The Complete Guide To Marketing Communications

The Complete Guide To Marketing Communications

The Complete Guide To Marketing Communications

The Complete Guide To Marketing Communications

Communication is at the heart of the phrase “planning communications strategy,” which connects both planning and strategy. 

Because of communication, human sapiens have been able to advance both in terms of transmitting knowledge and adding to it. It has the capacity to generate change and to build new patterns of behaviour and responses.

Organizations and marketing strategies can both benefit from universal truths. However, our study of ‘communication’ is often constrained by the definition we give it. 

While there may be some formal planning involved, marketing communication is something that is done on the fly rather than as part of an overarching strategy.

If a company’s overall communication is successful, it may be an accident rather than a deliberate effort. The goal is to formalise the firm’s overall or integrated communication by providing a formal structure.

Within the context of the company’s communications mix, the role of communications in marketing. It doesn’t matter what the marketing goal is – a new product, a brand or a product line, or the entire business – there is always room to design and implement communications goals to help with the job.

To put it another way: Marketing communications are all about making people aware of the product or service they’re trying to sell. They’re also all about making people think positively about it.

Marketing is likely the most people-centric of all corporate departments, and it is certainly the most involved with important stakeholder groups such as customers, trade associations, media commen­tators, and so on.

In order to maintain good ties with different stakeholder groups, the communications role must be meticulously designed and implemented. 

Furthermore, because the efficiency of marketing depends in part on non-marketing tasks within a firm, all of the organization’s dealings with the outside world can affect marketing communications.

The Purpose of Marketing Communications

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In order to comprehend marketing communication, we must first grasp what it is trying to accomplish.

We know that the goal of marketing is to increase consumer value. A low price for the customer is required here.

The goal of marketing communication must be the same as the goal of marketing itself: to maximise the value offered to customers. A decrease in customer costs or an increase in overall customer value is two ways to accomplish this. 

Offering to customers that involves offering greater value or cutting costs cannot be successful by the efforts of merely the marketing department, but must involve all divisions of the company.

Marketing communication should therefore include all forms of communication that are innovation-driven (or based on a desire to provide value for customers). 

Design and implementation of an optimal customer value delivery system necessitate close collaboration amongst departments. 

Marketing departments alone may not be able to guarantee a superior return on investment in a communication plan. Firms will be better able to develop a winning competitive strategy once their reciprocal dependence on one other is officially acknowledged.

Communication has had a profound impact on our current era. This has been made possible by the use of scientific technologies. 

Today’s world is one of constant change and competition. This means that every company has to put itself in a position where it can best address the implications of competitive edge, in the words of Porter.

Companies must focus on growth and innovation in order to gain a competitive advantage. Competitiveness and a realistic view of the environment are required for this to occur. 

The ability and capability of a company to innovate and successfully supply competitive responses through value-added solutions to their consumers are greatly influenced by information and communication.

Given how much communication has impacted an organization’s ability to influence itself, consumers, suppliers, and others in connected industries, it’s time for interaction to upgrade its own concept and raise awareness of its expanded capabilities.

The Top 5 Components in Marketing Communications

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Advertising, Direct Marketing, Personal Selling, Public Relations, and Sales Promotion are all part of the Marketing Communication mix. 

Marketing Communication Process, Strategy and Plan sections additionally offer other ideas for enhancing your marketing communication mix.

For today’s businesses, the components of the marketing communication mix are outlined below and put into perspective. 

In spite of the fact that marketing underwent a major shift in the twentieth century, the conventional components of the marketing communication process continue to be relevant and significant today.

  • Advertising

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This is the most cost-effective way to reach a broad, geographically dispersed audience through mass media marketing.

However, advertising prices can quickly rise with mediums such as television, radio, and even online advertising, which can be too expensive for many companies.

Publications like newspapers and magazines, the Yellow Pages, billboards, signs, and posters are examples of more traditional kinds of paid advertising, as well. Public bathrooms, benches, and petrol pumps are all popular places to advertise these days.

Basically, every media that allows you to target “eyes and ears” can be used for advertising, and examples of successful marketing can be found in the most unlikely locations.

  • Promotional Products Sold Directly to Consumers

It is possible to communicate directly with customers without the use of intermediary channels, such as advertising. Direct mail, catalogues, coupons, inserts, telemarketing, web marketing, and television infomercials are all part of this component of the marketing communication process.

