Quiz 1: An Overview of Integrated Marketing Communications

Business

Use of Marketing Communication in Recruiting Students Marketing communication is necessity in highly competitive market. Its aim is to: a. Inform customers about products, services and terms of sale. b. Persuade customers to choose certain products through certain mode of buying. c. Induce action for purchase decision of products or services, marketer intended to sell. Marketing communication tend to focus on connecting with market through social media and other web based services these days because customers are moving towards technology age. Easy availability of 2G or 3G internet services and availability of mobile phones at affordable rates has encouraged customers to get awareness about market online at any point of time. Firms have taken it as an advantage too in their marketing communication strategies. Depending on what type of product or services has to be market, the decision of selecting social media as marketing communication can be taken easily. Nowadays colleges and universities have started marketing their courses and services through similar modes as corporate does. Social media is most popular among youth, thus for educational institutions social sites like FB, T, L, TU, FL, G+ are highly used by colleges for marketing communication. Social media in itself is ocean that has wide areas to explore. It can guide the marketer about what type of students should be recruited. There are colleges who have outsource the business of marketing their courses whereby marketers shortlist the profile from social sites who are looking for certain courses through search engine optimization, then gather information about professional background to decide whether they are fit for the program college is offering. Based on this data information is provided through personal mail or social media. All the promotional materials about colleges are then shared with selected candidates to induce buying decision of their services or courses. Marketing communication model focus on reaching target audience to aware them and induce them to buy certain product or services. Thus, it is important to understand which mode should be selected to reach target audience in case of colleges or universities. Numbers of educational institutes have increased that has made the education industry competitive. Improvement in legislative facilities in granting license for running medical, management and technology courses have encouraged many corporate to invest in education business. Hence, marketing communication has become integral part of education industry too which has helped recruit the students by the various schools and colleges.

Concept of Synergy Marketing communication (or marcom) is communication of products or services to customers through various promotional mix elements such as, TV commercial, program sponsorship, public relation, personal selling, direct selling, sales promotion online marketing. Traditionally one element of promotion was used to market products or services that used to facilitate in creating awareness. In order to induce action of purchase it became essential to integrate multiple promotional mixes and hence, concept of integrated marketing communication (IMC) came into picture. IMC has helped in fulfillment of objectives of marcom, that is, informing customer, persuading them and inducing their purchase decision, by presenting a consistent message about the brand, both over time across communication media. Integrating two promotional modes such as TV commercial with sponsorship an event gives a synergistic effect. Synergy is the advantage company can have by using multiple modes of communication. Customers while watching TV commercials get awareness about the product but same product when they come across at some event can create confidence and a sense of trust about the brand that gives advantage to the company in inducing the action of customer to purchase that product or service. It can leads to sense of confidence that brand can fulfill its promise. Such strong impact is known as synergistic effect from integration of marketing promotional tools. An Illustration: A brand of sports shoe use single mode of promotion for example, online marketing to market shoes among diversified customers. The cost of online marketing and the revenue generated from sale of shoe may be comparing with revenue generation from use of integrated promotional mix. Along with online marketing, if company sponsors marathon or related event of certain community that invite audience that may be target audience of sports shoe then integration of promotional mix can give advantage to the company. Message from two or more promotional mix about sports shoe can give consistent message to the customers about the brand. It can produce higher message credibility than sum of two media when used individually. Customers can recall the brand that ensures awareness with creation of confidence trust via integrated marketing communication. Thus in this way the concept of synergy can be illustrated in the real world scenario.

Consumers are in Control of Marketing Communication The process of market communication starts with customer and then work backward to the brand communication in getting right message media to employ for the brand. All the strategies of communication about the products or services focus on customers to determine best communication method that can motivate them to purchase the brand. Marketing communication was done to market goods services among target audience but with technological advancement consumers are getting into control of marketing communication model. Blogging is most popular these days where users write and share their experiences or stories about product or services they have used with other readers and spread a word about the brand. Similarly, T, FB and sites like that also allow users to put information that goes in the mind of other users directly or indirectly and hence, buying decision gets affected. Widely used social media controls the thought process of market whereby whatever information is transmitted into the online media gets directly in the mind of customers. If marketing communication is designed on the basis of customers' point of view then it is highly likely that customers can fall under the control of information communicated by marketers. Most popular example is social text messaging services. Today there are millions of users of social text messaging services that has changed the meaning of social interaction or societal relationship building. People are very active on such messaging system that whatever information or images is shared immediately passes to thousands of other users in few minutes. Without understanding the fact about information shared users tend to believe and act. Customers' interests are only criteria of designing data to be transmitted into social messaging text system in the form of audio, video or images. It also allows users to interact and debate about certain topic to decide whether the shared data is right. Based on numbers of opinions, lot of more information can be poured into mind of customers that can move the awareness towards action. Thus, the contention that marketing communication is becoming consumer centric is to large extent true.