Chapters 17 of “Marketing Management” by Kotler & Keller

Subject: Marketing Communication
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Chapter seventeen of Kotler’s and Keller’s book Marketing Management discusses Designing and integrating Marketing communications. Marketing communications or communication mix as what it is referred to by some authors is the major factor in marketing a product. It includes various areas such as Advertising, Sales Promotion, Events and Experiences, Public Relations and Publicity, Direct Marketing, and Personal Selling. Each mode of communication differs from the other but is likely to be integrated through the entire marketing process (Kotler and Keller, 2005). The focus of this paper is the area of advertising and sales promotion.

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According to Kotler and Keller (2005), “Advertising is any paid form of non- personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor.” Many authors try to evaluate the meaning of advertising for different areas. Paul Peter and Donelly (2008) somehow stated the meaning of advertising in a familiar way through it was elaborated through the definition of “a form of non- personal communication about an organization is products or activities that is transmitted through a mass medium to a target audience”.

The mass medium can either be the following; Television, Radio, newspaper, magazines, outdoor displays, car cards, or directories. Apparently, advertising looks for a way to promote the product of a firm or a seller through the use of print and electronic media to give explanation and elaboration for the grounds that messages can get to huge numbers of the target market and be able to make people responsive, convince and remind about the offerings of the firm. From the point of view of marketing management, advertising is an essential strategic device to be able to sustain a competitive advantage in the marketplace (Paul Peter and Donelly, 2008)

Certainly, advertising points out the objective of persuading potential customers to buy or consume a particular product or service. A lot of advertisements are made to generate increased consumption of the products and services by the formation and reinforcement of a brand image and loyalty for the brand. For these objectives, sometimes advertisements set in their persuasive message with real information.

Each medium that is being used in advertising intends to deliver the message through the different kinds of media (Richards and Curran, 2002). More often, an advertisement is placed by an advertising agency to represent a company or any other organization. Some advertisements can be seen through the walls of a mall, airport, sides of vehicles, heard over the phone, and many more forms. Naturally, an advertisement is placed wherein people can see the ad or where people can be easily attracted to it.

Mostly, organizations that always spend huge sums of money for advertisement which sells what is not a product or service comprise of political parties, interest group, religious organizations, and military recruiters. Non- profit organizations are not usual advertising clients and perhaps rely on various modes of persuasion like public service announcements.

A weakness seen in the field of advertising is its wide emergence through globalization. While advertising is viewed as an important element for the growth of an economy, it has social costs. Many unexpected general emails and many other forms of spam have been so rampant as to have become a major annoyance to users of these services. A financial discrepancy also arises among the internet service providers. Advertising rapidly invades public spaces like schools where some view this as child exploitation (Richards and Curran, 2002).

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The history of advertising originally came from the Egyptians. The Egyptians used papyrus which is known as paper to be able to sell a product. They wrote messages on paper and created wall posters to inform the people about the product that they are selling. Commercial messages and political campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Commonly, lost and found advertising on papyrus is used in ancient Greece and Rome.

Some wall or rock painting for advertising a commercial product is also an expression of ancient advertising which is still seen in today’s era especially in many parts of Asia, South America, and Africa. The traditional wall painting can indeed be depicted from the Indian- rock painting. Fruits and vegetables are sold in the market from the backs of carts and wagons, and their proprietors used street callers to make known where they set up and hence usual bartering customers could find the way to the various location in the market and though, without an apparent and concise definition of such, advertising was born utilizing the language, marketing communication and consumerism of India (Stuart, 2005).

Still, there are town criers or street callers over the world in the market. As people become more knowledgeable about marketing strategies, advertising a product or services expounded to comprise handbills. During the 17th century, advertisements began to be visible in weekly newspapers in England. The early advertisements in print were primarily used in order to promote books and newspapers that became affordable with advances in the printing press and medicines. However, a quack which is false advertising added up to the weakness of advertising and guided in the regulation of advertising content (Pride and Ferrell, 1995). But above all, advertising today plays the most relevant element of marketing a product to be exposed to potential customers.

