If you are someone who has already qualified in Marketing, but you also have a talent for writing or graphic design, you may find your skills can be put to good use in the Marketing Communications team.
As a marketing professional you will already be familiar with the marketing mix – otherwise known as the ‘Four P’s’: Price, Promotion, Product and Place. (Though, I have noticed in recent years this has been replaced by the ‘Seven P’s’ which adds Process, Physical Evidence and People).
The promotional element of the marketing mix is generally known as Marketing Communications (or marcomms). It is this element that helps define an organisation’s relationship with its customers. The company does this through messaging via a range of media – all carefully targeted to suit their customers’ needs and preferences.
The aim of the marketing communications professional is to create communications that inform or educate, persuade, remind customers of a need they have, reassure and/or differentiate one product or brand from another. Ultimately you want to deliver messaging that your customers and prospective customers will react to. In so doing you will change the buyer’s behaviours or perceptions.
Marketing communications is responsible for building conscious and unconscious relationships with customers.
- Direct mail
- The sales force
- Print collateral such as brochures, posters, fact sheets and white papers
- POS promotions
- Exhibitions and events
- eMarketing tools such as email campaigns,
viral multimedia campaigns and social media
- Word of Mouth
All deliverables require careful choreography by professionals who not only understand marketing in its broader sense, but know how to create carefully targeted messaging and the best medium to convey it.
It is very common for stakeholders to want to put all the information they possibly can into one brochure. I have often been in the situation where a stakeholder will be determined to show the most intricate details and paragraphs of information on a pull up banner.
Clearly, this is not the most effective way to communicate. Perhaps a fact sheet with technical information is required, with a supporting poster hitting home the key message. As a marketing communications professional you should advise on best practice, and where necessary, you should be able to defend your approach. After all, that’s what you are being paid for.
Another important element of creating targeted communications is understanding the buyer’s journey.
Certain types of communications are more appropriate at different stages of the process. For example, a white paper is the ideal tool to nurture your prospective customers, informing and educating them, helping them understand technical features or concepts. Ultimately this helps raise awareness and carries them along on the journey to a buying decision. If they are at the researching phase, your customers will be less likely to be interested in a “Buy Now“ email campaign. It may be your job to advise a pushy product manager that this is the case.
Marketing Communication is the message that is delivered to the customer. This doesn’t just apply to your brochures or your website. Communication is part of the marketing mix and it is the cornerstone to your entire company message. You will need to think about what that message is and be a vigilant ambassador and promoter of that message. If your company name is synonymous with quality, then the collateral and contact points with customers must embody quality.
Messaging should be communicated company-wide, so that everyone can communicate the same message.
Of course there is so much more to marcomms than the points I have mentioned here. From time-to-time I will revisit marcomms as a profession, but if you would like to know more, please email me at email@example.com.