As a long-term marketing strategy, Direct Marketing may be incredibly effective and allow for a customised marketing approach to certain consumers in order to build enduring relationships.

Direct marketing is a way for businesses to communicate with a large number of customers in order to elicit a “call to action” or “most desirable reaction,” which is usually a purchase.

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Due to the fact that most people don’t want to receive unwanted marketing messages, Direct Marketing has a bad reputation among many people. 

With the widespread disdain for telemarketing, email spamming and junk mail, Direct Marketing methods must be utilised with prudence. To learn about legal and ethical Direct Marketing, visit the DMA website.

  • Selling on Your Own

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In the marketing communication process, this is the most dreaded and the most expensive of all strategies. 

But if you own a small business or have the ability to meet with clients face-to-face, it can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of marketing, both personally and professionally.

Successful selling, like traditional marketing, begins and finishes with the buyer. The primary goal is to identify customer demands and provide the best possible solution.

Building relationships and gathering knowledge about how to better serve your consumers is an important part of doing a company, which is why you got started in the first place.

Both sales and marketing are essential to a company’s sustainability, and both are concerned with attracting new customers to your product or service. The former focuses on a single person or organisation, whereas the latter focuses on a large group of people or organisations.

Both use a wide range of communication methods to pique interest, convey information, and elicit action. 

Achieving greater success is possible no matter what the circumstances are. A customer-first mindset is a key to both successful sales and marketing.


  • It’s all about the PR

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There is a variety of “public” involved in your business, and how you interact with and communicate with them is an important part of how you run your company. Everyone from consumers to shareholders to staff to partners to rivals to the government is affected.

It becomes more and more important when a company or organisation expands in size to have a strong public relations strategy. For smaller organisations, it is still an important part of the marketing communication process.

Among the many methods used to promote a company’s good name and image in the public eye include news releases to the media, lobbying efforts, charitable and public events, advertisements, financial reports, marketing collateral, facility tours, sponsorships, and other types of interviews.

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In the end, people purchase from people, and the most successful people and organisations are those that help the most people. Public relations, like many other aspects of sales and marketing, includes both positive and negative aspects.

Good public relations involves promoting socially responsible company practices, while bad public relations is exemplified by “spin doctors,” sleazy political lobbying, and so on that distort the truth rather than promote it.

To summarise, in today’s interconnected world, organisations of all sizes must be aware that they function within a larger framework of society and that they have commensurate obligations.

  • Promotions for the purpose of increasing sales

Another typical portion of the marketing communication mix is described here as part of the process of marketing communication. Your customers’ buying incentives are referred to as “sales promotion.”

It is possible to offer a wide range of incentives, from giving away free goods or services to selling discounted goods or services in exchange for a donation to charitable causes or other types of added value.

Process and Areas of Marketing Communication

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A message is sent from one party to another in a communication process. Understanding the message is the final consequence of the communication process. Media or specific channels are used to spread the message. The reply from the recipient of the message tells us how the message was received.

When the message is affected by ‘noise’ elements, the communication fails to meet its goal of the creation of a suitable response or comprehension. An encoded message is sent to a recipient, who decodes the encoded message.

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The sender is referred to as the message’s originator. It could be in the form of a letter or ad text that encodes the information. The media, such as the post and telegraphs department, television, or the press, carry the message.

Responses to the message are sent back to the sender as a result of the receiver’s response. Sending a well-crafted message to a target audience is an art form that requires attention to detail, comprehension, and the ability to elicit an emotional response from the recipient.

Senders need to know who they’re trying to reach and what they’re hoping to get back in return. The ability to encode the message correctly is one of the skill lines. 

It should be able to predict how the message will be deciphered by the recipient. It is important to know as much about the receiver as possible in order to ensure that the message is understood.

In addition, the media used must be effective. It is now required for the sender to be aware of the answer because the feedback channels have been established. Noise variables might have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the communication in this method. 

Poor message design, overworked audience members, and sloppy feedback mechanisms are all examples of noise in the message delivery process.

The ability to communicate is made possible by a shared experience and reference point. Communication may be difficult or impossible if there is no overlap. Marketing research inputs and sales reports are the primary sources of feedback. The commercial messages that are being used to compete with one another make up the background noise.

