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Marketing Communication

What is Marketing Communication?

Marketing communication, or Marcom, refers to the various communication media that companies use for marketing purposes. A marketing communications tool can be a variety of things: cross-channel advertising, face-to-face sales, direct marketing, sponsorship, social media, and various promotional techniques. Marketing communication is based on the four 4 Ps: promotion, place, price and product.

What is Marketing Communication?

Marketing communication, or Marcom, refers to the various communication media that companies use for marketing purposes. A marketing communications tool can be a variety of things: cross-channel advertising, face-to-face sales, direct marketing, sponsorship, social media, and various promotional techniques. Marketing communication is based on the four 4 Ps: promotion, place, price and product.

Marketing Communication Definition

Marketing communication means as much as the collection of means and techniques that are used for promotional purposes, in order to persuade consumers to make a purchase.

Integrated Marketing Communication

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) can be defined as the process used by companies to unite the various components of marketing communications in a brand message. This brand message remains consistent across the different media channels. This ensures that consumers and the general public get a seamless experience when it comes to multiple messages across different media.

Integrated marketing communication is based on data, rather than general mass communication. Consumers, shopping patterns and buying preferences are carefully analyzed to deliver impactful advertising and other messages.

Marketing Communication Strategy

A marketing communication strategy is the strategy that an organization uses to spread the right messages through the right channels. How organizations shape this strongly depends on their level of expertise, budget, experience and industry. The marketing communication strategy encompasses the entire range of activities that organizations use to bring products to the market.

An integrated and effective marketing communication strategy should be based on three principles:

Brand Alignment

Whichever channel is used, it is important that they have the same brand perception as the product or service in question. In other words, if it concerns a luxury brand for watches, do not advertise it in the local newspaper. It may then be wiser to work with exclusive magazines.

Customer Alignment

In addition to choosing the medium with the right audience, it is also important to choose the channels where consumers are already active. If the target group is millennials, then advertise via social media, for example, and not on television.

Budget Alignment

Choose a channel that fits the budget. Without a budget, placing ads on major news sites is out of reach.

Smaller organizations usually limit themselves to using two marketing channels to reach their target audience.

Step-by-step plan for drawing up a marketing communication strategy

Keep the above principles in mind as you go through the roadmap in the section below. The main steps/phases of the process are:

1. Understand the target audience

This is the first step. Before a strategic marketing communication plan can be drawn up, it is necessary that the target group is fully understood and defined. In some cases it is also possible to draw up a marketing communication strategy for each type of customer of an organization.

The simplest ways to study a target audience include conducting surveys, interviews, and so on. Try to get clear answers to the following questions:

  • What needs do your customers have?
  • Why do they choose your product or service?

These insights are critical to developing effective marketing messages. If the different personas can identify with the message, they are more likely to make a purchase.

2. Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The USP of an organization is the basis of an integrated marketing communication strategy. The USP should always be reflected in every message that is distributed via the various channels. This ensures that the brand message is always visible, consistent and recognizable.

A clear USP can be drawn up by using a SWOT analysis. Please answer the following questions:

  • Why do consumers choose your company over someone else’s?
  • Where does my organization fall short compared to the competitors?

3. Decide on the marketing communication mix

The marketing communication mix is the combination of channels and media that are used to reach the potential customers.

Examples of communication techniques are:

  • Online social media ads
  • Offline advertisements on TV, print media, billboards, etc.
  • Personal selling
  • Content Marketing
  • Direct marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Sponsorship
  • Events

A large, established organization is likely to use multiple, or all, media. However, small businesses choose only two or three of these strategies as part of their communication strategy.

4. Define honor the different brand elements

Branding is a critical part of an integrated marketing communications strategy. At the most basic level of branding, it’s about having a consistent look & feel across all marketing materials, both online and offline. Examples of this are:

  • App
  • Website
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Business cards
  • Corporate identity

At a deeper level, branding is about the core identity of a company and how it is expressed. It is about what a company stands for, and what consumers know about the company. For example, Apple revolves around advanced technology that is very easy to use.

5. Define Success

Once the promotion mix and strategy are complete, the company needs to set up a set of metrics to assess how effective the strategy is going forward. Success in different areas can be measured by different metrics. Examples are:

  • Number of mentions on blogs, sales websites, etc.
  • Number of backlinks
  • Number of website visits
  • Conversion rate
  • Number of leads

Don’t use vanity stats, such as the number of likes on a post. Instead, only go for metrics that say something about the target audience’s engagement with the product, brand, or organization.

6. Run

Start the campaign. Continue to closely monitor results and make changes as needed.

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