Archive for October, 2009

Communication models in Advertising

The word communication comes from the Latin word communis, meaning common. When we communicate we try to establish a ‘commonness’ with someone, that is we try to share information, an idea or an attitude.

Man is a social animal and communication is essentially a social affair. ‘No man is an island or an entire in himself’, ‘We cannot not communicate’ are some of the common sayings in communication. Communication is what makes human relationships possible.

Speech, writings, gestures are some of the means of communication, or our means of social interaction. Communication can be in terms of conventions of dress, mannerism, institutions etc.

In communication there are various schools of thought. The process of communication has been explained through different models and theories as per the changing times. Aristotle was among the first to develop a communication model. According to Aristotle, in a communication event, there are three main elements, the speaker, the speech and the audience. Subsequently, many other experts have developed other models.

Shannon and Weaver developed a model based on technical aspect of communication. They introduced the concept of ‘noise’ and the idea that meaning lies in people. Noise could be the culture, value etc of the society.

The Berlo’s model brought ‘encoder’ ‘decoder’ elements in the communication process. Further Harold Laswell’s model emphasised on the effect of communication and the response of the receiver. In the Wilbur Schramm model, the focus is on the signal from the two sides of the source and receiver. Further there are various theories such as the Bull’s eye theory, spiral theory etc explaining the process of communication.

Communication is no longer viewed as simply a way to reach out to people. Comm is a field that has been growing in diverse directions, therefore it is to be studied not only at interpersonal, organisational levels, but also at various other levels such as the inter-cultural context.

Therefore to understand communication at any level we study any event, process or system under four main categories-Context, Technology, Representation and Social relation. These are the four analytical dimensions of communication. Each of them is co-determinant. These four dimensions can be studied as the broad framework of the communication process.

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TRIM formula

George T. Vardaman, of the College of Business Administration, University of Denver, USA, suggests following a simple formula in acronym TRIM. In this he suggests definition and planning the to whom, what, when and where of communications:

  • Target or Mission or purpose of communication.
  • Receiver to whom the message is directed at, based on his needs
  • Impact or result that is desired.
  • Method of media that must be employed to get the desired results.

The TRIM formula can give you very effective communications and presentation control, so that your time and efforts can be productively channelled and bring you results you want.

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Six effective Techniques used by professional communicators

Some of the techniques used by professional communicators are:

1. Shock – startle, shake or surprise the audience.
2. Suspense – keeping them guessing.
3. Humor – in language or situation to overcome apathy.
4. Novelty – something new or innovative or creative.
5. Familiarity – keeping audience interest through something known.
6. An inside story – something to do with behind the scene activities.

Visual and other devices – in presentation, like demo, audiovisual, case-studies, and anecdotes. In doing this one must at the same time be careful in selecting appropriate techniques, avoid talking down to the audience, be natural and avoid being condescending towards people. Try and monitor communications.

If it exposes weaknesses it is essential that corrective action be taken. Monitoring must be dependent on feedback received from the audience through formal and informal channels.

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5 Receiver Types in communication

While communication can be better if you know your objective, greater effectiveness lies in hitting the right target audience in conjunction with their predominant communication needs. In this, there are five receiver types, which need to be understood and tackled:

  1. Apathetic
  2. Sophisticated
  3. Hostile
  4. Credent
  5. Critical

You may have the most important message, delivered in the most creative manner, but if strikes the wrong chord in the audience the communication will fail. You must overcome receiver apathy, draw attention and sustain interest.

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Organizing and Developing communication

Putting ideas together is about organizing and developing your communication. The way you put together your ideas determines how you will give out the information and how well your target audiences will receive your message – with what impact and result. This is vital to the success of business communications. It is worthwhile to examine methods for putting ideas into a communicable form. For instance:

  1. Structuring ideas for the target group they are for.
  2. Building logical sequences.
  3. Building psychological sequences.
  4. Developing core ideas from the lot.
  5. Having proper introductions and conclusions.

However, in any situation success of the communication will directly depend on the quality of the ideas and their development within the larger objectives.

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Communication in Advertising

Communication can take place in literally hundreds of different contexts. Therefore it is important to view communication from a contextual point of view. Context keeps on changing. It affects ideas, technology etc. Media products at one level are products of complex organization, and at still another level they reflect the economic arrangements of media industries and other institutions. The work of individual communicator cannot be understood outside these organizational, industrial and institutional contexts.