Understanding your audience and your target market will help you communicate more effectively. In terms of total corporate communications, marketing communications make up a significant portion. The marketing mix would be incomplete without advertising.

The marketer is the person who sends the message. In the form of copy for advertisements, publicity materials, window displays, or sales talk, the message is disguised. 

Print media, such as newspapers and magazines, or electronic media, such as radio and television, can all be used to spread the word, as can a salesperson giving a presentation.

Message decoding entails the consumer’s perception of the message. Because the message may not always be received in the way that is desired by the marketer, this is one of the most difficult parts of the marketing communication process

Coding and decoding are the critical communication points where the greatest challenges arise. This is the outcome of varying interpretations of various words and symbols. Between the transmitter and the receiver, there may be disparities in the worldviews and areas of expertise.

Personal selling, sales promotion (SP), publicity, and public relations are all forms of marketing communication, but advertising has several specific characteristics that set it apart.

To be able to communicate effectively, both the sender and the receiver must have similar upbringings, social influences, and communication demands. The term “overlapping of psychic domains” refers to this situation. Effective communication is more likely when there is a wider shared area.

Both in consumer television advertising and in “hard-sell” personal selling approaches in business-to-business industries, the use of “dogmatic” communications was common. The essential idea of marketing is to listen and respond to clients, which they sadly overlooked.

In contrast, the goal of marketing communications in the 1990s and beyond is to engage customers in conversation. 

Because of the rising popularity of relationship marketing, more businesses are focusing on establishing long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders such as customers and consumers as well as suppliers, shareholders, lawmakers, and employees.

Traditional methods of communicating with customers are no longer considered effective for this purpose, and the emergence of new technologies and interactive media has opened up new channels of connection.

Marketing messages tailored to each customer, based on behavioural data and made possible by large databases, are becoming the standard. 

It’s becoming increasingly common for marketers to employ more than one communication method to engage customers in discourse about their products and services because of the power of interactive media.

Three Key Sectors Are Driving Change In Marketing Communications

  • The Consumer

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The future marketplace is being shaped by consumers, who are driving the evolution of communication and distribution channels to meet their demands. Consumers are growing more informed, sceptical, and well-versed in marketing, which puts a greater burden on marketers.

It is becoming more common for consumers to choose how they want to contact suppliers and how much information they want to provide about themselves, all at a time that is convenient for them.

To remain competitive, businesses must take into account how their marketing messages are perceived by customers, as well as the emergence of the “cynical individual” response to commercials. 

Consumers are no longer passive recipients of communications; they are now active producers of their own messages thanks to advanced communication means and unified communications solutions.

As a result, ethical considerations are becoming increasingly important in marketing. The recent Monsanto saga served as a potent example of the ‘voice’ consumers can wield.

Retailers such as Marks & Spencer and J. Sainsbury’s backed away from their initial backing and promotion of genetically modified (GM) goods in the early months of 1999 because of negative consumer reactions to media stories concerning GM foods. 

They created marketing initiatives to reassure clients that they had listened to their complaints and taken action against them.

Additionally, customers are no longer restricted by regional or national boundaries; they are members of a global society, and they are empowered to do so. Global consciousness and conscience have been developed as a result of new media technology and coverage.

Consumers are growing warier of big business, and marketers can no longer make assumptions about them. Companies can only hope to create relationships with customers and get an advantage in the market by earning their trust.

  • The Business World

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Organizations and people’s daily routines have altered considerably in the previous decade as a result of computer technology’s impact on both. There has been a revolution in data processing speed and cost thanks to advancements in information and communication technology (ICT).

Access to customer and consumer data has had a significant impact on enterprises. Even though this advantage is widely available, the most successful organisations use this information to provide their customers with exceptional service.

For example, retailers in the UK have devised loyalty programmes that allow them to do just this, and customers have responded by becoming increasingly devoted toward the relationship they have with their grocer, not a specific brand of product. 

Many firms, on the other hand, have seen their sway over customers erode rapidly in recent years.

A key reason for this is the development of low-cost, high-quality own-label items, which shattered the pre-existing “relationship” between supplier and buyer. Because of their reliance on mass communications, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) producers were particularly vulnerable.

Customers can now expect a higher level of personal service and product customization from organisations with vast customer bases because of advancements in computer technology.

When First Direct introduced a 24-hour banking service, it changed the face of personal banking as we know it. Many successful client connections have resulted from the company’s customer-focused approach, as well as a regular distinction for having the most satisfied customers in its industry.’

