Develop effective marketing communications. The following will discuss the eight steps in developing an effective total communication and promotion program.marketing communicator must
- identify the intended audience,
- determine the objectives of the communication,
- design the message,
- select the communication channels,
- determine the total promotion budget,
- make decisions on the promotion mix,
- measure the results of the promotion,
- manage and coordinate the integrated marketing communications process.
1. Identify the Target Audience
Marketing communicators must start with a clear mind about the target audience. The audience can be interpreted as potential buyers of the company’s products, current users, decision makers, or influencing parties.
The audience can consist of individuals, groups, certain communities or the general public. The intended audience will greatly influence the communicator’s decisions about what to say, how to say it, when to say it, where the message will be delivered, and to whom it will be delivered.
2. Define Communication Goals
Once the target market and its characteristics have been identified, the marketing communicator must decide on the response expected from the audience. The final response expected from the audience is purchase, high satisfaction, and good word of mouth.
However, purchases are the end result of a long consumer decision-making process. Marketing communicators need to know how to move the target audience to a higher level of readiness to buy.
Marketers may want cognitive responses (cognitive), influence (affective), or behavior (behavior) from the intended audience. That is, the marketer may want to put something in the consumer’s mind, change the consumer’s attitude, or induce the consumer to act.
In fact, there are various models of customer response levels. The figure shows the four most well-known response hierarchy models.
All of these models assume that buyers pass through cognitive, influence and behavioral stages, in that order. This sequence is called the “learn – feel – do” sequence and is appropriate when the audience is highly involved with a product category that is perceived as highly differentiated, for example in car purchases.
Another sequence is “do-feel-learn” which is relevant if the audience has high engagement but perceives no or little differentiation in the product category, for example in purchasing aluminum sheets.
The final sequence is “learn-do-feel” which is relevant when the audience has low engagement and perceives little differentiation within the product category, for example in purchasing salt. By understanding the proper sequences, marketers can carry out better marketing planning.
Here we will assume that buyers have high involvement with the product category and perceive high differentiation within the category. Therefore, we will work with the influence-hierarchical model (learn-feel doing-see second column in Figure) and explain how marketers should behave towards each of the six levels of buyer readiness, namely awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction, and buy.
If most of the target audience is unaware of the object, the communicator’s job is to build awareness, perhaps just product name recognition. This task can be accomplished with simple messages that keep repeating the product name.
However, building awareness takes a long time. For example, a small college in Iowa named Pottsville is trying to attract prospective students from Nebraska, but its name is not well known in Nebraska.
And suppose there are 30,000 middle and high school students in Nebraska who might be potentially interested in enrolling in Pottsville. The college might set a goal of making 70% of its students aware of the Pottsville name within one year.
The target audience may already be aware of the company or product, but may not know much about it. Postville might want its target audience to know that Pottsville is a private, four-year mass education college with excellent programs in French, foreign languages, and history.
So Pottsville needs to know how many people in the target audience have some, some, or a lot of knowledge about Pottsville. Based on this information, the college then decides to choose product knowledge as the communication goal.
c. Liking :
If the target audience knows the product, how will they feel about it? If the audience doesn’t seem to like the Pottsville college, then the communicator must discover why and then develop a communication campaign to encourage liking.
If the disapproval is due to the real problems of the college, then a mere communication campaign will not solve the problem.
Pottsville needs to fix its problems and then communicate its new quality. Good public relations require “good actions followed by good words.”
The target audience may like the product but not choose it over other products. In this case, the communicator must try to build consumer preferences.
The communicator can promote the product’s quality, value, performance and other features. Communicators can judge the success of a campaign by re-measuring audience preferences after the campaign has taken place.
A target audience may prefer a certain product but are unsure about buying it. The communicator’s job is to build confidence among interested students that Pottsville College is their best choice.
Finally, some people from the target audience may have conviction but not intend to make a purchase. They may be waiting for more information or planning to act later. The communicator must direct these consumers to take the final step.
The method can be to try to offer products at low prices, offer premiums, or provide limited opportunities for customers to try.
So, Pottsville might invite a select few high school students to visit the campus and attend some lectures. Or Pottsville may offer scholarships for some outstanding students.