Marketing Communications question answer

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Integrated Communications and Direct (Digital) Marketing (Chapter 14, 15 and 17)

1. Define/compare the five elements of the promotion mix. Give examples of each. What is AIDA? In designing a promotion mix strategy, discuss when in the purchase behavior cycle (using AIDA) it is best to use each of the promotion tools

The five elements of the promotion mix are: i) advertising – raising awareness such as through mass media adverts; ii) public relations – promoting goodwill such as offering sponsorships to needy students, iii) sales promotion – marketing through discounts and incentives such as free gifts, iv) direct marketing – marketing directly to a customer such as sending personalized messages, and v) direct marketing – promotion through sales representatives. The AIDA is a four-step model that explains the cognitive processes involved in the making of purchase decisions. The AIDA purchase cycle includes awareness, interest, desire and action. Awareness involves creating awareness about the brand through advertising. Interest involves generating buyer interest by explaining the value of benefit of the product/organization to the general population of buyers. Creation of interest requires the use of public relations and direct marketing elements, while desire involves building an emotional connection with the buyer through sales promotion and direct (personalized) marketing.

2. Explain the methods for setting the total promotion budget and the strengths/weaknesses of each

The affordable method sets the promotion budget based on affordability. This method is cost-effective, ensuring that the organization does not spend too much resources on promotion. However, its use makes long-range planning difficult as it disregards aspects such as sales volume. The percentage of sales method sets the promotion budget as a percentage of sales. It allows for better long-term planning for increases in sales, but does not take into account the affordability of the same. The competitive parity method sets the promotion budget equal to the amount spent by competitors on promotion. It helps avoid promotion wars as the promotion budget is in parity for all organizations. However, it ignores variations in resources and objectives. Finally, the objective and task method calculates the budget based on pre-determined objectives. The method aligns with the specific objectives of an organization, but encourages promotion wars in the industry, which could be unhealthy.

3. Why is there a need for integrated marketing communications and how do marketers implement it?

Integrated marketing communications ensure cohesion in communication and minimize the risk of disjointed marketing messages that could be annoying and could negatively influence customers’ attitudes towards the company. Marketers implement integrated marketing communications by working with employees in other departments such as sales, advertising, public relations, and direct mail to collect and share data that will help in the development of a single cohesive, integrated message that is relevant to all customers.

4. What role does social media play in a communication and influence strategy? How do you use social media to engage customers in a way that they value?

Social media helps to create digital communities. Effective social media marketing involves engaging members of the digital community through two-way communication and allowing them to participate in the communication. Creating platforms for ‘sharing’ is one strategy by which social media could be used to engage customers. For instance, a company’s marketer could use a Facebook Ad to invite fans to an offline event geared at creating awareness on a product. The Ad could be designed in such a way that members are allowed to share the same with their friends via their timelines as well as on other popular social media platforms such as Instagram, and can then earn rewards such as free gifts.

5. Outline the communication process and steps in developing effective marketing communications

The basic communication process begins when a sender encodes (designs) a message, selects an appropriate channel and then sends the message to the receiver, who decodes it and sends feedback. Effective marketing communications involve a similar process. The marketer first determines the target market for their product/service and understands the market’s purchase patterns and demographics. The second step is to determine the objectives of the marketing communication, after which the marketing message is designed, indicating why the customer should choose the product. The final step involves choosing the medium of communication based on the marketing objectives and target market.

Services, Products, and Branding (Chapters 8 and 9)

1. Define product and services and discuss the major differences between products and services

A product is a tangible commodity for sale or consumption, while a service is an intangible outcome of work or effort by a service provider towards a customer (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017). Products are transferable and can be separated from the owner, while services cannot be separated…

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…competition’s costs and prices. Further, to employ cost-based and value-based pricing effectively, they require an adequate understanding of their production and marketing costs as well as customer value perceptions respectively.

Place (Distribution) Strategy (Chapter 12 and 13)

1. Explain why companies use marketing channels and discuss the functions these channels perform. Discuss how channel members interact and how they organize to perform the work of the channel

Marketing channels help to make a product or service available in the final consumer market (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017). They gather information on market research and provide market intelligence to producers, carry out promotion, and make contact with prospective buyers (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017). Members of a basic marketing channel include producers, customers, and distributors. In the absence of the distributor, producers link up directly with customers - the number of channel transactions is relatively high, which increases the risk of ambiguity and product replication. However, with the distributor present, the number of contacts is reduced as producers link up with the distributor, who then delivers the product/service to the customer (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017).

2. Describe the concept of shopper marketing and explain why it has grown in prominence. Cite two examples of how this concept works

Shopper marketing involves using in-store advertising and promotions to sell one’s brand to shoppers at the point-of-sale (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017). One example of shopper marketing is retail store marketing, where sales representatives are stationed inside a store to influence shoppers’ purchasing decisions in favor of their own product. Another example is non-store retailing, where sales representatives market to final consumers via telephone, catalogs, direct mail, and the internet (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017).

3. Principles of retail marketing strategy and the future role of retailers

Retail marketing strategy can be summarized using the 4Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. Under product; retailers market themselves through huge product assortments and unique store experiences (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017). The huge assortment makes it possible for them to offer lower prices (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017). They make place and promotion decisions that are accessible by the target market (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017). However, the role of retailers in the distribution channel is changing and is (will) evolve into several huge mega-retailers due to retail convergence. The growing popularity of non-store retailing, coupled with the merging of the different forms of…

Sources Used in Documents:


Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2017). Principles of Marketing (17th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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