What is a Marketing Communication Mix?
Few concepts in the world are as vast and inclusive as marketing. It involves strategy, pricing, merchandising, distribution, and promotion – to begin with. As organisations buck up in the race to make their voice heard, marketing has somewhat transformed into a communications platform that revolves around reach and relevant messaging. Hence, companies no longer have a simple marketing department but a MarComm one.
To be specific, marketing relies on the vehicles of communication that are moved along in a customer-driven market. The destination in all cases is to add value to the existing products and services, delivering the information your audience needs to take action.
This is where a marketing communications strategy comes into play. Now, to ensure that the message reaches the right places, there are several tools involved, most popularly called a Marketing Communication Mix.
What is a Marketing Communication Mix?
In simple words, marketing communication mix is the way you deliver your brand value to prospective consumers while building long-lasting relationships. For illustration, if you are looking at a marketing communications firm, their entire job revolves around integrating various aspects of marketing to fulfil your company’s communication objectives. This involves studying each facet’s impact, relevance, and benefits and making them work in a synergised manner.
What does a Marketing Communication Mix include?
The most significant element in the marketing mix is usually advertising. But, its use is quite often misconstrued. You see, advertising is best known for being a paid medium that promotes your company on a large scale. But, most companies miss out on the leverage it can give you in the case of geographically distributed customers. Yes, it is a one-way communication, but when deployed smartly, it can be your trump card to brand recall.
2. Personal Selling
If there is something that customers appreciate above all else, it is personalisation. An effective relationship-building exercise, personal selling, helps move your audience from awareness to knowledge to conviction and, finally, action. The entire idea is based upon how well-versed your department or agency is with their people skills and listening capabilities. It boils down to how perfectly and instantly your customer’s requirements are met.
3. Sales Promotion
In a time where startups are pulling out all the stops to serve the cheapest product in the market, your offers, samples, and contests are what shall set you apart from the crowd. The catch with this aspect is to be very careful of your bottom line and creating a recurring value for the company. For instance, a loyalty card that offers discounts on increasing visits is a great way to increase customer retention.
4. Public Relations
A form of earned media, public relations relates to generating interest around your products and services in the industry. A piece of information is created, repurposed, and shaped into a narrative before its distribution between various media houses and publications. Check out the services offered by Axia Public Relations, for example. The objective here is to build a positive reputation for the brand while subtly announcing what the company is capable of.
5. Direct Marketing
Think of it as approaching your customers one at a time with extremely customised interactions. Used as a targeted marketing approach, it acts as a communication tool that has a specific target audience, call to action and measurement objectives, irrelevant of the delivery method. A common example here is email campaigns that add the incentive to visit the store or subscribe for future messages.
Everything, right from which boxes your product is packed in, to how your service orientations are presented, is a form of packaging. The aspect essentially drives how your brand is perceived by the audience and is often an effective touchpoint for customer success. Think of it as the last point of sales for your company. In an aisle full of retail products, the packaging is how you grab the shopper’s attention and hold on to it.
7. Event Sponsorships
While it’s quite common to see large companies paying up for sporting titles and jerseys, the trick lies in targeting the spaces where your audience is most likely to look. At the base level, sponsorships stand for supporting a person or an event in cash or kind. This includes your local gigs, games, and clubs. By being a part of something your customers already like, you associate yourself with a positive image.
8. Word of Mouth
This is the aspect no one talks about. With absolutely no costs attached to the vertical, it is the most powerful form of marketing and communication around. But, given the competition and landscape, it is also quite challenging. To generate a favourable word of mouth, you can start with getting the customers to try your products, setting up a top-of-the-line customer service, and reiterating your brand value at every touchpoint.
9. Online Marketing
The onset of the internet and mobile technologies have added a new aspect to the mix. Customer relationships are now built-in real-time on eCommerce, social media and web platforms. Today, creating and maintaining an online presence matters as much as having a physical store. In fact, the latter can still be dispensed with, but online communication is imperative.
How to make the most of a marketing communications mix?
So, there you have it – the 9 pieces of the puzzle. Now that you have all the facts you need to get started, the next step is to ask the most pertinent questions that will help define each aspect’s role in your strategy.
- Who is your target audience?
- What channels are they available on?
- Which promotions do they respond to?
Remember, this is only the beginning. MarComm is an evolving process that shall change as your company and brand grow.