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Marketing Communications

 Marketing Communications
Perusal Tech Pvt Ltd
  • 27 Sep, 2021

Marketing Communications are the ways by which companies try to familiarise, influence and remind customers either directly or indirectly concerning the offerings their sell. Marketing Communications enable firms to connect their brands to different people, places, events, brands, experiences, feelings and things. The Marketing Communication mix consists of the following main modes of communication:


(1) Advertising 

(2) Sales Promotion 

(3) Events and Experiences 

(4) Public Relations 

(5) Online and Social Media Marketing 

(6) Direct Marketing 

(7) Mobile Marketing. 




(1) ADVERTISING: Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of concepts, commodities or services recognised by a sponsor to mediums such as:


(a) PRINT MEDIA: In the form of Newspapers and Magazines.


(b) BROADCAST MEDIA: In the form of Radio and Television.


(c) NETWORK MEDIA: In the form of Telephone, Cable, Satellite, wireless.


(d) ELECTRONIC MEDIA: In the form of Audiotape, Videotape, Video Disk, CD-ROM, Webpage.


(e) DISPLAY MEDIA: In the form of Billboards, Signs, Posters. 






Carrie Bradshaw's obsession with Manolo Blahnik's shoes was supported by a Spanish designer to establish a household name. The shoes have been highlighted precisely 16 times in 94 episodes along with a pair of Manolos that were custom-designed for the film making a star appearance in the movie 'The Sex and the City. The prop was used by Carrie's lover to propose to her in place of a diamond ring. Such product placements are indeed obvious ones and are used by a lot of relevant companies to advertise your product. 




- "LIGHTBULB" BY ABBOTT MEAD VICKERS BBDO FOR THE ECONOMIST: The unique billboard lit up every time someone walked under it. Their advertising technique actively included people as they were a crucial part of the message. 


- "NOSE HAIR TRIMMER" PANASONIC: Ad agency by Saatchi and Saatchi Indonesia. When ads incorporate the environment around it can be a smart strategy. MORAL: Be imaginative, creative and go beyond the format's dimension and let common elements like electric poles and wires, in this case, interact with the ad. 


- "CHANGE" BY KOLESTON NATURALS: Agency - Leo Burnett. Artistic use of negative space. MORAL: The use of negative space in a creative manner can help the brand breakthrough general advertising jumble. 


- "STRONG TAPE" BY PENLINE STATIONERY: Agency - Euro RSCG. The product market has a practical function for the ad like tape, paint, paper, metal, frames, inks and it is a sample of quality. 


- NETFLIX IS A JOKE: The ad was pretty straightforward and was compelled to Trigger a lot of Netflix fans, as a result, got the attention it was targeting for. As a clever twist to the plot, Netflix was the only one to put that up efficiently making use of reverse psychology. 




Sales Promotion are types of short-term considerations given to customers to promote trial or purchase of the offering including consumer promotion (such as samples, coupon and premium) business promotion (such as publicity and display allowances) and business and sales team promotions (competitions for sales representative). 


- COCA-COLA: "TASTE IT" BY COCA-COLA: Agency: Ogilvy & Mather New York. MORAL: Carrying out an outdoor advertisement coupled with sampling in a bold and unruly manner, Coca Cola's campaign surely Court people's attention. 


- CARLSBERG ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN: PROBABLY THE BEST POSTER IN THE WORLD: The people around the ad were able to put themselves a Carlsberg directly from the poster which was installed with a Carlsberg tap and a glass dispenser. 


- CAMERON HUGHES: Cameron Hughes shows a classic example of email sales promotion. The ad is straightforward yet powerful. The blue and white theme points to Memorial Day and also reassures trust based on the colour psychology as blue and white colours are the character trait of being truthful, elegant and come. It also incorporates an email button extension that redirects the viewers directly to the shop. 




Many companies sponsor projects and activities, specially curated to generate brand-related interactions with customers. These events or experiences could include sports, arts, entertainment, etc. 


- FIFA WORLD CUP: The German Multinational sports Merchandise and apparel brand, Adidas has garnered the title of 'the longest-running sponsor or partner of an international sports organisation'. FIFA and Adidas have known to have a relationship that dates back to nearly 50 years. Adidas has been providing the official match ball for all that FIFA World Cup games since 1970. Coca-Cola has also been in association with FIFA since 1974 and an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup that began in 1978. The association has now been extended until 2032 to cover all significant football events. 




