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Transcript
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Section One
Integrated Marketing
Communications
Trafalgar Square, London. A month of free events, July 2004. ‘Summer in the Square,’ coordinated by
the Greater London Authority, consisted of a series of events; Bollywood Steps (dance displays),
a Children’s Art day, Square perspectives (dancing on a transparent stage), Trafalgar shores (Caribbean
dance, seaside puppetry), Masquerade (Nigerian drama), Love in the Square (music performances),
the Magic Flute (street opera), and the Norwich Union London Sports Park (athletics displays and
coaching).
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The four chapters in this section provide an overview of the
communications planning process and the importance of an
integrated approach. The aim is to build an understanding of
the key stages of the process.
Chapter 1 considers the process as a whole and describes the
integrated approach to marketing communications, putting into
context its application in the events industry and providing a
model of event communications planning.
The following chapters consider the three key elements of the
marketing plan: research and analysis throughout the process;
the targeting process and setting of objectives; and the formation of innovative strategies.
Marketing
Communications
Planning
Research and
Analysis
Communication
Objectives and
Targeting
Communications
Strategy
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Chapter 1
Marketing
Communications
Planning
Objectives
To
To
To
To
introduce the concept of integrated marketing communications
discuss the need for a marketing communications planning process
evaluate the models of communication planning
provide an overview of the key stages in the communications planning process
Introduction
When considering marketing communications within the corporate and marketing strategies of an
organization, it is necessary to emphasize the long-term and integrated nature of those communications. This requires the consideration of communication objectives which may not be achieved
for several years, such as brand loyalty or attitude change, rather than a simple focus on the short
term, e.g. sales figures for the next event. This chapter highlights the long-term nature of developing successful communications plans and stresses the need to utilize and integrate a wide
variety of tools, techniques and media within the plan.
Integrated marketing
communications
Communication is the process whereby thoughts are conveyed and meaning is shared between
individuals or organizations. A general model of communication is given in Figure 1.1. This model
recognizes the possibility of the receiver taking a different meaning from the communication than
that intended by the sender due to the encoding/decoding process and the ‘noise’ associated with
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4 Innovative Marketing Communications
NOISE
distractions
clutter
Sender
e.g. event
organizer
Encoding
e.g. images
chosen for
posters
Message
e.g. ‘an
exciting event’
Media
e.g. billboards
Feedback
requests for
more
information
Decoding
interpretation/
meaning
Response
awareness,
interest
Receiver
target
audience/
others
Figure 1.1 Major elements in the communication process.
the process. This emphasizes the need for careful planning and control of the
communication process, as even highly controllable communication methods, such
as personalized direct marketing, need to be carefully monitored to determine their
effects on the receiver.
Marketing within events relies heavily on communication whether this be in
directly informing potential customers of a product offering, in creating a brand
image in the marketplace, or through customer feedback and market research.
Marketing communications represent the collection of all elements in a brand’s marketing mix that facilitate exchanges by establishing shared meanings with the
brand’s stakeholders. The brand can refer to an individual product (one event),
a group of products (a programme of events) or a wider organizational brand (the
event organizer, the location, the sponsor). The stakeholders will consist of a range
of groups such as existing and potential customers, employees, sponsors and the
local community.
When the audience of a marketing communications message decodes or translates
the message they can do so on a number of levels. The Wirthlin Report (1999)
describes these levels as a ladder from the communicator to the audience. The lowest
level consists of rational components, the product’s attributes (e.g. venue, performers,
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Marketing Communications Planning 5
date) and the functional consequences of using the product (e.g. entertainment). The
higher levels are the emotional components consisting of psychosocial consequences
or personal emotional outcomes (e.g. ‘made me forget my worries’) and personal values or major goals and ideals (e.g. self-esteem, peace of mind, love). Communication
that operates on all levels is likely to be more effective in building a longer-term
change in attitude and behaviour.
A number of factors have led to a move away from the traditional promotions mix
for marketing communications (personal selling, advertising, sales promotion and
public relations) to the development of the concept of integrated marketing communications (IMC). Integrated marketing communications has been defined in a
number of ways:
a concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communications disciplines . . . . and combines these to provide clarity, consistency and maximum communication
impact (Duncan and Everett, 1993).
