What Is ‘Marketing Communications’?

The term ‘marketing communication’ speaks directly to the heart of marketing as a science. Marketing communication identifies at least four distinct marketing functions and studies them at length to form a composite picture of both the marketplace and the consumer.

Basically, it is all about sending messages out to the customer and analysing the responses. This, in turn, allows sellers and buyers to interact more effectively, creating greater profits as well as a higher degree of customer satisfaction. Other marketing functions, such as product development, packaging and pricing, are not identified as marketing communications.

The four identified forms of marketing communication are:

1) Sales – Here we look at the interaction between buyer and seller, seller and buyer. In the most basic sense, this function is achieved if the salesperson helps you to make a purchase by starting a conversation with you, making a recommendation or answering your questions. This is also achieved via email messages exchanged between seller and buyer on online sites such as eBay.

2) Advertising – Caught somewhere between propaganda and fine art, advertising is a science/art form entirely unto itself. Entire libraries have been written on the subject and yet still new and innovative (and occasionally invasive) advertising methods are currently being dreamed up in boardrooms around the world. As a form of communication, advertising addresses the buyer via interpolation; attempting to win him/her over, usually with a combination of lifestyle promise, fancy graphics and sex appeal (although not always). Advertising is carefully considered, even though it is a one-sided form of communication initially; the sales figures for the products themselves usually define the perceived customer response.

3) Public Relations (or ‘PR’) – This is the act of addressing potential customers as well as existing customers. Building good PR is becoming more and more important to modern companies. Donating money to charity, ensuring that your products are ethically sound, or taking care of your employees in a positive and supporting way are all proven (and effective) forms of PR. Profits from PR are usually implied, as PR exercises typically cost money and bring in little, if any, revenue in the short term. However, once again, sales figures will constitute a consumer response. PR is also a direct way to reach the customer, demonstrating that your company is concerned with the same issues as they are. In the world of ‘ethical consumption’ that we live in today, PR is an especially important form of marketing communication.

4) Customer Service – Although it often feels like a lost art these days, customer service is a vital pillar of any business’ ultimate success or failure. Customer service, as the name implies, indicates that your company is serving the customer. Think of it this way, if you were in a restaurant with a snarky, abusive waiter, would you think twice about visiting that restaurant again? However, if you were in a restaurant offering quality, efficient and friendly service, would you be more likely to eat there again? This function overlaps somewhat with Sales, but it also includes unique functions such as dealing with angry customers and fostering loyalty among buyers.

So, to sum up, marketing communication occurs whenever the seller addresses or interacts with the buyer, or vice versa. Any time any of the above functions are, um, functioning, you’ve got marketing communications going on.

How to Effectively Target Your Online Marketing Communications

Successful businesses today need to use the internet to market themselves. Using a wide variety of content, like social media posts, multimedia and content, a business can develop a whole range of communications to market effectively online. The effectiveness of these communications depends upon how well it is targeted. And targeting your marketing is the key to making sure it is seen by the right people, at the right time.

The beauty of targeted marketing is that you can make your messages suit very specific groups of people. For example, with AdWords you can target the audience who will be searching for the topics which relate directly to your business. It is one of the most powerful ways to get your message across.

However, the question we are often asked is: How do I decide what the message is?

This is a good question! It is something marketing professionals have been working on for years, and there is no set formula. What you need to do is study your audience and break them down into groups that can be targeted.

Here’s a quick example. An online shoe store sells brand name shoes for men, women and children. They could put out general marketing communications about shoes, however, if they break it down and target each group giving them the information they are most interested in, and putting the content where they will find it, they will have a much better chance of attracting the right people to the right products.

By creating audience profiles, a business can very carefully develop content which will be interesting to each audience member. So, for ladies shoes, it could be about the latest designer range. For children’s shoes, it could be an article about new school shoes on sale.

By aligning your content to your target audience, and to their profiles, you will have a much better success rate. This clever alignment will influence the tone of your communications, and the look and feel of them. These are all vital to attracting the right people and getting a positive reaction from them.

Here are some of the questions to ask about your audience when you are developing new content:

• What do the audience like to do? Hobbies, fashions and pass times.

• What are their interests? Interests, trends and news.

• What other companies or services do they use? Look at your competition.