Public Relations deal with a variety of activities conducted within the company towards the employees or externally towards consumers, other businesses, the government and media to advertise or protect any company's image or its product communications. 


- CARLSBERG: Notwithstanding advertising its beer as "probably the best beer in the world", Danish brewer Carlsberg admitted that their well-known slogan might be entirely accurate. Believing that it was one of the biggest but not the best, Carlsberg decided to redo their recipe entirely. This €20m campaign was formulated in association with creative agency Fold7 to re-invent the brand and add honesty to the brand's policy. The campaign received colossal coverage due to its statement by channels like Sky News, the Metro and the Independent. It performed well on the digital platforms too. Carlsberg employees reading out "mean tweets" earned almost 10 million views on Twitter alone. 


- COCA-COLA'S DELIGHTFUL VENDING MACHINES: Coco-Cola has always been great at advertising its campaign in very creative ways. It had "Happiness Machines" that were uncommon vending machines placed across the globe. The machines to work needed to be needed buyers to interact with the machine in unorthodox ways to get a complimentary coke, which included, hugging the machine in Singapore, dancing to K-Pop in Korea, finishing a series of James Bond inspired challenges in London, England, singing a Christmas Carol in Stockholm, Sweden. The reactions of happy participants were recorded, compiled together and released across multiple online media platforms. Earning millions of views, the video in his Coca-Cola's brand image of spreading joy. As a result, people could temporarily escape the monotony of the day and share the emotion of excitement. 




Online activities and strategies are intended to involve customers and increase awareness, enhance the image or evoke sales of the offerings. An advanced form of online marketing enables the placement of communications of the company on consumer's cellphones, smartphones or tablets. 


• TESLA USES INFLUENCER VIYA: China's one of the biggest influences, Viya highlighted the Tesla Model 3 on Taobao stream. In the hour-long stream, she described some features of the Model 3 and thanks to her million followers that order a test drive from the steam. According to Bloomberg, approximately 4 million viewers watched the show, seeing live streamer and influencer Viya describe it as Tesla's features right from the music player to air conditioning. Viya has been recognised to market products quickly on Taobao, which is a famous shopping website in China that influences also use to promote products. Tesla had a record quarter in China and dispatched over 10,000 cars in March alone in the country. 




Direct Marketing makes use of mail, telephone, fax or internet to interact directly with customers. 


• WORLD WATER DAY CAMPAIGN: Green Belgium's World Water Day Campaign. This direct mail campaign became famous for two main reasons: How it involved charity in a mail marketing campaign and its innovative design. REASON FOR SUCCESS: The message was simple yet intelligent and instructed the people to run the flyer under a tap. The message on the flyer was revealed once they kept it underwater. Irrespective of whether people bought the idea or read it, the campaign saw a huge success.




• BURGER KING: Burger King's - Burn that ad Campaign. Burger King rolled a troll campaign making use of Augmented Reality (AR), where users could use the Burger King app to scan and virtually burn rival's ads to win a free Whopper burger. This was one witty way to turn rival's media expenditures to benefit you and create fun experiences for your customers using technology.




Communication is basic to the survival and existence of humans. It is the same when it comes to an organisation. Communication is the process on which based on which an organisation survives. People in an organisation reach an understanding by creating and sharing ideas, facts, views, information, feelings, etc. with the help of communication. 




(1) Representing major parties involved i.e. the Sender and the Receiver.


(2) Representing important Tools of Communication i.e. the Message and the Medium.


(3) Representing primary communication function i.e Encoding, Decoding, Response and Feedback.


(4) Noise is the last element that represents the irregular and accidental messages that interrupt the intended communication.




• First, the sender comes up with an idea to pitch and send.


• Then the sender encrypts the message to be sent based on their idea.


• The sender chooses the channel of communication that would be used to send the message. 


• The message is passed on through the selected channel of communication.


• The receiver receives the message.


• The receiver decrypts the message received. 


• And, then the receiver responds with the appropriate feedback when necessary.




(1) SENDER: The sender sending the message is the source of communication. The sender is the communicator who comes up with an idea and passes it onto the receiver. A sender is the one who starts the communication.


(2) MESSAGE: The message is the data, feeding, view or idea that is produced by the sender. It is then passed on and communicated to the receiver.


(3) ENCODING: The symbolic interaction of a message in the form of words, gestures, numbers, pictures etc., before being passed on to a receiver is called encoding.


