Complex products requiring customer application assistance (computers, pollution control system, steam turbines)

Major purchase decisions, such as food items purchased by supermarket chains

Features and performance of the product requiring personal demonstration and trial by the customer (private aircraft)

Channel system relatively short and direct to end users

Product and service training and assistance needed by channel intermediaries

Personal selling needed to push product through channel

Channel intermediaries available to perform personal selling function for supplier with limited resources and experience (brokers or manufacturer's agents)



Final price is negotiated between buyer and seller (appliances, cars, real estate)

Selling price or quality purchased enables an adequate margin to support selling expenses (traditional department store compared to discount house)

Advertising media do not provide effective link with market targets

Information needed by buyer cannot be provided entirely through advertising and sales promotion (life insurance)

Number and dispersion of customers will not enable acceptable advertising economies

advantages in some situations but is less appropriate in others, as evidenced in Figure 18-1.

• Evaluating the relative effectiveness of alternatives. The effectiveness of each program element must be evaluated based on the target market and the objectives sought. Personal selling is effective in many situations, but other program elements may be more attractive in other cases. For example, advertising may do a better job of repeating messages or reaching a large number of people with one distinct, consistent message.

• Determining cost effectiveness. One of the major disadvantages of personal selling is the cost involved. (Cahners Research estimates the average cost per sales call could be as high as $329.)4 While the cost of a personal sales call may not be prohibitive in industrial settings where a single purchase can be worth millions of dollars, the same cost may be unfeasible in a consumer market. Other media may be able to communicate the required message at a much lower cost.

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