Sales & Marketing

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Positioning is a fundamental concept in marketing. It was popularized in the early 1970s by Ries and Trout. It is intertwined with another basic marketing concept, differentiation. Differentiation is the creation of tangible or intangible differences between a company’s product or service and its competition. Positioning is the set of strategies that a company develops and implements ensuring that these differences occupy a distinct and valued place in the consumer’s mind relative to the competition. Positioning is based on customer perception acknowledging that perception is reality.

Point-of-Purchase promotion

Also known as point of sale advertising (P O S), point of purchase promotion (P O P) refers to promotional displays positioned in the distribution channel (usually at retail) where buyers actually purchase or make the decision to purchase a product or service. Common P O P displays are tabletop tent cards in restaurants, shelf ‘‘talker’’ signs attached to store shelves to promote packaged goods, and cardboard cutouts of brand symbols or characters at end of aisle displays (see the table below for more P O P display examples).

Personal selling principles

All professional sales representatives (sales reps) follow a series of eight principles, or steps, to guide their actions. These principles include the following:

Prospecting and qualifying: this step includes the work done to uncover potential customers (prospecting) who may have the need and the ability to enter a contract and to pay for the product or service (qualifying) that the Sales Rep offers. This is one of the most important steps since good prospecting and qualifying leads to increased productivity and profitability of the Sales Rep.

Perceptual mapping

An easy way to illustrate how competing products are rated, relative to each other, is by generating a perceptual map, using multidimensional scaling (MDS) techniques. This technique is most appropriately used for two types of research questions. First, MDS and perceptual mapping can help us identify previously unrecognized issues or attributes of a product or service that lead to customer behaviors. Second, MDS and perceptual mapping can help us compare how our product performs against our competitors’ products.

Perceived risk

As part of the decision making process in purchasing a product customers will consider the perceived risk of the transaction. Perceived risk is classified into four categories (1) financial, (2) performance, (3) physical, and (4) social/psychological. Once a customer has realized that they need a product or service, they seek out information on the item or service that will fulfill their desire. Before purchasing the product, the customer will often consider the risk or likelihood of any negative impact buying the product will produce and compare this to the benefit expected.

Online booking

This topic would not have merited an entry in an encyclopedia just a decade ago, yet the ability to make reservations for hotels, restaurants, airlines and other tourism operators on line has forced the industry to fundamentally review the way in which it prices for and communicates with consumers.

Off-premise contact

Off premise contacts, or ‘outside property contacts’, or similar terms are used to describe those whose job is to invite potential resort owners to visit the resort. Typically they are agents employed to generate potential sales leads from specified target groups. The off premise contact with potential owners is chiefly concerned with generating visitors to tour the resort with the aim of generating sales of timeshare slots. The resort pays the OPC a commission for each qualified prospect making a tour of the property.


The term multimedia describes a number of diverse technologies that allow visual and audio media to be taken and combined in new ways for the purpose of communicating. Multimedia can be defined as any combination of two or more of the following: text, graphics, sound, animation, video which are integrated together and can be delivered in various formats including standalone (PC, CD ROM, DVD) and networks (WWW, ISDN, cable, cellular, wireless). Fetterman and Gupta (1993, p.


Multi branding is based on the process of differentiation by offering independent, unconnected brands that maximize a company’s impact on the market and increase its market share. Some of the risks associated with a multi branding strategy are loss of economies of scale, stagnation, cannibalization, and higher costs. However, multi branding offers certain advantages in terms of positioning brands on their functional benefits and dominating niche segments with a targeted value proposition.