(4) MEDIA: The format in which an encrypted message is transmitted is called media. An encoded message can be passed on to a receiver orally or in writing. Telephone, internet, post, fax and emails are a few of the many mediums of communication. The medium of communication that will benefit the message, is chosen by the sender.


(5) DECODING: The process of decrypting and converting the message encrypted by the sender is called decoding. The receiver to receiver truly receives the message after the message is decoded or interpreted.


(6) RECEIVER: The receiver is the last person in the whole process and the chain of communication. The person for whom the sender sends the message is called the receiver. The receiver receives the message, understand it, puts it into perspective and then acts according to it. Only after this entire process is completed that the whole purpose of communication is fulfilled.


(7) FEEDBACK: The process of communication is only completed after the receiver confirms receiving and understanding the message to the sender.


(8) NOISE: Noise refers to the irregular and accidental messages that interrupt the intended communication. It can be caused by either the sender, the message or the receiver during the whole process of communication. For example, poor telephone connection, faulty encryption of messages, faulty decryption of messages, distracted receiver, etc. 




STEP 1 - IDENTIFY THE OR TARGET AUDIENCE: It's imperative to have a clear idea of the target audience before designing a communication program. The target audience is a critical influence on the communicator's decisions about what to say, how, when, where and to whom.


EXAMPLE: Nike's "Find Your Greatness" Campaign in 2012. Not only championship athletes or record-breakers have aspirations of pushing their limits. Even everyday athletes strive to excel on their own towards aiming and achieving their personal goals. Nike used this insight to launch its "Find Your Greatness" campaign, it is an influential statement for anyone who inspires to achieve their moment of greatness in the sport. 


STEP 2 - SET THE COMMUNICATIONS OBJECTIVE: The communication objectives may even differ in some cases. A few of the objectives include: 


• To establish a product or service category.

• Maintaining the consumer's ability to recognise or recall the brand to make a purchase.

• To build a desirable brand image and attitude.

• Encouraging customers to decide to purchase the brand or take purchase-related action.


EXAMPLE: Apple Siri features explained by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in 2017 partnered with Apple for an advertisement promoting 'Siri'. The campaign demonstrated to the world how productive Siri could make its users. The ad "The Rock x Siri Dominate The Day" features Johnson hail a Lyft car, travel to Rome, take a selfie in space and then turned up for a film shoot, all with help of Apple's voice assistant on an iPhone 7.


STEP 3 - DESIGN THE COMMUNICATIONS: Designing a communication to get desired response involves the three areas mentioned below: 


(a) MESSAGE STRATEGY: While choosing a message strategy, appeals, themes and ideas are essential for management. For example, Dove, Dove's new project shows women and non-binary individuals shattering and unrealistic beauty standards. Dove new campaign #ShowUs with Getty image and girl gaze, (the largest international stock photo distributor) features a collection of over 5,000 stock images, shot by 100% female and non-binary photographers in over 39 countries. Dove is working towards building the world's most extensive stock photo library that is one of its kind Shattering Unrealistic Beauty Standards. 


(b) CREATIVE STRATEGY: Effectiveness of the communication is a function of expression of the marketing message and its communication to the target audience. Marketers use innovative strategies to translate the message into effective brand communication. For example, Heineken in Skyfall (2012) (Product Placement in Movies). Heineken paid $45 million for one of its product placement in the movie Skyfall. Although, all the fans of the series were habituated to watching the Bond ordering his signature drinks, which is Martini (shaken, not stirred) hence movie placement became very obvious. It was allowed to watch the character turning down his signature drink for a bottle of Heineken. 


(c) MESSAGE SOURCE: Research indicates that the credibility of the source is a crucial parameter to a message's acceptance by the consumers. A message that is delivered by an attractive or famous source has a great potential of achieving great attention and recall. For example, Kim Kardashian's live streaming partnership with Chinese influencer Viya. One of the top influencers of America, Kim Kardashian West, worked with Alibaba's Tmall along with Viya, who is China's one of the most famous life streamers. The live stream was one of the parts of Singles's day shopping extravaganzas big run-up by Alibaba on November 11. Along with Viya's support to Kardashian, within few minutes 15000 KKW-brand perfumes were sold. 


STEP 4 - SELECT CHANNELS: Channels can communicate a message which is either personal or non-personal to the consumers.


• PERSONAL COMMUNICATION CHANNEL: When two or more people either communicate face to face through or from a single person to the audience via phone, email or surface mail. 


