MARKETING ASSIGNMENT Integrated marketing communications is a core strategic activity used to build and sustain profitable relationships with various stakeholders. Customers are a critical target but other audiences such as buyers, designers, retailers, sales assistants, suppliers, etc…. are also important if an organisation is to achieve its sales and marketing objectives. MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS Marketing communications is about the promotion of a company and the product offered to the customer.
This is defined by (Fill, 2002), “This strategy refers to an organisation’s preferred orientation and emphasis of its communications with its customers and stakeholders, in the light of its business and marketing strategies. A marketing communication plan is concerned with the development and a managerial process involved in the articulation of an organisation’s marketing communications strategy”. Marketing communications is the combination of activities centred on the promotional mix, this is made up of the marketing tools such as; – ADVERTISING This helps to inform, remind, persuade, and change attitudes of the consumers.
It can also reposition a brand and help to differentiate a product from the rivalling competitors. This is done through T. V. , radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, internet, tele-text, pint-of-purchase, packaging, exhibitions and cinemas. SALES PROMOTIONS This seeks to offer buyers additional value to the product or service on induction, so as to generate immediate sales. Theses inductions could be coupons, store/loyalty cards, points for pennies, cut-price offers, buy one get one free (BOGOF), spend over a certain amount and get another free/ half price.
All these offers are to make consumers act now, rather than later. Therefore it is used to accelerate sales immediately and usually for a short period of time. PUBLIC RELATIONS This is communication of a company or brand through the use off media such as newspaper journalist. Companies do not have to pay for this publicity and it can generate interest as the journalist is giving a message good or bad (but all publicity is good publicity)to the readers about the organisation or its product. PERSONAL SELLING This communication is face-to-face dialogue between two people or a group of people.
A sales assistant will attempt to persuade a customer that their product is the best and most reliable. DIRECT MARKETING This type of communications uses one or more advertising media to create and sustain a personal relationship with customers, potential customers and stakeholders. Technology today such as the internet, allows personal and direct communications with the consumer. But also a huge part of the marketing communications strategy involves key decisions concerned with the overall direction of the programme and target audience, the desired position of the brand, the resources to be made available, the overall message and goals.
Also involved is the investigation of buyer’s behaviour with target audiences. All these areas are dealt with separately within a company that is using a marketing communications strategy. This is where Integrated Marketing Communications comes in, this has been created to combine and coordinate all the marketing tools, avenues, and sources within a company. Thus minimising cost and maximising profit. A more in-depth explanation of this definition must start with the explanation of both integration and marketing communications.
INTEGRATION Instead of traditional communication strategies based on mass communication, delivering generalised messages, to one based on personalised customer orientated and technology driven approaches, and this is referred to as integrated. DEFINITION OF INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC) Stated by (Fill, 2002) “This is the management process which is associated with the strategic development, delivery and dialogue of consistent messages that stakeholders perceive as reinforcing the core brand image”.
It is the integration of not only the different elements of the promotional mix, but also the marketing mix elements; -Product (Fill, 2002) “A product is more than its physical components. It represents the potential to satisfy a range of conscious and unconscious customer needs. -Price A consumer buying in unfamiliar markets is usually based upon price. Prices can prevent purchase because the buyer may think that it is not a reasonable offer for the product. -Place
Communication activities need to be coordinated in the correct way, at the right location, at the right time, so that the best impact is derived. -Promotion (convenience to buy) The correct advertising avenues must be used, in accordance with the company’s available finance. -People This is internal communications by the employees. They can provide great advertising of the company and products offered by employee satisfaction. This is achieved by the company having a good relationship with the employees and good training. A definition by (Fill, 2002) states the IMC is; IMC are more likely to occur when organisations attempt to enter into a coordinated dialogue with various internal and external audiences. The communication tools used in this dialogue and the messages conveyed should be internally consistent with the organisations objectives and strategies. The target audiences should perceive the communications and associated cues as coordinated, likeable and timely”. MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS Marketing communication is a process through which a company enters into a dialogue with different target audiences.
To do this they must develop, present and evaluate messages to stakeholder groups. This is used to influence the perception and the understanding the target audience has about the company and the product being offered. Effective communications is essential to a company. These companies operate in many different countries and markets, using many different marketing tools to their various target audiences. These audiences are made up buyers, consumers of their product but also people who can support them, for example, labour, finance, legal advice, manufacturers, and distribution outlets.
