How to Communicate Effectively as a Marketer

Communication involves sending a message. Marketing communications includes every interaction where a message or meaning is shared between the company and a targeted audience. Reviewing the Marketing Atom framework, we see that there are four segments to this: direct communications, advertising communications, digital communications, and publicity communications. Within these, it is important to note that communication types often overlap. Email marketing, for example, can be considered both a digital communication channel as well as direct communication. Depending on the school of marketing you subscribe to, there may be differing opinions. Regardless, the four types of communications is a great place to start understanding the variety of promotional messages marketers can utilise.

Marketing Atom Framework by Peng Tiong: Communications

Besides these four types, it is important to note that the product, service, and value circles are located within the communication bubble. While these also provide other benefits, all three aspects of marketing involve communication. How the product is designed, service interactions, and product value all communicate to the customer. Neglecting this to pursue other forms of communication would be a mistake. The true aim in marketing would be to perfect the system from the inside out. When your value, service, and product are optimally designed, the other four types of marketing communication can extend your efforts.

I often say that when marketing is done right, communications is not necessary. By virtue of your value alone, customers should be flocking to you. I say this to illustrate a point: that value is the singular most important concept within marketing. If value is badly designed, a huge investment in communications would be needed to compensate. Value which is designed well however, would just require gentle nudges of communications. Assuming your value proposition is so perfect that any extra communication, then yes this would be true. In the real world, however, this is rarely if ever possible. Marketing communications helps boost your sales when your have a good value proposition, good service, and good product. If you are finding marketing communications excessively difficult to conduct, perhaps a revision on these three cores of marketing would be more appropriate.

Now that we have a good understanding of what communications is, why is it necessary? Marketing communications is necessary because of one singular truth: imperfect information. Imperfect information simply means that not everyone would know everything there is to know before making a purchase decision. In a perfect world, every consumer knows beforehand the exact value each product would bring them- including details such as how much benefit they would obtain, how effective/easy it is to use, how long it would last, and more. They would know everything there is about your product and every single competitor regardless of size and brand- allowing them to make an ultimate informed decision. Because this is not the case, marketing communications exists to bridge this gap.

The benefit of having a marketing communications plan is that you are able to boost awareness and control conversations. It is important to note that just by competing within a market, communications will occur. Without a communication plan, however, it will mainly be customers communicating to each other which spreads awareness. By having a defined strategy, not only will you be able to boost the amount of people who know about your product, you can also control concepts such as what they remember and what they associate with your brand.

The most common mistake regarding marketing communications is not having a plan or presence. Many business owners fear messing their communications up so much that they choose not to be active in crafting a plan. Remember- if you are not there to guide conversations, you are sticking your head in the sand. What businesses often find is that competitors creep up and nip them in the behind. That is when a consultant is called to remedy the situation.

At the end of the day, most consumers are very understanding when it comes to marketing communications. If you own a small business, they realise that you are not going to be creating multinational-corporation-quality materials to send to them every two hours. Just having some sort of message which you promote is enough to get customers curious. Having the basics of a digital presence also helps you track and interact with customers. You do not need to have thousands of likes, or hundreds of conversations a day. Just be there if someone has a question or wants to share a story, and you open up opportunities to connect and develop a relationship with your customers.

Marketing communications is often viewed as tricky or annoying- and sometimes it is. If you find yourself communicating with customers just to drive sales, you will get blocked out. As with everything in life, there must be a give and take. Give customers something to take home with them, and they may listen to what else you have to say. Be true to your brand and your ideals, and through your communications your customers will see your personality and honesty shine through. Communicate frankly, fairly, and genuinely- and there is little that can go wrong.

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