In the late 1990s, Marks & Spencer was the most well-known of several high-street brands that were struggling in the UK business climate. 

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Companies like these are fostering long-term relationships with their customers by offering new and unique ways to interact with them. 

Instead of seeing the changing business environment as a negative, they see it as a positive opportunity for the consumer’s benefit.

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  • The Press

The proliferation and fragmentation of various forms of digital media have transformed the world’s media landscape. There was a time when businesses could reach a huge number of people with a little number of adverts.

On prime time network television in the United States in 1960, advertising reached almost 90% of all households. However, by 1994, just half of all households could be served by the same three networks.

Consumers now participate in a broader variety of programs than ever before because of the proliferation of tv networks, news and entertainment via the Internet, periodicals, radio, and Teletext services, and a shift to alternative leisure habits. 

Their attention spans are shorter, and their tolerance for marketing messages is dwindling as a result of all the conflicting interests.

Consumers are assaulted with 4000 interactions and messages every day, and as a result, they have become considerably more selective in which ones they listen to, let alone respond to. 

Broadcast television’s diminishing reach has made it more difficult and expensive for advertisers and their agencies to reach big groups of potential customers with mass messages.

It has been shown that people who watch television on a regular basis engage in a variety of activities in front of their sets, using them as a sort of radio. 

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This is exacerbated by the rise in the usage of remote control devices and videos, which means that many people switch channels or fast-forward immediately when commercials are presented.

Marketers that decide to invest USD150,000 on a 30-second ad slot during a popular serial drama like ‘Coronation Street’ face serious consequences from this growing trend among viewers.

Older viewers and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are now more likely to watch “relatively mass-market” commercial stations in the United Kingdom.

This finding can be related to the fact that people in higher socioeconomic brackets watch less television, and hence are less susceptible to the marketing messages that are presented on the major broadcast channels. 

Marketing to high-earners and younger males has gotten increasingly difficult as their media habits become more autonomous and diverse, according to several marketers.

There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of media options available, which has made it more difficult to implement a communications strategy.

The future of communication is being shaped by consumer enthusiasm for new media. Ads, direct mail, and the Internet have all benefited from the emergence of interactive technologies that allow for a greater variety of ways to communicate and exchange information.

As a result of the proliferation of e-mail discussion groups, data exchange, online advertising, and linked websites, businesses may now reach out to consumers, employees, the media and even their competitors in new ways.

Marketers will be able to communicate with their customers at a lower cost and in a shorter period of time as Internet technology becomes more widely available and widely used.

It is becoming increasingly important for marketers to rethink how they develop and implement their communication strategies as a result of consumer empowerment, technological innovation, media fragmentation, and the increasing need to show the payback on marketing communications expenditure.

It has only lately become widely accepted that a company’s stakeholders must be influenced by a variety of messages, information, and pictures.

Assuring the well-being of customers and society

In addition to current and potential customers, communication also includes employees, vendors, connected industries and other advanced aspects such as human resources, including skilled and scientific resources, and external surroundings. 

In “knowledge-intensive” businesses, this understanding of the importance of communication is even more vital. Competitive strategy is the major goal of any company’s efforts, and efficient communication can help.

One of the most effective means of spreading information within a firm is through training. 

Effective internal communication on customer needs cost control, and customer satisfaction can boost productivity and profitability while also providing customers with value and satisfaction. This is especially true as the product’s service component grows in importance.

Communications in the Brand Building Process

The initial case of Micromax mobiles accurately illustrates the premise that marketing communication is critical in developing a brand in the market. 

A marketer uses a wide range of communication methods, including advertisements, direct marketing, media relations, marketing, and direct marketing, to help solve a brand’s communication problem in the market and to promote the product.

The advertising mix for a brand consists of a unique blend of these techniques for each individual brand. It’s important to note that the advertising mix for each brand varies in terms of how much focus is placed on different promotion techniques.

The type of product, target market, budget, and marketing environment all play a role in determining which of these promotion tactics to use for a given business.

Advertising tools are used to provide information and persuade the target audience. As a result, it serves as a stimulus for the decision-making process, and it also aids in the process of making an informed choice. 

Here, it’s vital to highlight that marketing communication via promotion methods is simply one of the stimuli that influence product decision-making.