The different promotional tools used to get their message across to these different audiences are advertising, sales promotions, public relations, personnel selling, direct marketing, added value approach such as sponsorship by another brand etc… Various media types are used to convey the company’s messages such as media, T. V, internet, bill boards, and radio. Marketing communications stimulates consumers to buy the product, and depending on the quality of the good offered and the service provided (personnel selling), resale and customer loyalty to brand may occur.
This is the transmission of persuasive information about a good or service, or an idea targeted at key stakeholders and consumers within the target segment. Marketing communication centre on the promotional mix, this is up of the marketing tools such as – advertising, sales promotions, public relations, personal selling, direct marketing, sponsorship and the internet. Until recently all these areas were dealt with separately within the company. This is where IMC comes in, this has been created to combine and coordinate all the marketing tools, avenues, and sources within a company.
Thus minimising cost and maximising profit. THE CONCEPT OF IMC The overall concept is considered to be a means by which long-term relationships are formed between companies and between companies and their consumers. There are four different types of exchange; 1. Marketing Exchange – This is a one off purchase by a consumer, no long term loyalty. 2. Relational Exchange – This is a long term relationship with a consumer and the brand, the consumer regularly buys the product and goes for brand satisfaction. 3.
Redistributive Exchange – This is where a group of organisations enter into a collective unit and exchange because they wish to share resources with the other members of the group. 4. Reciprocal Exchange – This is the exchange of gifts, an offering of thanks rather than a money making exchange. The concept of IMC is explained by (Mifflin, 2006) as the coordination and integration of all marketing tools, avenues, and sources within a company into a seamless programme of marketing communications activities. The intention of IMC is to maximise the impact on consumers and other target audiences, at minimal cost.
IMC avoids the waste and duplication inherent in some organisations in which each element of the promotional mix is controlled by separate managers and may even be executed through different external agencies. IMC can be seen as strategic choice of the marketing mix elements which effectively influence the transactions between an organisation, its customers and clients. It gives a company the opportunity to link its internal and external communications, therefore understanding the needs of the employees, customers and other important stakeholders.
There is also the opportunity to make links with distribution partners and provide a coordinated and 2 dimensional flow to promotional activities. Also helps in reduced communications expenditures, and also achieving international recognition. IMC also makes it possible to employ one external advertising agency to handle all communications, which brings together sales promotions, PR, and direct marketing. BENEFITS 1. Provides opportunities to out communications costs and reassign budget. 2. Provides more effective communications and more consistent messages with better use of media sources. . Deliveries competitive advantage through clearer positioning. 4. Encourages brand development through internal and external participants. 5. Increases employee motivation and participation. 6. Makes management review their communication strategy. 7. Creates creative integrity. 8. Unbiased marketing recommendations. 9. Easier working relations 10. Greater agency accountability. The barriers that can occur to IMC; 1. Mind set. 2. Language 3. Structure of the organisation. 4. Elitism. 5. Magnitude of the task. 6. Adequacy of the budget. 7. Manager ability. 8. Agency remuneration systems.
ROLE OF COMMUNICATION The role of communications is stated by (Fill, 2002) as “Communication can inform and make potential customers aware of an organisation’s offering. Communication may attempt to persuade current and potential customers of the desirability of entering into an exchange relationship. Marketing communications manages and researches customer’s needs, identifying target audiences. Then the product or service is developed according to these needs and wants. Next the organisation has to make these audiences aware of the product or service through different distribution channels.
A promotional advertisement, using the 4p`s marketing mix, is then developed to communicate to the consumers/target audience. The use of the marketing mix allows the adoption to the uncontrollable external environment, but the internal environment must also be looked into, i. e. employees. This ensures a good image, attitude and perception of the company and brand is projected by word of mouth by employees. Effective communication is obtained with the correct selection and integration of various communication tools. BUYERS BEHAVIOUR
Marketing communications overall is the promotion of the company, its brands, and product or service being offered. Marketing can have a huge impact on consumers buying behaviour. Competition in the market place can create noise, so much so that companies messages may be lost, also consumers can block out messages that they don’t want to hear. Messages must be consistent and targeted accurately at specific stakeholder audiences. Companies must be careful not to send out confusing messages, this may be through sales assistants selling the goods with wrong information or misleading T. V. dverts. CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR AWARENESS | INTEREST | EVALUATION | TRIAL | ADOPTION Consumers have a process of how they become regular buyers of a particular product or brand. They gain awareness of available products through advertising – T. V. , radio, the mass communication sources. They then gain interest in that product, they evaluate, ask question about the product THE DEVELOPMENT OF IMC The interest into IMC and the reasons of the development has resulted from a variety of drivers. The main reason for organisation moving towards IMC is the need to become increasingly efficient.
