Marketing communication strategy is used by businesses in order to reach the target customers by using multiple types of communication media. There are three components of a Marketing communication strategy which are the message, medium and the target.
The message is the content that is to be conveyed whilst medium is the way in which it is to be communicated and the target is the customers that you are reaching.
Marketing Communication: Concept and explanation
The strategy of marketing communication is classified as an interdisciplinary activity use of multiples and coordination between various departments. Departments like publicity, marketing, advertising, and sales all of them work together in order to communicate effectively. An effective marketing communication strategy will help to drive a lot of sales to the organization and push the overall profit high.
This communication strategy is considered fundamental because of the fact that Marketing communication gets direct attention from the customers and this helps the customers to reach out to the product for the organization. This is the reason why the right Marketing communication strategy will help to attract the right customer set and finally materializes into a sale.
With a strong Marketing communication strategy, there is consistency in sales which gives better profits to the organization. An effective Marketing communication strategy would be consumer-based rather than product-based because the features of the product do not sell but the use of those features to the customers is what sells.
The right communication approach includes primary three principles for an Effective Marketing Communications Strategy which are as follows:
1. Customer alignment
The most basic rules of marketing say that the company needs to understand the perspective of the customers and reach there where the customer is already present. The use of channels that the customers are already using is a common method.
This will help you to reach your target audience easily and would not waste the marketing budget. On the other hand, if you wish to target homemakers then advertising on TV would make a lot of sense.
2. Brand alignment
Once you finalize the marketing channel then you need to have the same brand perception. For example, if you are advertising Lamborghini cars or Rolls-Royce then you should use a Business magazine or TIME magazine rather than a local newspaper or a small news website.
3. Budget alignment
Choosing an appropriate budget is equally important because the sales that are expected from the marketing budget is at least 10 times. Supposing that you have do not have a budget to use an appropriate medium then you could apply some other strategy for using economic alternatives of the same medium.
This would be applicable mostly for new companies that lack the marketing budget.
Following are the top 5 Marketing communication strategies
1. Brand it to nail it
To put it bluntly, there are only two ways that your product and services can survive in the market. Either it can become a brand or it can become a commodity and it is needless to mention that risks are lower in being a commodity because high volumes can be achieved but the downside is that profit margins are very low and the market is often overcrowded.
The product uses its identity and various products that are unbranded are visible across many industries. For example, when choosing a mouse for the laptop you can either go for a branded mouse-like Intex are you can buy any cheap unbranded mouse. The difference would be noticed in pricing, finish, texture and overall consumer satisfaction.
The branded product provides quality and trust along with service to the customers. Since the branded company puts so much effort and resources in creating the product, that it is justifiable to charge a premium. For example, choosing between a one plus 7T and iPhone 11 would be an easy choice for a price-conscious customer.
In $ 600, you are getting state of the art features which are excellent on paper in one plus 7T, but comparatively, on iPhone, the quality is much better right from the picture quality to the build, the texture feel and the overall customer satisfaction. This is why for a brand-conscious customer, a $ 150 increase in price would not be a big challenge.
Other such examples are Yahoo, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Apple, Warner brothers, Unilever, Audi, etc branded product or service is the only difference between customer satisfaction. This is true especially in the case of premium-level products. These premium products have popular taglines that describe the brand in the minimalist possible way or sometimes they try to convey the core feature of the product.
For example, the tagline of Apple is “Think different”, and Audi has a tagline of Vorsprung Dutch Technik which translates to ‘Advancement through technology.’ A brand should be an epitome of the company’s mission and benefits of the products along with the vision of the company and the industries which they serve in.
For this, it is necessary to associate with the customer on a personal level and understand his needs reactions and desire which will help you to sell the product by designing an effective marketing communication strategy. Apart from all of this branding is also how your sales team reacts with the customer, dresses on the field and has an approach towards the customers.
2. Focus on Logo
The logo is the most visible feature of the brand. It is also the most recalled feature of the brand. It is saying that many of the customers me forget the name of the company but they never forget the logo.
This is why special care should be taken while designing the logo and choosing it because companies spend millions of dollars on the creation of which in itself signifies the priority and importance of logo creation and branding because the logo signifies what the company stands for.
It goes without saying that copying an existing logo would be an extremely unwise decision and the best thing is to hire a designer or an experienced professional logo creator. The logo should stand out from the competition and should be simple but convey a significant message.
It should be clear so that it can be used at multiple places without creating any problems like websites or newspapers or business cards. Many business stalwarts credit the success of a company partly to its logo.
The use of fonts, images or colours which are used in a logo should make it stand out from the competition. Once the logo is finalized then it should be registered with the patent office so that no one else can copy the logo.
