Unlike the other types of communication, discussed in the earlier chapters, that deal with person- to-person and relatively well-defined group of persons, mass communication aims at reaching out to a well spread-out target audience.
In a business letter, both the addressor and the addressee are specified. The addressor or the letter-writer is the business organization, and the addressee or the recipient is a particular person, by name, designation, a firm or a legal entity.
On the other hand, in mass communication, while the addressor or letter-writer or the communicator is specified, the addressee is relatively vague or unknown. It does not mean that mass communication targets nobody.
In fact, mass communication aims at reaching out to a well-defined target group which is not confined to any known address. For this very reason, mass communication efforts should ensure that the communication not only reaches out to the target audience, but also attracts their attention.
2. Mass communication is essentially a game of numbers. The objective here is to reach out with the purpose of providing specific or general information, influencing the thinking of the target group and eliciting certain action or response.
Newspapers, periodicals and other products of journalism essentially seek to inform and influence. On the other hand, advertisements, hoardings and posters strive to inform, influence and also elicit response or action.
Questionnaires, observational methods and research studies are other types of communication that aim at eliciting information from numerous target individuals, towards making well-defined assessments. These are interrogatory in nature. Direct marketing is another promotional strategy that endeavours to reach out to well-defined targets towards achieving marketing objectives.
3. Promotion in the marketing parlance refers to the fourth P, the other three being place, product and price. It relates to the varied promotional activities undertaken by a business organization towards achieving customer information, customer education and customer communication.
Customers are said to move from stage to stage before the transaction is completed. They move progressively from a state of awareness of the need, to knowledge of the product and thereafter to a state of product preference.
The need of the customer develops into effective demand for products, resulting in the purchase of the product or an ailment of service. Promotional aspects of marketing are particularly relevant in a service industry like banking or insurance, where the product or the service cannot be readily ‘seen’.
Service organizations essentially sell benefits, towards this, they will have to organize effective promotional measures which seek to inform, educate, remind and actualize the market/clientele sections.
Mass communication and promotional strategies have developed into a very potent and effective means of reaching out and acquiring both the mind and the market share.
In the intensely competitive market place that we see today, every business will have to repeatedly and effectively catch the attention of the target groups, not only to acquire new customers, but also to retain the existing customers.
Communication with a wide cross- section of literate and illiterate audience takes place through the following methods:
1. Advertisements through the print media
2. Advertisements through radio
3. Audio-visual media such as television, films and cinema slides
5. Posters and banners
6. Exhibitions and trade fairs
7. Stickers and danglers
8. Sponsorships and events
9. Pamphlets and brochures
10. Gift articles such as diaries, calendars, key chains, caps and T-shirts
11. Fountains, traffic islands and umbrellas
12. Press conferences and press visits
13. Press releases
15. Public relations
17. Web sites
18. Questionnaires and studies
19. Direct marketing
20. Competitions and sports