Campaign Model

1.0 Current brand status

C

1.1

Market meaning

  • Studies of branding have more often than not focused on it being a rational reaction to marketing communications. A more helpful approach is to examine the subjective lived experience of brands that consumers have.
  • Successful brands have emerged from a ‘culturally constituted’ world (McCracken 1999) where the purpose of marketing communications is to co-create customer experience rather than merely building brand image through personality associations.
  • Research by Levy (2003), McCracken (1999) and Aaker (1991) has identified meaning as being the key driver of consumer behaviour and it is brands where meaning resides.
  • Brands not only reflect people’s lives but also form an integral part of an on-going personal narrative which ‘braids the filaments of everyday empirical and eternal truth into a common strand’ (Sherry 2005).
  • Any marketing communications strategy has to first acknowledge and evaluate the market meaning that brands symbolise to users.

1.2

Brand history

  • An appreciation of a brand’s heritage is crucial to marketing communications strategy.
  • Brand equity comprises all positive and negative associations built up over the life of the brand. Brand essence is a sort of brand DNA from which developments and opportunities stem.
  • Brands have perceptual barriers which provide a framework within which consumers perceive the brand value proposition but may also restrict growth opportunities.
  •  Any communications strategy has to evaluate the market dynamics and the performance of the brand in its market category.

1.3

Brand portfolio or brand architecture

  • Branding is both the corollary and driving force of segmentation and positioning.
  • In a multi-brand organisation, a rational, structured approach to managing the totality of brands, and, at the same time, the broader organisational or brand narrative is called the brand architecture (Uncles, Cocks and Macrae 1995).
  • Brand architecture refers to the organising structure of the brand portfolio, which is the full range of brands, sub-brands and any co-brand arrangements with third parties within the organisation’s market/product offer, specifies roles, relationships and the different contexts that each market/product positioning will occupy.
  • A brand portfolio is the collection of brands which a company has at its disposal to help an organisation achieve marketing strategy objectives.
  • Each brand has to contribute to the overall portfolio equity and be consistent with the collective brand ethos and market positioning.

Further ReadingChapter 8 Building Brand Equity introduces and develops the conceptual underpinning of brand management and lays the foundation for the extension of the various brand theories.

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2.0 Analysis

A

2.1

Environmental factors

  • Good marketing communications starts with a context or environmental analysis.
  • The environmental analysis consists of:
    • environmental context (macro, local community ethics)
    • stakeholder context (employers, customers, suppliers etc)
    • business context (market dynamics, competitive positioning)
    • customer context (profiling, retention, profitability) and
    • organisational context (product portfolio, brand equity)
  • Market dynamics (market conditions, customer profile)
  • Objectives and strategy are dependent on the market dynamics and the environmental (macro and micro) factors.

2.2

Customer dynamics

  • There are varying views of whether marketing communications has a cause and effect impact on audiences: a direct link to action; only supporting decision making not inducing it.
  • A prerequisite for successful communication is a thorough understanding of individuals’ motivation which can help to position brands successfully to mutually benefit company and consumers.
  • The brand owner needs to know how attitudes are formed and what communication cues will be effective in affecting attitude.
  • There are basically two perspectives on information processing and how consumers respond to marketing stimuli: cognitive (logical reasoning) and hedonistic (sensory-emotive).
  • The consumer decision-making process has the following stages:

(i) Pre-purchase: the difference between what a consumer needsto purchaseandwants to purchase depends on the type of product, how it will be used and the context within which it will be consumed.
(iii) Evaluation of alternatives is the stage where possible brands in a consideration set are compared.
(iii) Information search marketing communications directs purchases by offering signs, information and associations and where to get information from.
(ii) Purchase: the meanings that are ascribed to brands are negotiable. It is absolutely imperative that marketing communications presents the brand in the social context of how the brand will be consumed. The symbolic content of a brand, in relation to consumer needs and the competition and how situational factors such as where and when the product is sold affect opportunities to purchase, is fundamentally important to successful marketing communications.
(iv) Post-purchase: the life-time customer value of repeat purchase is vital to companies, and the further spread of word of mouth essential to the adoption of product, companies have to build in this element of social intercourse to the brand’s narrative. The post-purchase regret (cognitive dissonance) which consumers experience may be functional, social, psychological or even ethical.
Further ReadingChapter 2 How Marketing Communications Works shows some of the sequence of decision-making models which have been the mainstay of discussions on how marketing communications influences buyer behaviour.

