Often abbreviated to marcom by people in the industry, marketing communications involves designing and distributing messages in advertising. Specifically, people employed in this field aim to promote the interests of their businesses through several channels. These include direct marketing, advertising, and social media, but their work can also encompass public relations when necessary. In the hands of a competent team or individual, marketing communication is a formidable tool. Regardless of a company or organization’s size, marcom can be an effective method of creating new leads, driving sales, and maintaining customer loyalty.
Training to work in a creative and rewarding industry
Understanding more about the processes used in marketing communication is the first & essential step for anyone who is considering a career in this world. Roles are exciting, dynamic, and creative, and innovations are always changing how things are done. New ideas and approaches are always needed, so original thinkers who can stay ahead of the competition will thrive. People who want to develop their expertise in marketing communications, or other areas of this competency, can take an online master communication at St. Bonaventure University. This flexible course enables students from many different undergraduate disciplines to work while they study and then graduate within 22 months.
In this article we will discuss how marketing communications impacts businesses in terms of growth and brand identity.
How do marketing communications promote growth?
Marketing communications work promotes the continual growth of a company by focusing on attracting and engaging new and loyal customers. They do this by building individualized messages that meet customers’ needs, then distributing them across numerous channels. These usually include email, social media, SMS messaging, and in-app messages, as well as push notifications. The exact channel chosen for each person will depend on the preferences they have already expressed during testing or through filling in a form on the company website.
Retaining customers with loyalty campaigns
It takes a lot of time and effort to attract customers who are keen on a company’s products, but it can be even more challenging to win their loyalty. This is partly because people have so many choices, and locating a similar item is just a case of performing a Google search in most cases. Therefore, to maintain a healthy level of growth, marketing teams need to prioritize customer retention. This can be done through regular loyalty campaigns, such as membership programs that offer extra deals or other incentives, sneak previews of new products, and exclusive access to certain bargains that other shoppers or service users have to wait for. Customers who benefit feel they are important to a company and not just in terms of their spending power. As a result, they hold the brand dear and keep returning for more of what they have to offer.
Using existing customers to attract new users
What used to be known as referral programs have become far more prevalent and simpler to action through social media. Attracting new people through word of mouth is more effective than all other forms of advertising, according to a report from Neilsen, so teams will constantly test and improve how they design offers to maximize referrals. Deals that include the referrer and the new customer getting a bonus are often the most successful. All it takes is a few clicks for someone to share the name of a company, its product or service, and a promotion. As a result, this can be a very cost-effective method of gaining new clients.
Optimizing the onboarding process
Marketing communications can be infused into every aspect of the exchanges a business has with its customers. At the very beginning, when people are preparing to buy something or sign up on the website, there is an opportunity for the company to interact and boost brand engagement. The business collects huge amounts of useful data by asking questions about the products a buyer likes and how they prefer to be contacted. In the long run this enhances the customer’s experience and maximizes engagement.
Focusing on the long term
Trying to bring in new customers by pushing them to buy a product before they are ready is often ineffective, at best. Worse still, it can turn people off the product and the entire brand because they feel uncomfortable. To balance out the marketing process, teams will use strategies that build familiarity with what the organization has to offer. This allows the customer to explore further or make a purchase in their own time. Content marketing can be very effective in appealing to different customer profiles, especially when it is fortified with free offers, calls to action, and extras like eBooks that meet a need or solve a problem. Content can be shared through blogs, emails, social channels, and targeted adverts to boost engagements that lead to conversions.
How do people in marketing communications create a brand image?
Although companies may have set ideas about what they do and represent, their brand image can be at odds with this. It represents how customers see the products or services the company provides and the overall impression they’ve formed. These perceptions and feelings are rarely just based on advertising. They are also informed by the individual’s expectations, the associations they make between businesses, and their personal experiences with a brand. The success of a brand image is crucial, as it influences whether people feel loyal and recommend the brand to others. Marketing communication teams work hard to generate and then preserve a positive brand image. This ensures they stand out in a competitive market, connect with new buyers, and satisfy their loyal customers.
