Marketing Communication is a type of management concept that combines all the aspects in marketing communication work together complementarily. The marketing communication aspects are advertising, product promotion, public relations, and direct selling of products to the consumers. Marketing communication is also referred to as “ marcom ”. Marketing communicators, marketing specialists or marketing communication managers perform the duties of product advertising, branding, direct selling, marketing, packaging, promotion, publicity, sales and in recent advancement of marketing communication, even online marketing.
Traditionally, in the past, marketing communicators would plan and execute printed marketing collateral. However, marketing communication today are equip with academic and professional research that enables the communication process to use more strategic elements of imaging. branding and marketing to ensure a coherent delivery of message throughout an organization or marketing system.
An effective marketing communication plan must be prepared by a person who understands the communication process. In the process of communication, the sender of the message must create his message in the way that the receiver will be able to decode his messages in the manner and style that he wanted to convey. There are several factors that can hinder or challenge this process which may emanate from the sender and the receiver. An example is the nature of the sender’s message or the environment of the receiver. For instance , language can be considered either an advantage or a disadvantage in the communication process. That is, a German who is not very well-versed with his English wants to custom-made a motorcycle. The producer of the custom-made motorcycle is from the United States and the only way they can communicate is through the internet or through phone calls. Since the German is not very fluent with his English, some terms may be unfamiliar to him and he has a hard time expressing his true feelings and opinions about certain matter. The language can serve as a hindrance because both can receive and interpret different meanings from the messages carried through out the communication process.
Integrated Marketing Communication i s a new term developed for marketing communication. Integrated Marketing Communication aims to cover all the marketing elements such as advertising, public relations, direct marketing, promotional sales, and interactive marketing into one unified perspective. This approach uses current professional practice in marketing communication of the different organizations. The role of professional practice is separated from what ever academic programs they have. Marketing communicators treat the professional practices and academic programs differently, the two entities results to effective communication of products and services, and the corporate identification of the organization. The focus of Integrated Marketing Communication is identification of the opportunities and challenges in marketing communication to produce a comprehensive and effective communication plan.
The academic programs and professional practice in integrated marketing communication must be treated as a separate entity, each with distinct characteristics that can be used to unify all the marketing aspects that must be used for a unified marketing plan. Academic or professional approach is used to determine the specification of the marketing system plan. When using academic approach, the importance of the theories and concepts learned must be applied to the marketing communication strategy. The strength of the academic approach is that the concepts are used in marketing so often enough that the people involved knows the process through this approach. In the professional approach, the experience is the important factor to use in the marketing communication strategy. For instance , several promotional measures of the product resulted to poor or no improvement on the sales of the products. Therefore, for this , the communication plan must be reviewed and changed for an effective marketing communication of the products. The professional approach is also of essence since improvement of the marketing communication strategies made and tested before-hand is critical in this approach.
An integrated marketing communication manager will not prefer one approach over the other. He should discern the importance of using complementarily the two entities to yield a good marketing communication plan. The integrated marketing communication manager can use the professional approach, and be guided by the academic approach. There are cases wherein the gap between the two entities is evident. The marketing communication manager must link the two to be able to plan and strategize using the two approaches. It is not to wider the gap between the two concepts, but to find their similarities and complementary approaches in the marketing activity, and work around that to strengthen the marketing communication plan.
De Pelsmacker , et al. ( 2004 ) defined Integrated Marketing Communication as “a new way of looking at the whole ”. According to these authors, “marketing communication look at communication a s the way the consumer sees it – as a flow of information from indistinguishable sources.” De Pelsmacker, et al. (2004) definition places all marketing aspects in one big umbrella. Working with the aspects as a whole and not individually analyzing them from one another. In marketing communication, a producer must use the communication process in the most effective manner as possible. The objectives of the marketing communicator’s project must be clear first before he can undergo the process of sending his messages to the consumers.