2.3

Brand meaning

  • Brand associations are made explicitly and implicitly in order to encourage linkages with places, personalities or even emotions.
  • Brand meanings - functional, social, psychological or even ethical - that are projected through consumption of brands can be highlighted, nurtured and even created by marketing communications.
  • There is a difference between ‘actual’ and ‘communicated’ product; the difference is perceptual: what consumers think and feel about the brand is critical. And marketing communications helps consumers link certain associations to a brand, to position a brand in the mind as well as the market.
  • Meaning can be generated by two-way dialogues.
  • Whilst consumers use marketing communications to actively seek out personal meaning (McCracken 2005) through the consumption of brands, meaning is of course dependent upon the cultural context within which consumption occurs.

Further ReadingChapter 1 Introduction to Marketing Communications introduces the student to the debate on the meaning of consumption created by marketing communications.

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3.0 Marketing Communication objectives

M

3.1

Marketing objectives

  • Marketing objectives differ from communication objectives in that they focus on the achieving corporate goals.
  • Marketing objectives are about action for products, markets, sales and profits.
  • They deal with objectives at the functional level.
  • Overall marketing objectives are hard-nosed sales, market share and profit-oriented goals, and any long-term brand building has to be underpinned by sales.

3.2

Communication effects and objectives

  • Communication effects are the buyer states that are required (e.g. being aware of the brand) in order to affect customer purchase; objectives are the specific targets (e.g. unprompted recall from an advertising campaign of a brand’s message) to be achieved by marketing communications.
  • A good framework within which to examine communication effects would include target audience, media targets (who are influential on the dissemination of information and development of brand image), and ‘creative targets’ (the decision role-players in the purchase).
  • Communication objectives may be cognitive (awareness, knowledge, information gathering), affective (liking, preference, conviction) or conative (purchase, action).
  • Dominance in a category can be a vital ingredient in the battle against competition. Marketing communications objectives will be focused on two essential customer measures: brand loyalty and category satisfaction. Successful brands will ‘own the category’ and become synonymous with the need being fulfilled. These brands become exemplars and are yardsticks for consumers to evaluate alternatives and for competitors to emulate.

Further ReadingChapter 4 Marketing Communications Effects and Objectives describes the need for accurate and deliberate objectives in order to achieve successful marketing communications.

3.3

Communications Mix

  • The marketing communications mix is the collection of communication components which can be used to construct and maintain dialogues with target audiences.
  • It is a type of menu subset of the marketing mix used to achieve the communication goals and objectives of marketing communications strategy and includes advertising, public relations, direct marketing, promotional activities and face-to-face sales.
  • These are the tactical elements which must be integrated in order to provide ‘one-voice’ messages which help achieve communication campaign objectives and positioning for the brand.
  • The communication mix spans the two parameters of personal (aimed at managing sales, service and customer contact) and non-personal communications (aimed at managing image and building the brand).

Further ReadingChapter 10 Marketing Communications Mix examines the range of tactical communication tools available for the marketer to help achieve the objectives of successful marketing communications.

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4.0 Planning

P

4.1

Budget

  • The setting of marketing communications budgets is always a source of debate in organisations, and exposes differing perspectives on whether marketing communications is a cost or an investment, or if there is cause-and-effect input/output scientific objectivity to its deployment.
  • Some of the tried-and-trusted methods are listed below:
    • Arbitrary: management responds to environmental factors, made on the basis of market conditions, competitive activities and changing brand requirements.
    • All that you can afford: expediency of cash flow and even survival might condition how much the organisation can afford.
    • Historic basis: the assumption that previous levels of expenditure, cause-and-effect results and the appropriateness of the message, media and mix have been successfully deployed may well be a good basis to retrospectively examine the impacts of marketing communications.
    • Competitive parity: matching spend with competitors to achieve relative positioning, ‘share of voice’ or even psychological equity can often be an appropriate method of budget setting, especially for challenger brands which seek category comparison or competitive parity.
    • Percentage of sales: some organisations have a fixed formula proportionate amount based on expected level of sales.
    • Experiment and test: controlled experiments may prove the efficacy of campaign components within a sample market.
    • Modelling and simulation: based on industry norms, competitive parity, previous campaigns, test markets and use of proprietary software, a sophisticated model can be used to simulate possible budgeting scenarios.
    • Objectives and task: by far the best method of setting budgets is to assess what changes or reinforcement in target market behaviour and purchase intentions have to be affected in order to achieve marketing objectives by ‘zero budgeting’.  standpoint: how much will a specific input cost to achieve a specific outcome and how appropriate is that expenditure likely to be?

