Marketing communication has been widely used by organizations the world over in improving communications with customers and also in the creation of brand image. This report seeks to explain the marketing communications process, the different elements of the communications mix available to J D Wetherspoon and also an explanation on how a company, which is involved in mass media communications (especially advertising), could use communications to promote itself while avoiding criticism.
The Marketing Communications Process
Marketing communication is the process of pushing the products forward and turning the consumers towards the product or service. It is made of a number of elements which makes up the marketing communication mix: advertisement, sales promotion, direct marketing, personal selling, cyber marketing, publicity (Dave, 1999, p.10).
The marketing communication process is based on the universal model applied in all types of communication; the model includes the message, sender receiver, signal, decoding and encoding, Medium and feedback.
The source is the organization sending the message, receiver is the organization receiving the message, feedback is the communication delivered back to the source by the receiver, and signal is the medium for transmission of the message. Encoding is the process of putting the message into the form which it can be transmitted. Decoding is the process of understanding the message in the style which it has been transmitted, (Smith, 1997, p.5).
In J D Wetherspoon we are going to design a communication model where we first package the information which we plan to give to our consumers, we plan to package our information in an attractive manner so that it can be appealing to our consumers. We will then choose the most appropriate media to pass our massage in the most efficient and effective manner. The type of media we choose will depend on several factors such as the target group, cost, coverage and market. The media will act as the vehicle that will deliver our message; we plan to select it wisely. After selecting the most appropriate media we will finalize on the contract and payment details and give the media the responsibility of transmitting the information to our consumers. After this we will set up a strategy to evaluate on how effective is the message we send to our consumers, because we understand that the process of marketing communication is not complete until we get feedback. Feed back may be in form of increased sales or direct customer response.
My department plans to major mostly on adverting and we plan to outsource the services of a qualified adverting agency that will be responsible for designing our adverts. This is because they have qualified personnel who will help design adverts that will standout in the market. We will also give the advertising agency the responsibility of advising us on the best media to use for a given advertisement. My department has analyzed and found out that according to the range of products we deal in we will mostly use radio and television advertising in most of our advertisement.
Elements of Marketing Communication
My marketing communication department has analyzed on the available tools of marketing communication mix and come up with five which are applicable to the range of products we deal in. We have first explained their nature and then how we can use them in J D Witherspoon. These are as follows:
This is any form of paid non-personal communication about a product or service. It may be through the: television, radio, magazine, billboards, cinema etc. There are two types of advertisement, first is the persuasive advisement which is intended to persuade the consumer to use or continue using a particular product or service. The other one is informative advertisement which is intended to give the consumers information on the use of a particular product or service, (Monle Lee & Carla, 2005, p. 275).
The two important things in advertisement are the message and the medium. Advertisement reaches a large number of audiences especially if they are geographically dispersed. Consumers have the perception that advertised good are of high quality and they are legitimate. It helps to build brand image and stimulate short term sales.
In J D Wetherspoon we can use advertisement to inform our consumers about our new products in the market and the procedure of how to use our products. This tool will be very helpful for us to expand our market share and ensure continued use of our products in the market.
This is direct oral communication with the potential consumers of a product or service with an intention of making a sale. Personal selling may be intended to create a relationship with the consumers but the eventual intention is to close a sale. Personal selling is an effective tool in building buyers preference, actions and convictions. The organization is able to get immediate feedback through the interaction between the personal seller and the consumer.
This method can be very useful to our department when we want to penetrate a particular market niche. If we decide to use this method we will be able to use our trained sales force which is currently underutilized. We are likely to use this method when we want to introduce new product in a given market.
Sales promotion is providing incentives to consumers and distributors of a product to stimulate demand. It uses a variety of formats, and contests, it has the advantage of attracting attention and offering good purchase incentives. Personal selling stimulates quick response from consumers and can boost sagging sales.
Our department plans to use sales promotion only in products which are in the declining stage in their product lifecycle. This will help J D Wetherspoon to stimulate new demand for these products. This will also reduce the cost of withdrawing products from the market.
This is also known as public relations, this is where the company builds good relationship by trying to obtain good publicity and handling negative publicity like rumors and negative perceptions about the company. Publicity is in most cases not paid for and sometimes results from good business practice that improves the company’s image.
Our department plans to work hand in hand with our public office so as to help enhance our public image. We have a plan to set up a consumer complaint’s office which will be able to deal with any issues concerning consumer complaints.
This is direct communication targeting individual consumers to get an immediate response and create long-term customer relationships. It is composed of direct mail, online marketing and telephone marketing. Its distinction from others is that it is: non public, it gives immediate response, customized, and interactive.