The messages mentioned by De Pelsmacker, et al. (2004) are in the form of promotional activities of and for the products. The marketing communication manager must determine his target client. Knowing the client is a very critical process because as producers know their consumers, they can specify the things they need and want. Then , they can target the production of the goods which the consumer needs and wants. The effectiveness of the marketing communication plan will be reflected on the way the consumers react to the promotional campaigns and advertisements of the product. When the consumer receives the message of the urgency of his need and want of the product, then the producer has effectively sent his message across.
It is important that the marketing communication manager places himself in the shoes of the consumers. In getting to know the client , every aspect of the consumer ‘s behaviour must be analyzed. Such that social, political, ethical and other important aspects must be determined to effectively communicate with the consumer. After analyzing and getting to know the target client , the next task of the marketing communication manager is to determine how to get across the consumers and make the se consumers buy the products that the marketing communication manager sells. This will come about in the planning of marketing strategies. The marketing communication manager should determine the media used in the communication of his promotions of the products. The media is a great tool in the product promotion. T he marketing manager can create something to entice his consumers in noticing the product through advertising. He may highlight the product’s benefits amongst the competitions and strengthen his marketing position that the consumer needs to buy the products. After attracting the consumers ‘ attention, making the consumers realize the need for the product, the consumers will then decide the worthiness of the product to him or her whether it may be a need or want of his. It is very important to choose well the type of media to be used to reach the target audience. This will effectively execute the communication process between the marketing organization and the consumers.
Husbands and Hampton (2004) discussed the importance of s peaking the same language as the customers in meeting the challenge of multicultural marketing communications. Husbands and Hampton (2004) believed that t he re three main drivers for this change the methods of doing business in the global economy. These authors said that these are a newly restructured and convertible European community , a continuously expanding and evolving Asia and significant challenges presented by dynamic emerging regional brands. Husbands, et al. (2004) mentioned that “it is only by understanding the customer’s own unique cultural perspective and value system and delivering effectively localized communications to suit each targeted culture that global companies can win the market edge in the 21st century.” Husbands and Hampton (2004) presentation outlines that “the market opportunity for global companies and provides practical tips for localizing three main types of marketing communication such as global advertising campaigns, direct marketing campaigns and web-site globalization.” According to Husbands et al. (2004), “global advertising campaigns ensure that creative concepts, headlines and copy are suitably adapted for local markets and their cultures”. On the other hand, “direct marketing campaigns”, as emphasized in the paper by Husbands and Hampton (2004) “understand the importance of using the correct salutations, address and date formats, and copy style for the audience.” Whereas, in the web site globalization , the architecture, linguistic and technical implications of designing multi-lingual Web sites are taken into consideration (Husbands and Hampton, 2004).
De Pelsmacker, Geuens Van den Bergh (2004) noted that the effects of the communication process must also be looked upon. The marketing communication manager must evaluate his promotional activities and realize what possible effects it can have on the consumers. The marketing communication manager must be able to analyze every specific aspect of the consumer before he can carry out his plans of marketing.
Likewise, De Pelsmacker, et al. (2004) said that Integrated Marketing Communication aims to relate both customers and stakeholders. The marketing plan reflects relevant information regarding the consumers as well as the stakeholders or the marketing organization involved. This will help in realization of the objectives for the marketing communication process.
According to Orwig (2004), “by building the value of products and brands, the advertising budget represents a long-term investment in a company’s future”. Orwig (2004) said “that every dollar invested in marketing communication is a seed planted for future growth”. Orwig (2004) believes that advertising budgets are usually determined in one of four ways , such as by matching competition, by decree, by percentage of sales method or by the preferred outcome method. Orwig (2004) said that “by matching the competition, the rationale is know what Consolidated is spending so it would be better not do any less , lest we lose market share , or more , lest we eat into profits ”. On the other hand, Orwig (2004) continues that “by decree , is when t he president of the company or its financial management evaluates available resources, past advertising budgets, very frequently other spending priorities, etc. then allocates an appropriate” amount”. Orwig (2004), also said that “the Percentage of Sales Method relates the advertising budget to some arbitrary percentage of revenue while the Preferred Outcome Method”, according to Orwig (2004), considers available data and tangible assumptions tempered by judgement and common sense to reach a realistic budget that will achieve the desired marketing results”.
