The Marketing Communication Process



This Marketing Communication Process section touches on various other communication tools and disciplines related to the Marketing Communication Mix. The objective is to provide you with a broad understanding of "everything Marketing Communications" to get you thinking about all the ways and means available to communicate with customers and how these interact with each other.

The Marketing Communication Strategy and Marketing Communication Plan pages provide additional guidance for Marketing Communication Planning. Finally, the elements of the Marketing Communication Mix you decide on will be tied together through an Integrated Marketing Communication approach that unites your Marketing Communication Strategy with "one voice". The practical information and advice provided can be applied to your own situation right away.

If the Marketing Communication Process sounds complicated then relax, it's not! Sales-And-Marketing-For-You.com was created to demystify a lot of the complex theory and "bunk" that surrounds present day sales and marketing. In this section you will see how the various Marketing Communication Mix elements can be viewed in a simplistic way that will allow you to understand and make better decisions about Marketing Communications as a whole.


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The Simplified Marketing Communication Process

Breaking the Marketing Communication Process into simplified categories will allow you to better work with the vast number of Marketing Communication Tools at your disposal today. Think of Marketing Communications in terms of regular interpersonal communication and imbue your marketing efforts with the same level of sincerity, enthusiasm and personality as you use in speaking with people you know.

The tools you use to communicate with your customers are more sophisticated that regular interpersonal communication tools but can still be categorized as written, spoken, physical or multimedia. The majority of your communication with customers will be written or spoken. Physical communication includes packaging and branding while Multimedia communication ventures into the high-tech and includes online "sights and sounds" as well as TV and radio among others.

Your Marketing Communication Process should be a reflection of how you communicate with your best customers. You should utilize the various tools of your Marketing Communication Mix as extensions of your own personality. This concept is covered further in the Integrated Marketing Communication section with the goal being to imbue your sales and marketing efforts with life and personality, your personality.




Marketing Communication Process Tools

Categorizing the various Marketing Communication Tools this way makes the process of understanding, analyzing and comparing various tools much easier. While going through the lists of tools and categorizations below, think about how you can extend how you normally interact with customers and friends into a successful Marketing Communication Process.

The choice of which of the following tools will become part of your Marketing Communication Process is a decision you must make yourself based on cost, effectiveness and so on. Find out what resonates with customers and how your target market typically purchases. Research what similar organization's to yours are doing and be prepared to experiment creatively until you find the right Marketing Communication Mix that works.


Written Marketing Communication

The theory behind success Written Marketing Communications is covered in the Copywriting section. Look at the list of Written Marketing Communication Tools below and think about how what you say to customers can be translated into "You"-centric marketing that is personal and speaks directly to the customer.

• Posters • Brochures • Catalogs • Flyers • Yellow Pages • Billboards • News media • Magazines • Coupons • Mailers • Email • Website • Online • Branding • Documentation • Packaging 

A basic premise of "You" Marketing is instilling you into all of your sales and marketing efforts. To this end, your written marketing communication should reflect your verbal tone of voice and personality. Gone are the days of sterile, formal marketing that makes bold pronouncements that consumers simply believe. Today, a more personal approach is required, that of a caring friend or elder.

A good test of the written copy within the Marketing Communication Process is, could I say this to a customer in person? If your marketing sounds improbable and hyped up or just plain unrealistic then it will not work. The mark of good written marketing communication is that it works spoken as well.


Spoken Marketing Communication

Just as business will always entail person-to-person interactions, Spoken Marketing Communication will always be a prominent part of the Marketing Communication Process. Your verbal communications with customers should be aligned with the rest of your Marketing Communication Mix and also be infused with your personality.

Sales and marketing today requires a more personal approach to engaging customers. That being said, marketing communication for business does have elements of formality and is structured around the purpose of guiding customer interactions towards a shared solution. You must strike the right balance in finding an appropriate tone of voice that is at once personable as well as informed and expert so as to build credibility with customers.

