Marketing Communications

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What is Marketing Communication?
Marketing communications (or MarComm or Integrated Marketing communications) is a subset of the overall subject area known as marketing. Marketing communication is one of the elements of the marketing mix and is responsible for putting the marketing offer to the target market. It is the planned and integrated communication activity that communicates with an organisation’s stakeholders.
The most common term used for marketing communication are ‘advertising’ and ‘promotion’. The origin of these two words helps us to define what marketing communications entails, namely the pushing forward of products or services and the turning of the consumer towards the product or service. Once these two elements are met there is a chance of a sale. Marketing communications includes a number of elements that make up the marketing communication mix: advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, publicity, direct marketing and cyber-marketing.

Process
The most crucial decision in any marketing communication campaign is deciding which group of consumers to target. All other communication decisions will flow from this. It is accomplished through the use of market segmentation and requires a five step approach. Once the target audience has been defined communication mix decisions can be made concerning the appropriate use of a variety of methods. Creative and media decisions can then be made. Thus, to an average reader and observer of marketing, everything that marketers do to attract buyers and help them satisfy their needs, is marketing communication. This definition is the macro view of communication; it emphasizes a dialogue and not a ‘monologue’ between sellers and buyers. The emergence of various consumer groups has been helpful in this respect.

WHY?
• Build company image, called corporate advertising.
• Differentiate your product/brand
• Position a product/brand
• Build Awareness
• TOMA(top of mind awareness) factor important given today’s time pressures
• Build preference
• The primary purpose of Advertising is to position your product
• Differentiation is achieved as a result of advertising
• Build Brand Equity
• Brand Equity is the monetary value one can attach to a brand
• Advertising helps in brand-building
• To make people buy
• Although overnight sale cannot be expected. advertising is a long term investment however, in the long run, this should increase sales otherwise, this is not good advertising.

HOW?
1. Consumer-Oriented
• Coupon
• Sampling
• Premium
• Price off
• Rebate
• Bonus Packs
• Frequency Programme
• Contests and sweepstakes

2. Trade-Oriented
• Trade Allowances
• Incentives
• Contests
• Cooperative Advertising

NEED TO KNOW
• Different customers have different needs. So marketing communications activity may be wasted if it is targeted at the wrong customer group.
• The designers are able to advise on the different layouts that are possible for both websites and printed materials and which are most cost-effective. So it is essential to keep in regular contact with the design team throughout the process, so that feedback can be provided on their ideas, monitor progress and keep them on track regarding your deadlines and budgets.
• Even if the budget is limited, there are still a lot of different ways to make the most of what one have to spend. Compare the value that your business would achieve by printing, say thousands of posters, compared to having a good press release printed in the local paper.
• The World Wide Web is becoming an increasingly popular tool for communicating with your customers. Remember that the website can be used not only to communicate with them but also to get feedback and even take orders. However, as with all marketing communication tools, the website should be integrated into the marketing plan.
• Unlike printed material, a website needs to be updated regularly to keep the site fresh and interesting to visitors. It is not enough simply to develop a website. It should be prepared to invest time and resources in ’website maintenance’ to make the most of your investment.
• Ensure that the key messages are clearly presented and that they promote the ’right’ image for your business. Don’t forget to follow-up your activity and to get feedback from your customers.

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