Direct marketing and personal selling are crucial to film commissions’ marketing strategies. Direct marketing encompasses direct mail, telemarketing, Internet and direct response television. Personal selling incorporates one-on-one campaigns such as trade show and film festival promotions and locating and maintaining individual customers. This chapter also deals with the objectives of personal selling, the sales process, sales management and the importance of word of mouth in attracting customers and retaining them.
Personal selling is a personalized form of communication in which a seller presents the features and benefits of a product to a buyer for the purpose of making a sale. The high degree of personalization that personal selling involves usually comes at a much greater cost per contact than mass communication techniques. Marketers must decide whether this added expense can be justified, or whether marketing objectives can be achieved by communicating with potential customers in groups. Some film commissions favor personal selling far more than others, as for them the potential benefits outweigh the extra costs. In this age of evolving technology and ubiquitous electronic communication, one element hasn't changed in the film industry: the industry is still driven by personal relationships. While the salesperson's job is to make a sale, his or her role goes well beyond this task. Personal selling plays a number of important roles for film commissions, four of which are discussed below.
Word of mouth is communication about products and services between people who are perceived to be independent of the company that is producing or providing the product. It is a communication tool that works particularly well for film commissions and is worthy of special attention. Recommendations or advice from colleagues, friends, relatives, peers, and influential persons are without doubt one of the most powerful communications media. Word of mouth can be controlled only to a degree, but it must be a priority nevertheless for film commissions.