This blog posting will give you a brief, yet insightful list of the five important factors of marketing communications. Before you begin any marketing communications strategy, I suggest you first begin with a plan that includes an analysis of the five factors of marketing communications and how these factors will be part of your strategy.
You can look at these five factors as your blueprint for marketing communications success. Without understanding and implementing them, you are diminishing your chances of a focused and successful marketing campaign. The five essential factors of marketing communications are persuasion, goal-directed, contact points, stakeholders, and message. Read on to learn each of these factors.
Five Important Factors of Marketing Communications
Persuasion is the top pick of the five factors of marketing communications. Persuasion is the main reason companies engage in marketing: to persuade their target audience to take action, as in, buy their product or subscribe to their services, make a phone call, or give money. When Coca-Cola airs its television commercials or runs its print ads, it has one goal in mind, and that is to persuade the target audience that coke is the refreshing cola and that it brings the world together, so drink Coke!
It is important to note here that while the term persuasion may have a negative connotation to some marketers, and especially, the target audience, marketers tend to prefer the term influence over persuade. In either case, the goal is to get your target audience to take action.
If you are serious about learning about persuasion and influence in marketing, I highly recommend Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book, “Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)” or his book, “Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.”
All marketing communication is goal oriented. You need an objective when you set out to create your marketing communication strategy. Can you imagine trying to take a trip across the country and have no clear plan or goal on where to go or what to do? It’s the same thing with your marketing communications strategy; you need to know what it is you are trying to carry out.
Typically, your goal is to sell your product, deliver information, or build brand awareness. One question you should ask yourself before you begin your strategy is, “What is the outcome I expect from my marketing communication?” By asking this question, and answering it, you will start to formulate your goal.
Every successful marketing communications plan requires marketing message management at every contact point. Contact points are any marketing messages target audience receives. In other words, they are the vehicles that distribute your marketing message.
Contact points are planned or unplanned points. Planned contact points include advertisement, brochures, business cards, websites, or packaging. Unexpected contact points can consist of store layouts, the cleanliness of a store, and employee attitudes.
To effectively persuade your target audience to buy your product or service, you must successfully manage all of your contact points to make sure that they are in line with your planned brand message. Managing any printed or online collateral is easily controlled. However, unplanned contact points are a challenge. Developing a strategy for controlling the unplanned contact is critical to your success.
Stakeholders (Opinion Leaders/Opinion Influencers)
Stakeholders, also called Opinion Leaders and Influencers, in marketing communications are people or groups that can influence the purchase of products and services as well as the success of a company. Stakeholders can include employees, government regulators, distributors, and the media. Most companies find the group topping the stakeholder’s list are their employees; the reason is that if you take care of your employees, then they will yield better customer service and better in-store experience for the target audience. While stakeholders are not necessarily part of your planned message, they are significant enough as an unplanned conveyor of your marketing message and should be considered in your marketing communications planning.
The marketing communications message is either planned or unplanned. Messages are the basis of your marketing communications strategy with a variety of tools used to deliver the marketing message. Some planned marketing message tools include:
- Printed or online advertising
- Marketing Collateral such as brochures or annual reports
- Sales promotions
- Public relations
- Direct marketing
- Personal selling
- P.O.P. (Point of Purchase) displays
- Specialty items, such as printed t-shirts and tote bags
- Customer service
Samples of unplanned messages would include all other communications: store cleanliness (mentioned above in the section, contact points), distributors, employee attitudes, and even the exterior surroundings of your business.
Following the five essential factors of marketing communications helps lead you toward success in your marketing communications plan and strategy. The marketing message includes planned not only messages such as advertising or direct mail campaigns but also unplanned messages which can consist of employees or the physical appearance of your businesses exterior; Any potential message, whether planned or unplanned, directly affects the success of your business. Finally, the primary goal and the most important of the five factors of marketing communications is persuasion or influence. Your primary goal is to get your target audience to take action.