Keeping customers aligned with a brand
According to research carried out by IPSOS, consumers appreciate “brands aligning with personal values”. People are selective. They want the companies they use to have values and a personality they relate to. Multinationals like Starbucks and Apple are good examples of strong branding. To replicate their prominence, marketing communications experts will need to have a deep understanding of three key factors: the brand’s identity, the market they are targeting, and their competitive advantage – or the reason they are better than others in their field. For some, this will involve an audit of the brand as it stands, so the team can evaluate the image and consider how it could be improved.
Assessing the effectiveness of a brand image
When designing or tweaking a brand identity, the marcom team will consider the business’s overall goals and what its customers need. The identity they create should appeal to the target demographic and be an authentic representation of what the brand is about. A brand voice that remains consistent across all channels will be produced, providing a sense of personality. Once the brand identity is established, monitoring its progress will be an ongoing task. The team will react to feedback from consumers, as well as other metrics when making improvements. The data they gather will help them to understand how the brand is perceived, whether it stands out against its competitors, and if the desired message is getting across. Once the findings have been analyzed, adjustments can be made regularly to enhance the business’s image and revenue.
Expanding the brand’s image
Once a brand is established, the marketing communications team will treat it as part of their campaign and use its power to their advantage. This aspect of their work is about more than product promotion, it involves working out a brand story. The narrative might contain elements of the company’s history, more about its location and the people who work there. Like its commitment to social change or preserving the environment, the values the brand has are also very relevant. This story can be shared on the company’s various online channels or promoted through the social media pages of similar brands and influencers with the same values and public image.
What goals do marketing communication teams work towards?
The overarching purpose of marketing communications is to connect with the brand’s target audience. This creates an awareness that establishes a relationship between the customer and the company, eventually leading to sales. Additionally, it can provide information, boost traffic to the website, and push the brand up in search engine rankings. Once a potential customer is aware of a brand, the next task for the marketing team is to explain what the brand is and help consumers to understand more about the company. They can do this through direct marketing, advertising, and even public relations work. Finally, the combined result of this work should generate interest in the services and products a business provides. Campaigns will usually be geared towards presenting the benefits a product offers or the uniqueness of a service.
Why is building interest in a brand important?
Before people can buy a product or tell their friends and family how great it is, they need to know it’s available. Just developing and manufacturing something incredible is not enough. Any team that works in marketing will concentrate on understanding who the audience for their service is, how to reach them, and what type of message to use when explaining the brand. Brand awareness ensures products are seen by those who are likely to want or need them. By bringing together buyers and the product or service, marcom professionals condense the sales cycle. Through their market research and gathering feedback, they understand what people want and use this to showcase the brand.
Which channels work best with marketing communications?
Marcom involves a mix of channels, each of which reaches out to consumers slightly differently. Today, the digital world is by far the most popular terrain for marketers trying to find out which platform will work best for their company. Digital channels have several benefits. Primarily they can reach huge numbers of people without going over the team’s budget. Additionally, the team can use software and apps to track the progress of an entire drive or a single post. Digital marcom happens exclusively online, and campaigns are presented in media spaces. These could be through social media marketing, pay-per-click adverts, email or SMS messages, and search engine optimization.
Sharing posts on social media
Marcom professionals create content to share on social media platforms to build the brand’s relationship with consumers. They might share posts featuring products, show educational videos, or create stories that give customers some background knowledge. It’s an organic way to promote the brand and connect in a familiar way with customers, but it’s also very cost-effective.
Contacting consumers through direct marketing
This strategy will build on the insights gained through research and other campaigns. It involves contacting customers via email and text messaging with newsletters, announcements, and special offers. The team will craft and present a call to action as part of the message, persuading people to either sign up for a service, visit the website, or carry out some other action that could lead to a sale.
Marketing communication experts will optimize the content of their brand’s website to make it more visible to people searching for a related product or service. They will research the type of keywords people use, then ensure the webpage is full of useful content which contains these. Search engines prefer sites that load quickly and have links that lead to the right page. Therefore, the team will collaborate with the company’s IT department to ensure the technical setup is not holding back its marketing efforts.
Marcom benefits consumers and businesses
Marketing communication brings together consumers and the companies making the products or offering the service they need. Consumers rely on these messages when they make buying decisions and search for a new product. From SMBs to huge multinationals, companies are just as dependent on the marcom team. Their efforts help to sell products, keep customers loyal to the brand, and ensure the business continues to grow and develop.