Our department plans to use direct marketing in our customer retention strategy. We will be able to get in touch with our major consumers so that we can build a long term relationship. We have a plan to allocate budget for this activity in the next financial year.
Integrated marketing Communication (IMC)
Integrated marketing communications ensures that all forms of communication are well connected. All the promotional tools are integrated together so that they function together in harmony. This is in making sure that they are consistent at all the time. These promotion tools produce better results when they work together than in isolation (Allan, 1997, p.270). Horizontal integration links the marketing mix and the business functions such as production, finance, purchasing and distribution. They work together and ensure that the message sent to the customers is in harmony. This requires a good marketing information system that enables collection and sharing of data across different departments. Vertical integration ensures that the marketing tools are in harmony with corporate objectives and missions.
Internal integration comes through internal marketing it ensures that the employees are well informed about the new development from the marketing mix and they are motivated to achieving new developments. External integration is the linking of external partners with the operation of the business. Making sure that they work together to produce a single solution (Taylor and Francis Group 2009, p.18). Through the integrated marketing communication (IMC) in J D Wetherspoon it will be possible to attain a competitive advantage over our rivals because there will be no duplication of efforts.
IMC will ensure that our customers are well informed as they go through various stages of the buying process; this will create a good image and help us nurture our customer relationship. IMC will enhance our customer royalty through constant harmonized information; this will result to a wide customer base which will result to increased sales volume. IMC will help us create constant images in the mind of our consumers which will lead to a long term relationship with our consumers.
Media advertisement passes information to a large number of people. This advertisement is paid by the sponsors in this case the company. Its three main objectives are to pass the information, develop attitudes and induce the consumers to purchase the product (Richard, 2002, p.254).
These are some of the ways in which a mass media communication company can use to promote itself without being criticized:
A mass media communication company can achieve effective advertisement by first designing clear objectives which need to be achieved through advertisement. These objectives include the amount of money to spend on a particular advertisement event, the message and how it will be presented in the advertisement, decision on the most appropriate media for the advertisement, how frequent the advertisement will be on the media, the method of evaluating the effects of advertisement among others (Sands, 1995,p.196).
In designing good advertisement objectives the mass media communication company should consider these key factors: the role which advertisement is expected to play in marketing, why they believe that advertisement will achieve those roles, the people who will be responsible in setting and implementation of those objectives, how the stated objectives will be applied and when the advertisement program will be undertaken. These guidelines will help the company come up with an effective advertisement program (Sands, 1995, p.198).
According to Majaro’s (1970 cited in Sands, 1995, 210) setting the advertisement objectives has many benefits to the organization some of which are; it integrates advertising with the other elements of the marketing mix which enhances a smooth marketing plan; It helps in determining the advertisement budgets; It assists in advertising through preparing good work and choosing a suitable media; It allows effective measurement of advertising results et cetera.
From this study we realize that for a mass media communication to come up with an effective advertisement they should first be able to fit the advertisement objective with the wide corporate objectives, they should do a SWOT analysis and take into account all the factors affecting the organization. The mass media communication company should also do reviews of its objectives from time to time to adapt to the changes in the market. They should be flexible since business decisions are made on uncertain environment. After the advertisement objectives have been designed the company will be able to choose the best style that will be able to deliver its message effectively.
The other important aspects the mass media communication company should consider is the issue of advertisement ethics, this is to avoid criticisms from the public, competitors, and consumers. Advertisement ethics are important for the company in sustaining long term relations with other parties. These ethics include: giving the correct message to the consumers by avoiding exaggerations or contradictions, respecting the competitors in your advertisements by avoiding disruptive campaigns and showing a sense of social responsibility. Ethics in advertisement helps avoid conflicts with the authorities and competitors as well as in attracting consumer goodwill to the company.
In conclusion marketing communication is an important tool in modern management, and for this reason companies should embrace modern marketing communication tools for them to remain competitive in the market.
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Dave, Dolak. 1999. The Marketing Communications or Promotional Mix. New York: Charlottesville.
Monle, Lee and Carla, Johns. 2005. Principles of advertising, London: Haworth press. Inc.
Richard J. Varey. 2002. Marketing communication: principles and practice. New York: Routledge.
Sands, Mike. 2009. The difference between Marketing and Promotion. Durham Durham Associates Group.
Smith P.R. et, al., 1997. Communications, New York: kogan page limited.
Taylor and Francis Group. 2009. Marketing communications. Journal of Marketing Communications, vol, 15, Routledge.