6 Important Marketing Communication Strategy

marketing communication strategy

Effective Marketing Communication strategy –

Just as individual markets himself through his language, dress, body language, etiquette, manners and mannerisms, companies use marketing communication strategy to project an image among the potential customers of its products or services.

There are a variety of ways to reach out to the potential customers. It is that complex and overlapping functions that constitute the vital marketing communication done by an organization.

It begins with the logo, trademarks, branding, positioning of the product, the press releases, advertising, public relations, sales presentations, sponsorships, corporate social responsibility campaigns among others.

Considering the entire gamut of activities involved in marketing communication strategy goes without saying; it is an interdisciplinary activity requiring multiple skill sets and coordination between departments.

Earlier on, marketing, advertising, publicity, and sales were all seen as watertight compartments with functional linkages between them.

However, the emergence of marketing communication (MarComm) as a specialty has enabled seamless integration of these functions which in turn helps the company to project a unified image to its customers.

  1. Have a good brand & brand name
  2. Pay attention and creativity to the logo
  3. Positioning – clarity on entry level, normal and premium segments
  4. Advertising-pitch at a suitable level
  5. Blog- to make your industry and product to be talked about
  6. Sponsor corporate events and social activities keeping the broader company image in mind

Marketing Communication Strategy:

Top 10 marketing communication strategy is as follows:

  1. Brand your way to success:

In the market, you can either become a commodity or a brand. In being a commodity, the risks are lower, perhaps larger volumes can be achieved on thin margins but the market will be crowded.

There will not be an identity for your product. Such unbranded products are visible across consumer, industrial and consumable goods. For eg. when choosing a paint for exterior the consumer has the freedom to go for a branded product such as Berger or for an unbranded commodity.

The difference would be in pricing, texture, finish and overall satisfaction of customers. It may be possible to get quality, standard quality in a commoditized or unbranded product but a branded product is an assurance of quality as the company has put so many resources and effort into creating the product.

It with the objective of giving enhanced value to the customer in terms of quality, performance, and safety.

Some of the successful brands that easily come to a customer’s mind could be Microsoft, IBM, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Amazon, Starbucks, Audi, Unilever, Yahoo, Ford, Sony, Warner Bros, and several others.

According to John Williams, a brand differentiates your products and services, it is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

The key advantage of branding is that it enables the company to price its products at a premium level compared to commoditized products. It is important to have a message or tagline that conveys the core feature of the brand.

Some of the popular taglines are Apple-Think Different, Samsung Galaxy- next is now, Ford- feel the difference, BMW –sheer driving pleasure, Audi-Vorsprung Durch Technik – Advancement through technology.

A brand should encompass the company’s mission, benefits of products and services, customer perception of the firm and what qualities are to be associated with the firm.

Understanding it requires some research on needs, habits, and desires of customers. Branding is comprehensive – it covers how you attend phone calls, email signatures, what salespeople wear on-field calls and website content, photos, and social media.

If the theme of the product is innovation, then all the marketing communication should be focused on that.

Let’s move to the next marketing communication strategy.

  1. Logo:

Pay attention to creativity. A logo is the most visible and recalled feature of a brand. Even when someone forgets the brand name, he is more likely to recall the logo.

Hence care should be taken on the design, choice of logo and these days companies spend huge amounts of money on logo creation which signifies the importance of it in branding as it denotes all the company stands for.

It is better not to copy an existing logo or make changes to it but better to hire a designer who has experience in creating professional logos for companies. Your logo should differentiate you from the competition- do other firms use thin lines and curves or is it bold and simple?

A logo should be clean and simple for it to be used in a variety of places – be it hoardings, newspapers, sites, trucks, web, business cards, and a lot of other places.

The success of a brand depends on making the logo visible in as many places as possible, according to marketing experts. A trendy logo can confuse customers and not deliver the intended benefits.

The purpose of hiring a professional designer is to avoid using stock pictures or images or simply used copied images. So it serves well not to clip art which is universal and available for use by anyone.

The logo should differentiate the product and make it stand out-attention must be paid to the use of fonts, images, and colors. It’s better to use three colors that reflect the values and goals of the organization. It is better to have a single color, double and multi-color versions for use in different places & situations.

Once you have hired the designer and finalized the logo, it has to be trade-mark protected. In the US, it can be done through US Patent and Trademark Office and can be done online from their website.

In other countries, Patent and Trademark authorities have been constituted to provide such services. Once it is protected it can be used in websites, letterheads, business cards, advertisements in newspapers among others.

Let’s move to the next marketing communication strategy.

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  1.  Positioning:

Positioning is an often used term in marketing but perhaps not properly understood. When launching a new product or brand, it has to be positioned suitably in the market either in the entry-level, regular or premium segments.