There are several factors that influence a consumer’s decision to purchase a product, including product quality, brand name, packaging, and pricing. Consideration of the concept of marketing communication as a collection of promotional instruments has the effect of severely limiting its scope and perspective.

Instead, we need to look beyond these official communication methods and realise that there are other non-formal ways in which the brand is communicated.

The fundamentals of communication, as well as an explanation of the underlying process. It is explained that marketing communication is a specific type of communication because it deals with the market.

As a final phase, a variety of communication planning methods are discussed to help students comprehend the difference between efficient and ineffective marketing communication. 

An integrative approach to marketing communication and its consequences for communication planning will be explained.

The 2 Main Approaches in Communication Marketing

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Approaches to Marketing Communications Planning vary widely between organisations. There are, however, two major techniques that are used in general.

  • The Company’s Perspective

There are organisations that, despite the fact that changes occur or even overpower us, consider promotion an “additional” expenditure. Such organisations believe that their product is unique and that they are in a position to define the terms of their relationship.

An excellent illustration would be the domestic carriers. For domestic flights, travellers had no choice but to use Indian Airlines. Marketing was not a priority for the organisation.

Because of the Organization’s caprices, the regulations have been altered. As an example, a person flying from Mumbai to Chennai could pay the same ticket for a flight from Delhi to Karnataka. 

However, this was the case with Indian Airlines prior to the introduction of sector rates. To maximise profits, this was done.

The private airline industry was born in the new millennium. Since Air India and Indian Airlines have amalgamated, there is a wide range of special offers and Indian Airlines has a unique approach to customer service.

Additionally, our automobile business serves as a good case study. 

The pre-liberalization markets had little choice but to be seller’s markets, with huge waitlists for the three remaining manufacturers (one went out of business). Telephones were in a similar situation. All of these were production-related in nature.

  • An Approach Focused on Marketing

Marketing communications are treated with the utmost priority and seriousness in companies that employ a marketing strategy.

In addition, it is regarded as a capital expense (the reason being APSP – Advertising, Publicity, Sales Promotion as a heading in the Accounting to satisfy the rules in our nation, which assures the entire expense is accounted for) and the ROI idea is applied for every new product. For new products, some companies may get a return on investment (ROI) of up to five years.

A competitive edge can be gained by creating great marketing communications, especially when rival items have very little or no difference between them.

Previously, answering a few questions was all that was required to develop Marketing Communications.

Here’s a list:

    • Why do we do this?
    • Who are we selling to?
    • Where are we going to sell?
    • When are we going to sell?
    • Is the product we’re putting out there selling well?

If we’re just saying we’re selling something, that’s not enough. 

For each question, we must explain why our product is superior to the competition’s, as well as its name and other identifying characteristics.

Because the world we live in is no longer so straightforward, we must begin the process of developing marketing communications by doing a situation analysis.

Goals of Marketing Communication

As with consumer products, a primary objective is to raise awareness, curiosity, and a favourable attitude among potential customers so that they are more likely to make purchases.

(a) The audience is trained to evaluate, and (b) emotive tactics like those used in consumer advertising will not be effective. 

Reasonable arguments are required to make a case. The audience size is limited. Industrial advertising, on the other hand, is becoming more visually appealing.


To begin, we must identify the variables used for segmentation, which are A company’s type of business, its location, and its size are just a few examples of descriptive data.

  • Operating

This refers to the level of technological sophistication of a customer, their previous usage status, their operating technical capabilities, and their buying habits. 

Formal organisational structures, internal structures of power, the nature of organisational relationships, policies, criteria, and applied practices are all examples of this.

  • Situational 

The urgency of the purchase, the specific use of the product, the quantity of the order, or a portion of the order, for example

  • Characteristics Of The Decision-Makers

Such as familiarity with the buyer or seller and motive, as well as individual perceptions and risk management measures, are included here.

  • High-end 

How complicated is the technology?

  • Price 

Is it expensive?

In industrial acquisitions, purchasers, particularly decision-makers, seek and obtain a great deal of information and go through a lengthy evaluation and decision-making procedures. 

The same people who are just like everyone else at home are real specialists in the workplace.

When it comes to business advertising, people are more receptive to transparency, honesty, and even understatement than they are to mass-market ads. 

In their spare time, they like to rest and unwind at home, but when they are at work, they are focused and committed.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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