Further ReadingChapter 5 Marketing Communications Strategy and Planning introduces the techniques of budgeting and discusses the objective requirement for careful preparation of the financial aspects of campaign planning.

4.2

Strategic Positioning

  • Positioning plays a pivotal role in marketing strategy because it links market analysis and competitive analysis to internal corporate analysis.
  • Strategic positioning is about a brand’s territorial rights: claiming, establishing and maintaining a product/market space in the target market segment and a mind space in the consciousness of the target audience.
  • Two factors are particularly important in creating and developing a long-term brand value proposition: the capacity to build strong, favourable and unique associations with the brand; and the budget to develop an ongoing brand narrative.
  • In an overcrowded marketplace, positioning can be considered as being a systematic approach to finding a space for dialogue with an audience.
  • Clarity is required more than anything in communications, and positioning is at the very heart of establishing the clarity of a brand.

Further ReadingChapter 6 Strategic Positioning discusses the importance of establishing a brand’s territorial rights: claiming, establishing and maintaining a product/market space in the target market segment and a mind space in the consciousness of the target audience.

4.3

Tactical Positioning

  • The brand must have a strategic positioning which identifies an enduring position in the product category.
  • This must be underpinned and reinforced by a range of carefully selected tools and media: the tactics and techniques of positioning.
  • An understanding of the link between positioning strategy and tactics is required in order to appreciate how they contribute to brand equity and help to create ‘meaning’ for consumers
  • An examination of the communicative aspects of different brand elements such as brand name, logotype, typeface and packaging needs to be undertaken to help improve the current brand position
  • Tactical use of other brands (e.g. comparative advertising, advertising alliances and context effects) is also needed to strengthen the brand’s positioning.

Further ReadingChapter 7 Tactics and Techniques of Positioning explains and critiques the range of tactics and techniques of positioning and how this helps to underpin and reinforce the brand’s strategic positioning.

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5.0 Application

A

5.1

Communications mix management

  • In order to achieve objectives, communications strategy uses the tactics of the communication mix: the ‘mix’ of advertising, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing and sales promotion.
  • The management of the tactical elements of marketing communications has be integrated in order to provide ‘one-voice’ messages which help achieve communication campaign objectives and positioning for the brand.
  • Management of the mix must take into account the environmental factors which affect the marketing communications mix.
  • Must be used to build both long-term loyalty and equity and also ad hoc short-term expediencies.
  • Must appreciate and manage the different roles (e.g. creating awareness, reinforcing image or stimulating traffic flow) that are required from the application of communication mix components and how they reinforce each other.

Further ReadingChapter 10 The Marketing Communications Mix is an introduction to the collection of communication components which can be used to construct and maintain dialogues with target audiences.

5.2

Media

  • A full appreciation and analysis of the macro and micro environment must be undertaken before, during and after campaigns take place.
  • In order to ensure the most effective messages are placed in the correct media and target audiences engage with communications in a mutually beneficial manner, all mix components, and their total effects, must be evaluated.
  • Some elements are partly controllable – the effectiveness and efficiency of budgeted components of the mix – and some impact and may constrain ethical practices, regulatory restrictions and general environmental issues.
  • Measurement allows analysis of the various components of the application of marketing communications: the current dynamics of the market sector; the category need; target audience behaviour; message content; the different ways we might create communication messages; possible media channels in which to carry that communication; and a critical assessment of the suitability of the individual communication elements.
  • Evaluation, on the other hand, allows interpretation of these measures in order to properly gauge the impacts over time. Therefore, we need to measure metrics and evaluate effectiveness.

