Marketing communication

Within the context of marketing, we see that marketing communication plays an important role in the dissemination of information. Marketing communication is a term used in a broader sense for promotional strategy. So it is more of a planned promotional communication.

Within this we have the following tools:

  • Advertising: Which is any paid form of non-personal communication of ideas, products and services by an identified sponsor.
  • Sales Promotion: Short term direct inducement to encourage sales of products and services.
  • Publicity: Non-personal stimulation of demand for a product / service or business organization as a whole by putting commercially significant news in media to create a favorable image. The sponsor does not pay it for.
  • Personal selling: For making sales, a salesman interacts orally with the buyer or buyers in the form of sales presentation.
  • Public Relations: Marketers engage in public Relations to develop a favorable image of their organizations in the eyes of the public – public at large, customers, suppliers, government, media, competitors, shareholders, employees and the society.

So how does one go about it? Following are the key areas as to how marketing is an integral part of advertising.

  • Objective setting: What is the objective of your advertising plan? Look towards your product or service. Also look towards what is it that you really want to achieve. Is it a new product or an existing one? Would you like to see more people buying your product? Do you want to measure the effectiveness of your advertising campaign? Some of the objectives could be:
  • Increasing Awareness
    • Increasing Sales
    • Sales promotion offer
    • PR exercise for a negative news about the brand
    • Fighting competitor’s claims
    • Introducing changes in the product offering

  • Understanding the Target Audience: Read the following brief of a Brand and identify the customer group they are looking at.

“The beer-drinkers in the country are much younger than the average beer-drinker elsewhere in the world. This makes them more likely to carry the brand with them for a lifetime. Also, as the target audience becomes younger, a light beer like Foster’s LightIce is expected to attract first-time drinkers, since it is much milder than any of the other beers in the country. Even if one accounts for the fact that the strong beer market is growing fast in India, we expect that at times when consumers of ourproduct shift to stronger beers, they will restrict themselves to the Foster’s brand because of the association they have with it and the positive connotations from the Foster’s name.

A lot of new variants promise to gain prominence, but mainly in niche urban segments. The sophisticated consumer who drinks beer for the experience and not to get drunk will lap up ice beer or light beer. In urban centers, apart from first time users we are also targeting women, who as ‘the times they are a changing,’ are entering the market for beer. Essentially, women shy away from beer consumption because it is associated with calories, and has traditionally been a buddy drink, associated with pot-bellied men sitting at bars and shooting darts.

Our product however is light both in colour and body, and mild in flavour. It is highly carbonated with low bitterness and no aftertaste. It has fewer calories lower alcohol content. It thus moves away from the traditional psychographics of the sector and toward the more up-market, college/office going youth, male or female, with aspirations, who sees himself as both physically and mentally fit, has an attitude of self-confidence and nurtures the belief that ‘he/she can change the world’.”

You would be able to understand the consumer base that the brand is intending to target at. So we focus on the fact that the age, income and sex plays an important part but also the lifestyles and the psychographical profile of the consumer base which are but an integral aspect in the determination of the target audience.

So come to think of it, advertising plays an important role in the overall marketing program. Some of the basic tools by which marketing program could be made are:

  • Product or services can be developed or refined.
  • A wider distribution coverage could be made.
  • Pricing could be another important decision.