marketing management

Lecture Notes (assignment 8)

Modern marketing calls for more than developing a good product, pricing it attractively, and making it accessible to target customers. Companies must also communicate with present and potential stakeholders and the general public. For most marketers, therefore, the question is not whether to communicate but what to say, how, where, and when to say it, to whom, and how often.

The pace of change in marketplaces and market-spaces everywhere is continuous and accelerating. Inexorably – and perhaps inevitably – marketing communications are changing shape, metamorphosing into new configurations and forms as a result of underlying technological changes and in the face of ongoing recessionary influences. For the first time in history, people are exerting more influence and control over marketing processes. Medias are moving in tandem with the technological drivers, implying that managers, brands and companies should all be proactive in taking advantage of the changing times. (Kitchen, & Proctor, 2015, abs)

Marketing communication activities contribute to brand equity and drive sales in many ways: by creating brand awareness, forging brand image in consumers’ memories, eliciting positive brand judgments or feelings, and strengthening consumer loyalty. Consumers can turn to hundreds of cables and satellite TV channels, thousands of magazines and newspapers, and millions of Internet pages. They are taking a more active role in deciding what communications they want to receive as well as how they want to communicate to others about the products and services they use. To effectively reach and influence target markets, holistic marketers are creatively employing multiple forms of communications. Done right, marketing communications can have a huge payoff.

The marketing communications mix consists of eight major modes of communication: advertising; sales promotion; public relations and publicity; events and experiences; direct marketing; interactive marketing; word-of-mouth marketing; and personal selling. Some say that this is incomplete. “Expanding IMC by adding ‘communication through the use of social media and viral marketing communication campaigns’ appears to bring the concept up-to-date” (Jackson, G. and Ahuja, V., 2016, p. 174).

Developing effective communications involves eight steps.

    1. Identify the target audience.
    2. Determine the communications objectives.
    3. Design the communications.
    4. Select the communications channels.
    5. Establish the total communications budget.
    6. Decide on the communications mix.
    7. Measure the communications results.
    8. Manage the integrated marketing communications process.

“In the traditional marketing communication the focus was on promoting and messaging. This has encouraged a push marketing approach using media channels such as television, radio, newspapers and even direct marketing phone“ (Talpau, 2014, p. 49). In choosing the marketing communications mix, marketers must examine the distinct advantages and costs of each communication tool and the company’s market rank. They must also consider the type of product market in which they are selling, how ready consumers are to make a purchase, and the product’s stage in the product life cycle. Companies must allocate the marketing communications budget over the eight major modes of communication, as follows.

    1. Advertising
    2. Sales promotion
    3. Public relations and publicity
    4. Events and experiences
    5. Direct marketing
    6. Interactive marketing
    7. Word-of-mouth marketing
    8. The sales force

New to the traditional list of marketing communications are the Internet and social media. “Currently, online marketing has taken over more and more of the marketing budgets and efforts, diminishing the traditional marketing activities” (Talpau, 2014, p. 45).

Within the same industry, companies can differ considerably in their media and channel choices. Companies are always searching for ways to gain efficiency by replacing one promotional tool with others. The substitutability among promotional tools explains why marketing functions need to be coordinated.

Managing and coordinating the entire communications process calls for integrated marketing communications (IMC)—marketing communications planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communications disciplines, and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum impact through the seamless integration of discrete messages.


Although there has been an enormous increase in the use of personal communications by marketers in recent years due to the rapid penetration of the Internet and other factors, the fact remains that mass media, if used correctly, is still an important component of a modern marketing communications program. The old days of “if you build a great ad, they will come,” however, are long gone. To generate consumer interest and sales, mass media must often be supplemented and carefully integrated with other communication; other marketers are trying to come to grips with how to best use mass media in the new—and still changing—communication environment.

Advertising can be a cost-effective way to disseminate messages, whether to build a brand preference or to educate people. By definition, advertising is any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. Advertisers include not only business firms, but also charitable, nonprofit, and government agencies.

In designing and evaluating an ad campaign, marketers employ both art and science to develop the message strategy or positioning of an ad—what the ad attempts to convey about the brand, its creative strategy, and how the ad expresses the brand claim. For example:

  • Sales promotion consists of mostly short-term incentive tools, designed to stimulate quicker or greater purchase of particular products or services by consumers or the trade.
  • Events and experiences are a means to become part of special and more personally relevant moments in consumers’ lives. Events can broaden and deepen the sponsor’s relationship with its target market, but only if managed properly.
  • Public relations (PR) includes a variety of programs designed to promote or protect a company’s image or its individual products. The main tools of PR are publications, events, news, community affairs, identification media, lobbying, and social responsibility.
  • Direct marketing is an interactive marketing system that uses one or more media to effect a measurable response or transaction at any location. Direct marketing, especially electronic marketing, is showing explosive growth. Major channels for direct marketing include face-to-face selling, direct mail, catalog marketing, telemarketing, interactive TV, kiosks, websites, and mobile devices.
  • Interactive marketing provides marketers with opportunities for much greater interaction and individualization through well-designed and executed websites, search ads, display ads, and emails. Mobile marketing is another growing form of interactive marketing that relies on text messages, software apps, and ads.
  • Word-of-mouth marketing finds ways to engage customers so they choose to talk with others about products, services, and brands. Increasingly, word-of-mouth is being driven by social media in the form of online communities and forums, blogs, and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • Salespeople serve as a company’s link to its customers. The sales rep is the company to many of its customers, and it is the rep who brings back to the company much-needed information about the customer.

In the face of the Internet revolution, marketing communications today increasingly occur as a kind of personal dialogue between the company and its customers. According to Rodriguez, Dixson, & Peltier (2014), “Evolving Internet, social media and other technology-enabled tools and the interaction patterns being created by such tools are transforming how salespeople interact with prospects and customers, and how organizations manage their salesforce” (p. 295). New technologies have encouraged companies to move from mass communication to more targeted, two-way communications. Consumers now play a much more participatory role in the marketing process. Thus, marketers are trying to figure out the right way to be part of the consumer conversation. Personalizing communications and creating dialogues by saying and doing the right thing to the right person at the right time are critical for marketing effectiveness.


Jackson, G., & Ahuja, V. (2016). Dawn of the Digital Age and the Evolution of the Marketing Mix. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 17(3), 170-186.

Kitchen, P. J., & Proctor, T. (2015). Marketing Communications in a Post-Modern World. The Journal of Business Strategy, 36(5), 34-42.

Kotler, P., & Keller, K. L. (2015). Marketing Management (15th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Rodriguez, M., Dixon, A.,L., & Peltier, J.,W. (2014). A Review of the Interactive Marketing Literature in the Context of Personal Selling and Sales Management. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 8(4), 294-308.

Talpau, A. (2014). Social Media – A New Way of Communication. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov.Economic Sciences.Series V, 7(2), 45-52.


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