In the beginning of the 90’s, when mass advertising had slowly being replaced by target market advertising, the ways of being more effective in order to reach and persuade the target audience had also being re defined (Integrated Marketing Communication, 2006). Parente (2000) support s this concept and expresses that “as firms apply the lessons of market segmentation and product differentiation, they target smaller parts of the overall market ”.
A good example of a European style of advertising can be exemplified in the Ger man a dvertising. As discussed in the article German Advertising ( 2006 ), a ll European countries are economically interdependent, making international communication in the marketplace a priority. “Euro-Advertising” has gained mileage out of budgetary concerns. Production of advertising custom-fit every country will require a lot of costs. Euro-marketing has resulted to major competition within the European advertising community where a number of countries are challenged to reduce high production costs. According to the article, German advertising is primarily based on copy, on a play on words or an intelligent formulation, whereas the best international advertisement s and spots in the recent years have been based on a strong visual. The German Advertising (2006), says, “German creativities need to develop a visual world unique to German advertising , such that, copywriters are still primarily responsible for the conceptual work of campaigns, and because of the concentration on copy, Germans have failed to develop its own visual style of communication compared to, for example, the visual world of British TV spots” German Advertising (2006 ).
There is a need also for media planning. This is essential t o any business that aims a great advertising campaign. From time to time, there is a need to look outside the box. According to Media Planning ( 2005) , t here is a need to create effective and cost – worthy media to promote the business. Media planning can consist of anywhere from TV, print, website, radio, flyers and others. A marketing communicator should strive to make the company’s media flow within itself. It is important to have the brand reemphasized throughout the entire company campaign. Utilize all resources necessary to plan the media and make it work for the company or enterprise (Media Planning, 2005).
Advertising research should be conducted prior to extensive advertising campaign to be conducted in line with marketing communication. This is another important aspect is the s ales promotions. Most often, the words advertising research are associated with evaluating creative rather than making a positive contribution to the creative process. Morawski and Zachary (1992) demonstrate how advertising research, when conducted within an open-minded creative culture, can stimulate ideas. Advertising research, if viewed within a open-minded creative culture can open new possibilities in terms of design and interpretation ( Morawski and Zachary , 1992). The marketing communicators may organize specifically defined promotional campaigns matching with the client’s needs. The marketing communicators may introduce t o the market new products back-up with the extensive know-how and knowledge for defining remarkable market behaviour. The marketing communicators could influence the customer through special personal attitude and a system of market instruments, to enforce or speed up the purchase. Techniques may range from sample distribution, coupons, price reductions, promotions, additional goods, competitions and quizzes, premiums, and others.
As per Lingham (2005), direct marketing is the process of delivering promotional messages directly to potential customers on an individual basis. Lingham (2005) informed that t he unique characteristics of direct marketing are direct distribution , fast distribution , individual customer service, individual customer communication. builds customer loyalty quicker, flexible in managing, adaptable to any situation, deals one to one, adds value in service, cost effective, limited stock at a time, flexible pricing and others.
According to the article, Enterprise Marketing Management (2006), “E-Communication gives the marketing communicators an inexpensive way to reach the customers through marketing automation”. This article on Enterprise Marketing Management (2006), mentioned that current customers can be your best future customers. And your cost-per-sale sure will look good. Based on the article, Explanation of Point-of-Sale Programs (2006), “point-of-sale communications programs may involve a manufacturer, retailer, media partner, or all of the above”. The article specifies that “point-of-sale communications is simply a program that puts information where consumers buy a specific product”. A good example of this is in the marketing of pesticides for home use. In this case, the point-of-sale communications may include mass merchandisers and hardware stores.
According to Belch and Belch (2004), advertising and other forms of promotion are an integral part of the marketing process in most organizations. There is an observed increase in expenses on advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, and other forms of marketing communication in the recent years in many countries. Belch and Belch (2004) emphasized that t o understand the role of advertising and promotion in a marketing program, one must understand the role and function of marketing in an organization. The basic task of marketing is to combine the four controllable elements into a comprehensive program that facilitates exchange with a target market. Combining the elements is referred to as marketing mix. The elements of the marketing mix are the product or service, price, place (distribution), and promotion (Belch and Belch, 2004).
