The marketing communication process' sole purpose is to translate the promotional message effectively to the end consumer. The communication process contains multiple components that must be planned and produced with a message that connects with the target market.
Marketers must be excellent communicators. Why? They have to be able to educate, persuade and convince consumers to purchase their products. The basic building block of marketing is effective communication, which is the process by which we exchange or share meanings through a common set of symbols.
A local candy company, Sugar Rush, LLC, spends an enormous amount of time developing an effective marketing promotional communications plan. They have to make sure that they are reaching their core target market with effective product messaging through mass communication. This involves the communication of a concept or message to a large audience. Sugar Rush also has a large sales force in which they rely upon interpersonal communication methods in order to increase their sales distribution. The sales force uses direct, face-to-face communication between two or more people. There is a specific consumer communication process that occurs with a promotional message. We will use Sugar Rush's new television commercial for the Jolt candy line to examine how the process works.
The Sender and Encoding
Sugar Rush's new television commercial focuses on their new candy called Jolt. Jolt is flavored sugar packets with fun names such as wacky watermelon, cool cotton candy and pep pumpkin.
There is a specific process that a marketing manager must ensure happens to get their promotional message to the consumer. The first part of the process revolves around the sender. The sender is usually a marketing manager, advertising manager or advertising agency who is the creator of the communication message. In Sugar Rush's example, the sender would be the advertising agency that developed the new television commercial for Jolt.
The second part of the process incorporates the encoding of the message. The encoding is a process where the sender's message or ideas are put into some type of words or signs. The end result of the encoding is what the receiver hears. Sugar Rush's television ad is how their message is encoded to be communicated to the consumer. Other types of encoding are coupons, displays or outdoor ads.
Sugar Rush LLC decided early on to use television as the message channel in order to create an effective promotional advertisement for Jolt. Message channels are communication mediums, including everything from a radio to a newspaper, or even a facial expression. The Jolt candy ad will run on national and local television stations from August through Halloween. The biggest concern regarding selection of a message channel is the noise. Noise is anything that interferes with, distorts or changes the transmission of the informational message. Sugar Rush's marketing managers have to be concerned about noise that could affect how their television ad is received.
Other entertainment options could detract from consumer viewership, such as switching channels, using a DVR, the lighting and the sound of the ad - even if consumers get up for a snack during commercial time. There are some ways that Sugar Rush could prevent this from occurring. Most companies try to make the ads funny, entertaining, colorful and relevant in order to maintain viewership. Sugar Rush's Jolt campaign has psychedelic colors, fun music and cartoon characters who down the packets of Jolt candy and then have a burst of energy.
The Receiver and Decoding
A promotional message is considered a success when it reaches the receiver and is absorbed. A receiver in marketing communications is the person who decodes the message and is usually the consumer. Decoding is the interpretation of the language and symbols sent by the source (the television ad in this case for Jolt) through a channel (the television). The key to effective decoding is for the marketing manager to make sure that the overall promotional message is an appropriate one. The message should ring true with their target market. It is important that the message is not confusing or does not suggest something incorrect about the product. For example, Sugar Rush has to make sure to communicate that they are selling just candy with a high sugar content in order for their consumers to get a jolt of energy and not an inappropriate drug or caffeine mix.
Sugar Rush's marketing team has to depend on customer feedback, or the receiver's response to their message, in order to discover if the promotional message was effective. They can discover this information through surveying customers and other marketing research tools. Some companies run mock viewings of their commercials in movie theaters and then watch to see if the audience is smiling, nodding and enjoying the advertisement.
Marketers must be excellent communicators and be able to educate, persuade and convince consumers to purchase their products. The basic building block of marketing is effective communication, which is the process by which we exchange or share meanings through a common set of symbols. The steps that a promotional plan must incorporate to communicate their message to their target market are sending, encoding, choosing the correct channel, reaching the receiver, decoding and receiving feedback. The end result should be the communication of a promotional message to the consumer that leads to sales.
After watching this lesson, you should be able to:
- Identify the steps of a promotional communications plan
- Define mass communication, message channel, noise and feedback
- Explain what makes a promotional message successful