A lot of people have confusion regarding what’s marketing? I always believed that the existence of our brand was itself a marketing— the way we delivered our products, the way we answered the queries, the way we presented ourselves on different fronts— whatever be our actions— they spoke for our company.
But off late, I have realized that our actions can’t sufficiently answer the users “the motif of our brand.”
And the belief has strengthened with the fact that not all customers know what they want; it’s us who have to cater to them the unique proposal point.
So there’s no point in restricting the vastness of the subject by focusing on one face of the coin and expecting the other not to exist at all.
This brings us to the concept of marketing our words more than the product, i.e., marketing communications.
So, what exactly is marketing communication?
Marketing communication is a process of promoting our words and ideology rather than endorsing our naked products and services.
It’s a strategic way to encapsulate our products and offers into awareness and propagating it to our audiences.
So, who’s our audience?
Anyone can be our audience, but before finding that— we need to figure out the reason for our communication.
So, we ask ourselves these questions to learn about our mission:
- Am I communicating to sell my products to the existing customers?
- Am I spreading the word of the existence of my brand to potential customers?
- Am I communicating to raise funds and attract VCs?
- Am I communicating with my acquirers?
Once we have a brief about our mission(s), the rest becomes easier for us.
So, what’s the marketing communication process?
The algorithm of marketing communication is pretty much the same as we communicate with our dear ones.
What do we do when we want to talk to a friend?
- Firstly, we decide who we want to talk to. (Audience)
- Secondly, we think about what we want to discuss. (Message)
- Thirdly, we determine the medium of our conversation— like text, call, social media. (Media)
- Fourthly, we select the messenger. In this case, we are the messengers. Earlier it was pigeons. (Messengers)
That’s communication in a nutshell.
The same algorithm stretches for marketing communication. Let’s get these steps in detail.
Audience (s), Message(s), Media, Messenger(s)
Level 1: Finding the audience
The audience, akin to your friend, is the one whom you want to market your message.
It can be the end-user or a decorated person from another brand, an investor or someone who could potentially buy your company?
He can be on any demography— of any profession— with your targeted age range.
Finding an ideal audience for your message will make sure that you aren’t firing blanks on a crowded-border.
But this turns complex when you want to target your message to the multiple-audience types. The message for the end-user won’t work for the chief product officer of the company.
Let’s say you want to sell your wallet to the end-user as well as Walmart.
You got to communicate in different manners to pitch both the audience.
So, how do you learn about your ideal audience?
One effective way is to note down who can be your audience, analyzing their values, understand which one is easier to target.
That being said, you still need to work sharper to know more about your target.
Be among your audience, interact with them.
Explore their designations— are they the buyers, do they make purchase decisions, can they kill the sales funnel.
Grab whatever comes your way from the user-generated content, and segment them into potential patrons.
Apply the similar process of noting down your investors/acquirers who could reap maximum benefit.
Level 2: Messages for the audience
The message is the content of your proposal.
But no matter how loud and clear your message is— why should anyone care?
I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell to random products that don’t tune-up with my daily needs?
See. That’s where you need to accommodate the message “what will they gain” from the products rather than explaining them in detail.
Making a timeline between “then and now” can allow your audience to understand the difference between the product they have been using, and the product they need.
Okay, they have read your message, but what next? That’s still a half-the process.
We don’t want to deliver the message only to sit on the couches waiting for them to hit us.
They’d never convert unless you give then an option to convert.
And conversion is not always about the purchase.
It’s accomplishing small goals and moving baby steps, which include— getting an app download, driving the users to comment, getting their email ids, etc.
That’s possible only when you give them a method to hand these little milestones to you, and call-to-action is the quirkiest method to achieve it.
Apart from this, your message should have semantics so that the targeted audience can relate it to themselves.
The voice of your message should be good enough to showcase the kind of ideology your company bears.
Apple wanted to promote white earphones contrary to its contemporaries, who used black wires.
The message was clear from Apple that it wanted its users distinguishable from the other brand users.
Furthermore, the context of the message plays a vital role when it comes to peeping into the focal events surrounding it.
The only problem with the context is that what may seem fantastic today may stale tomorrow.
So, your message should always align with the brand image and need not violate the context of it, thereby forcing you to evaluate the context before it backfires.
Level 3: Media for communication
Media simply means the channel through which you’d be delivering your message to the audience.
It’s finding where the audiences reside.
It could be on the internet like podcasts and websites, traditional media channels like TVs and radios, OOH/D-OOH, social media like Instagram and Facebook, and many more.
When learning about your audience, make sure to extract the data about the preferred medium.
That would save a lot of time in deciding the perfect media fit, and let you target the correct user on the right medium.
We’d recommend you to communicate on the medium (internet, social media, etc.) which you have access to and can control instead of the medium which you have no control over (TVs and newspaper)— except the content.
Also, the media of different audience groups differ.
A LinkedIn buff investor is more likely to find your white paper/offers/company’s mission on LinkedIn and not on Facebook; likewise, an end-user would prefer channels on which they spend most of their time.
Resort to ideas and strategies which talk about the judicious use of multiple platforms rather than sticking with merely one channel.
Level 4: Messenger of the message
A messenger is someone who takes the responsibility of disseminating your content to the audience.
Since they have weight against their names in the industry, their words magnify the value of your content matter.
Their expert mouths hone the brand image, and they perfectly sum up the cycle of marketing communication.
The type of messenger will be dependent on the nature of media you choose to project your marketing material.
If your preferred medium is internet— you can collaborate with expert bloggers like Neil Patel or if your niche encircles around blockchain— you can choose to showcase bitcoin enthusiasts.
You can also repeat the process with online magazines and well-known podcasters on the world-wide-web.
Similarly, choosing an influencer or ambassador on social media will give you access to the already cultivated audience.
Likewise, reaching out to the reporters and journalists for print and broadcast media, and letting them shed light on your subject will garner your credibility.
And last but not least, evangelism marketing— also known as word-of-mouth marketing— is never getting obsolete.
It continues to remain one of the most effective messengers because it buys your customers without really hitting your pockets.
Mainly because customers who blindly admire your products recommend and recruit new audience purely out of their beliefs and don’t expect referral reward.
Call them an angel-evangelist? Why not?
Note: Reaching these messengers can be the same as having bitter almonds— you made all the efforts only to get a bad experience.
On that note, using PR agencies can bring fruition to your efforts because they have links with messengers, and they’ll break the hard nut only to bestow them against the bitter almonds.
They also understand integrated marketing communication with integrated marketing communication strategy into the bargain.
The Key Takeaways
- Marketing communication begins with understanding its level of execution, i.e., audience, message, media, messenger.
- Interact with your audience.
- Cater the content which they already said.
- Exploit the medium which they use.
- Give your message a loud voice with credible messengers.