Communicating to Customers

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Businesses attempt to persuade customers with their commercial messages. Consequently, they need to develop effective marketing communications. In a ‘marketing heaven,’ an organization would have the top brand in its category. In the real world, it is about a company showcasing itself in a good light with buyers.

Positioning involves a company putting its product or service in a favorable space in the minds of consumers. Therefore, positioning involves winning the customer’s perception over one’s competition.  For example, McDonald’s uses its brand to position itself over the competition. When parents travel with their children, most children automatically want to eat at McDonalds.

If a company has an existing product and the overall consumer attitudes do not rank the product as highly as its competitors, the company has a chance to improve its positioning. The company needs to do a lot of research to see why it is viewed in this light before setting new strategies.

Michael Solomon, author of Consumer Behavior, maintains that the way a consumer evaluates and chooses a product varies widely, depending on such dimensions as the degree of novelty or risk in the decision. Additionally, the attitude of the organization has an impact on buyer behavior.

For example, a bad experience with McDonald’s can sway a parent from going to McDonald’s; they may seek an alternative. In fact, Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, further argue that customers pick up on a salesperson’s attitude. Does good chemistry exist between the salesperson and the customer?  That’s an important performance measure.

When developing performance measurement with relationship selling in mind, good chemistry between the salesperson and customer should be a factor. Likewise, improved company attitudes can have a positive impact on customer behavior.  

Please discuss the value of effective marketing communications to customers.

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green

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4 thoughts on “Communicating to Customers

  1. Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller, authors of Marketing Management, created eight steps in developing effective communications:

    1. Identify target audience—look at who are the company’s potential buyers and current users.
    2. Determine objectives—steps the company follows to get a product or service out to the masses.
    3. Design communications—establish what to say (message strategy), how to say it (creative strategy), and who should say it (message source).
    4. Select channels—personal communication (face-to-face, phone, or email) or mass communication (advertising, sales promotions or public relations).
    5. Establish budget—how much the company should spend on marketing.
    6. Decide on media mix—advertising, sales promotions, public relations and publicity, events and experience, direct marketing, interactive marketing, word-or-mouth marketing, and the sales force.
    7. Measure results—impact of implementing the company’s communication plan (outcomes and revenues of the communication investment)
    8. Manage integrated marketing communications—adopt a 360-degree view of consumers to fully understand all the different ways communications can affect consumer behavior.
    (Kotler & Keller, 2012).

    A company should communicate to its customers in ways that are creative and that relate to them. When a company figures out how to effectively market and communicate to its customers, it can help the company create a loyal customer base.

    Source: Kotler, Philip, & Keller, Kevin Lane. (2012). Marketing Management. 49 & 163. Pearson Education Limited.

  2. Dr. Green,

    The road to communicating with customers is paved with emotion. According to Jim Joseph from Entrepreneur magazine, “a very important element to marketing that too many entrepreneurs overlook is finding your emotional benefit.” That doesn’t mean that the emotions of customers should be preyed upon in order for the business to profit. It means that the emotions customers are experiencing should be understood to the point that the business can build a relationship with said customers. After all, a good business-to-customer relationship serves almost like a good friendship – based on trust and the sharing of emotions.

    Many years ago, St. Mary’s Hospital utilized Peyton Manning as the face of an ad campaign aimed at making both patients and their families feel at home during their troubled times. While existing patients knew the benefits of St. Mary’s Hospital, new patients soon learned, and, as a result, were drawn to the idea that a hospital could make them feel like they were staying at home – even while sick. In that respect, I think the patients that stayed at St. Mary’s Hospital after the ads wanted to feel like they did after watching said ads. Did they? Only their emotions know.

    Source:
    Jospeh, Jim. (2013). “Connecting with Customers: How to Market to Their Emotions.” Entrepreneur Magazine. Accessed from: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227305. (Blog response posted on 09-20-2013).

  3. The value of effective market communication is the need to reach the right customers with your product.” Whether you create an email campaign, plan direct mail marketing with letters or postcards or simply intend to distribute fliers and business cards to prospective customers at a trade fair, you want to convey a message that gets results.” (Measures, 2013) If you do not deliver the right message to your prospective customer it can hurt the value of you product. Notice in the quote above the they emphasize the message that gets results. Marketing the product or service correctly can change how the product is perceived in the eyes of the consumer.
    Source:
    Measures, A. (2013). About effective marketing communication. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effective-marketing-communication-1443.html

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