Marketing Communication – The 6 Primary Forms of Marketing Communication You Can Employ to Promote

Marketing and Promotion can occur through various avenues. Creativity not withstanding, all marketing and promotion can be categorized in 1 of 6 primary forms.

These 6 primary forms of marketing communication are as follows:

1. Media

Media marketing communication refers to any traditional mass distribution broadcast or publication with a large volume of viewers, listeners, or viewership. Television, Radio, , Internet Banner Ads, Magazines, Newspapers, Billboards, etc are all forms of traditional media marketing.

A more recent addition to this type of marketing communication is the webinars and social networking sites on the internet.

Regarding up front costs, media marketing communication tends to be the most expensive type of marketing. This is due to the value related to the mass volume. The back end reward is that because of the volume, the actual cost per lead can be less if a high volume responds to the marketing effort. So, the trade off is that it may cost more up front but can produce more leads by volume.

2. Mail

Mail is an equally popular method of marketing communication. Whether it is direct and independent or bundled in a mass mailing, millions of marketing message are sent by mail daily. Distributing marketing messages by mail is difficult, though. It is so easy for the message to simply hit the trash.

Ideally, if marketing communication is performed by mail, it should be to a targeted list. A target list is list of subscribers who indicated an interest for a particular product or service. Since mail is paid per unit delivery, it is more cost effective to mail to individuals who expressed interest or who have demonstrated interest by previous consumption.

3. Telephone

The telephone is another obvious form of marketing communication. Whether there is a live human dialing you or if contact is accomplished by an auto-dialer, the telephone can be an efficient way to contact a large amount of people in a short period of time. The telephone, due to the number prefixes, also, allowed for targeting specific geographical areas. Limitations with the phone, however, include the requirement that someone answer, or have voice mail, and short duration of exposure to message. Additionally, legalities must be considered due to the “do not call” list which allows numbers to be opted out from direct marketing.

4. Electronic

Electronic marketing communication is best know by fax or email. These are very cost efficient mediums with email marketing being near infinite return on investment when successful due to the negligible cost associated. Also, the available message space is virtually infinite, as well.

Another rising form of electronic marketing communication is SMS and MMS through the mobile phones. These are otherwise known as text or picture messaging. Systems are available now that can mass text to multiple mobile numbers at once, or allow consumers to text in a particular message to a 5 digit number in order to receive a pre-formatted message. This is usually associated with contests for sufficient enticement.

The issues with electronic marketing communication, quite similar to mail and telephone, is that you must build a list of names and associated email addresses, or numbers, in order to market in volume.

5. Direct Contact

Marketing communication by direct contact is less efficient unless talking to groups. And, even then, it is usually limited to a very finite number. This is in stark contrast to the other forms of marketing mentioned above.

Additionally, direct contact can be a more aggressive, or assertive form of marketing and requires a special verbal communication skill set. If direct communication is not handled correctly, prospects can be easily alienated.

The underlying theme to direct contact is that efforts must be made to determine the interests of the consumers and to tailor solutions which accommodate their needs and interests, versus the needs of the marketer.

This is true for all forms of marketing, but especially poignant and noticeable with direct contact.

6. Referral

This final form of marketing communication is very strong and highly effective. It relies on the testimony of previously satisfied consumers to market. It is really marketing based upon strength in relationships. It has been reported that it is 6 times easier to market to someone where a relationship has already been established than to a new contact.

Referral based marketing communication is the truest form of flattery or complement that a business can receive as it reflects upon the genuine acceptance, appreciation, and approval of an established relationship. Theoretically, as a quality business grows, referral marketing of satisfied consumers can be a perpetual source of new clientele.

A key concept to remember when employing any form of marketing communication is that studies show that it typically takes an average of 7-9 exposures to a message before a consumer will respond to an offer. This means that your budget should take this into consideration when deciding on a particular form of marketing communication.

A second key concept is that you have to do split testing and statistical analysis to objectively determine which marketing messages, and marketing communication avenues, are producing.

Midsized Company Marketing Communications Budget Planning

This is the time of year when most companies, brands and nonprofits are involved with developing their marketing communications plans and budgets for next year. This is not an easy task in any year but, whether you’re already deeply involved in the process, or just starting, the task is even more challenging this year given the continuing global and economic uncertainties.

More than ever, increased accountability and scrutiny of the decision-making process is a necessity for improving marketing communications ROI. Customers, whether existing or new, have a multitude of choices for evaluating and selecting a product or service, so it’s extremely important to be on the same page with them.

What follows recommends a three-pronged approach to help you develop a budget and plan to profitably impact your marketplace.

Understand Your Customer Target Audience
Like most managers, you probably believe you fully understand the wants and needs of your customers, as well as their knowledge of your brand. But with so many new methods available to customers for comparing your brand to competition, are you really sure?

Is it smart to plan and commit your precious marketing communication dollars to what you think you know about customers? Maybe it would be a lot smarter to learn directly from them what they want, and how you stack up to their needs.

Ultimately, that means market research. Whether you’re a B2B, B2C or a nonprofit marketer, now is the time to learn from your customer.

  • What attributes or qualities are important to them in selecting a brand? Beyond price, what other factors influence their purchase decision?
  • How do they rate your brand versus competition? What are your strongest and weakest attributes, and what do you need to improve?

Wouldn’t you feel more secure in your decision making if you had concrete answers to these questions before you develop, much less commit to, budgets? And don’t forget about making sure you understand your employees or distributors. They’re your first line of brand advocacy. Their beliefs may not line up with your customers’ beliefs, and could lead to lost opportunities or lost sales. Look before you leap.

