Definitions of Key Terms in Integrated Marketing Communications

Integrated means that combine or coordinate separate elements so as to provide a harmonious, interrelated whole. In other word, when all marketing communication tool work together, it will be more effective than work as a single component. It will create more competitive advantages, boost sales and profit, while saving cost, time and stress if this concept is incorporated in marketing strategy. So, if the marketing communication tools are combined as a group it will produce more powerful outcome in the process of delivering customer superior value.

Marketing

The root word for marketing is market. Market is defined as a place for consumer and sellers to carry out transaction that required cash as an exchange medium for obtaining a product or service. Marketing can be defined in two perspectives which include old view or new view of marketing. From the new view of marketing, it is all about the creation of superior value for customers and building strong customer relationship in order to capture value and feedback from customer. It is different from old views of marketing which focus only on process of selling and telling the product to target market.

Communication

In  general, communication is defined  as  a  process of transmitting information and meaning from sender to receiver  either  in  verbal  or  nonverbal no matter it is occurred in a group or interpersonal.   This  process of communication  is considered successful if the receiver understanding information or message conveyed by the sender. There are two types of communication which is verbal communication and non verbal communication. Verbal communication includes written and oral presentation while non verbal communication includes an overall body language of the person which included the body posture, gesture and facial expressions. In marketing perspective, communication is defined as a process by which persuasive information is transmitted as promotional messages through one or more channels such as print, radio, television, direct mail, and personal selling.

Communication   information can be disseminated from sender to receiver through channel that involve various mass media including telephone, newspaper, radio, television   and other as an important tool for information dissemination. Besides that, communication also can build relationships between people or organization where people can express their emotions, exchange of idea or thought and feedback. Seller or producer relay on communication to deliver information and idea regarding the product to customer. Besides that, feedback can also be transmitted to the producer regarding the performance whether the product meet customer’s expectation or not by communication.   Without communication or when communication error occurred, the information cannot be transmitted to the target market and hence the customer will not be aware of the existence of product and transaction cannot take place.

Marketing Communication

Marketing Communication is a science and art of communicating information that the company wants to divulge to the public. Company can use marketing communication to market a product, communicate about new product that launch in the market, promoting the reputation and image of company, creating and stabilizing product and service demand, emphasizing features and benefits, providing competitive differentiation, generating sales leads, ensuring customer retention and loyalty and also motivating staff.

Marketing Communication includes five major tools which are advertising, sales promotional, personal selling, public relations, and direct marketing. Advertising is defined as any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotional of ideas, goods or service. The advantage of advertising is that it can help the customer to differentiate products and services that are most similar. Moreover, it also can help the company to create and maintain brand equity. Brand equity is defined as brand’s power derived from the goodwill and name recognition it has earned, and which translates into higher sales volume and higher profit margins against competing brand. Advertising also have their disadvantages like it is costly to the company. Other than that, it doesn’t help the customer in making their final purchasing decision because advertising cannot answer all the customer’s questions.

Sales promotion is short-term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service. Sales promotions mean that the information transmit is directed toward the consumer. It includes free samples, contest, coupons and other. Sales promotional can help customer to choose particular brand especially when there are many homogeneous brand. Sales promotion has some advantages such as it can provide better improvement in sales by applying the promotional incentives toward certain product or services. However, the disadvantage of using this kind of communication tool is it may damage the brand image if company practices too much promotion.

Personal selling is personal presentation of the firm’s sales force for the purpose of making sales and creates customer relationship. Personal selling is the most effective tool because it is an interpersonal communication between the salesperson and the applicant buyers and hence the message can be adjust according to the particular situations and the immediate feedback can be processed. While the disadvantages of personal selling are it is not suitable if there are thousand of buyers and it is costly to the company because there are some hidden additional costs when practicing personal selling.

Public relations is building good relations with the company’s various public by obtaining favorable publicity, building up a good corporate image, and handling or heading off unfavorable rumors, stories, and events. Public relations become more important after father of marketing, Philip Kotler described it as an “over communicated society”. This is because some customers make their purchase decisions based on image of company. For example, public relation plays an important role in presenting their information through report or other forms of communication which more convenient to company. The advantages of public relation are that it is a cheaper way of reaching many customers if the publicity convey through the right media and the good news of company spread among customer more quickly. However the disadvantage of this tool is company will lose control of the information. This is because company cannot always control what people want to write and discuss about their product or services.

Direct marketing is direct connections with target customers to encourage response through mail, telephone, or personal visit. The advantage of direct marketing is allows companies to convey information more accurately to the target customer segment with the message customize according to their specific needs and characteristics. Direct marketing disadvantage is customer feel disgusted with the mail, telephone call that spams customer everyday.

Integrated Marketing Communication  

Integrated Marketing Communication is defined as the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tool, avenues and sources within a company into seamless program that maximize the impact on customer and other end users at a minimal cost. This integration affects all firm business-to-business, marketing channel, customer-focused, and internally directed communications. It is a management concept that is designed so that all the marketing communication which consists of advertising, sales promotion, public relation, and direct marketing work together as a unified force rather than each of those marketing communication work in isolation. Besides, it acts as an aggressive marketing plan because it sets and tracks marketing strategy that captures and uses extensive amount of customer information. It also ensures that all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked together to achieve specific objective.

Promotional Strategy

Promotion strategy is defined as a process of choosing a target market and formulating the most appropriate promotional mix to influence it. This is the critical part of doing business because they need to make sure that their potential consumers get information that will positively influence their perception about company business and convince them to use or purchase company products.

Organization promotional strategies consist of four main elements which are advertising, personal selling, sale promotion and public relations tools. First, advertising is any non personal paid form of communication of ideas or products in the “prime media”. Examples of advertising are television, newspapers, radio, magazines and other. The purpose is to persuade and inform your target market about your products. Second, personal selling is face to face selling in which a seller attempts to persuade a buyer to make a purchase. It involves the use of sales force to support push and pull strategy. Third element is sales promotion that providing incentives to customer or distribution channel to stimulate demand for the product that involve using money off coupon or special offer. Last element is public relations where the communicating a product, brand or business by placing information about it in the media without paying for the time or media space directly.

There are a few strategies related to promotional strategies employed to influence positive perception toward the product and may increase the profit when consumers purchase it. First, based on media release, organization must focus on how to deliver our message to our target audience. To be effective, spin your sales story into an interesting news story and there’s a high opportunity you will receive some coverage. But it has to be interesting. Look for an angle and present it the right way and there’s every chance the local media will lap it up.

Second strategy is event invitations. In today’s business world of strong competition in the marketplace, it’s especially significant to build good client relationships. If you’re staging an event, make it only one people in charge in talking about and look forward to ensure the consistency of message. Treat your clients like friends. Having a polite and pleasant attitude at all times may seem like an obvious way to build good client relationships.

Third strategy is by using sales pitch. A sales pitch is a planned presentation of a product designed to initiate and close a sale of the same product or service. A sales pitch is essentially designed to be either an introduction of a product to an audience who knows nothing about it, or a descriptive expansion of a product that an audience has already expressed interest in. Though a good sales pitch will leave few questions unanswered, the presenter must be able to answer any questions that arise as a result of piqued interest. Even if a sales pitch is delivered effectively, the presenter must be prepared to overcome any obstacles that might avoid the close of the sale.

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