Marketing Communications…Can You Hear Me Now?
Did you know the average American sees over 3,000 brand messages every day?
From the moment we wake up in the morning until we fall asleep at night, we’re bombarded with information. Information that’s coming at us faster and faster all the time. Not only from traditional forms of media (such as TV, print and radio), but also billboards, bus-backs, internet, emails, texts, blogs, social media, cable TV, and all the rest.
So how can a company break through all this noise?
How can your company stand out in the morass of messages?
What Is It?
Everything you do is part of your marketing communications effort. Marketing communications is a fundamental and complex part of any company’s marketing efforts. In general terms, it can be described as all the messages and media you deploy to communicate with the marketplace. The end result of an effective marketing communications plan firmly establishes your brand and, of course, more sales.
Marketing communications includes:
• Website and social media presence
• Printed materials
• Public relations activities
• Sales presentations
• Sponsorships and
• Trade show appearances.
"Make your marketing so useful people will pay for it."
Out with the Old
The channels for these various communications are broad and intertwined. And while they include the traditional communication channels (print, TV, radio and one-on-one direct sales), digital communication channels (internet advertising, text messaging, blogs, webinars, and social media platforms) are becoming increasingly important.
Traditional media are gradually losing effectiveness, and are becoming an increasingly less powerful means of communicating with potential customers. Consumers as a whole no longer place their faith in conventional advertising conveyed via traditional media. With the rapid growth of interactive media, particularly the internet, most businesses prefer to use modern media over more traditional methods.
For many companies, traditional methods of advertising have become too expensive and are not a cost-effective option compared to modern media. They prefer two-way communication with their customer base. They want their customers to be able to make inquiries, respond to questions and purchase products using interactive media. They want to channel their message to the target audience quickly and in a cost-efficient manner, where response and feedback can occur at any time along the communication process.
Integration Is Key
With such a broad range of communication media, it is very easy for a company's messages to become disjointed and appear contradictory when sent through so many channels.
Which is why integration of marketing communications is key. Your various messages must speak with "one voice" to your customers, assuring a consistent position in all communication channels, so that a single message is conveyed by all.
Different messages confuse your customers and diminish your brand. If a print advertisement carries a particular logo, image and message, then your point-of-sale materials, blogs, and website content should carry the same logo, images or message. (For example, Coca-Cola uses its familiar red-and-white logos and maintains a theme of social interaction and enjoyment throughout all of the company’s marketing communications.)
Effectively integrated marketing communications plays an even bigger role as business becomes increasingly global. With greater access to the internet, mobile phones and social media, new challenges exist for companies to communicate with particular foreign markets to facilitate business activity. To be effective, your company’s communication strategies must converge with its marketing objectives – while also taking into consideration local languages, dialects and cultural norms.