These are separated into three main categories; Market based drivers; Greater levels of audience communications Media costs inflated Larger amounts of message noise Large amounts of competition and not enough brand differentiation Media messages not consistent, causing fragmentation Movement to another market, different target audience Development of networks and new alliances Drivers that have arisen from changing communications; Advances in technology i. e. internet, new database etc… A more consistent and a less confusing brand image The need to build brand reputation To provide clear identity
Drivers that arise from inside the organisation Provide direction and purpose for employees, i. e. employee motivation Increasing profit as the company is running more effectively More productive time management Brand is highly developed with a more competitive edge The need for changing structures and communication due to an increase in cross-boarder marketing Communication Theory Communication Theory is stated by (Fill, 2002) that “Only by sharing meaning with members of the target audience and reducing the levels of ambiguity can it be hoped to create a dialogue through which marketing goals can be accomplished.
To share meaning successfully may require the support of significant others: those who may be expert, knowledge or have access to appreciate media channels. This is the process of communication; it is the attempt of an organisation or brand to create dialogue with the intended audience. To ensure that dialogue occurs, each participant needs to understand and be able to translate each others communication effectively. [pic] Linear Model Fig. 1 As described by (Fill, 2002), “The Linear model emphasises the transmission of information, ideas, attitudes, or emotions from one person or group to another, primarily through symbols”.
The model and its components are straight forward, but it is the linkage between the various elements in the process that determines whether the communication will be successful”. Linear model is an approach aimed to give a clear message sent by the sender of the message; the message is encoded in the right way, so as the target audience can decode it, as it is intended, through which it must be delivered through noise, or other messages, these are barriers that the message must get through to reach the targeted audience.
Communication theory can help to develop an integrated marketing communication plan by understanding the buyer’s behaviour and also how communication works. To understanding “Communication Theory” will aid a company to make better decisions, give insight into how consumers buy, and what influences their decision in buying. It also helps in choosing the best method and media to use to ensure that the objectives of the company are met. Companies need to know and understand their customers, why they buy and what influences their buying behaviour and the best way to communicate their message to them.
Management Communication In order to all of this a range of communication methods are used, this includes such ways as through media. The media and methods used to their best effect, is to investigate into all of the above areas. The linear model is one of the best examples to how a message is conveyed to a target audience. Linear model is simple and easy to use but must remember that it can not predict consumer behaviour. Also to remember is that it is not always possible to predict how much noise is going to cloud your message.
The Linear model is accepted as the basic model for the mass communication. This model consists of a sequence of components and they are; Source This is who is sending the message, the organisation or company. The source of the message is an important element in communication. If the target audience thinks that the sender is not credible, they will reject or ignore the message. So the company or brand name must be established and speak quality. Encoding This is how the message is represented, whether it is by symbols, music or a icture message. It must be attractive and seducing to the target audience. The overall purpose of the message must be understood and easily translated by the receiver. With lack of research into the target audience, the sender may fail to understand the level of education of the target receivers and therefore the message may be encoded in a way that is beyond the comprehension of the audience. Therefore market research is key and many companies, like, (Reuter, 2008), M&S; spend a lot of time and money to understand their consumers. Signal
Once the message is encoded, it must be sent in a way that is capable of transmission. This may be oral, written or symbol form. What ever way is chosen, it must be the right one, and encoded in words or symbols, so as the message is received and decoded the way it is intended by the source. The message must be sent by a channel whether it is face-to-face, or word-of-mouth. Information received by a personal channel, such as face-to-face is more persuasive, whereas, non-personal messages, mass media like advertising is less persuasive. Decoding
This is the receiver understanding and receiving the message, how the receiver interprets the message is important, there mustn’t be confusion as then the message is wrong for this target audience, this may be due to the lack of research again. Receiver This is the person or group of people (target audience) how is intended to receive the message. Feedback This is how the target audience reacts to the message, are they influenced or persuaded to buy the product. Only through feedback can the source evaluate whether the message was successful.
Feedback can be gained from taking note whether foot-fall or sales have increased, personal selling feedback, has the consumers attitude towards the brand or product changed, has there been a lot of word-of-mouth about advertising, tongue in cheek or suggestive advertising can create buzz, for example Benetton ad campaigns, reference in appendices. Noise This is the final component; this can distort the message, making it difficult for the receiver to decode as it is intended to be read.
