Gaining awareness is one of the first steps in the sales process and the main focus in developing effective marketing communications strategy. Getting to know your audience, crafting your message and tracking results are only a few pieces of the problem.
The important steps in developing effective market communications are as follows:
Identifying the Target Audience
A marketing communication starts with a clear target audience in mind. The audience could be potential or actual buyers, decides or influences. They could be individuals, groups of special public or the general public. Knowing the target audience will help determine WHAT will be said, HOW it will be said, WHEN it will be said and WHO will say it.
Determining the Communication Objectives
Once the market characteristic is defined, it is time to decide on the desired market response. The ultimate response, of course, is purchase and satisfaction. The marketer can be seeking a cognitive, affective and behavioral response from the audience. The marketer might want to put something in the consumer’s mind to change the consumer’s attitude or get the consumer to buy.
Designing the Message
After defining desired audiences response, the marketer moves to develop an effective message geared toward gaining attention, holding interest, arousing desire and eliciting action.
Formulating the message will require solving major problems; what to say (message content), how to say it logically (message structure), how to say it symbolically (message format), and who should say it (message source).
Selecting the Communication Channels
The communicator must select efficient channels of communication to carry the message. Communication channels are 2 broad types, personal and non-personal.
Personal communication channel communicates face to face with a potential market.
Non- personal communication channels carry communication messages without personal contact or interact. They include media atmospheres and events.
Establishing the Total Promotion Budget
One of the most difficult decisions a marketer faces is establishing a budget for promotions. Below are 4 common methods used to set a promotion budget:
- Affordable method – This method sets the budget at a level affordable for the company.
- Percentage of Sales Method – It sets the budget at a certain percentage of sales price.
- Competitive-Party Method – This promotion budget is set within competitor’s range
- Objective and Task Method – This method calls upon the marketer to examine company’s specific objectives, the task involves to attain these objectives and the estimated cost of performing these tasks before setting their promotional budget.
Deciding on the Promotion Mix
Within the same industry, companies differ in allocating their promotional budget over the 5 promotional tools.
Companies always search for ways to gain efficiency by satisfying one promotional tool for another as its economics become more favorable. Designing the promotional mix is further complicated when on the tool can be used to promote another.
Developing a marketing communications strategy can take some time and research. However, by spending the time to create a meaningful marketing communication strategy for your marketing campaigns, it will find that marketing your product or service is easier, more cost effective, and yields a greater return on the company.
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