Various Forms of Marketing Communication

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INTRODUCTION

The marketing concept is all about achieving corporate goals by meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition. The way to do this is for companies to consider what value they are proposing to offer to their customers and once this decision is made, decide how to communicate this message to their customers/marketplace (Fahy & Jobber, 2012). It is considered that there are 3 main elements to the marketing communication mix: tools, media and messages (Baines & Fill, 2014). This essay is concerned with the outline and critique of the first two of these, tools and media.

TOOLS

The range of techniques or tools for communication is called the promotional mix: advertising, sales promotion, public relations, personal selling, direct marketing and online promotion (Jobber & Ellis-Chadwick, 2013). Whilst marketing as a subject places a lot of emphasis on the promotional mix, research looking at the influence of promotional mix on the sales turnover of an organisation faced with strong competitors indicated that promotional mix only influenced sales by 25% of the change And other factors such as the product itself, pricing and distribution accounted for the larger 75% (Sunday & Bayode, 2011).

Advertising

‘A paid form of non-personal communication about an organisation and its products’ (Dibb, et al., 2012, p. 495). Advertising is generally a mass marketing communication technique as its non -personalised message means that it can be aimed at a wide audience. Its key characteristics are that it can help build awareness because it can reach a wide audience. Also, depending upon the media used to advertise, it can create a strong brand position and it can support the sales effort because it raises awareness. However, by its very nature it is impersonal and as such cannot answer specific questions. Further to this, it has limited ability to close a sale as this normally requires an additional interaction over and above the ad itself. There are strong and weak theories of advertising (Baines & Fill, 2014). The strong theory assumes that advertising can increase sales for a brand and for a product within that brand, and the weak theory assumes that consumers are driven by habit rather than exposure to advertising communications. Clearly these are two extremes and the reality is that the effectiveness or otherwise of advertising lies somewhere along the scale and is influenced by other factors apart from simply brand or habit. In marketing, it is considered that advertising decisions are those that are most affected by cultural differences and as such it can be extremely challenging to get the right blend of advertising and sales promotion effort (Ghauri & Cateora, 2014). Sponsorship and celebrity endorsements are also forms of advertising. Growing interest in celebrities today has led to an increasing use of celebrities in brand and product advertising. Some target markets look to identify closely with their celebrity idols and as such many companies believe that celebrities are particularly useful for targeting a specific market.

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