Noise can come in the form of other messages, and brands competing with yours. The receiver may also be distracted by uncontrollable factors like the phone ringing or someone talking. The message may also be too detailed or confusing for the receiver; therefore, the message is not received by the target audience as it was intended. Advertising “This is the paid for communication which uses the mass media and comes from identifiable sources”. One source of advertising is media, which is, T. V. , radio, magazines, newspapers, cinemas, outdoor (billboard)…. tc There are two types of press adverts. These are displayed and classified. There are different ranges of publication such as national, regional, daily, weekly, and each of these have a particular audience. This is known as a one dimensional form of media. Magazines have a huge range of publication, and are aimed at either trade or consumers, each with their separate target audiences. These types of publication have a long shelf life, as they are genuinely re-used, in doctor’s waiting rooms and hairdressers etc… T. V. s another form of advertising and it is a 3 dimensional form of media with limited airtime and has a high cost. Radio has a lower cost but tends to be a localised form of coverage and is also one dimensional. Cinema is aimed at younger audience, it is a medium cost, but is multi-dimensional. New media such as the internet and mobile phones have a huge audience. They are varied in ages, so you are target mass audiences and therefore it is a great way to advertise. It is cost effective and increasingly popular. It is also measurable and targeted.
Personal Selling This is a two way communications between the buyer and the seller, based on a personal contact. The different ways of personal selling is; One-to-one selling This is a personal situation in which the sales person can personalise the message for each individual customer. This form involves a number of steps and this is where the sale is progressed at the speed of that particular consumers needs and persuasion is then involved. A presentation or demonstration is another form of personal selling, this may be one-to-one, or a group.
This is more of a formal selling technique, which involves a presentation and then negotiation, to persuade the customer to buy. Telephone sales, or also known as telesales is another form. This can take many different forms which can be initiated by the customer or by the seller. The problem with this form of personal selling is that there is a lack of face-to-face communications, which makes selling harder. The chosen retailer/brand that will be investigated into the promotional activities of M&S, in relation to the following segments;
Chosen retailer Marks and Spencer’s This company was the choice of examination into the promotional activities due to the fact that this company has been through a few ups and downs within the consumers eyes; they have been a stable UK brand and a complete disaster that lost touch with its customers. In the resent economic crisis the company once again is in need of some retail therapy. This is due to the economic down turn; consumers are no longer predictable according to their income status and education. People how can afford to go to the Riviera are flying by Easyjet.
Consumers are becoming more cost aware and price savvy and as a result of increasing fuel, food, and mortgage prices, and reference to this is in the appendices 1. 0. M&S Target Audience Their target audience is very broad, as they have over the years expanded into many other market segments such as; List of M&S available Products and Services Footwear Clothing Kids Tall/Petit Range Underwear Luxury wear Formalwear Food Home wear Electrical Credit Cards/Insurance (car, pet, travel, wedding) Online/ Direct M&S Flower Delivery
Catalogue Tailor made shirts M&S have experienced problems through out the years but have still retained a large market share. Improvements can be made in certain areas that are beginning to threaten M&S, such as the huge supermarket chains like Asda and Tesco. They are starting to threaten their hold over the market and evidence to this can be seen with M&S doing special offers and price cuts such as “Dine in 4 ? 10” and buy one get one half price. They are also looking into being other named brand products onto the shelves bviously to compete with these large chain supermarkets (evidence for this is in the appendices 1. 1). M&S have moved into a more varied market audience and an example of this can be seen (Drew, 2009) here it states that “M&S has seen a demand for a T. V. embellished with Swarovski Crystals. That set me thinking about who exactly best reflects the taste of the middle class these days? ” this was followed by a statement saying “M&S was the shop of choice by the main stream middle class families, but T. V. with Swarovski Crystals was hardly the taste of their tradition customers”.
Although the target audience and the people within the target audience seem to have broadened, the company still sticks to their 5 key values; “Quality, value, service, innovation, and trust” An annual report and financial statement 08 Examining the report “Market Place Trends”, the market continues to grow but a slower rate due to the economic crisis, there is an increase in household bills and debts, which is having an impact on consumption, which is at its lowest since 1993. This has resulted in a growing trend of shopping online (due to paying security and easy).
Also an increase of shopping in retail parks has gone up due to choice, needs and a busy lifestyle. Particularly clothing spending has been affected and an increase in people opting to spend more on key pieces has started to occur and due to M&S high quality and luxury goods, they will be one of the companies to hopefully benefit from this growing trend. Trading in the future is seen to be rough in the near future and consumers will turn to trusted brands like M&S for guaranteed quality. So consumers know that they are spending their money wisely.
