Marketing communications is how you get your messages out to your stakeholders; this includes all internal and external audiences. The foundation of marketing communications is built on an understanding of what your different stakeholders want to know; for example you might communicate the benefits of a product to your customers and the sales figures to your shareholders.
Understanding your stakeholder’s needs and therefore the key messages comes from your marketing communications plan (marcomm); but how are you going to reach them? The best chance of successfully getting your audience to take the desired action e.g. getting the customer to make a purchase, is to consider the DRIP analogy. DRIP stands for differentiate, remind, inform and persuade and should be a blend of messages delivered through a number of channels, over a period of time; this helps keep the key messages memorable.
There are three communication strategies which are fully explained in the 3 P’s of marketing communication, they are; Push, Pull and Profile. Within the Push and Pull strategies you have above the line (ATL), below the line (BTL) and through the line (TTL) communication channels; ATL & BTL are a way of categorising the communication channels and are fully covered in our ATL & BTL article.
Here are some examples of communication channels:
- Personal selling
- Sales promotions
- Public relations (PR)
- Direct marketing
- Word of mouth
- Internal marketing
- Corporate image
Within each of these channels there are sub channels or tools, for example advertising can consist of TV, Radio, Internet, Magazines, Cinema etc.
Without marketing communications your marketing plan and therefore business will fail. As previously mentioned, it’s your marketing communications plan which maps out the who, what, when, why and how.