3. Target audience
Understanding your target audience and accordingly crafting a customized Marketing communication strategy is a crucial thing for the success of your product. You need to understand the target audience first and then design the communication strategy according. Communication strategy has to be clear and concise and should directly address the needs and characteristics of this target audience.
One of the ways to do this is to conduct many interviews and surveys and ask the customers what exactly do they want directly. These insights that are gathered from research and surveys are crucial for the marketing team. They clearly get a glimpse of what the customer really is and what should be their communication strategy.
The communication strategy should be centred around the analysis of the customer and the company should invest time in understanding the needs of the customer. Communication strategy which is based on insufficient or incorrect research is bound to fail in the market. The use of segmentation and positioning can be done in order to execute the strategy effectively.
In the case of segmentation, the market audience is divided into similar and homogenous groups and individual targeting strategy is used for those groups. When a new product or brand is to be launched in the market then it is to be positioned suitably as premium, regular or entry-level products. Positioning is what company creates a perception of the product of the service in relation to their competitors and answers a very important question of what is the company view as from the point of view of customers.
When the company enters a new market then it would be challenging to define the market and the position of the company in it. Better positioning gives a competitive advantage to the product as well as the organization against its competitors and rival companies.
The positioning strategy would differ in the existing market and should clearly define and differentiate the customer base. The marketing communication should really differentiate the products from their user base.
Examples of accurate marketing communication strategy would be of iPhone 11. The new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are three new flagships launched by Apple this year. The company has clearly differentiated their products to the customers as follows:
The tagline of the iPhone 11 is “just the right amount of everything”. This communication clearly states that the phone is targeted for the majority of audiences. The pricing of the phone is done at a lower rate and most of the features are added.
For iPhone 11 Pro, and Pro Max, the tagline says “Pro Camera. Pro Display. Pro Performance.” Apple has clearly differentiated this phone for high-end users and niche customers because the phone is priced at a higher price point as well as the features and performance are Targeted for high-end users.
Since the price itself is a big motivation for many customers, the phone will automatically get classified for the end-users. The positioning strategy can be a single influence that would differentiate your product to the customer.
The only purpose of advertising is to create awareness about the product or service in the minds of consumers and prospective buyers. Advertising uses a proper message along with convictions in order to buy the product. Proper media planning should be done before positioning expensive brand or product because wrong media can hamper the success of the product greatly.
Different media used for advertising such as television, print, outdoor space, radios and nowadays social media. Digital media has become a more popular medium in order to promote advertising to the right target audience.
Before the application of Marketing communication strategy, it should be ensured that the marketing, as well as advertising goals, are defined by the organization. There can be a company-specific or a brand-specific advertising promotion depending on the requirement of the company and in any case, the USP of the brand of the product for the company should be mentioned.
The requirement of advertising will vary depending on the size and type and the mode or method that is used to advertise. For example in the case of a new company, there would be a requirement for a business that is growing the primary objective would be differentiated from the competition in which case making more convincing messages are campaigns to pull the buyers and retain the existing buyers should be the objective of the advertising.
Advertising guidelines depend on the industry because certain industry guidelines do not allow public advertising of their products for example in case of medicines public advertising is banned but on the other hand products of FMCG can be advertised publicly.
Advertising with the help of digital media is known as digital marketing. The advantages of digital media are that it is extremely economic over traditional modes of marketing and is affordable for everyone right from a startup company to an established one.
5. Implementation, Feedback, Improvisation
Once all of these steps mentioned above are properly and thoroughly done, then it’s time to plan and execute the campaign in order to see the results. Implementation of the plan at the right time is also one of the crucial factors of the success of the marketing communication strategy.
For example advertisement of cold and cough syrup in the month of Summer would be the right strategy to target the season arriving in monsoon and winter. But starting the advertisement in the middle of winter or at the end of the winter will have very less success rate as compared to the situation mentioned before.
Know your product and know the customer then it would be a piece of cake to find the right time to implement the marketing communication strategy to your target audience. Once the implementation is done then take the feedback from the customers about the communication strategy. The feedback should be crisp with closed-ended questions and should address only the strategy rather than the product or service.
Asking customers if the recall the advertisement for a peculiar catchphrase related to the product will help you understand if the customer has thoroughly understood and seen the advertisement or not. The feedback collection may also be based on the brand recall or product recall of the customer which will help to understand the effectiveness of marketing communication strategy.
Once the feedback is connected then improvisation if needed can be done in the communication strategy and may be implemented in the market. In some cases, this feedback can be considered in the launch of the subsequent product in the same product family. Constant feedback and improvisation is the key to a successful Marketing communication strategy.
Multiple to evolve every day in the market and the strategy for marketing communications changes every day because the customers and their needs change every day. It is important for a marketing manager to stay up-to-date with the market and craft strategy accordingly.