Book Review

C.B. Gupta (2010)
Advertising and Personal Selling
Sultan Chand & Sons, New Delhi
Price: 180.00/- Pages: 319    

In today’s marketing environment, promotion has emerged as one of the most important elements of marketing mix for the success of any business firm and its offerings. Marketers frequently use promotion to influence the target market usually by means of promoting their product as better option than the existing ones or by changing the opinion, beliefs and feelings of prospective customers via promotional mix route.

The present book by C.B. Gupta is the second edition of the publication focuses on two important techniques of promotion, i.e., advertising and personal selling, divided in two sections. Section A is further divided into six chapters and covers the concepts, applications, approaches and various decisions taken under advertising, whereas Section B on personal selling is divided into four chapters which deals with the basic issues in personal selling and also presents various ways to manage the sales force effectively.

Introductory chapters in Section A provide an overview of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) and explain the concept of advertising. The author discusses the utility, role and criticisms associated with the advertising.

There are then the remaining chapters that examine the decisions on each of the advertising media (print, radio, television, direct mail, outdoor, and new media); decisions on advertising design (message development strategies, ad appeals, copywriting for various media); how to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of advertising activity which includes methods for pre-testing and post-testing advertising messages. The last two chapters of section A provide a clear picture of how an ad agency works and discuss various social, ethical and legal issues in advertising.

Chapters in Section B examine the various components of personal selling. The first chapter covers the meaning, objectives and role of personal selling in marketing mix. Various selling approaches, the AIDAS model of selling have also been covered in this chapter.  The author provides a comprehensive and illustrative introduction of effective selling process in the next chapter. There are suggestions on pre and post stages (planning, closing the sale, forecasting and controlling) of personal selling. The last chapter of section B explains how to manage the sales force by incorporating the components of human resources management. 

Overall, the book in its revised edition, explains the advertising and personal selling insights in lucid and sequential manner besides providing interesting debates, case studies and test questions. The present book can be used as beginners guide and is well suited to marketing students who wish to understand the well-organized marketing activities performed under advertising and personal selling activity. 

Shyama Kumari
Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi