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Marketing Communications

Marketing is a rather broad ‘catch all’ term and encompasses a range of activities and different functions, some of which can be quite diverse. Marketing can also differ functionally between industries. In general, when firms talk about marketing they could be referring to:

Some firms can categorise sales under marketing, but generally this is a totally separate and discrete function.

Marketing Communications

This is the area of a company responsible for promoting the firms’ products or services. The marketing channels for this could include:

  • Advertising - which could be TV, radio, magazines, digital (online & mobile), newspapers, posters, transport
  • Direct Mail/e-mail marketing
  • Sales Promotions
  • Company Website
  • PR
  • Sponsorship
  • Social Media
  • Trade shows/Exhibitions
  • Client seminars
  • Company Literature
  • Corporate hospitality
  • Loyalty/membership schemes

Marketing communications is responsible for selecting the appropriate media for their product, target market and budget, developing the messaging and implementing campaigns. They are also responsible for developing the companies literature and website and the companies product branding.  They will therefore manage the relationships with the media agents and be the conduit for the product managers within the business. Most companies will have a marketing department responsible for their marketing communications. However there are also specialist advertising and PR agencies who only specialise in these activities. These would be employed by the firms marketing comms department to work on their behalf promoting their company or product.

The level and importance of marketing communications to a business depends on the industry, product and client interaction. For example most industries that are retail in nature i.e. business to consumer (rather than business to business) will rely heavily on indirect communication to their customers. This is because they are dealing with a ‘mass market’ and cannot get to this market individually via a sales team (too expensive). An example of this would be Cadburys. They rely on advertising and sales promotions to reach their target market. However an organisation selling its products to another business would generally employ a direct means of communication i.e. a sales force which would be more effective. In this case, they would use less indirect marketing communications, like advertising.

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