Marketing communication involves sharing of meaning, information and concepts by the source and the receiver about the products and services and also about the firm selling through the devices of promotion via, advertising, publicity, salesmanship and sales promotion.
In marketing the source is the marketer who desires to promote the product. Marketer delivers a message to a receiver, who is the target market segment. Message is received and integrated by consumers and if their predisposition becomes favorable, they decide to purchase. Feedback is the reverse flow of communication to the marketer.
Marketing communication may be distorted particularly when a message passes through a number of channels. Noise is a major injurious. Noise can arise due to faulty transmission, faulty reception. Competitive communication constitutes the most serious noise.
Marketing communications refer to the strategy used by a company or individual to reach their target market through various types of communication. Marketing communication includes advertising, direct marketing, branding, packaging, sales presentations, trade show appearances etc.
Issues in Marketing Communications
As much as marketers would like to think of their discipline as science, much of marketing is art. As such, the variables and indicators of success are often moving targets. Marketers attempt to mitigate the vagaries of chance that often characterize a marketing initiative by undertaking research. They hope the research will help them understand the strengths and weaknesses of their marketing communications and predict the negative effects of competitive activities.
(i) Learned Messages
One of the central issues in marketing communications is knowing at what point the promotional message is “learned,” so that it elicits the desired customer response, such as purchasing the product, changing product perceptions or increasing the intention to buy. The general rule is that it takes about three messages before a marketing communique is internalized, and more to motivate the recipient to take a specific action.
Most industries have strong competitors vying for larger market share. Marketers with small budgets may find it difficult to compete with larger-budget foes. A competitor’s countertactics can make the best laid marketing plans retreat into quiet obscurity. Threatened companies can flood the market heavily with discount coupons for their products or take that opportunity to increase media spending against a newcomer to quiet the new entrant’s marketing momentum.
The effectiveness of marketing communications can often be difficult to discern. But tools such as sales promotions enable companies to accurately measure the effectiveness of their marketing communications. Companies conduct research to see how well its advertising and PR campaigns create awareness and to determine the impact they have on consumer knowledge of the product’s central selling message.
(iv) In-House vs. Out-House Staffing
Many companies struggle with whether to hire an outside agency (“out-house”) or use an in-house team. Some feel an in-house team is constrained by being too close to the product team, which could jeopardize creativity and not produce groundbreaking marketing communications. Regardless, many companies do have in-house teams that produce marketing communications while others successfully use contractors or consultants.