Marketing Communications

For Marketers, you must understand the importance of effective internal and external communications in building sustainable relationships and delivering customer value.

Recognise the importance of communications planning in delivering marketing solutions, and of how product and brand management can enable organisations to deliver customer value.

There are different components of the marketing communications mix that are needed to understand integrated marketing communications (IMC) planning.

What is Marketing Communications?

Communications lie at the root of all organisational activity, whether in consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), not-for-profit or any other market.

New technologies and changes in communication models have meant that businesses must adapt and change as well. Marketing must take into account innovations on the internet/web, the proliferation of mobile devices and ‘apps’ (software applications), social media and usergenerated content (UGC).

Understand the key terms

Internal marketing

Gummesson (2002) describes this
“The objective of internal marketing within relationship marketing is to create relationships between management and employees, and between functions. The personnel can be viewed as an internal market, and this market must be reached efficiently in order to prepare the personnel for external contacts: efficient internal marketing becomes an antecedent to efficient external marketing.”

Relationship marketing

A marketing approach based on relationships rather than individual transactions. Areas in relationship marketing and integrated marketing communications “intertwine and reinforce each other.” (Chris Fill 2013)

Integrated marketing

Joined-up marketing, which is what all Marketers should be doing in the real world.

Marketing communications
The third P (Promotion) in the 4P marketing mix of Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

Integrated marketing communications (IMC)

Joined-up marketing communications, which, again, is what all marketing communications and Marketers should be doing.

Stakeholders

Individuals or groups who depend on an organisation to achieve their own goals and on whom, in turn, the organisation depends. Stakeholders may be:

  • Internal (employees and managers).
  • Connected (customers, shareholders, financiers, suppliers, channel members).
  • External (communities, government, pressure groups and media).
  • Target audience – The group of individuals at whom marketers direct their promotional or communication messages.

Marketing environment

The internal environment, the connected micro-environment and the external macro-environment.”

Marketing Communications and Integrated Approach

Although Integrated Marketing Communications requires a lot of effort it delivers many benefits. It can create a competitive advantage, boost sales and profits, while saving money, time and stress.

  • IMC wraps communications around customers and helps them move through the various stages of the buying process.
  • The organisation simultaneously consolidates its image, develops a dialogue and nurtures its relationship with customers.
  • This ‘Relationship Marketing’ cements a bond of loyalty with customers which can protect them from the inevitable onslaught of competition.
  • The ability to keep a customer for life is a powerful competitive advantage.

IMC also increases profits through increased effectiveness. At its most basic level, a unified message has more impact than a disjointed myriad of messages. In a busy world, a consistent, consolidated and crystal clear message has a bet