As you look over the following Marketing Tools that involve Spoken Communication, think about how what you are saying in each case should be the same overall marketing message. You are repeating the same benefit and value statements, uncovering needs and gathering questions similarly in each case. Further, what you say verbally jibes with your written message and so on as covered in more detail in Integrated Marketing Communication.

Also think about your optimum tone and approach. A good test of Spoken Marketing Communications is that they are similar to a conversation with a good customer or friend.

• Telephone • In Person • Public Relations • Press • Webinar • Tradeshows • Conferences • Industry Analysts • TV • Radio 

Whichever of these approaches you come to rely on heavily as part of your Marketing Communication Process, make it real. Fancy, formal marketing pitches about how great you and your company are do not work. A passionate, personable approach reflecting your dedication to serving others does.


Physical Marketing Communication

Withing the Marketing Communication Process, emphasis on Physical Marketing is most predominant in the manufacturing and retail industries. When the customer is buying a physical product then the shape, size, color and characteristics of that product are, of course, extremely important. Such product attributes, however, lie more within the field of Product Management than Marketing.

What does concern marketing is the customer interaction with the product from where they purchase it to how it is presented as well as special events where customers are exposed to your brand. As such, Physical Marketing may be defined as anything a customer can see, feel and experience in person including:

• Branding • Packaging • Brochures • Point Of Sale • Sponsorships • Events • Promotional Items 

The Marketing Communication Process has little or no input in terms of what shape the product or solution itself takes. However, in terms of the Physical Marketing Communication tools listed above, think about how you can incorporate your "marketing personality" into these as well. Your message should be consistent with everything else you say, write and do in your sales and marketing.


Multimedia Marketing Communication




Multimedia Marketing Communication within the Marketing Communication process is best left in the hands of experts. However, make sure you manage the overall process and when engaged and working with multimedia experts avoid simply using technology for its own sake for "sparkle and flash". Rather, your Multimedia Communication efforts should be well thought out and in line with your existing sales and marketing efforts.

Technology used within the Marketing Communication Process should provide a use which is reaching more customers and communicating your message to them effectively. Look over the following list of Multimedia Communication Tools thinking about how each of these can be used to convey your unique message.

• Website • Online Events • Radio • TV • Product Placement • Underwriting 

The Marketing Communication Strategy and Marketing Communication Plan pages contain additional guidance on incorporated the various Marketing Communication Process Tools into your own Marketing Communication Plan.


Marketing Communication Process Disciplines

It is useful to round out our discussion on the Marketing Communication Process by touching on related Marketing Communication disciplines such as Advertising, Branding and Online Marketing. The goal is not to provide an exhaustive discussion on each of these disciplines as each is a field in and of itself. Rather, think about how you can incorporate the thought process of each into your own Marketing Communication efforts if you are not involved in these disciplines themselves.


Advertising

Of all the elements of the Marketing Communication Process, Advertising is the one area where going beyond your normal personality and being larger than life is okay and even encouraged. While customers may be put off by an "over the top" salesperson, it is okay for print, TV and radio ads to be exaggerated as long as they illustrate a factual benefit that differentiates you, your product or solution.

Bear in mind that it is not necessary to be surreal, comic or otherwise in advertising. Plain enthusiasm will do just fine.. Think about all the local "mom and pop" business that successfully advertise their homegrown values and service on TV. Or of shopping channel ads and late night infomercials that do extraordinarily well mostly on hype. Get yourself to a point where you are bursting with enthusiasm about how your solution benefits customers. Then, get out and spread the word!


Branding

Presentation is everything in sales and marketing. In the Marketing Communication Process, Branding is everything that contributes towards creating the image that customers have of your in your mind. Two things are important in this regard, (i) always presenting your best face to your buying public and (ii) consciously tuning your customers' perception of you.