Sales Promotions

Sales promotion is an activity or material that offers customers, sales personnel, or resellers a direct inducement for purchasing a product. This inducement, which adds value to or incentive for the product might take the form of a coupon, sweepstakes, refund, or display (Paul Peter and Donelly, 2008). Also, a sales promotion is termed for the incentives which encourage consumers a trial of a product (Kotler and Keller, 2005).

Sales promotion is one of the techniques used by marketers to promote a certain product. It uses media and non-media marketing communication that is engaged for a preset, limited time to add to the demands of consumers that motivate market demand and develop the availability of the product. Some firms use contests, point of purchase displays, rebates, and free travel like free flights to serve as incentives in sales promotions.

Sales promotions can either be directly done to the customer, sales staff, or distribution channels perhaps such as wholesalers, retailers, agents, and others. A sales promotion that primarily targets the consumer is determined as a consumer sales promotion while a sales promotion that is targeted at market intermediaries is called the trade sales promotion. Sometimes, the firm that uses an unknown kind of sales promotion is coined as a gimmick by many people.

There is unknown history of a sales promotion but ideas come from advertising and the other elements of a promotional mix. A sales promotion is part of the strategy for the consumers to be attracted to buying the product just like in advertising. But, the mere difference between the two elements is that a sales promotion does not intend to promote the benefits of the product rather it intends to promote the product through the incentives that a consumer may get in purchasing. There are various kinds of consumer and trade sales promotion techniques used by many business firms (Stuart, 2005).

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A price deal is one wherein a temporary reduction in the price is given to the product like happy hours. Another is a loyalty reward program wherein the consumers collect points, miles, or credits through purchasing and claim them for specific rewards such as the AAdvantage for credit cards and some Pepsi Stuff. A lot more includes cents-off deals, price-pack deals, coupons which are the standard form of promotions, reducing the price of a popular product to encourage other profitable sales, checkout dispenses, online and mobile couponing, rebates, online interactive promotion game, and many more.

On the other hand, trade sales promotion does the same as consumer sales promotion. Trade sales promotion offers trade allowances which is a short term incentive offered to increase a retailer to stock up on a product, trade contests that gives rewards to retailers that sells most product, training programs, “spiffs” or push money where in an extra commission is paid to retail employees to push products and trade discounts that serves as functional discounts for the payments to distribution channel members for performing some function (Pride and Ferrell, 1995).

Sales promotions have conventionally been a great deal regulated in many places, with of course the notable exception of the United States. Most European countries have controls on the allotment of time and schedules and allowable types of sales promotions. In Germany, it is infamous for having the strictest regulations because of specific reasons. Some well- known examples comprise instances where in the car wash that was banned from giving free car washes to regular customers and a baker who could not give a free cloth bag to customers who bought more than ten rolls (Stuart, 2005). These are viewed in different countries and do not point out to only one.


Advertising and sales promotions relatively fall under the same category of marketing communication. The development of mass communication as an academic field occurred in large part as consequences for the emerging ideologies of people in marketing strategies paved the way to discover the deeper elements of communication. In an article written for a wider understanding of a marketing theory, it enumerates the theories of advertising and reconceptualize its building blocks. Generally, the paper illustrated a research in advertising that used theories from other perspectives and simply utilized an advertising message as a stimulus or a focal content topic.

In the article, actual elements that made the advertising a unique one are usually ignored. It was stated that advertising theory and research needs to become more centered on what makes it a different observable fact and why it needs to be incorporated in ones personal thoughts. The article recommended four instances of probable elements which are skepticism, repetition, message coordination and clutter (Nan and Faber, 2004).

According to the Nan and Faber (2004), “consideration of the unique elements of advertising may also help to influence the paradigms we bring to bear on advertising and alert us to the importance of new dependent variables and the broader ways in which advertising may operate.” An example given by the authors of the article depicts the idea that advertising exists in a cluttered and competitive environment which entails not only that ads are contending for consideration and attention with other ads within a relatively close nearness, but also that the advertised brand is opposing with other brands.