Segmentation Marketing is a process of identifying and satisfying customers and marketing communication is where markets develop communication methods to target a specific audience, to gain their attention and produce a desire within them for this particular product. To find out who they are, extensive research is carried out. The media, or promotional activities used by M&S, that is most effective, would depend on variables of segmentation such as; Geographic M&S shoppers tend to live in wealthy suburban areas and metropolitan areas. Psychographic
Tend to be active, with busy lifestyles Demographic Tend to be family focused; main customers are women aged 34 – 54 Socio-Economic Well- educated, successful, open-minded at trying new things and have large incomes Positioning A graph of M&S positioning is in the appendices. They aim to provide high quality goods to a consumer who is willing to pay the price for it. The message, the design and also the positioning depends on the relevant gathered information, or the variables identified by segmentation such as, how much they use and the loyalty of the customer.
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS OBJECTIVES Communications objectives are to raise awareness levels, to reinforce brand image, to increase market shares, to increase customer base, to increase shop foot fall, to increase penetration levels (more outlets selling products) and get into more stockists, example of this is Patricia Field, this campaign can be seen in the appendices and this campaign was a way to break into a new target market. To do this M&S had to use the correct vehicle and tools to get the message across to the target audience. To do his they use PESTEL analysis to find out the factors that are currently affecting the way in which communication of messages are to be achieved. This includes the political factors like EU legislations. Socio-cultural factors such as consumers demanding high fashion at low prices. Economic factors such as the recent down turn in the economy, resulting in less spending. Technological factors such as increase usage of internet, environmental factors such as the increase in awareness of consumers into the environment, and also legal factors such as the recent job losses.
The message must be sent correctly, to the correct target audience, so as to e cost effective. Communication can be achieved by using the promotional mix of the 7 P`s. The products must be what the consumer wants, high fashion and good quality, and on trend. The price must be reflected in the quality, consumers of M&S products expect to pay more for high quality goods, but in the recent economic crisis people are becoming more price conscious and expect more for their money. Consumers are also work driven and have less time to shop, so shopping in M&S has to be convenient, retail park outlets.
They have also adapted to this by increasing their internet access base of sopping facilities (examples in appendices). Promotion used by M&S consists of a variety of media such as bill boards, news papers (The Independent), T. V. (uktvgold), more information can be found in the appendices. PULL-PUSH-PROFILE The marketing strategy must then be looked into and there are 3 approaches that a company, such as M&S can take, based upon the target audience. These 3 strategies are all relevant to a company, but a high percentage of time and money will be spent on each section depending on the balance between the need to communicate with either the;
Consumer – Distributor – Other Stakeholders PULL PUSH PROFILE PULL This targeted at end users or customer. Branding is what works well for this strategy, as it can give a large amount of information in a small amount of time. To pull consumers in, to entice them and seduce them into buying the product, such as M&S seductive food adverts. This is basically consumer to product, through advertising. -Encourages customers to demand products and pull through distribution network -Creates high level of awareness -Change perceptions and awareness How to achieve; Modify the brand and redesign the product
Branding is a pull strategy, this encourages consumers to associate their attributes with a particular product, through seduction of sponsored advertising, and for example Twiggy campaign for M&S. Consumers who aspire to be like Twiggy would buy the garments she wears. Successful branding separates M&S from competitors by installing into consumers minds that they are superior and more up market. PUSH This is aimed at the members of the marketing channels also known as distributors, business-to-business, B2B, for example, Patricia Field new collection into M&S, reference in appendices.
Push Strategy – B2B -Identifies needs and attempts to satisfy them -Supplies sustainable distribution -Accesses new markets, technology and competition -Relationship marketing which creates trust -Identifies key accounts, this aims to develop relationships between parties KAM – KEY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT There are phases of KAM and these are; 1. Pre KAM – Identifies the key accounts 2. Early KAM – Tentative agreement 3. Mid KAM – Involves senior management 4. Partnership KAM – Joint problem – solving 5. Synergistic KAM – Shared values 6.
Uncoupling KAM – positive move when relationship offers no further value PROFILE This is the building of a brand image. Sending out a message about the organisation to increase brand image. For example M&S use a predominantly profile strategy. They are currently sending out the message that they are moving with the change in the economy with their PLAN A statement. Information into this can be seen in appendices. A profile strategy corrects and adjusts consumer perceptions and attitudes towards a product. Corporate identity, this is how an organisation presents itself.