Further ReadingChapter 13 Media Concepts and Media Planning introduces the various concepts, techniques and approaches to planning the schedule for media.

5.3

Creative platform

  • Processing information through a central route (e.g. the Elaboration Likelihood Model describes a highly motivated consumer with the ability to make rational decisions.
  • The peripheral route places less emphasis on the cognitive process of processing and supports the view that elements such as advertising design, celebrity endorsement, music and so on, have a greater impact by reinforcing behaviour.
  • Ehrenberg (1997) refers to a ‘nudging’ stage in the build up of the aggregate communication effects of awareness, trial and reinforcement.
  • Cognition, affect and experience are integral components of behavioural change in marketing, and the driving force of the marketing communications mix has traditionally been media-based advertising.
  • The communicated message has to build the brand and create desirable associations to it, as well as encouraging target audience involvement and stimulate purchase.  

Further ReadingChapter 11 Advertising Strategy is specifically about the development and implementation of the creative and media strategy proposals for executing the creative messages with a media schedule of where these messages will appear. Although advertising strategy is given primacy, this chapter discusses how it acts as a template for other communications components in terms of its ability to create awareness, image and develop customer relationships through brand engagement.

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6.0 Implementation

I

6.1

Creative implementation

  • The creative elements of advertising which are used to help achieve strategy.
  • Advertising is still the major component and in some ways the driving force of the marketing communications mix, although the creative principles are applied, where appropriate, to other communication tools as well.
  • Covers the tactical approaches to executing strategy which focus on finding forms for the message that will catch the target audience’s attention, invite them to process information and enhance conviction.
  • Creative methods can be used to design communication that gets through the noise, is processed and is convincing. All the tools and tricks are based on research of how people work and how they process information.

Further ReadingChapter 12 Advertising Creativity is about all the creative elements used to help achieve strategy. Advertising, in some ways the driving force of the marketing communications mix, is given prominence, but the creative principles are also applied to other communication tools.

6.2

Media implementation

  • Media planning is broadly the process of finding the most cost-effective means of delivering communications to prospective and existing customers, and includes all channel brand encounters which deliver dialogue to key stakeholders in mass or specialised audiences.
  • On a ‘macro’ level, the marketer must decide upon the total amount of communication that is needed to reach the set objectives.
  • On a ‘micro’ level, the marketer must determine the allocation of communication resources over time and between media, as well as taking target groups, market situation, competitors, and product and message characteristics into account.
  • There has to be a balance between effectiveness, efficiency and economy.
  • Whilst the main objective is to achieve the strongest effect possible, it has to be accomplished with least cost and least waste. To do this systematically, modelling is used to map out the media schedules (where, when, and how often the advertising is placed in media) that give the strongest effects, whereas optimisation means finding the least expensive solution for the selected schedules.

Further ReadingChapter 13 Media Concepts and Media Planning discusses in detail the characteristics and logic of media planning and the need for an accurate understanding of the various techniques and approaches to planning the media component of campaigns.

6.3

Production implementation
Further ReadingBoth Chapter 11 Advertising Strategy and Chapter 13 Media Concepts and Media Planning introduce the student to the practical application of marketing communications.

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7.0 Goal evaluation

G

7.1

Media measurements

  • A full appreciation and analysis of the macro and micro environment must be undertaken before, during and after campaigns take place.
  • In order to ensure the most effective messages are placed in the correct media and target audiences engage with communications in a mutually beneficial manner, all mix components, and their total effects, must be evaluated.
  • Some elements are partly controllable – the effectiveness and efficiency of budgeted components of the mix – and some impact and may constrain ethical practices, regulatory restrictions and general environmental issues.
  • Measurement allows analysis of the various components of the application of marketing communications: the current dynamics of the market sector; the category need; target audience behaviour; message content; the different ways we might create communication messages; possible media channels in which to carry that communication; and a critical assessment of the suitability of the individual communication elements.
  • Evaluation, on the other hand, allows interpretation of these measures in order to properly gauge the impacts over time. Therefore, we need to measure metrics and evaluate effectiveness.

Further ReadingChapter 17 Evaluating Marketing Communications examines the formal and informal, planned and ad hoc metrics used to evaluate marketing communications with a full contextual explanation of the relevant evaluation and measurement techniques.