The promotional function in most companies was dominated by mass-media advertising, as mentioned by Belch and Belch (2004). Recently, however, the importance of integrated marketing communications, coordinating the various marketing and promotional elements to achieve more efficient and effective communication programs are now being valued more. There are several factors that underlie the recent development toward Integrated Marketing Communication by marketers as well as advertising agencies and other promotional facilitators. These include the increasing significance of the integrated marketing communications perspective such as a rapidly changing environment with respect to consumers, technology, and media. The Integrated Marketing Communication movement is also being influence by the changes in the ways organizations or enterprisers market their products and services. The key changes that are taking place in the Integrated Marketing Communication are the following: a shift in focus marketing expenses from advertising to sales promotion, the rapid growth and development of database marketing and the fragmentation of media markets (Belch and Belch, 2004).
Belch and Belch (2004) said that promotion is best viewed as the communication function of marketing. The authors mentioned that promotion is accomplished through a promotional mix that includes advertising, personal selling, publicity or public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing as well as interactive or Internet marketing. These authors further explained the inherent advantages and disadvantages of each of these promotional-mix elements that influence the roles that these promotional-mix elements play in the overall marketing program. In developing the promotional program, the marketer must decide the tools to use and the methodology to combine them to achieve both the organization’s marketing and the communication objectives (Belch and Belch, 2004).
Belch and Belch (2004) explained that promotional management involves coordinating the promotional mix elements to develop an integrated program of effective marketing communication. The model of the Integrated Marketing Communication planning process contains a number of steps such as a review of the marketing plan. promotional program situation analysis , analysis of the communications process , budget determination , development of an integrated marketing communications program , integration and implementation of marketing communications strategies , and monitoring, evaluation, and control of the promotional program (Belch and Belch, 2004).
“An Introduction of Integrated Marketing Communications”. 2004. McGraw-Hill Higher
Belch, G.E. and Belch, M.A. (2004). “Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing
Communications Perspective”, 6th ed., Boston: McGraw-Hill.
De Pelsmacker, P., Geuens, M. and Van den Bergh., J., (2004), 2nd ed ., Foundations of
Marketing Communications: A European Perspective”, Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Enterprise Marketing Management. 2006. Netline Corporation, Inc.
”Explanation of Point-of-Sale Programs”. 2006. CDPR Workbook.
Fill, C. (latest edition), Marketing Communications: Contexts, Contents and Strategies, Europe:
German Advertising. Communication Arts, 2006. Coyne ; Blanchard, Inc.
Havana, Tiina. 2003. Communication in the Software Vulnerability Reporting Process.
Organizational communication ; PR, Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä
Husbands, Gordon and Hampton, Rebecca. Speaking the Same Language As Your Customers:
Husbands, Gordon, Hampton, Rebecca and Rowlands, Lynette. Meeting the Challenge of
Multicultural Marketing Communications. Webex Event Information, October 26, 2004.
Meeting the Challenge of Multicultural Marketing Communications. American Marketing
Association. AMA On-Demand Webcasts, Marketing Power, October 26, 2004.
Integrated Marketing Communication. 2006. CiAdvertising. Student Account.
Kitchen, P.J. (1999), “Marketing Communications: Principles and Practice”. London: Thomson Piction, D.
Lingham, Leo. Marketing: Direct Marketing, January 1, 2005. Experts: Marketing. About, Inc.
Media Planning. 2005. Marketing Solutions. Communication Associates, Inc.
Morawski, David M. and Zachary , Lacey J. 1992. Making Mr Coffee : Research with consumers
points the way to personifying Mr Coffee for a new advertising campaign. Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.
Orwig, Ken. 2004. How to Create a Realistic Advertising Budget. Orwig Marketing Strategies.
Parente. Donald. 2000. Advertising Campaign Strategy: A Guide to Marketing Communication
Plans. Fort Worth : Dryden Press.