Marketing & Communication
Chapter 1: Integrated Communications
Marketing & instruments of the marketing mix
- The process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of
ideas, goods and services…
- …to create and exchange value…
- …and satisfy individual and organizational objectives.
—> Marketer has a number of tools to hand: the instruments of the marketing mix, which are
divided into four categories, called the 4 Ps.
—> An advertisement which discourages you to smoke for example is health communication, not
—> Marketing is all the 4 Ps; marketing communication is only one of them, namely promotion.
4 Ps of marketing
- Core product: the unique benefit that is being marketed, the unique place in the mind of the
- Tangible product: product features (quality, design, etc.) by which a core benefit can be made
- Augmented product: ‘service layer’ on top of the tangible product (it gives the tangible
product more value and more customer appeal).
2. Price: doesn’t cost anything, but provides the resources to spend on production and marketing
- List price: official price of a product.
- Price cuts are an effective way to attract customers, but they also mean losing margin and
profit & the customer will get used to it.
3. Place/distribution: process of bringing the product from the production to the customer.
- This involves: transporting the product, inventory, logistics, etc.
- Distribution strategy also implies maintaining co-operation between the company and the
distribution channel & finding new ways to distribute products.
4. Promotion/marketing communications (MC): most visible of the marketing mix.
- Involves all forms of how the company communicates with its target groups and stakeholders
to promote its products or the company as a whole.
The communications mix
Advertising isn’t a synonym for marketing communications just because it’s the most visible tool of
the communications mix.
Marketing communications: all instruments by means of which the company communicates with
its target groups and stakeholders to promote its products or the company as a whole.
- Can persuade and inform audiences.
- Can differentiate the offering from one company or brand from those of others.
- Can reinforce the relationship between an organization and its audiences.
—> Difference with CC: MC is part of CC, but is more focused on the outside stakeholders and on
the attitude towards brands/products (not the reputation of the company, for example).
Categorizing marketing communications instruments:
1. Personal vs. mass communications
- When the message transfer is directed to certain known and individually addressed persons,
marketing communications is called personal communications.
- When it’s directed to a number of receivers who cannot be identified, using mass media, it’s
called mass communications.
2. Image or theme communications (above-the-line communications) vs. action
communications (below-the-line communications)
- Image/theme communications: the advertiser tries to tell the target group something about the
brand or products and services offered. Aims to improve relations with target groups, to
increase customer satisfaction. to reinforce brand awareness and brand preference.
—> Positive influence on the behavior of target group (stimulate purchases).
- Action communications: seek to influence the buying behavior of target groups and to
persuade the consumer to purchase the product. Aims to stimulate purchases.
Above-the-line communications: synonymous with mass media advertising.
Below-the-line communications: seek to influence the buying behavior of target groups and to
persuade the consumer to purchase the product. Goal: stimulate purchases.
Advertising: non-personal mass communications using mass media, the content of which is
determined and paid for by a clearly identified sender (the company)
—> one-way street: no interaction.
Brand activation: the integration of all available communications means in a creative platform in
order to activate consumers by stimulating interest, initiating trial and eventually securing consumer
loyalty. It’s a tool to bring the brand to life through creating brand experience.
- Sales promotion: part of brand activation; sales-stimulating campaigns (price cuts, free samples,
- Point-of-purchase communications: communications at the point of purchase or point of sales,
also part of brand activation (in the store: merchandising, displays, bonuses in the shop/ads).
Online communications: offer new ways to communicate interactively with customers and
stakeholders via the Internet (online banners, ads on social media, etc.).
Direct marketing communications: a personal and direct way to communicate with customers and
potential clients or prospects (personalized brochures/leaflets, direct mailings, telemarketing, etc.).
Sponsorship: investment in cash or kind (time, effort, services, knowledge) in an activity, in return
for the exploitable commercial potential associated with this activity (Max Verstappen & Redbull).
—> Two-way street: they help each other with their goals.
Public relations: all communications a company instigates with its audiences or stakeholders.
- For example, press releases/conferences —> should generate publicity.
- Publicity: impersonal mass communications in mass media, but it’s not paid for by a company
and the content is written by journalists (& two-way street again).
Exhibitions and trade fairs: are of great importance for contacting prospects, users and purchasers.
Integrated marketing communications
Integrated marketing communication (IMC):
- ‘’A concept of marketing communications planning…
- …that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan…
- …that evaluates the strategic role of a variety of communications disciplines, e.g. general
advertising, direct response, sales promotion and public relations…
- and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency and maximum communications
The various definitions of IMC incorporate the same core idea:
- Communication instruments that have been used independently of each other are combined in
such a way that a synergetic effect is reached, and the resulting communications effort becomes
‘seamless’ or homogeneous.
Benefit of IMC: a consistent set of messages is conveyed to all target audiences by means of all
available forms of contact and message channels.
IMC is a part of a strategic business process: it should be the driving force behind the focus of a
company, so not just promoting products, but taking a customer-centered view and operationalizing
it for profitable brand building.
—> It is aimed at the customer-orientedness and building dialogues and profitable relationships
between brands and customers, stakeholders and prospects.
—> ROMI (return on marketing communications) becomes of crucial importance here.
Two important principles when designing and implementing an IMC mix, namely:
1. Consistency: all marketing instruments have to work in the same direction, and not conflict
with each other.
2. Synergy: marketing mix instruments have to be designed in such a way that the effects of the
tools are mutually reinforcing (bigger outcome together then all separately: 1 + 1 = 3?).