A marketing communicator starts with a clear target audience in mind. The audience may be potential buyers or current users, those who make the buying decision or those who influence it. The audience may be individuals, groups, special publics or die general public. The target audience will heavily affect the communicator’s decisions on ‘what will be said, how it will be said, when it wills he said, where it will be said and who will say it.
Buyer-readiness stages: The stages that consumers normally pass through on their way to purchase, including awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction and purchase.
Determining the Communication Objectives
Once the target audience has been defined, the marketing communicator must decide what response is sought. Of course, in many cases, the final response is purchase. But purchase is the result of a long process of consumer decision making. The marketing communicator needs to know where the target audience now stands and to what state it needs to be moved. To do this he or she must determine whether or not the customer is ready to buy.
The target audience may be in any of six buyer-readiness stages – the stages that consumers normally pass through on their way to making a purchase. These stages are awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction and purchase. They can be described as a hierarchy of consumer response stages. The purpose of marketing communication is to move the customer along these stages and ultimately to achieve final purchase.
The target audience might like the product, but not prefer it to others. In this case, the communicator must try to build consumer preference by promoting the
Buyer readiness stages product’s quality, value and other beneficial features. The communicator can check on the campaign’s success by measuring the audience’s preferences again after the campaign.
A target audience might prefer the product, but not develop a conviction about buying it. Thus some customers may prefer the Infiniti to other car brands, but may not be absolutely sure that it is what they should buy. The communicator’s job is to build conviction that the product is the best one for the potential buyer. Infiniti used a combination of the promotion-mix tools to create preference and conviction. Advertising extolled the Infinity’s advantages over rival brands. Press releases and public relations activities stressed the car’s innovative features and performance. Dealer salespeople told buyers about options, value for the price and after-sales service.
Designing a Message
Having defined the desired audience response, the communicator turns to developing an effective message. Ideally, the message should get Attention, hold interest, arouse Desire and obtain Action (a framework known as the AIDA model). In practice, few messages take the consumer all die way from awareness to purchase, but the A1UA framework suggests the desirable qualities of a good message.
The marketing mediums in which you choose to promote your products and company depend solely on the preferences of the target market you have identified. For example, if your market research tells you your target audience prefers to get its new product information from the Internet over all other advertising mediums, then your promotional strategy should use the Internet as a primary advertising medium. Promotions can also be done using a mix of mediums. But you should only use those mediums that will get results, and your spending ratio should depend on how much of each medium your audience uses. For example, if you choose to add radio to your promotional campaign because your market research tells you that your audience prefers the Internet 45% of the time but uses radio 15% of the time, then you need to use those percentages as the guide for how much of the budget you spend on each advertising medium.
The competition working against you within your target market has an effect on how you promote your products. The design of a good promotional marketing strategy is to stand out from the competition and grab more market share for your company. To do that, you need to study how the competition is addressing the target market and develop more effective ways to promote your company and your product.
The demand you generate within your target market dictates the retail price you can get for your product. If your promotional efforts yield high demand, then you can increase your product revenue by raising your retail price. Determine the most effective ways to promote your product to your target market so that you can realize higher profitability through a higher demand price.
One of the goals in promoting a product to your target market is to develop brand loyalty. This encompasses repeat sales of the product you are promoting, and create interest in your other products. Pricing specials, product promotions and other direct contacts with your customers helps to increase brand loyalty and increase revenue for the sales of all the products that you offer.