In today’s world, the very word communication brings to the mind technical and electronic means of communication, such as the telephone, television, computer etc. These are the means of communication through which the entire systems in the world are functioning, be it trade, business, education and even keeping in touch with friends and the family members. Articulation is dependent on the medium involved, or it can be said communication is dependent on a channel to transmit a message. Therefore technology largely determines communication.

Social relations comprise of the relationship and role of the players in the communication process. Communication can be said to be a process of information handling, including activities of production, dissemination, reception and storage- all within a social system. Social relations deals with how the changes in the relationship between the players come
to bring about an effect in the information process.

Representation is the projection of content. It is the image, idea or message that is conveyed through the communication. The way a fact is projected is representation. Media by means of representation can give meaning in a particular manner. Media representation is one of the means of achieving hegemony, which is achieving popular consent.

Each one of these factors affects the other, and in turn the entire communication process. Thus communication can be described as, ‘The articulation of social relations between individuals in a society.’

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Communication in Advertising

Communication can take place in literally hundreds of different contexts. Therefore it is important to view communication from a contextual point of view. Context keeps on changing. It affects ideas, technology etc. Media products at one level are products of complex organization, and at still another level they reflect the economic arrangements of media industries and other institutions. The work of individual communicator cannot be understood outside these organizational, industrial and institutional contexts.

In today’s world, the very word communication brings to the mind technical and electronic means of communication, such as the telephone, television, computer etc. These are the means of communication through which the entire systems in the world are functioning, be it trade, business, education and even keeping in touch with friends and the family members. Articulation is dependent on the medium involved, or it can be said communication is dependent on a channel to transmit a message. Therefore technology largely determines communication.

Social relations comprise of the relationship and role of the players in the communication process. Communication can be said to be a process of information handling, including activities of production, dissemination, reception and storage- all within a social system. Social relations deals with how the changes in the relationship between the players come
to bring about an effect in the information process.

Representation is the projection of content. It is the image, idea or message that is conveyed through the communication. The way a fact is projected is representation. Media by means of representation can give meaning in a particular manner. Media representation is one of the means of achieving hegemony, which is achieving popular consent.

Each one of these factors affects the other, and in turn the entire communication process. Thus communication can be described as, ‘The articulation of social relations between individuals in a society.’

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Corporate orientation towards marketplace

Marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating. offering and exchanging products of value with others.

Marketing has its origins in the fact that humans are creatures of needs and wants. Need and wants create a state of discomfort, which is resolved through acquiring products that satisfy these needs and wants. Since many products can satisfy a given need, and satisfaction. These products are obtainable in several ways: Self – production, coercion, begging and exchange. Most modern societies work on the principle of exchange, which means that people specialize in producing particular products and trade them for the other things they need. The engage in transaction and relationship building. A market is a group of people who share similar needs. Marketing encompasses those activities involved in working with markets, that is, in trying to actualize potential exchanges.

Marketing management is the conscious effort to achieve desired exchange outcome with target markets. The marketer’s basis skill lies in influencing the level, timing and composition of demand for a product service, organization, place, person or idea.

Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view. The marketing concept rests on four main pillars, namely a market focus, customer orientation, coordinated marketing and profitability.

Market Focus: No Company can operate in every market and satisfy every need. Nor can it even do a good job within one broad market. Companies do best when they define their target markets carefully. The do best when they prepare a tailored marketing programme for each target market.

Customer Orientation: a company can define its market carefully but still needs customer orientated thinking i.e. satisfy customer needs from the customer point of view, and not from its own point of view. Company’s sales come from two groups: new customer’s and repeat customers. It always costs more t attract new customers than to certain current customers. Therefore, customer retention is customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer:

  • Buys again

  • Talks favourably to other about the company

  • Pays less attention to competing brands

  • Buys other products from the same company

Thus a Company would be wise to regularly measure customer satisfaction. The delighted customers are more effective advertisers than the advertisement placed in media.

Coordinated Marketing: Marketing requires the company to carry out internal marketing as well as external marketing. Internal marketing is the task of successfully hiring trained and motivating able employees to serve the customers well. Internal marketing must precede the external marketing. It makes no sense to promise excellent service before the company’s staff is ready to provide excellent service.

