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.

Should Your Business Be Using Facebook in Your Marketing Communication Strategy?

Introducing new and innovative marketing concepts into your existing marketing communication strategy can give the most confident of business owners more than a few sleepless nights, however, anyone who knows anything about marketing knows that you need to be where your customers are to sell your products or service and right now your customers are on Facebook. So while it may seem a little overwhelming and risky to go ahead and introduce Facebook into your marketing communication strategy, the marketing strategy of allowing yourself to get down there with your clients to learn more about their needs, and how you can better serve them, leaves the impression with your clients that you are truly interested in earning their business and money as well.

If you are unsure if your business should use Facebook in your marketing communication strategy here are a few reasons why you should:

1. 350 Million and growing

Facebook has proudly announced recently that they had passed 350 million members, meaning, if it were its own country, it would be the third largest in world. What better way to utilize a free marketing tool?

2. 100 Million U.S. Users
With over 100 million US users you are introducing yourself to the entire US nation of consumers in one location, with the potential for them to read about your business what you have to offer, clients can leave comments, and you can introduce a FAQ page from your site as well. This is the top leader in social networking today.

3. An hour a day

On average there will be an hour a day per Facebook user. This is more face time than any radio or billboard ad that you would spend thousands if not millions of dollars on for advertising, yet another great reason to introduce Facebook as your business marketing communication strategy.

4. Nearly 80,000 Sites Using Facebook Connect

Now your clients do not have to get online (at a PC) in order to get to Facebook or see posts, advertisements or apps. There are over 80,000 different locations online, and phones that offer the Facebook app. Currently Facebook is leading over Google as the main website as well; Just another reason to introduce your business marketing communication strategy to Facebook.

With these four reasons, introducing Facebook into your businesses marketing communication strategy becomes less of a risky undertaking. Not only is Facebook free for personal and professional use, you will be saving fistfuls of cash that would normally be spent on advertising, while raking in the profits from any new clientele you can earn through Facebook.

If you’re still harboring any doubts about whether or not to introduce Facebook into your business marketing communication strategy than perhaps you should log into your Facebook account and check out your competitors Facebook page and see what you are missing out on.

Mid-Market Company Marketing Communications – Five Tips To Improve ROI

For the moment, the economy is chugging along, financial markets are recovering, summer vacations are about to start and, hopefully, your B2C, B2B or nonprofit brand is growing. What could be better? Perhaps, your outlook for the future.

You’ve worked very hard to sustain your brand through the recent economic challenges, so perhaps now is the time to re-evaluate your situation, and focus on improving your marketing communications for the road ahead.

While competitors may be taking a breather, now may be the time for you to be aggressive and take a fresh look at your plans for the future, both short and long term. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you do so.

Knowledge Of Your Target Audience Trumps Opinion
Often, middle market brands believe they fully understand the wants and needs of their customers or constituents. However, consider employing market research to uncover their awareness of your brand, and how they really feel about you and your competition on various key attributes.

Doesn’t investing in research make sense before you spend your limited marketing communication budget? The good news is that research might confirm what you already know; the better news is that you might learn something new about how your audience really feels, and then be able to employ communications to correct what’s bothering them or highlight what’s important.

Understanding – rather than guessing – the wants and needs of your customers and prospects (as well as, perhaps, your own employees) can go a long way toward improving your marketing ROI.

Marketing Communications Audits Provide Real Value
If you haven’t recently (or ever) conducted a marketing communications audit, now is the ideal time to consider this tactic. Done properly, it will help you determine when, where and how to invest your time and money. At its core, you’ll be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your existing program as a whole, as well as how effective each tactic is in communicating your objectives.

The results of this type of audit will provide you with an actionable and coordinated road map of message delivery and spending allocation, across traditional and new media, events, content marketing, promotion and employee knowledge – and, like a financial audit, a tool for improving your profitability.

Promote Your Brand’s Anniversary
If your brand has an anniversary milestone coming up in the next two years, start planning for it now. It presents a unique opportunity to create a significant, fully integrated 12 to 18 month program, allowing you to focus on and energize your various constituents in a way that can’t be matched by your competitors. But recognize that, to be successful, you can’t just develop a new anniversary logo or throw a celebratory party. Like any other marketing tool, it must be grounded in meaningful and consistent messages.

Your corporate past is often the best criterion for your customers, prospects, employees and other audiences to judge your future performance. And, your 10th or 35th anniversary can be used to tell your story as effectively as a traditional 50th or 75th milestone.

Be Neutral When Evaluating Traditional And New Media
Don’t get caught up in all the excitement about the latest new media tactic you read about. New media does offer exciting potential and will continue to grow in importance. But don’t forget to consider traditional media. You might be surprised to know that, despite the advertising windfall generated by the Olympics and political advertising in 2012, total U/S. advertising dollars increased by only 0.9 percent in 2013. And, according to Kantar Media:

  • While network television and local newspapers decreased by only 3.4 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, between 2012 and 2013;
  • Cable television increased by 7.3 percent; consumer magazines increased by 2.6 percent; outdoor increased by 4.4 percent; free standing inserts increased by 3.4 percent; and, Spanish television increased by 2.9 percent.

Without question, digital media and content marketing increased dramatically during this time. However, you must remember that there are many options to consider. While efficiency is important, more important is maintaining your neutrality to understand and evaluate the relative effectiveness of each alternative in achieving your strategic goals.

Marketing Communications Consultants Add Value
Whether you’re a B2B, B2C or nonprofit marketer, your own resources are probably already stretched to the limit. Unfortunately, you may not be able to allocate the physical or intellectual capital to the short or long term tasks at hand.