A Marketing Communications Audit Can Sharpen Your Message
Once you completely understand your customer, the next step is to focus on your message. The single greatest source of leverage you have is the quality of messaging, whether it’s a television commercial, a post on a Facebook page, your website, articles, blogs or whitepapers. When messaging fails to deliver, it’s usually not the platforms that fail, but rather the lack of integrated focused brand communications.

A marketing communications audit, conducted by outside consultants who don’t have a vested interest or an ax to grind, can – like a financial audit – be an enormous benefit. It will tell you whether all of the creative elements you employ – subject matter, graphics, copy, and tone and manner – are working together with one clear and meaningful message to your customers, as well as your employees.

An additional benefit of a marketing communications audit is its ability to help determine your communications mix and resulting budgets. For instance, based on customer needs, perhaps more should be spent in content marketing, with articles and blogs, and less in paid advertising, consumer promotions or coupons. Just make sure all of your messaging is saying the same thing to meet those customer needs. It’s a matter of reinforcing the image you want to convey and trust in your brand.

Consider Marketing Communications Consultants
No one is doubting that smart, dedicated people have been involved in developing your marketing communications budget and plan. But, if you’re like most midsized companies, your people are probably stretched to the limit.

Consider partnering with an established, senior level consultant to help your team develop, refine and, if appropriate, implement your programs. Above all, make sure a consultant has extensive experience across disciplines, industries and brands, and isn’t trapped by “this is the way we’ve always done it” thinking. An apolitical team, with a willingness to “tell it like it is”, with fresh eyes can be a major asset to your profitable growth.

In today’s unsettled environment, an upfront focus on developing budgets and plans can go a long way to improving marketing communications ROI.

How Internet Marketing Services Can Help Your Business Thrive

The world wide web is transforming the way people do business. It has re-shaped the relationship between companies and their customers in a way never imagined before. Instead of setting up offices and branches in other cities or countries, now all businesses have to do is create a website and they can grab the attention of the entire world in an instant. Not only is it much more cost effective, but it is a thousand times faster than opening a physical office or point of sale.

The role of a website has evolved from being a promotional gimmick for a business. It is now a vital part of any promotional campaign. In truth, there are thousands of companies that operate solely off of an internet presence. Nevertheless, to make the most of a website business opportunity you need to be familiar with the intricate formulas of online marketing, and this is where an internet marketing service can help you.

Instead of wasting time running around in circles, uncertain of what you are doing, and hoping you got it right, the prime option is to acquire top expert advice and tips from a knowledgeable online marketing professional. Just simply putting your site up and hoping for the best will not grant you business success online, it takes so much more to become profitable.

A web marketing campaign can be highly as complicated, in truth, a thousand times more intricate, than conventional promotional drives. Despite this, there is a plus side, that contrary to conventional promotion channels, internet marketing campaigns can be closely and easily observed for their efficiency as the results are simple to extrapolate.

Your business entity can grow rapidly if you utilize the web intelligently, However, to use it intelligently one needs to have time to gain the relevant experience. There’s an old proverb: a smart man learns from the errors of others, a buffoon learns from his own. In short, a smart person will learn from the mistakes of others if they’re displayed broadly for all to see.

There are so many internet marketing services, offering valuable information that can save you enormous amounts of time and money. It would be a total travesty for you not to be able to access all the resources at your fingertips. Successful business owners and entrepreneurs often have the same successful habits, they learn very early on that they cannot do everything themselves. In order to reach their goals they must leverage the time, resources, and expertise of others whilst they focus on the big picture.

Unfortunately, not all internet marketing services offer the perfect solution, at times you may need to go through a few wannabe experts before finding the genuine article. But here are a few important services any professional worth his salt must be able to provide your local business.

1. One to one consultation and evaluation. The very first thing an IM service should be offering is an in-depth conversation with your company to establish your history, background, philosophies, ambition, vision of the future, and what your online dream is. In addition to this a full analytical breakdown of your web property and what adjustments need to made to improve exposure.

2. Strategic development. The success of your online promotion will hinge on the plans developed in the early consultations. As no two companies are the same, it is important that a bespoke advertising and promotion campaign is devised that best reflects the core values, circumstance, and position of the business represented. Failure to capture the true essence of the business and it’s personally could be disastrous.

3. Lead Generation. The ability to produce useful information that creates interest and forces action is crucial for a business online. An internet marketing service must have the technical knowledge and capabilities to implement lead generation systems for list building, email marketing, and product development, through multiple channels to drive new and valued custom to the business.

4. Know the numbers. The most vital service your professional liaison must provide is knowledge. The landscape of online business is a volatile one. It is constantly shifting and re-shaping itself, a professional in this environment has to be on top of the latest developments in techniques, strategies, tactics, and technologies. Falling behind in terms of practices could lead to loss of market share, position, and profits, not to mention penalties for search engine violations, if you’re not tuned into the latest updates.

As your business progresses into the online arena, you may find the services of a professional internet marketing consulting company extremely beneficial. Nevertheless, most businesses believe they can do everything themselves, and go it alone to save money as there is a lot of free information online. This is fine as long as you act on what you learn, there is little reason for it not to prove beneficial. Regrettably, though, the lack of action is the major eliminator of online business success, people just fail to take action on what they’ve learnt.

Nevertheless, one has the chance to lift their business to unparalleled heights by building a significant internet presence, and you can do it all with the expertise available from a local internet marketing service.