Indeed, when making a buying decision for a specific product, consumers usually form a consideration set and then opt from it a brand that is relatively advanced to other brands. Apparently, advertising occurs in an aggressive environment in which relative qualities of brands, rather than their complete merits matter. However, in most advertising studies fixed advertising effectiveness measures are taken into account. Thus, many advertising theories are put together on the so-called substitute representation from contemporary learning theory (Stuart, 2005). The substitute representation supposes that erroneous responses tend to be replaced by right responses with increasing publicity or practice (Nan and Faber, 2004).

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Another article proposed by Nan and Faber together with Lee about Advertising and the Consumer Information Environment Online relates to the topic of advertising and sales promotion. Nowadays, the use of internet consequently becomes the most essential source of information for the consumers and because of this trend, the internet serves as a wide opportunity for advertisers who look for an efficient communication with their target markets.

The objective of this article is to give a comprehension of the qualities and potentials of the internet as an advertising medium. It described various kinds of internet advertising and also a review of current writings about the effectiveness of each kind. A comparison of the internet with the traditional mass media from the perspectives of the consumer information environment and shows how unique the characteristics of the internet may change the experience of a consumer and the decision making. Challenges and needs of advertising are as well discussed in this article as part of the conclusions (Faber et al., 2004).

The ideas conveyed on the article points out to the use of internet as a channel for advertising and promoting the product which apparently one of the forms of a sales promotion. The internet may be altering and affecting the form of consumer decision making and where the information comes form. In customary situations, most mass intervened consumer information is under the control of the manufacturer. They produce ads and press releases to inform people about their brands.

Through the internet, more opportunities occur for third parties to affect a wide range of consumers. In today’s scenario, many web sites which are into a specific product category perhaps carry comparative information about a set of brands. A lot of interested organizations, fans and self- proclaimed experts might develop sites that tell different brands. There are also retail sites that give brand comparisons for the customers. The sites allow customers to do more intricate and complete information and arrive at decisions according to the effort used to enlarge the desired attributes (Faber et al., 2004). Thus, this changes the behavior of a consumer in making such purchasing decisions.

But it should be remembered that the use of internet is just a tool and does bit necessarily have to be the basis of the decision making of each consumer. This tool still requires people to invest effort in order to be satisfied with a certain product. People may still continue to depend their choices on habit, prior experiences or from an impulse (Faber et al., 2004). The capability to help remind and emphasize brand decisions will still be an imperative objective for advertisers.

The Internet may play a role as well, even though through diverse techniques and formats. In these fewer linking decisions, linking affirmative feelings with a brand and enhancing evoke and identification by means of recurrence will be vital. Activities such as funding and value-added tools on an individual’s Web site are possible to be important ways of having these outcomes. Consumers are likely to find out that the Internet presents a huge collection of consumer related information in an assortment of arrangements that may influence their brand choices in the future.

Many international studies show consumers as generally disposed to advertising. O’ Donohoe (2001) stated that “although ambivalence of public attitudes to advertising is sometimes acknowledged, it has been undertheorized”. She argued that research on attitudes towards advertising has widely centered on the content of attitudes at the expense of contextual elements of a popular culture, postmodernism and advertising literacy. Ambivalence in consumer attitudes to advertising is catered by taking into consideration three sets of apprehension which are related to the contextual elements.

The paper concluded in view of inference for advertising production and consumption in postmodern times (O’Donohoe, 2001). Today, advertisements appear in various forms and almost all products are advertised to the extent that it exceeds the reality or it is sometimes termed as hype. Consumption as a spot of disagreement should also be viewed.

Moreover, the complexity of attitudes to advertising recommends the needs for more wide- ranging study that evaluates the context as the content of such attitudes. Advertising is nit experienced in isolation from the social and cultural world and this should be integrated into one design for better comprehension. The contextual elements that were pointed out will be more likely to unite the attitudes of each consumer towards advertising.

The perception of consumers towards marketing elements specifically in advertising and sales promotions emerge through the development of newer trends for both. Increasingly, other media are overtaking television because of a change towards the usage of internet. Advertising on the World Wide Web is the most current trend and prices of these web- based advertising depends on the relevance of the surrounding web content and the traffic that the website receives. Advertising in through e-mails is another form of advertisement which appears to be the latest among the ways where in to encourage potential customers.

