For effective marketing communication to take place, we must understand the process itself of marketing communication. This means that we need to tick a couple of boxes such as clearly planning what we want to communicate, who we want to communicate with, how we can best communicate to our target audience as well as what we want in response to our communication.
In order to ensure that we engage in effective marketing communication, we need to make sure that the following bases are covered and that we are clearly able to identify these:
- Source – The originating organisation or group for the information being communicated.
- Channel – What method or mode would best express or communicate the message being sent. An example of this would be personal or non-personal methods.
- Message – What is the nature of the information that we want to communicate? Advertising the price of a product is different to asking consumers for their opinion on a product.
- Receivers – This refers to the targeted group or individuals that would best make use of, or respond to, the communication.
- Feedback – This is a measurable response to the message being sent either in the form of sales statistics or individual statements relating to the communication.
The main elements of a marketing plan
There are four major marketing mix elements in every excellent marketing plan:
- Product which is the item, alternatively, the service you present to the market
- Price which is the amount that you charge for the product or service
- Place which refers to how and where you distribute the product
- Promotion which looks at the manner in which you communicate with the marketplace in order to let them know about your product
If you know what your target market requires and, in addition, you have the correct product to match this need, this means that you have met the first requirement of putting together a successful marketing mix, namely Product.
The product that you sell fills a gap in the market gap which is not being addressed currently. To get this done successfully, it is important to know your target market as well as what they want in addition to what they need.
The maxim: “the customer is always right” has much truth to it as customers will talk with their wallets or, alternatively, publicly about your product. Therefore, it is important to listen to them as well as to act responsibly as a marketer to take their varying needs into account.
This is the second P of the marketing mix. The question to ask of yourself is if you have ensured that you have the best price for what you’re selling. If you are charging too much for your product, your target market will not be able to buy it.
They may not have the ability to afford it or the value of your product – in their minds – does not match the price that you’re asking. This means that they will not pay for it. If you are charging too little, the target market may have the opinion that there is something fake or cheap about your product. As a result, they may not want to associate themselves with this kind of pricing.
That is the reason why it is important to know what your competitors are charging as they may have their prices incorrect and, perhaps, you can provide a superior product at a better price. It all comes down to a mix of intuition and research.
This is the third P which drills down into how you are able to get your product to your customers. In other words, this is from development to the stage where it is 100% ready for purchase. As an example, you may be performing manufacturing activities in a specific area and you need space in order to carry out these activities. It therefore becomes crucial that you have good distribution in order to get your product where it needs to go.
Based on your product, you will have varying needs. For instance, fruit growers will need a team of air-conditioned trucks to get produce to the right sites. The other part of this is that you are required to make sure that your product is being sold in the right places. If you have your produce at the incorrect sites, then you will not be touching your main target market.
This is the methodology you make use of in order to persuade your target market that they need to buy your product. There are a number of methods to do this, the most well-known of which is advertising. Advertising is also termed “above-the-line” marketing.
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