Corporate image is how the target audience perceives the company, and corporate reputation accumulates extension of image. M&S reputation and image are one of quality and this is how the target audience perceives them. M&S use a profile strategy. They look at the future and set targets for each month, for example to have all recyclable products by certain date and reference to this can be seen in the appendices. They also use a large amount of a pull strategy through the use of advertisement, such as the long awaited Christmas ads each year, for example Antonio Bandaras in the 2007 ad campaign, ref in appendices to give more information.
PROMOTION TOOLS There is a large amount of promotional tools to choose from but it is getting the right mix that will achieve or fail a company. The promotional objectives and strategy have to be looked into first. The tools include Personnel Selling, PR, direct marketing, sales promotions, and advertising. Using the right combination of tools triggers the desired response from the targeted consumers. TOOLS TABLE One of these processes alone will not influence buyer’s behaviour. The range of tools that M&S use is; Sales Promotions
They use promotional techniques such as price reductions and special offers, or 20% sale days or evening invite only promotional nights. M&S use price reductions and special offers such dine 4 2 4? 10. This creates a push in sales and also advertising of the company. Packaging must be coherent branded packaging and M&S do this well throughout the company and reference to this is in appendices showing web – site and bags that illustrate M&S branding. It all looks the same and sends out the same message. Word of Mouth Every company use this promotional tool, including M&S.
Whether it be good or bad publicity, as long as the company is being talked about and being keep in the consumers minds. An example of this is when a free M&S voucher hoax occurred and the article giving more detail into this is in the appendices. PR This is non-paid advertising such as newspaper articles and press releases. This is important in improving a company’s brand and image. There is an example of such an article in relation to free publicity for M&S in the appendices. ADVERTISING M&S use advertising through a lot of celebrity endorsed marketing with the use of Take That, Lily Cole, Twiggy, Mylene Klass, and Erin O’Connor.
Using advertising is a means of reaching large audiences in a small amount of time. Another example is M&S direct, referenced in appendices. This shows the new web- site with extended product ranges. PERSONNEL SELLING This is customer service, how a product is communicated to the audience. The sales force must be trained properly. The shop merchandised correctly, and sizes found easily. M&S aim to have a high level of customer service by having one information desk centrally located in store and also staffed accordingly.
Through research by mystery shopping the staff were found to be helpful, friendly and knowledgeable about the stock, visible and readily available for any quires shoppers may have. DIRECT MARKETING This is the analysis of consumer behaviour with the aim to retain consumers. M&S use a number of channels like the internet, direct mail. This encourages 2 way communications between consumers and the company. This is done to gain understanding of the customers, their needs and wants, by analysis of gathered customer data. There are 4 frameworks that explain how advertising works and these are; 1. DRIP 2. AIDA . HEIRACHY OF EFFECTS MODEL 4. HALL & O’MALLEY The theory is that advertising can persuade consumers to buy and has been deemed a strong force (Jones, 1991) ATRN MODEL • Awareness • Trial • Reinforcement • Nudge This model gives the view that people can be nudged into repeat buying. Messages can be rational or image based; Rational is factual, slice of life, demonstration, and comparative. Image is fear, humour, animation, sex, music and fantasy. Media planning is complex today due to new technology and audiences are becoming more media aware and being able to block out adverts that they wish to ignore.
Media is the vehicle that carries the message. MESSAGE AND MEDIA The message must be coherent as not to confuse the target consumers. For example the packaging, web-site, brand logo should all look the same and give the same appearance and message. When planning media message and campaign the following should be looked into; M&S will look into; • Target audience characteristics • Product Characteristics • Market information, size, share and trends • Budget, media budget • Media scheduling The message that M&S sends through research is one that is coherent and obvious.
Their overall look and appearance is one of; “Value, quality, service, innovation, and trust” Concept and Benefits of IMC Is the message integrated, sent correctly and coherent? Through research conducted, M&S message is seen to be coherent and sent correctly. They use the same logos, colours, merchandising in store, labelling is the same in all the stores; the message conveys quality, assured satisfaction and luxury goods. This is seen right through the company, from food, clothing, home ware, and electrical department.
They use the correct media devices , for example they advertise in weekend newspapers as they know their customers are educated and like to catch up with news from the week, for example “The Sunday Times”. They are also aware that their consumers mainly are aged 34 – 54 and watch UKTV GOLD, their adverts on T. V. and their adverts are mainly seen on this channel. They are sole sponsors of this channel and the ads are seen in between nearly ever program. All of this information shows that M&S message is integrated and coherent. Part C This case study is about the business “Pure and Simple Fashions”.
