The Marketing Communication Mix Of Tomorrow



Your Marketing Communication Mix is the "Promotion" of the Marketing Ps and covers every method and medium of communicating with your target audience. In many ways, the marketing communication mix is the heart of your marketing strategy around which everything else in sales and marketing is predicated. If business consists of creating value and creating customers, Marketing Communication (MARCOM) covers exactly how you are going to create customer by taking your value message to the market.

This sections covers the elements of the Marketing Communication Mix and discusses how to optimize your marketing communication process based on what you are trying to accomplish. Your Marketing Communication Plan should be centered around the idea of Integrated Marketing Communication meaning that all of the components of your communication mix are aligned and conveying the same message in the same way to your customers and target audience. As well, you should be aware of considerations pertinent to successful sales and marketing in today's high tech world.


Get help with the Marketing Communication Mix or share your expertise and experiences!

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Marketing Communication Plan
Marketing Communication Strategy
Integrated Marketing Communication
Marketing Communication Process
Interactive Marketing Communication
"You" Messaging
Email Marketing Strategy
Mass Email Marketing Basics
35 Email List Marketing Tips
Choosing an Email Marketing System
Email Marketing Lists
Business Email Tips
Marketing Communication Mix Consultant




The Traditional Marketing Communication Mix

The first step in the marketing communication process is deciding what components of the Marketing Communication Mix you are going to utilize in communicating with your target audience. The five traditional elements of the MARCOM mix are Advertising, Direct Marketing, Personal Selling, Public Relations and Sales Promotion. These are discussed below. The Marketing Communication Process, Marketing Communication Strategy and Marketing Communication Plan pages also provide additional thoughts and tools for optimizing your marketing communication mix.


The traditional components of the marketing communication mix are discussed below and put into perspective for successful marketing to today's consumers by today's business. Although marketing underwent a great transformation similar to that of business as a whole in the twentieth century, the traditional components of the marketing communication process are still in use and important today.


Advertising

This is the mass media method of marketing communication and provides exposure to the largest, most geographically dispersed audience at the lowest cost per head. That being said, advertising costs can ad up quickly with mediums like television, radio and even online advertising which can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses.

Other traditional forms of paid advertising include newspapers and magazines, the Yellow Pages, billboards, signs and posters. As well, advertising on buses, benches, gas pumps and even public restrooms is in vogue today. Basically, any medium which provides an opportunity to target "eyes and/or ears" can be a venue for advertising and you can see examples of successful promotion in the most unlikely places.


Direct Marketing

This marketing communication competency enables companies to reach out directly to consumers without intermediary channels such as those required for advertising. This component of the marketing communication process includes direct mail, catalogs, coupons and inserts, telemarketing, online marketing and television infomercials. Done correctly, Direct Marketing is extremely effective in the long run and allows for a targeted marketing approach to specific consumers to create valuable lasting relationships.

Direct Marketing is the marketing communication method that enables companies to interact with a relatively large number of customers and encourage a "call to action" or "most wanted response" which is usually a purchase. The downside of Direct Marketing is that it is usually unsolicited and seen as a nuisance by the general public. Telemarketing, e-mail spamming and junk mail are universally despised and so Direct Marketing tools should be used with thought and caution. Visit the Direct Marketing Association website for guidance on legal and ethical Direct Marketing.


Personal Selling

This is the most dreaded as well as the most expensive of all methods in the marketing communication process. However, if you are a small business owner or otherwise have the ability to personally sell and build relationships with customers, it can be one of the most rewarding aspects of the marketing process, both personally and professionally.

Just as with traditional marketing, successful selling begins and ends with the customer. The whole objective is to ascertain needs and create the best solution for customers. Along the way you build relationships and continue to gather information about how you can better serve customers which is your reason for being in business in the first place.

Sales and marketing are fundamental to the survival of any business and both involve creating customers for the business value you have created. The former targets one person (or entity) whereas the latter targets many. Both engage, inform and persuade through a variety of communicational tools. Aligning both will increase your success regardless of conditions. Successful sales and successful marketing both begin with an attitude and that attitude is customers first.

Sales is covered in more detail in The Sales Lead Center section.


Public Relations

This refers to how you handle your relationships and the flow of information with your various "publics" or the people who have a stake in or are affected by your business. This includes the general public, consumers, shareholders, employees, partners, competitors and the government.

PR becomes a more and more crucial element of the marketing communication mix as a business or organization grows larger. That being said, it is still a vital component of the marketing communication process to think about for smaller businesses as well. PR tools include press and media releases, lobbying, charitable and public events, advertorials, financial reports, promotional collateral, facility tours, sponsorships, interviews and any other method for the promotion of a positive image to people.

Being "people conscious" starts with the individual and carries through to the organization. Once again, people buy from people at the end of the day and the most successful people and organizations are those that benefit other people the most. As with many facets of sales and marketing, PR also has a "good" and "bad" side.

