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Communication and Promotion in Marketing Mix

The final component of the Strategic Marketing Plan is the Marketing Mix. The Marketing Mix is the set of decisions about price, communications and promotion, product policy, channels of distribution, and customer relationship management. Only by addressing these elements can you actually implement your marketing strategy. I need help with communication and promotion part ONLY.

Please, focus only on communications and promotion, following an integrated marketing communications (IMC) approach. Such an approach delivers a clear and consistent message to your consumers. In a five to six page report:

1. Provide a detailed description of IMC approach and the corresponding promotion strategy necessary to send the message to the target market. (For example, the elements of the promotion strategy include: advertising, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing, and sales promotion) and how you would use them to communicate with the target segment. (Use the "outdoor enthusiasts" as target segment

2. Explain your rationale for choosing these specific elements.

3. Develop a strategy to measure the effectiveness of the IMC.

4. Has the internet played any role in how you developed your marketing approach? Why or why not?

Solution Preview

1.Provide a detailed description of IMC approach and the corresponding promotion strategy necessary to send the message to the target market. (For example, the elements of the promotion strategy include: advertising, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing, and sales promotion) and how you would use them to communicate with the target segment. (Use the "outdoor enthusiasts" as target segment
Let’s look more closely at what an integrated marketing communications plan (IMC) approach and how it is created:

Example 1: Creating an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan
The best marketing strategy in the world will ultimately fail if you are unable to get the right message to your potential customers at the right place and the right time. An integrated marketing communications plan matches your available budget of time and money to the most effective means for distributing your message. No matter how great your product or service, if your potential customers don't know it exists, there will never be a sale.
What Does Integrated Mean?
An integrated marketing communications plan has all parts of your tactics working together. For example, if your marketing communications plan calls for print advertising, the same theme of your print ads should be reflected on your web site. If your customer gets the same message and visual clues in both places, they are much more likely to comprehend your marketing message. By doing this, you will build your brand with that customer who will remember you when they are ready to buy.
Elements of the Integrated Marketing Communications Plan …
Your plan should include consideration of marketing methods such as:
Web site: What does your web site say about your company? Is it informative, easy to use, e-commerce ready? Your web site is available at all times, is it ready to speak for you when you are not available.
Advertising: print, online, radio, or TV. Choose the advertising medium(s) that gets your message to your target audience where they are likely to be ready to receive it. Use a consistent, repetitive approach to build awareness and recall.
Marketing Collateral: brochures, case studies, white papers. Your materials build and define your brand and provide the customer with an important look at your positioning and messages.
Online Marketing: advertising, opt-in e-mail marketing and links from other sites. Your customers are online and you should use the appropriate methods to reach and retain them.
Trade shows: How many individual meetings would you need to setup to equal the number you can have at a trade show. No other opportunity affords you the ability to meet directly with so many customers in a condensed time frame.
Direct mail, personal selling, networking and many more methods allow you to get your message to the customer.
Budget and allocate resources
Your integrated marketing communications plan must have a target budget and resources assigned to each element of the plan. Depending on the size of your budget, you will probably need to make trade-offs between methods to achieve your goals. In addition, you need to have the internal, or external resources aligned to carry out the plan.
A good marketing communications plan can take your marketing efforts to the next level. Test what works and feed the information back into the plan (Excerpted from http://www.rd-marketing.com/communications-plans.htm).

Let’s now look at two applications of IMC through discussion and case study.
Example 2: A Generic Model for IMC (to consider)

Although consistency is an important component of IMCs, the method is more than just the coordination of an organization’s outgoing message between different media and the consistency of the message throughout. It is an aggressive marketing plan that captures and uses an extensive amount of customer information in setting and tracking marketing strategy. Steps in an IMC are simplified as follows:

• Building the customer database: Databases are an essential element to implementing IMCs. Each campaign should begin with a thorough database creation or update to segment targets and analyze buying habits, and determine which tactics should be used in the specialized campaign.

• Targeting strategies: Strategies should be determined from business goals and analysis of customer data. These strategies are used to shape marketing, sales, and communication plans.

• Accompanying tactics: Once the marketing strategy (and objectives) is determined, the appropriate tactics can be implemented to specific target markets. It is important to remember that a variety of tactics will be needed for each market, because each market is distinct and therefore needs tailored communication processes. For instance, while direct marketing and advertising may reach one target, e-Marketing and public relations may reach another more effectively. Thus, that is your rational for including these elements, that each market demanded a different communication media.

• Evaluating results: Once the campaign has been implemented, customer responses and new information about buying habits are collected, tracked, and analyzed to determine the effectiveness of the campaign. These data are used for the remainder of the campaign as methods are tweaked for effectiveness.

IMC At Work – A Case Study

CommuniTech has helped many organizations discover just how effective IMCs can be in helping to achieve business and marketing goals.

For example, CommuniTech produced an IMC for the Outcomes Collaborative, an initiative of more than 20 not-for-profit organizations involved with child, youth, and family services in Western Pennsylvania, in partnership with 3 Rivers Connect (3rc), the Outcomes Collaborative’s fiduciary.

Specifically, CommuniTech developed a comprehensive IMC to promote the Outcomes Collaborative’s Evaluation StationSM product, developed by Outcomes Collaborative in partnership with the Corporation for Standards and Outcomes (CS&O). Evaluation Station is a web-based, outcomes ASP application that enables youth and family human service organizations to track services and ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a detailed description of the IMC approach and the corresponding promotion strategy necessary to send the message to the target market. It chooses elements of the promotion strategy such as advertising, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing, and sales promotion and explains how a person would use them to communicate with the target segment e.g. outdoor enthusiasts. It looks at a strategy to measure the effectiveness of the IMC and explains how the internet has played any role in how a person develops a marketing approach.

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