These e- mails or electronic mails are called spam or that automatically sent to an individual’s inbox without any notifications. Some companies have anticipated placing messages or corporate logos on the elevation of booster rockets and the International Space Station. Issues subsist on the effectiveness of subliminal advertising and the frequency of mass messages. There are different types of advertising which can be referred to as informal such as an unpaid advertising which is also called a word of mouth advertising that can give good publicity at minimal cost, personal recommendations or bringing a friend, spreading buzz, or attaining the feat of associating a brand with an ordinary noun.

In 1998, sales promotion and advertising worked together when the mobile phone became the new mass media when the first paid downloadable content showed on the mobile phone and afterwards, it was followed by various sales promotions for the competitions of a particular product. Another new form of advertising that is growing quickly is Social network advertising. It is an Online Advertising that centers on social networking sites. This is a comparatively an immature market but it has given away a lot of promise as marketers are able to take advantage of the demographic information the consumer has given to the social networking site (Richards and Curran, 2002).

However, an article discussed the applicability of sales promotion within a non- profit marketing and disagreed that some of the widely held prejudices about sales promotions have acted to obscure their potential contribution to a range of non- profit markets (Peattie, 2003). Understanding this potential requires more clarification in comprehending the strengths and weaknesses of a specific technique in sales promotion.

Presenting the grounds for classifying both sales promotions and marketing contexts helped to understand of which sales promotion might work particularly in a non- profit market. Focusing on a specific type of sales promotion that shows a potentially important and versatile tool for a non- profit market which may lead to a sales promotion competition. The detailed benefits that sales promotion competitions can offer aided a particular guideline in which marketers should look for (Peattie, 2003).


Generally, advertising and sales promotion are sometimes led to misconceptions because of its alike connotations hence it falls under he same category which is a form of marketing communication. This is where the firms try to tell and influence the consumers wither directly or not about a particular product that they have. Advertising and Sales promotion are just two of the marketing communications which serve as the representative of a certain brand or product.

It largely does various functions for the audiences not necessarily customers. People can be persuaded through this and automatically respond to what the product calls and influence them on how the product should be use, why, where and when. Thus, advertising and sales promotions are both marketing communications that widely encourage consumers to pay attention to the product that merely starts the so called brand equity. Consumers begin to depict brand equity when they hold a strong, favorable association with the product in memory (Keller, 2001).

On the other hand, advertising and sales promotions differ from each other because advertising is more on telling about the product itself. It illustrates the benefits of the product in terms of stating what the actual or core product a firm has. It is said that advertising is a paid non- personal communication through the use of media and is intended to inform, and persuade the consumers to buy a specific product.

Particularly, an advertisement can be in the form of various media such as television, radio, print ad and the like. However, a sales promotion is promoting the incentives which are given to consumers who will buy the product. Unlike advertising, sales promotion does not give more information about the product. It does not speak for the product though but for the incentives that a consumer may get from buying. Specifically, in designing a sales promotion for a marketing plan requires having these elements in order to complete the marketing communications strategy (Pride and Ferrell, 1995).

The story board for Television Advertisement and sales promotion relatively should be connected with each other but should not be the same. The TV ad for a particular product narrates the benefits of the product while the scenes in the sales promotion story board show the incentives. Hypothetically, an example may be given to a brand of a goat’s milk. Advertising a goat’s milk should create a profound foundation for the consumers to buy the product and state its nutrients or perhaps health benefits while a sales promotion adds up to the reason why consumers should buy like winning in a raffle promo or getting instant surprises from the package of the product.

Relevance of advertising and sales promotion mainly points out to a business-to-consumer relationship. Advertising and sales promotion persuades potential buyer and this gives awareness for the consumers about a certain product. Advertising portrays significance in the world of marketing. It provides information by giving the details about the product and what it will benefit the consumers.