• NON PERSONAL CHANNELS: In this mode, communications are targeted towards more than one individual. It includes advertising, sales promotions, BTL activities inclusive of events and experiences and public relations.


Example: OnePlus 6T Unboxing Event on 1st November 2018. In a Mega-unboxing event in Mumbai, Guinness World Record was achieved by OnePlus for crowd-unboxing a phone simultaneously using their OnePlus 6T. Guinness World Records confirmed it at 9:30 p.m. on 1st November 2018 as 559 OnePlus community members assembled to unbox and experience for OnePlus 6T simultaneously.


STEP 5 - ESTABLISH BUDGET: One of the challenging decisions in marketing is to finalize the amount of expenditure on marketing communication. Within each Industry, various companies spend either high or low money on marketing communication. 4 common methods are:


(a) AFFORDABLE METHOD: Companies that decide their marketing budget based on the amount that they can afford to spend on marketing activities, follow this method.


(b) PERCENTAGE-OF-SALES METHOD: Few firms spend a specified percentage of current or estimated sales or selling price as a set communication expenditure. Automobile companies generally follow this trend.


(c) COMPETETIVE-PARITY METHOD: In the method, companies fix their communication budget to achieve share-of-voice at par with their competing brands.


(d) OBJECTIVE-AND-TASK METHOD: This is a defensive approach. In this method, marketers make a communication budget based on specific objectives. 


STEP 6 - DECIDE COMMUNICATION MIX: Ideally, companies should balance their marketing communication budget over 8 modes of communication. In September 2019, Lego's first brand campaign "Rebuild the world" was unveiled, in the 80s. French agency BETC created it. The campaign included a film of various time frames such as 103, 90, 60, 30 seconds. This campaign was broadcasted in cinemas and at digital OOH's in major cities such as London, Paris, Beijing, Mexico City, Berlin, San Francisco, New York along with social media channels. "The adventure unfolds" is a film directed by multi-award winning Traktor (Stink Films). 


STEP 7 - MEASURE RESULTS: Senior managers wish to be aware of the outcome and revenue resulting from their communications investments. For example, Volvo commercial featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Volvo Trucks launched a 75-second-long commercial named "Epic Split" in 2013. It stars Jean-Claude Van Damme performing a gymnastic stunt between two moving trucks. The most important thing of all is that illustrates the fantastic precision of driving Volvo trucks. Jean Claude Van Damme manages to do a split with each of his legs resting on a Volvo truck while they are driven backwards on a highway. 


RESULT AND OUTCOME: A neuroscientific analysis confirmed that female viewers were more fascinated involved while the act was performed. In contrast, male viewers commiserated with the pain probably being felt by Van Damme. Leading to higher memory encoding effectiveness at the precise point of the "Volvo Dynamic Steering" message being shown. The overall campaign took around $3-4 million to produce and generated $170 million in revenue for Volvo by the end of 2014. The extraordinary ad got more than 100 million YouTube views and still counting.


STEP 8 - MANAGE IMC: in evaluating the cumulative impact of an IMC program, the marketer's prime goal is to generate the most powerful and efficient communications program possible. "6 C's" criteria helps in determining integrated communications.


(a) COVERAGE: Coverage is the amount of the audience reached by every communication channel.


(b) CONTRIBUTION: Contribution is the intrinsic ability of marketing communication to generate the aspired response in communication effects from customers.


(c) COMMONALITY: Commonality is the degree to which different communication options have the same meaning.


(d) COMPLEMENTARITY: Complementarity is the degree to which diverse associations are linkages are highlighted across communication options.


(e) CONFIRMABILITY: Conformability refers to the degree to which a marketing communication option works for the before-mentioned different groups of consumers. 


(f) COST: Marketers need to assess marketing communications on all criteria mentioned above against their cost to reach the most efficient and most productive communications program.


For example, Coca-Cola's Campaign - Taste The Feeling. The campaign named "Taste the Feeling" was run to win back some of the drinkers in the struggling soda category. The ad started with the lead commercial, "Anthem", which displays a series of moments connected by Coca-Cola like ice-skating with friends, a first date, a first kiss and a first love. "Taste the Feeling" conveys the idea that drinking any Coca-Cola is a simple pleasure that makes daily moments more memorable. An international network of agencies developed the campaign. The campaign was also catchy with captivating visual storytelling through more than 100 images shot by remarked fashion photographers Guy Aroch and Nacho Ricci. Avicii developed a new song, and the campaign also involved interactive digital advertising.