Coordinated marketing means two things, first the various marketing functions – sales force, advertising product management, marketing research, and so on must be coordinated among themselves. Second, marketing must be well coordinated with the other company department. Marketing does not work when it is merely a department. It only works when all employees appreciate the effect they have on customer satisfaction.

Profitability: The purpose of the marketing concept is to help organizations achieve their goals. In case of private firms, the major goal is profit, in the case of non-profit and public organizations; it is surviving and attracting enough funds to perform their work. The key is not to aim for profits as such but to achieve them as a buy product of doing the job well. A company makes money by satisfying customer’s needs better than a profitable way to satisfy some target group’s wants for personal satisfaction.

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What is Marketing? Different Philosophies

Marketing is a societal process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering and freely exchanging products and services of value with others.

According to the American Marketing Association, “Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goods”

There are six competing philosophies under which organizations conduct marketing activities “the production concept, product concept, selling concept, marketing concept, customer concept; and societal concept.

1) The Production Concept: The production concept is one of the oldest concepts in business. The production concept holds that consumers will prefer products that are widely available and inexpensive. Managers of production-oriented businesses concentrate on achieving high production efficiency, low costs and mass distribution.

They assume that consumers are primarily interested in products availability and low prices. This philosophy makes sense in developing countries, where consumers are more interested in obtaining the product than its features. It is also used when a company wants to expand the market.

2. The product Concept – Product concept holds that consumer will favour these products that offer the most quality, performance and innovative features. Managers in these organizations focus on making superior products and improving them over time. They assume that buyers admire well-made products and can evaluate quality and performance product oriented companies often trust that their engineers can design exceptional products. They get little or no customer input, and very often they will not even examine competitor’s products.

3. The Selling Concept: The selling concept holds that consumers and businesses, if left alone, will ordinarily not buy enough of the organization’s products. The organization most, therefore, undertakes an aggressive selling and promotion effort. This concept assumes that consumers typically show buying inertia or resistance and must be coaxed into buying. It also assumes that the company has a whole battery of effective selling and promotion tools to stimulate more buying. The selling concept is epitomized by the thinking that “The purpose of marketing is to sell more stuff to more people for more money in order to make more profit

Most firms practice the selling concept when they have over capacity. Their aim is to sell what they make rather then make what market wants.

4. The Marketing Concept: The marketing concepts hold that the key to achieving its organizational goals consists of the company being more effective then competitors in creating, delivering and communicating superior customer value to its chosen target markets.

The marketing concept rests on four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing and profitability. There is a contrast between selling and marketing concepts:

Selling focuses on the needs of the seller; marketing on the needs of the buyer”.

Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the ideas of satisfying the needs of the customers by means of the product and the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering and finally consuming it.

5. The customer Concept: Under customer concept, companies shape separate offers, services and messages to individual customers. These companies collect information on each customer’s past transactions, demographics, psychographics and media and distribution preferences. They hope to achieve profitable growth through capturing a larger share of each customer’s expenditures by building high customer loyalty and focusing on customer lifetime value.

The ability of a company to deal with customers are at a time become practical as a result of advances in factory customization, computers, the internet and database marketing software.

6. The Societal Marketing Concept: The societal marketing concept holds that the organization’s goal is to determine the needs, wants and interests of target markets and to deliver the desired satisfactions more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer’s and the society’s well being.

The societal marketing concept calls upon marketers to build social and ethical considerations into their marketing practices. They must balance and juggle the often-conflicting criteria of company profits, consumer want satisfaction and public interest.

Companies see cause-related marketing as an opportunity to enhance their corporate reputation, raise brand awareness, increase customer loyalty, build sales and increase press coverage. They believe that consumers will increasingly look for signs of good corporate citizenship that go beyond supplying rational and emotional benefits.

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Scope of Market Research

Market research is the systematic design, collection, analysis and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation facing the company.

Market researchers have expanded their activities and techniques. The ten most common activities of market research are –

  1. Determination of marketing characteristics

  2. Measurement of market potentials

  3. Market share analysis

  4. Sales analysis

  5. Studies of business trends

  6. Short range forecasting

  7. Competitive product studies

  8. Long range forecasting

  9. Pricing studies, and

  10. Testing of existing products

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