7.2

Ethical considerations

  • Good communications with target audiences and the broader stakeholder community must consider the evaluation of ethical, regulatory and environmental issues.
  • Whilst the issues of ethics, regulation and environmental dynamics can be examined separately, they are inextricably linked to marketing communications strategy.
  • Unethical marketing practices may lead to greater control either within a formal framework or through industry or competitive self-regulation.
  • Changing consumer and societal conditions will require constant monitoring, control and reassessment of how and where media and messages are delivered to target audiences.
  • Moral conduct may be enforced by regulation or competitive pressure, formal, legal legislation or, in the case of innovative and enlightened organisations, self-regulation.
  • The key issues may be summarised below:
    • Targeting to Vulnerable Groups
    • Public Relations Issues
    • Packaging Issues
    • Branding Issues
    • Unfair Competition
    • Sales Promotion Problems
    • Ethical Issues with Online Communications
    • Unethical and Irresponsible Advertising
    • Regulatory controls
    • Green and eco-friendly consideration

Further ReadingChapter 17 Evaluating Marketing Communications looks at the need for a full appreciation and analysis of the impact of ethical practices, regulatory restrictions and general environmental issues before, during and after campaigns take place.

7.3

Word of mouth

  • Marketing communications contributes to mediated transmitted meaning construction by explicit projected marketing meaning (the intrinsic attributes of product and packaging, distribution) and implicitly symbolic meaning projected.
  • Can be purposively planned to achieve brand image and initiate action, but also unplanned as through word of mouth.
  • The brand’s meaning may be wrapped up in the generations of word-of-mouth recommendations and in all the exposure to marketing communications messages and can sometimes distort the intended sender’s message.
  • The user-generated space of online ‘virtual communities’ like MySpace, Facebook and YouTube affords individuals a growing sense of cyber-identity which has given rise to ‘word of mouse’ communication.
  • This recent consumer-to-consumer (C2C) development (through endorsement, semiotics and word of mouth) may undermine intended brand communications.
  •  A sort of ‘psychological comfort or discomfort’ which underpins the advocacy bonds that brand loyalty breeds.
  • Word-of-mouth communication is particularly relevant to the introduction of new product or services where ‘connected marketing’ can help ignite conversations in target markets which result in positive word of mouth and ultimately add value to the brand.

Further ReadingBoth Chapter 1 Introduction to Marketing Communications and Chapter 2 How Marketing Communications Works introduces the student to the phenomenon of word of mouth, an integral part of almost every marketing communications campaign.

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8.0 Next stage in brand’s development

N

8.1

Brand narrative

  • The brand narrative is the ongoing connecting dialogue between company and customer.
  • Brand narratives are story arcs which parallel product life cycles and provide longevity for brands, reliable income streams for organisations and, more importantly, provide meaning for consumers.
  • It takes the long view that all marketing communications – media and messages – are bonded in strategic and tactical dialogues and consumers co-create, disseminate and advocate all communications.
  • Companies send brands out into the marketplace and infuse a positioning story into the strategic and tactical communications wrapped around the brand; the intermediaries who stock, display and sell the brand; the culture industries who deconstruct and evaluate meaning; and the end users who negotiate meaning from brand communication, community and complicity.

Further ReadingChapter 9 Brand Narrative and Relational Management traces the progression from product to brand to the broader social and psychological meaning enveloped in the brand’s story or narrative.

8.2

Brand meaning

  • Brand associations are made explicitly and implicitly in order to encourage linkages with places, personalities or even emotions.
  • Brand meanings - functional, social, psychological or even ethical - that are projected through consumption of brands can be highlighted, nurtured and even created by marketing communications.
  • There is a difference between ‘actual’ and ‘communicated’ product; the difference is perceptual: what consumers think and feel about the brand is critical. And marketing communications helps consumers link certain associations to a brand, to position a brand in the mind as well as the market.
  • Meaning can be generated by two-way dialogues.
  • Whilst consumers use marketing communications to actively seek out personal meaning (McCracken 2005) through the consumption of brands, meaning is of course dependent upon the cultural context within which consumption occurs.

Further ReadingChapter 1 Introduction to Marketing Communications introduces the student to the debate on the meaning of consumption created by marketing communications.

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