Giving awareness to the people through an advertisement is also emphasized; where in new products are introduced through advertisements to be able to reach the market. Lastly, advertising provides entertainment for the consumers. In an observable fact, most advertisements should be enticing in order to catch the attention of the viewers and to market the product as well (Stuart, 2005). Alternatively, a sales promotion is relevant to encourage the target audience to purchase the product as well. It focuses more on the things that the consumer will get in exchange of buying the product. It plays a relevant role for marketers because it adds up to the promotion of the product while for consumers; it gives additional benefits aside from the benefits of the product itself which is called incentives.

However, both elements of the marketing communications described depict various strengths and weaknesses. Advertising is somehow stronger than a sales promotion through sticking to the minds of consumers of building a brand loyalty.

Advertisements are more likely to get the affirmative response of the consumers through giving an eye for a particular brand. This also serves as a channel for marketing a certain product and launching it in a specified manner hence, this is one of the strengths of advertising (Richards and Curran, 2002). A sales promotion shows a strong point in giving extra credit to the consumers and answering the principle of a want- satisfying product.

Though a weakness is seen on the part of having a limited time where in the incentives will run only for a specific period only. Instances such as unfair sales promotions arises in some countries and prevailed to be restricted in giving various kinds of sales promotions to the consumers. Advertisements meet its weakness through the illustration of unappealing techniques to the mass and engaging to unethical courses. Advertisements are somehow offensive when it disregard the guidelines for an ethical media broadcasting and just think of the ideas for the sake of selling or marketing the product without the considerations of the consumers’ perceptions.

The given articles somehow portray the different areas to be considered in viewing what advertising and sales promotion stands for in the market. Internet usage and more on the marketing theories are explained through the articles. It relatively connects the form of advertising and sales promotions to the emergence of high technology in the world. The use of links between sites generally affects productivity of advertising the product online.

Apparently it appears to be effective because of the great effort given to the new form of mass media. Certainly, it is profitable because of the spontaneous and rapid growth of this electronic marketing (Faber et al., 2004).

An article in sales promotion was also included in the discussion where in sales promotions are viewed for a non- profit market. Other essential theories are also discussed on the articles and prevailed that these marketing communications greatly affects the decision making process of a consumer about a specific product. Considering the grounds of these techniques in order to persuade the consumers to buy the product is apparent to a positive result.

People seem to be receptive with the development of the new market today. This may mean a positive one if consumers will not depend on what they see in various forms of advertisements and will not be easily persuaded by different kinds of enticing sales promotions (Stuart, 2005). Though for the firms’ perspectives, these communication strategies are the most effective among other elements because this directly gives what the consumers wants.


Faber, R.J, Lee, M., & Nan Xiaoli. (2004). “Advertising and the Consumer Information Environment Online”, American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 48 No. 4, 447-466.

Keller, L.K. (2001) ‘Mastering the Marketing Communications Mix: Micro and Macro Perspectives on Integrated Marketing Communication Programs’, Journal of Marketing Management 17(7–8): 819–47.

Kotler, P., & Keller, K. (2005) Marketing Management Upper Saddle River , NJ Prentice Hall.

Nan, X. & Faber, R.J, (2004) “Advertising theory: Reconceptualizing the building blocks”, Marketing Theory, Volume 4(1/2): 7–30.

O’Donohoe, S. (2001). “Living with ambivalence Attitudes to advertising in postmodern times”, Marketing Theory”, Volume 1(1): 91–108.

Peattie, S. (2003). “Applying sales promotion competitions to nonprofit contexts”, International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, Volume 8, Number 4, pp. 349-362(14).

Pride, W., and Ferrell, O. (1995). Marketing: Concepts and strategy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Paul Peter, J. & Donelly Jr., J.H., (2008). “Marketing Management: Knowledge and Skills” McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 8th Edition, pp. 111-115.

Richards, J.I. and Curran, C.M. (2002) ‘“Oracles on ‘Advertising”: Searching for a Definition’, Journal of Advertising 31(2): 63–78.

Stuart, M, “Resale price maintenance and the character of resistance in the conservative party: 1949-64,” Canadian Journal of History 40, no. 2 (2005): 259-289.