The coordination of all promotional activities to produce a unified, customer-focused promotional message (Broderick and Kitchen, 2001).
The harmonization of customer-orientated promotional messages (Fill, 2002).
All consistent interactions a stakeholder has with an organization (Schultz, 1998).
An organization’s unified, coordinated effort to promote a brand concept through the use of
multiple communication tools that ‘speak with one voice’ (Shimp, 1997).
These definitions illustrate the continuing development of integrated marketing communications as a concept. Generally, it appears to be agreed that IMC came to the fore
in the 1990s and evolved due to a number of reasons. First, a reduced faith in the effectiveness of the mass media and, consequently, the move towards highly targeted communication methods and, secondly, due to the greater demands being placed on
marketing communication suppliers and the increased need to demonstrate return on
investment. Thirdly, there is the need to coordinate and integrate the ever-widening
array of communication tools and media available to the marketer (Table 1.1).
The complexity of the reality of IMC is clearly demonstrated in Hartley and
Pickton’s (1999) model of the ‘mindscape of integrated marketing communications’
and ‘the wheel of integrated marketing communications’ developed by Pickton and
Broderick (2001). These models present the marketing communications techniques
included within the traditional categories of advertising, sales promotion, public
relations and personal selling, but illustrate the requirement for these to overlap and
Table 1.1 Comparison of traditional versus IMC perspectives
Traditional marketing communications
Integrated marketing communications
Separate functions: fragmentation
Integrated into one strategy: synergy
Starts with organization (goals, products)
Customer orientated
Specialist practitioners
Generalists
Fragmented communication programmes
Consistent communication programmes
Shorter-term objectives
Relationship/brand building objectives
Mass audiences
Targeted to stakeholder segments
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6 Innovative Marketing Communications
to be used in a number of differing ways. The use of a combination of one-to-one
communications and one-to-many communications for both image and brand management as well as customer contact management is a vital aspect of IMC. In recognizing the variety of techniques, the numerous potential objectives and differing
target audiences plus the overlaps between these, the models illustrate both the
potential benefits of IMC and some of the reasons for it not being adopted within
many organizations. These barriers to IMC include the difficulties in managing the
process and the choice of whether this is done in-house or through an agency. There
are also problems in overcoming the mindset of the traditional segmentation of
the promotion components and defining the scope of IMC (i.e. does it also include
corporate and internal communications).
In order to overcome some of these issues, planning models have been developed
by a number of authors and these will be considered in the next section.
The methods for managing IMC are of lesser importance than the acceptance of
the concept that any communications plan needs to consider and use, where appropriate, a variety of communication tools and that in doing this it is necessary, and
beneficial, to ensure consistency of the message (shared core meaning) and complementarity of the methods.
Importance of a planning
process
In order to gain competitive advantage and to ensure added value for the customer,
the communication process needs to be planned in a systematic and controlled manner. With an ever-increasing choice of communication methods and ways of combining these, it is vital that any decisions made are based on accurate, up-to-date
and relevant information.
The planning of any process allows management to assess the risks and returns of
any course of action before deciding upon it. If marketing communications are developed in an ad hoc, fragmented manner, then they will be difficult to monitor in terms
of objectives, budget and return. The risks involved, therefore, in investing relatively
large amounts of time, expertise and financial resources can be minimized by careful
planning and their investment justified by the meeting of clearly defined objectives
measured through carefully planned evaluation procedures. A further benefit is that
a wrongly chosen communication strategy is more likely to be identified at an early
stage if a planning process has been followed. This can then be modified or shelved
before more serious damage is done. Similarly, the early identification of problems in
implementation can be facilitated by the planning process.
An often overlooked benefit of planning is in its cyclical nature. Each new planning cycle benefits from the lessons learnt in the earlier plans, i.e. learning from previous mistakes and successes. This again requires systematic and objective
evaluations of the outcomes and process of the previous communications plan.
Using such past experiences in a more formalized manner can help to ensure
increasing levels of efficiency and effectiveness in any future communications plans.