They are a company with a good reputation for 10 years, aimed at younger women fashion. They have a competitive positioning which is repeated in their advertising, “Fashion doesn’t cost the earth”, this is a good slogan as it also gives the image that their brand is ethical. This is one of their main messages given to their consumers. The target audience or customers are largely made up of people who are ethically aware, and that is why they are loyal to the brand. The company has grown steadily throughout the years, which has been achieved due to their research and well-established positioning of the brand within the market place. Pure and Simple Fashions” has gained a lot of advertising based on the fact that the appeal to the “natural images from ecosystems around the world”. They have successfully progress the company, by moving into the European market and franchised outlets in many countries. Also they have developed their web-site which makes the company globally available to consumers. Recent investigations have been carried out, to do with unethical practice of multinational corporations. Due to these allegations “Pure and Simple Fashion” has been flagged up as one of the culprits to working conditions in factories abroad in manufacturing facilities. Pure and Simple Fashions” have gained a lot of bad press and their image of being an ethical company, has been deemed a lie. Loyal customers now will not follow the brand; they feel like they have been let down and lied too. “Pure and Simple now need to look into and resolve any issues arisen by theses claims. To do this they will have to reassure, redefine and reposition their brand and their image. The ambition plan to increase the market share by 10 % is necessary to keep the company profitable. Over the next few years a communication strategy will be put into place to reposition the company as ethical and high quality brand.
Contextual Analysis The company produces mid-priced fashion aimed at younger women, they are made from natural fibres that are grown organically and proceed in such a way that supports the environment in its notion of ‘Sustainability’ and working with natural resources without reducing the future availability of these resources. The company is relatively new in the life-cycle. Current target market The current consumers are younger women who have an active interest into the economy and the environment. We assume that because of the age, they are young professionals, who lead an active lifestyle.
Pure and Simple have had the competitive edge that not only does the brand meet the ethical issues that young people are concerned with today but also that the price does not have to unreasonable, as their slogan suggests ‘ Fashion does not have to cost the earth’. This is a competitive advantage over other brands in the same market segment. The attitude and feelings towards the brand is now apparent through the emails and letter that have been sent in there abundance to Pure and Simple Fashion, asking the company to reassure these consumers about their current stand to the allegations and if there is any truth is in them.
It may be true that maybe the company has sat back a bit and become more relaxed and let there procedures of a close eye being keep of ethical fairness or they may have been an easy target due to their ethical views. What ever the case, the consumers need to be reassured. PSF have always insisted that working conditions are in-line with “best practice”, even though this means that wages are obviously still lower than European wages, but as long as the message is reinforced that fair trade and good production practice is being meet then consumers will be happy and reassured and stay loyal to the brand. SWOT Ananlysis
Strengths of the company The fact that the company PSF have anew web-site needs to be used as a selling tool, this is opening into a target audience, internet users are a new huge market place, and this also adds a new order on line service to the company. Also, new distribution channels were defined by extensive customer relationship management software, which PSF hopes will enable the company to build a closer relationship with its individual customer. This will also help to increase growth into international markets and this is a new market place that is unaware of the bad publicity surrounding the company.
The weaknesses of the company These are the allegations surrounding the company; these can be addressed and rectified by reassuring consumers of the policy of the company and by applying stricter routine checks, which will make sure that all ethical practices are being stuck to by the manufacturers. Opportunities for the company People are becoming more ethically aware and will support brands for this reason, especially to the younger generation, as this is the segment that will be most effected by the continual abuse of the environment and planet.
PSF must target this market with new persuasive advertising both on the internet and media forms that the company know that they buy or see everyday. Threats to the company These are the new companies entering the market place, this is the one segment that is growing in a great number and continual research must be done to keep on top of competitors. Promotional objectives and positioning The objectives of the company are derived from the analysis of the communications factors affecting PSF. The corporate objectives are to increase turnover by 10% per annum.
