Marketing Communication includes the entire collection of messages you communicate to the market and your target audience via different media and platforms.
This communication involves direct marketing, advertising, print materials, branding, packaging, online presence, sales representation, and others to gain market share.
Effective communication ensures that the right channels pass the information to the appropriate audience. Effective marketing communication drives the achievement of set goals and objectives of the marketer. These goals could be: gaining popularity, generating leads, or driving sales.
Basic Marketing Communication Concepts
Marketing communication concepts revolve around how a marketer shares meaningful information and concepts to the target audience about the products or services they render via publicity, advertisement, salespeople, and promotions.
Marketers aim to promote a product to a target audience. This communication pushes the audience through the sales funnel. Conversely, feedback is the reverse; it is the message a marketer gets from their consumers.
- Maximize reach
- Optimize frequency
- Minimize wastage
Marketing communication concepts include the following:
Identifying your target audience
Identifying your prospect is a critical concept of marketing communication; it goes beyond stating general terms or the obvious; it includes getting specific about the audience, including the age bracket, income level, where they are found, and pain points.
Standing out among competitors
Understand what makes you different from competitors. Understand what your competitors offer and how they position their offers for buyers and others. Understanding your competitors will allow you to craft a unique selling point.
PRO TIP: Study positioning strategy for this. Poor positioning kills companies.
Developing key messages
Key messages emphasize the benefits of your product, target your audience’s pain points, and position your brand uniquely from competitors.
PRO TIP: You can use frameworks like the Brand House
Selecting the communication channels
There are a variety of channels to communicate and market to your audience, which presents a challenge in choosing the best medium. Remember to select a channel that speaks to the right audience for you and where there is optimum engagement.
Channels are expensive so the more narrowly you can target your audience, the more cost-effective your campaign will be.
Marketing Communication Objectives
Marketing communication objectives are goals marketing campaigns intend to achieve over time. Marketing communication objectives are different from short-term sales promotions, and their main aim is to sell a product.
Therefore, marketing communication objectives include:
Increasing brand awareness is the first goal of any new company. Increasing brand awareness is also the most common of all marketing objectives.
The objective is to gain popularity and let your target market know about you. To increase awareness, one uses broadcast commercials and print ads, which carry your brand information.
A brand may need to change public perception about themselves when there are misconceptions about the brand, the products, or the services they render. The misunderstanding could arise from scandals and other related occurrences.
One effective way to change public misconception is through advertising .
Other ways are print ads and local radio, depending on brand popularity.
Influence purchase intent
Effective communication motivates prospective buyers to buy. The way to achieve this objective is via persuasive advertising that explains and differentiates your stack of benefits from competitors.
Influence trial purchase
Stimulation of trial purchases and driving repeated purchases are other objectives of marketing communication.
Many marketers offer free trials for customers to try a product; this technique eliminates risk for the customer. Trial purchase also tries to persuade a customer to buy more than once.
Trigger brand switching
A fundamental objective of effective marketing communication is to make customers of your competitors switch allegiance to you. Companies pitch their products against the leading brands in comparative ads to persuade customers to change brands.
Marketing Communication Tools
Marketing communication tools help an organization to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and improve sales. Utilizing these tools to suit a particular marketing campaign assures the objectives of the marketing communication.
The tools are:
Advertisement and sales promotions
An advertisement is an effective tool in marketing, and the main aim is to increase awareness. Advertisements not only market the product but also market the brand. Advertising can be on print media, TV, social media, outdoor media, cinema, billboards, and transit advertisement, among others.
Social media is ideal for engagement and providing useful information about the brand, products, and values. Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and others are becoming the go-to choice for brands because buyers can communicate before the brand is even aware of the buyer’s interest.
Also, customers find reviews of the brand on these platforms and make a buying decision from there.
Direct mail and catalogs
Offline marketing plan through direct mail and print catalogs helps in promoting brand awareness, generating leads, and making sales, despite online marketing dominating in recent years.
Email campaigns and newsletters
Email marketing is effective for lead generation and ensures quality lead generation. For any prospect to sign up for your newsletter, it means the prospect has interest in your activities and, therefore, is a potential customer. Email newsletters are also effective in nurturing leads and turning a prospect from a cold prospect to a repeat customer.
Trade shows, seminars, and webinars
Marketing communication tools are effective in addressing issues, generating leads, increasing awareness, and promoting a new product. At trade shows, B2B clients can meet marketers and communicate physically, providing a deeper connection. Webinars and seminars are also other established tools to promote the brand and ensure that consumers understand the product.
Importance of marketing communication
The following are the benefits of communication in marketing:
Building and promoting healthy relationships
A marketer needs to create emotional connections with clients. Effective marketing communication promotes healthy relationships with all stakeholders.
Facilitating innovation in marketing
Creativity ensures a brand stands out from competitors, and effective communication provides this. Therefore, creatively conveying a message helps a brand to stand out.
Other benefits of marketing communication
Other benefits of effective marketing communication are enhancing transparency between the marketer and their target audience, overcoming marketing obstacles, and establishing strong reputations and professionalism.
Here’s a great Harvard Business Review piece on why communication is an essential part of marketing.
Marketing communication process
The marketing communication process involves nine elements. Marketers should know how to pass the message, understand selective attention, and tackle noise and distortion of messages.
Therefore, marketing communication processes are:
- Sender: this is the marketing firm or company that sends messages to the target audience
- Encoding: involves transforming the message idea into a deliverable format that is understood by the audience
- Media: is the vehicle or channel in which the message travels to reach customers
- Decoding: is how the target audience interprets the message and how they give meanings to the message
- Receiver: is the target audience that receives the sent message
- Response: is the way or behavior the receiver perceives the message
- Feedback: is the information the receiver sent back to the sender. Feedback starts from the reactions the receiver shows after receiving the message.
- Noise: although noise is disliked in the communication process, some disturbances happen naturally, yet unintentionally, and add meaning to it
Effective marketing communication
Effective marketing communications are messages that get results.
According to Sunder Madakshira who heads marketing for Adobe India, despite the content bombarding us we live in an under-communicated world!
The tools or the communication process is the means to achieve the marketer’s goals while creating a campaign.
In order for marketing communication to be effective:
- You must know your customers
- Align your message towards the benefits of your product/service,
- Be outstanding with the message
- Have an omni-channel media approach that embraces audio, video, visual and text based storytelling
- Deliver a great product/service
- Is it making best use of the media? Posting the same format on LinkedIn and Instagram does not work.
- Does your content appear in all formats? Like video, audio, text, graphics
- Do you have content in different lengths? The insta crowd likes things in 30 second bytes while there are still those who want to dive into text.
Marketing communication is an intricate but vital component of marketing. Marketing communication has processes, tools, objectives, and concepts to achieve a specific result. When marketing communication is effective, your brand enjoys a larger market share by leading among competitors.