It is a term used both as a verb and noun. It is a process by which the company creates a perception of the product in relation to its competition. It answers the vital question of what the company does from the customer’s point of view.

The perception is defined by how successful the marketing communication strategy is: it is defined by the product (what it is), a benefit to a customer (what it does), the effect on the consumer (what it means) and the motivation to buy (Why I should care).

Here marketing communication through media, advertisements, emailers, and product reviews help but part of the perception is made on the minds of buyers through packaging, pricing, product performance, references and media recommendations.

The challenge for a company entering a new market is to define the market and your firm’s place in it. It involves positioning the company to visionary buyers as a thought leader within an emerging, highly promising market category. The benefits of the product and it’s competitive advantage against existing products and the status quo.

The positioning strategy would be different in an existing market where there should be a clear demonstration to economic buyers and end-users regarding the credibility of the product and whether it is the most suitable for their needs. The marketing communication should clearly articulate such benefits.

Positioning a product is important for a variety of reasons – it is a single greatest influence on a customer’s buying decision, a product is evaluated according to the mental map of the market, positioning exists in customer’s minds and it will not be easily changed. It is important for the company to demonstrate a product’s relevance, using supportable, credible and factual terms.

Let’s move to the next marketing communication strategy.

  1. Advertising:

The purpose of advertising is to create awareness of your brand or product among consumers and prospective buyers. It creates a desire for the product among consumers through appropriate messages such as health, added convenience, fashion, looks, utility and variety of other benefits.

Advertising is an expensive aspect of brand promotion and proper media planning has to be done to get the intended benefits within the budget and time frame set for the campaigns.

Print, outdoor displays, hoardings, radio, television, websites, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all possible mediums to get the message of the product and company to the masses.

Marketing experts point out that the firm’s advertising goals should be clearly established in the business plan. It could be a certain percentage growth in sales, more sales inquiries, or build more footfalls on retail stores.

Advertising promotion can be brand specific or company specific depending on the requirement at hand and it’s better to hire ad agencies to do the creatives after defining the requirements of the brand and the unique selling proposition (USP) of the brand.

Once the creative is approved, media planners are hired to book space in television, print, and broadcast media to run the campaigns. Here a proper planning with the agency will ensure that better return on investment (RoI) is achieved.

The advertisement requirement will vary according to the type, size, and scale of operations of a company. For a start-up, the objective would be to establish the identity. It may require a high degree of promotional support to attract the attention of consumers.

For a growing business, the objective is to differentiate from the competition and making convincing messages to lure buyers and for an established business, the objective is to sustain buying interest and not to lose out to new competition.

In advertising the mnemonic AIDA is much relevant- it denotes Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. Each campaign should be focused on fulfilling these objectives.

Advertising or marketing promotion is not just restricted to advertisements and hoardings but also in packaging, the colors used in it, fonts and symbols.

Let’s move to the next marketing communication strategy.

  1. Blogging:

Blogging has emerged as a useful function in marketing communication strategy for an industry which is cost effective and may pay dividends in the long run while the growth may not be explosive.

However, well-known content strategist Neil Patel feels that content marketing can provide a steady, measurable growth on monthly basis.

Care should be taken not to write too much on the product but new technologies, trends in the market, issues related to industry, emerging technologies, research and development issues, functionalities of certain new products, product reviews.

It is very important to have a good topic, the writing quality should be good in terms of content and grammar, and promotional material should be of high quality.

It would be great if the top influencer’s or experts in the industry are invited to write blogs which in turn can make a difference in search engine rankings of the website and blog.

Experts from inside the company can also write good blog articles but care should be taken regarding the choice of topic and its relevance to the reader.

According to Neil Patel, many marketing blogs preach high-quality content but the delivery low quality on their own. Only a small percentage of blogs are of high quality.

Analysing and using Big Data is something companies are yet to do while link building to their sites, doing search engine optimization (Search Engine Optimisation) so that the content is seen and placed on top while visitors may be using search engines to get key information.

Ensure that there are target keywords in the content and subheadings and photos and infographics are used to supplement editorial content.

Let’s move to the next marketing communication strategy.

  1. Sponsoring Corporate Events and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):

At any point of time, several industrial, consumer and trade fairs take place across the world and it makes perfect sense to ensure your company’s or product’s presence either by putting up exhibition stalls and reaching out directly to consumers or sponsoring prizes or events held as part of the show.

A lot of companies sent the message that they care for the society or the less fortunate by sponsoring a meal, giving books and stationery free, making accessories for disabled or putting up a school, children’s park, bus shelter or infrastructure in a city or village such as building a road, a canal and the objective to course may be to have a long-term association in the minds of the consumers and decision makers in government and industry that the company cares for the citizens and is determined to give back to society a share of what they earned as revenue and profits.

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