Don't just thinking of Branding as an expensive exercise in creating logos and a "corporate look". Every business has a brand and everything you do that affects your customer's perceptions of you is Branding. Think about what your core values are and then execute on making sure that this is the picture that the customer forms of you over time. This comes across in presentation as well as your actions and "little things" like punctuality, cleanliness and prompt service.


Direct Marketing

Unless you already have more business than you can handle, you should continuously think about new ways to reach out to your customer base. Direct Marketing is unique within the Marketing Communication Process in that it is direct and interactive. You are reaching out to your customer one-on-one for a chance to develop a meaningful relationship.

Direct Marketing, like sales and marketing in general, revolves around (i) the medium and (ii) the message. In terms of the medium think about who your customers are and how they typically purchase. How do you purchase products similar to your own? Do coupons or supermarket ads make sense? Perhaps magazine inserts are best for the type of consumer you are targeting.

In terms of the message, think about what you can offer at little or not cost that is not just appealing but something your target customer cannot refuse. Can you think of something like that? It does not have to be complicated, it could simply be a 2-for-1 offer, a free consultation or a risk-free trial with a gift thrown in. Marketing Communication Strategy covers more of working out the best Marketing Communication approach but the basic rule is, keep trying creative ways to reach new customers until something works.


Graphic Design

In the multimedia world of today, graphics, logos and business related art and effects may become an integral part of your Marketing Communication process. While you may rely on Graphic Design experts for putting together all business related graphics, remember not to isolate yourself from the process completely. Your business image as represented by artwork and graphics should tie into the rest of your business and marketing "personality".

Just as with all Multimedia Marketing, graphics, technology and fancy effects should not just be used for their own sake. Beware of departing from the traditional "look and feel" of your business by being drawn by the lure of colorful graphic art. Generally, your new look should be an extension of your old look and your Graphics Design presence should simply extrapolate on the traditional marketing communication artifacts you have been using to date.


Packaging

You may or may not sell a physical "off the shelf" product that is actually packaged. However, it is useful to think about Packaging within the Marketing Communication Process as anything related to how your customer received the finished solution. As with Branding, everything you do in delivering your product or service to your customer affects the overall image the customer has of your business as well as the value they are receiving through you.

As well as presentation, think about all the other - sometimes "little" - things that go into how your deliver your product or service. It is often the "little things" that make a big difference with customers. Ask your customers what you can do to make their purchase and use of your solution easier. When you gear your business around delivering the highest quality product or service to your customers then your sales and marketing effort is not hype, just facts and your enthusiasm will be real.


Online Marketing

There are so many ways to communicate with your customers today that it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Online Marketing within the Marketing Communication Process includes everything from your website and e-mail to online events, social networking, blogging and more. There is literally no end to the number of ways and means to reaching customers in this one component alone, but that is no reason to get bogged down in it all.

Two simple rules will help you master Online Marketing as you continue to learn and work with experts in any specific area: (i) Build on what you know and (ii) Use what works. Go beyond e-mail and begin to explore more of the online world that you share with your customer. Sign up to different social networking sites and take part in online discussions related to your area of expertise. It only takes time and interest to become an expert at anything and thins includes reaching customers online.

Remember that there are "good" and "bad" ways to reach customers online. Make sure to adhere to the appropriate protocols within groups and forums that you participate in. You will not simply be trumpeting your marketing pitch online but will be acclimatizing yourself to the mindset of your online target audience while exploring news ways and means to reach out to people effectively including online advertising, pay-per-click, banners, webinar, blog, RSS, podcast sponsorships, events, posts, shared links, affiliate programs, Internet TV and more. Spend enough time online and you will find them.


Get help with the Marketing Communication Process!

GO TO:
Marketing Communication MixMarketing Communication PlanMarketing Communication StrategyIntegrated Marketing CommunicationInteractive Marketing Communication"You" MessagingEmail Marketing StrategyMass Email Marketing Basics35 Email List Marketing TipsEmail Marketing ListsChoosing an Email Marketing SystemBusiness Email TipsMarketing Communication Process Consultant




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