The good side of PR is fostering socially conscious business practices whereas the bad side is epitomized in shady political lobbying, "spin doctors" and so forth that divert from the truth as opposed to promote it. Suffice it to say that in today's connected world, more than ever, any sized organization needs to be cognizant that it operates within the larger framework of society and has corresponding responsibilities.

The Institute For Public Relations website is an excellent resource for additional material on the role of Public Relations in the marketing communication process.


Sales Promotion

This is the last traditional component of the marketing communication mix that is discussed here as part of the marketing communication process. Sales promotion simply refers to purchase incentives that you provide your customer with. These can assume a number of forms including offering free goods or services, coupons and vouchers, gifts and prizes, discounts, samples, financial incentives, charitable promotions and any other value-add over and above your standard product or services.

Sales Promotions are generally short-lived, "one off" incentives intended to provide consumers with that last "push" to buy. The main takeaway is that regardless of the size and type of your business, you should continually look at ways in which to create additional value for customers. Your customers will appreciate it and, in facts, customers have been shown to pay premium prices for real value and real service.


Marketing Communication Process




While the information age may have changed how the world runs and how business is done, some fundamental principles still hold true for marketing in general and the marketing communication process as well. Being aware and aligning yourself to these principles will lead to success. After all, people continue to buy from people, technology and the hustle and bustle of modern life notwithstanding.

The Marketing Communication Process page covers additional individual marketing communication tools such as e-mail, flyers, mailing lists, newspaper and magazine ads, Yellow Pages, merchandising and packaging, trade fairs and events and eMarketing. As well, other disciplines related to the marketing communications mix such as branding, product placement, underwriting, graphic design, sponsorship and online marketing are touched on in that section.

Marketing Communications is a very broad discipline and there are a tremendous number of ways and means for reaching out to your customers in today's high tech world. The goal of these sections is not to provide an exhaustive study but to touch upon the various elements of the marketing communication mix so that you are equipped with the basic facts for further inquiry and experimentation. As well, a lot of the "bunk" is deconstructed and presented in plain language to make your study of the various marketing communication processes and tools as easy as possible.


Marketing Communication Strategy

Just like you cannot always predict the market in general, similarly you cannot always predict which element of the marketing communication mix will prove most successful. You will change your Marketing Communication Strategy as your business grows and evolves, always focusing on those areas that provide maximum return for your efforts. As with every aspect of your overall marketing strategy, marketing communication management requires careful planning, monitoring and adjustment to continually refine your approach and achieve the best results.

Good promotion captures the imagination and is celebrated by sales and marketing professionals as well as the general public (see the much-touted NFL Super Bowl Ads for example). Stories abound of super-successful advertising campaigns that struck the right cord with the right message at the right time to create phenomenal results (the Canadian Cassie Awards annually showcase the best ads by Canadian advertisers and agencies). Promotion has the power not only to create sales but have an effect on the social consciousness as a whole.

The Marketing Communication Strategy page discusses the basics of marketing communication planning to your best advantage as per your business needs. The real secret to marketing communication success lies in diligent research and an understanding of human nature and your particular target audience.


The Marketing Communication Plan

Creating a Marketing Communication Plan is necessary to create programs around and effectively utilize the various components of the marketing communication mix. What elements are you going to utilize first? How are the various elements going to interact with each other? How much is all of this going to cost? As with most things, careful planning in this regard will pay far greater dividends than the relatively haphazard spontaneous approach of "let's do what feels right".

Your Marketing Communication Plan may be relatively simple and consist of an ad in the Yellow Pages which works fine for your business. However, as you grow - and in order to grow - looking at successful new ways of communicating with your target audience will keep you focused on your essential value proposition and keep you connected to you what your customers want in addition to create new customers.

The Marketing Communication Plan page is a step-by-step approach with examples of how you can put together an effective communications plan for your organization, product, service or idea.


Integrated Marketing Communication Plan

Integrated Marketing Communication is the last piece of the marketing communication mix puzzle and, according to the American Marketing Association requires that that "all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.” What does this mean to you and me?

Well for one, it necessitates a coherent go-to-market strategy and message, one that is reflected at every customer contact point. It also means that the various sales and marketing tools, methodologies and approaches you use for creating customers are in sync and reflect the "total whole" of your business. Just like the various organs of your body work in sync, so should the various parts of your business - and in this case, your marketing communication mix - complement one another as well.

The Integrated Marketing Communication page takes you through the basic fundamentals of IMC, as it is known, and shows you the thought process involved in aligning the various components of your marketing communication mix for sales and marketing success.


Get help with the Marketing Communication Mix!

GO TO:
Marketing Communication Plan
Marketing Communication Strategy
Integrated Marketing Communication
Marketing Communication Process
Interactive Marketing Communication
"You" Messaging
Email Marketing Strategy
35 Email List Marketing Tips
Mass Email Marketing Basics
Choosing an Email Marketing System
Email Marketing Lists
Business Email Tips
Marketing Communication Mix Consultant




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