, displays, free samples, premiums like "buy one/get one free," coupons and other types of incentives. The goal of a sales promotion is to spur short-term sales by increasing awareness of a brand. Ultimately, a company strives to build repeat business with a sales promotion.
Public relations is a communication marketing tool that helps a company ensure a positive public image, according to managementhelp.org, one of the world's largest online business resources. The goal of public relations is to help consumers better understand a company and its products. Public relations can include public appearances like interviews, press releases and even the sponsorship of major sporting events.
Direct marketing is another highly effective communication marketing tool. Direct marketing can include mail and email promotions, catalogs, and even direct response promotions on television and radio. For example, most cable shopping programs are using direct marketing to sell their products.
The results for direct marketing can easily be measured, unlike most communication marketing tools. For example, a company can key the order form in a direct mail package sent to customers by adding a certain code number. The company may use code 110 to represent a January 10 mailing. That way a company can calculate its return on investment, or total revenue minus expenses, for each mailing.
Personal selling is another highly pervasive communication marketing tool. Companies have both inside and outside sales reps to market their products to consumers and businesses. One advantage of personal selling is that it offers two-way communication. The customer can ask questions about a company's products or service, then make his decision to buy. However, sometimes it can take multiple contacts to make a sale, especially for higher-priced items.