So don’t go it alone. Consider partnering with established, senior level consultants to help you and your team develop, refine and implement your plans.

Look for consultants who aren’t selling one particular discipline or a boilerplate “one size fits all” solution. Importantly, any consultant you consider should have extensive experience across industries and brands, both large and small. And be sure they’re willing to “tell it like it is”, so candor will flourish. Apolitical, fresh eyes can be an efficient use of your resources, and can provide objectivity to the decisions you need to make.

Improving marketing communications ROI is a constant challenge. It may seem like a daunting task but, as Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”

Creating Great Marketing Communications: The Art and Science of the Written Word

Great marketing communications isn’t rocket science. Yet, there is a mix of science and art to achieve the right mix of eye-catching style, valuable content, and grammatical excellence. The skills necessary to produce it can be dauntingly elusive. And nothing can wreck the efficiency of precious marketing dollars than a mixed message or one that is poorly communicated. Some 45 years ago, when newspapers, radio, and television were the only communication vehicles, Marshall McLuhan stated, “the medium is the message” (and the 21st Century’s growing media choices seem to validate McLuhan’s famous quotation), and for business today, carefully considering multiple media for delivery of your critical message has never been more important. For small business executives, delivering your core message isn’t easy, amidst the flood of new and old media available today (web sites, blogs, social networking sites, podcasts and webcasts, e-mail blasts, local/national television commercials, radio spots, and print advertising). But it starts, as it always has, with the written word.

The current economic environment has spawned many providers of new and excellent services to help you with the art and science of marketing your business. But quality content still remains at the heart of any marketing message. In fact, it is more important than ever. Marketing automation technologies can churn out corporate messages in tremendous volume, but the quality of these messages (including the style, grammar, etc) can make or break your marketing effort.

Few things will distract a customer’s attention from effective messaging than misspellings, grammatical mistakes, or awkward sentences that must be reread before their meaning is eventually revealed. Publishers have learned that the reader’s eye can be subconsciously drawn to errors, like poor spacing, bad syllable breaks, and repeated words, breaking the reader’s train of thought. This happens regardless of the medium: E-mails or text messages are perceived by the mind’s eye just as a magazine or book might be. Text messages or twitters, which are intentionally misspelled or incorrectly abbreviated so that they are easily typed, are not always easy to read despite their brevity.

Many small companies have employees who can handle information technology or Web-related tasks. Consider the E-mail blast that mentions the July issue of your newsletter: One that you’ve spent considerable time, effort, and money to develop. However, the E-mail says July 2009 not 2010. The customer wonders why you’re sending old, possibly obsolete, information. There is a saying that a customer believes they will be serviced the way they are sold. The same can be applied to how they are marketed.

How many times have you been annoyed when visiting an interesting website, found some information that can be useful, and clicked on a malfunctioning link? It stops you (and other potential customers) dead in your tracks.

And many small business owners can relate to this scenario: You develop a product brochure to be used on the company website and printed for future marketing efforts, like an upcoming convention. The day after it is printed, mailed, or posted, you notice an embarrassing typo: The name of a well-known client has been misspelled. Or two product photographs have been switched. Or the contact information has been dropped from the back cover. Do you want to spend time and money reprinting a necessary marketing communication?

Editing and editorial services, in general, may be overlooked, especially in tight economic markets. Doing so, however, imperils a small business’ marketing efforts. Spending hard-earned dollars to upgrade a website, launch an email newsletter, use Google AdWords, or produce other marketing collateral, without having the editorial skills at hand to make that investment payoff, is like building a house on a poorly constructed foundation.

Does your business have the capabilities to generate distinctive messages with precise grammatical structure, pristine presentation, and clarity of thought? Does your organization focus on the written word, and how your critical marketing messages are portrayed to potential customers?

Infusing quality communications into your business development and marketing planning can mean the difference between stagnancy and growth. To optimize business development and marketing efforts, business executives (small or large) ensure that its core message is integrated into all communications, from business cards and logo tag lines, from press releases to product brochures, and from websites to client E-mails.

Most small businesses, particularly those with fewer than 20 workers, do not have their own Communications Department. Often, senior-level employees take on the task of communications as well as marketing and business development. Recognizing the need to not allow coordinated communication efforts to stagnate in today’s difficult economic environment will be critical to business success in the near future.

One solution to generating high-quality marketing communications is outsourcing it to an firm with experience and expertise is the wide variety of media that are essential today. communications and marketing services is one extremely efficient method for crafting your organization’s message, publicizing it through various media, and producing needed results, whether you’re seeking more E-mail requests for proposals, increased traffic on the company’s website, greater recognition at local business meetings or events, or simply more sales.

The ability to isolate, identify, and effectively deliver your message is integral to communicating with current customers and reaching potential new customers and different markets.

More Critical Reasons for Integrating Editorial Services Into Your Marketing Efforts
• A Web home page must use its words sparingly, yet clearly communicate your value proposition. Visitors will read a line or two from the home page before moving on, so it is imperative to hold their attention with your company’s message.
• A one-page company “Fact Sheet” is a perfect leave-behind or follow-up E-mail attachment for a new prospect. Its style should concisely, but precisely, generate a clear picture of your company’s strengths and differentiating features.
• A press release can serve to announce new contracts, communicate with potential clients about new products, build credibility by highlighting completed work. Yet, creating a press release that provides more than advertising – ensuring that it gets exposure–is the key to success.
• A periodic E-mail blast or company newsletter can inform and can help you stay “top of mind” with your prospects. It can provide value-added information related directly to your services. Writing a custom newsletter can be easy task with solid editorial support.