• What do the audience want to avoid? Knowing what they don’t like or want is vital.

• What are the audience aspiring to? Aspirations are what drive consumers to buy.

• What does the audience need? Needs and solutions drive consumers to act.

By using the right keywords in your online ads and effectively targeting your content, you will get the best from your communications.

The next step is to identify the best places to post the information. Facebook is best for regular, friendly updates and starting a conversation with customers. LinkedIn is best suited to business and specialist content you can share to show your expertise. Twitter is great for fast and real time news and updates.

By having a suite of targeted and regular communications, you will be able to effectively place your own business within the view of the people you are looking for it. And they are more likely to respond to what you have to say too. Communications which have a powerful message and are delivered to the right people, and which also have a clear call to action will always reap rewards.

As you start to plan your communications and marketing strategy for the coming year, consider these points so you can create targeted communications which will create the results you need.

Check out the relevant video resource at http://youtu.be/peJIHfaf2vI

Integrated Marketing Communication

Let me start with correcting the assumption of advertising as integrated marketing communication. Advertising is a part of Integrated Marketing Communication. I.M.C. is much broader in scope. As the name suggests, it is the sum total of the entire all the marketing tools.

The communication tools broadly consist of advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, internet marketing and sales promotion.

With the increased competition and increased awareness of the buyer, the company is finding it very difficult to sell their products. Moreover, the products are getting commoditized. There is not much difference left between the products of two companies.

Here comes the role of integrated marketing communication. There are various touch points on which a prospect buyer can be targeted. The company has to identify these touch points and make their strategies accordingly.

As said earlier, I.M.C. consists of various communication tools, a company cannot deploy all the tools in its marketing considering the cost factor. Moreover, it is not advisable to do so. The company has to identify the tools which are appropriate for its marketing considering the buyers situation and the effectiveness of every marketing tool.

Advertising still plays a most important tool in integrated marketing communication. Almost 55% of the marketing budget is spending on advertising in USA. The other most important tool till recently was sales promotion.

But with the passage of time and increased penetration of internet, the internet marketing is seeing an upsurge of almost 300%.

Would internet marketing replace advertising or advertising would still play a major role in the whole integrated marketing communication?

Marketing Communications

Yes, you are communicating when it comes to marketing. The communication is between you and the customer. You are explaining to them why they want the product, and they are telling you why they cannot afford it. The customer usually wins and you have to stop calling them the customer. Every once in a while they stay the customer.

Marketing communications is a very lucrative field if you are any good at it. There are many tools at your disposal to perfect your craft. As any artist knows, you have to have good tools to make masterpieces. Article marketing is one of your best tools.

If you are willing to accept that you are in communication with your customer, then article marketing should come naturally. It is like you’re writing to your pin pal you never met. You are telling them about this great new thing you found out about. You’re telling them about how they have to get one. You come off very personable if you’re doing it right.

Of course, there are some products where this doesn’t work. Sometimes your ethos can’t afford too personal a relationship with the reader. You have to sound a little above the reader. Right? Wrong. There is never a time when you should try to distance yourself from the reader. Even if you are selling incredibly complex scientific equipment, you should write to the scientist like you’re old buddies. Good article marketing is very personable.

Marketing communications is very direct. It’s between you and the customer. To accomplish this you have to find niches. You will need to write a different article for every niche that you are selling to. This will keep the articles personal. It’s impossible to write one article that will be personal to everyone. People are different. You have to talk to them in a certain way. Don’t be lazy; write a lot of articles.

There are some dangers in marketing communications. If you’re too friendly you’ll admit to your customer that they don’t need the product. You have to wear your mask. This is all fiction. You don’t really know what you’re talking about. They don’t really know what they want. That’s why you work so well together.

Still, article marketing can be a rewarding process. As you get better at marketing you will enjoy communicating with the customer. You will anticipate their responses, and that will help you write better articles. You will form a bond with them, and together you will stimulate the economy. The customers are your friends. Pretend like you haven’t written to them in forever. You have so much to say and it’s all about his great new product.

Marketing communications is a large field. We’ve only discussed article marketing today. Still, that’s enough to base an entire career on. The better you get at article marketing the better you will be at marketing communications. They go hand in hand. So practice your writing skills and become a better article marketer. Your career will thank you for it.