This is achievable due to the increase in demand in ethical and organic clothing ranges, and also to increase expansion into the international market, by the development of the internet based web-site and this will provide on-line ordering service. This will help to increase the sales by 10%. Marketing objectives Is to double market share To increase purchasing To increase penetration levels All of these can be achieved by using a more efficient promotional mix. Marketing Communications Objectives
These are to raise levels of awareness among current consumers, to reposition the brand as ethical and organic product, and to reassure and redefine the brand to the existing customers. Positioning The market share will increase in these areas due to demand of products. In order to compete and achieve objectives, it is necessary to reposition brand, by providing a stronger point of differentiation. Promotion Strategies These 3 strategies are all relevant to a company, but a high percentage of time and money will be spent on each section depending on the balance between the need to communicate with either the;
Consumer – Distributor – Other Stakeholders PULL PUSH PROFILE The two which should be looked into is pull and profile Branding is a pull strategy, this encourages consumers to associate their attributes with a particular product, through seduction of sponsored advertising, PSF have to entice and seduce the consumers that their product is more superior to other brands in the same market place, they can do this by advertising the fact that they are increasing their ethical position by increasing their organic ranges and also increase their ethical manufacturing plants.
The message must strengthen the position of PSF as an ethically, fair priced retail brand that will suit the consumers busy and ethical lifestyle. The advertising must be appropriate to the target audience Profile is the next area which should be looked into; a profile strategy corrects and adjusts consumer perceptions and attitudes towards a product. It is necessary to build understanding of PSF by the stakeholders, employees and the local communities. As PSF are struggling to maintain their customer base, due to recent allegations. The key message should be that PSF are an environmentally aware company and a good investment.
PROMOTIONAL MIX Promotional techniques that must be used are Advertising This is necessary to reposition goals and this is best achieved by using an integrated approach, Television ads may be too expensive, so radio advertising on local stations could be a good idea, also the use of the internet, on the updated web-site can be used as a form of advertising and will give the most impact to a large audience. Posters can be used and leaflets, advertising a special offer or discount of 10% for a limited time, which will create more interest. Personnel selling
This will be very important; the sales team must be retrained to push the ethical policy that the company stands for and also the benefits of the brand itself. This will achieve the sales targets and also reinforce the brand position. Also a review of skill requirements is necessary to build new relationships and penetrate the sector. Public Relations The company PSF must gain free publicity from local and national publications. This form of marketing PR will reiterate and communicate the values of the brand and the company. Control and Evaluation Techniques Control procedures must be adhered to if the plan is to maintain on target.
The company will be overall responsible for control and procedure analysis for the next year. Analysis will be done on s quarterly basis. This will monitor spending and also the effectiveness of the promotional mix that has been set in place. Focus groups will be used to monitor the progress and development of PSF, brand image, and the reputation of the company. The objectives that have been set for the marketing and marketing communications will be assessed regularly and this will be the main form of evaluation of the integrated marketing communications plan.
Conclusion The overall assignment shows that integrated marketing communication is the core activity that is used to sustain relationships with stakeholders, because if the marketing mix tools and promotional mix tools are not co-ordinated then the overall objective and the results gained will not be as intended. The customers are the main target but you must also remember the other target audiences that are equally important and these are the suppliers, the employees, retails and designers.
All must e communicated to by the company; they must all be seduced by the product or service that is being offered to them. This in turn will result in the company achieving its sales and marketing goals. REFERENCING C Fill, 2002, Marketing Communication Context, strategies and applications, Pearson Education Limited, University of Portsmouth, ed 3, chp 12, pg 283 C Fill, 2002, Marketing Communication Context, strategies and applications, Pearson Education Limited, University of Portsmouth, ed 3, chp 1, pg 12 – 13
C Fill, 2002, Marketing Communication Context, strategies and applications, Pearson Education Limited, University of Portsmouth, ed 3, chp 19, pg 460 C Fill, 2002, Marketing Communication Context, strategies and applications, Pearson Education Limited, University of Portsmouth, ed 3, chp 10, pg 253 H Mifflin et al, 2006, Marketing Concepts and strategies, An over view of Marketing Communications, chp 17, pg 509 C Fill, 2002, Marketing Communication Context, strategies and applications, Pearson Education Limited, University of Portsmouth, ed 3, chp 14, pg 338
C Fill, 2002, Marketing Communication Context, strategies and applications, Pearson Education Limited, University of Portsmouth, ed 3, chp 2, pg 30 Linear Model Fig 1, google image C Fill, 2002, Marketing Communication Context, strategies and applications, Pearson Education Limited, University of Portsmouth, ed 3, chp 2, pg 31 www. reuters. com , 2008, Research and Markets: Gain Insight into the UK Consumer Insights 2008: Marks & Spencer Benetton Campaign www. Telegraph. co. uk, 2009, Marks and Spencer’s need retail therapy, pgs 1- 3 m&s special offers Drew, 2009, M&S moves into a more varied market,