In order to ensure that communications operate at a strategic rather than tactical
level within the organization, objectives need to be set for the longer term. The
planning process can help ensure that these are set within the constraints of the
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Marketing Communications Planning 7
organization’s resources and the external environment and that they are set for the
long, mid and short term.
The difficult task of integrating the various aspects of marketing communications
and of ensuring a consistent core message to all stakeholder groups can only be
achieved through a well-planned communications campaign. The integration,
consistency and complementarity needed to gain synergy and hence increased
customer value and competitive advantage will only happen if a systematic and
well-defined process is followed.
There are, of course, some possible drawbacks to a formal communications
process. Successful marketing communications, to a large extent, rely on creativity
and innovation. An overly formalized or restrictive planning system could be in
danger of stifling this creativity in favour of tried and tested methods. The need to
pre-test, retest, monitor and evaluate can lengthen the development and implementation time for a campaign and may provide competitors with the information and
lead-time to launch counter campaigns to reduce any impact. A planning process
needs to be developed, therefore, which does not inhibit creativity and is not overly
bureaucratic and formalized.
Marketing communications
planning
Models of communications planning generally tend to be based on the planning
framework of situation analysis, objective setting, strategy development, budgeting,
implementation and control (Cooper, 1997; Smith et al., 1997; Tucker Knapp, 2001;
[**1.1] Fill, 2002). Each model has its benefits and drawbacks. For example, Cooper
(1997) clearly demonstrates the cyclical nature of planning and emphasizes the creativity needed within communications planning. However, this model is focused on
advertising and therefore does not show the integration and coordination of other
communications methods. Fill (2002) provides a useful overview of each of the areas
that need to be considered, bringing in marketing research and agencies to the situation analysis and recognizing the levels of objectives (corporate, marketing and
communication). This model usefully splits promotional strategies into pull (aimed
at end customers), push (aimed at intermediaries) and profile (reaching a range
of target groups). The key elements of Fill’s (2002) marketing communications planning framework are:
●
●
●
●
●
●
context analysis
marketing objectives and positioning
marketing communications strategy
development of the promotional mix
implementation
evaluating and monitoring performance.
However, as Kitchen (1999) [**1.2] points out there are disadvantages to structured
planning in that it can lead to ‘me-too’ strategies, it can encourage seeing customers
as targets rather than partners and can give sometimes a dangerous illusion of control. Creativity and intuition need to be provided for within the planning process, as
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8 Innovative Marketing Communications
does the recognition that the earlier stages of the plan (formulation of objectives and
strategies) are closely related to implementation and control and that the process is
not necessarily sequential. The process for event planning (Masterman, 2004) shows
the iterative nature of planning which needs to be adopted within the communications plans of event organizations.
A non-sequential yet structured process which encompasses all the elements of
IMC (consistency, integration and complementarity) and allows for the creativity,
intuition and innovativeness of the events industry is the ideal. These qualities may
not be easy to combine in one model, but should still underpin the communications
process for events organizations.
Overview of marketing communications planning
Situation analysis
The initial stages in any planning cycle are to gain an understanding of the current
position and the context within which the plan will operate. This involves the gathering, analysis and interpretation of information from a wide range of sources.
The most important area to research is the organization’s stakeholders with whom
it will be communicating. An in-depth understanding is needed of each group’s current attitudes to, opinions of and beliefs about the organization, its brands and its
events. Knowledge of purchase behaviour and each group’s views of competing
products will also be needed. Specific information is required on their reactions to
past and future communications campaigns, their media preferences etc.
Other areas that need to be researched are competitor activity, the views of intermediaries, suppliers and employees and the wider external environment. This
includes legal and political changes relating to marketing communications,
advances or innovations in communication technology and general social trends
which may affect communication preferences.
Although often discussed as the first stage, information gathering needs to be
ongoing and should inform each aspect of the communications plan. The research
into communication specific issues should become part of the organization’s overall
marketing information system which will include competitor and market intelligence, environmental scanning and wider marketing research as well as data generated internally by the day-to-day operations of the organization. The research needs
for events marketing communications are discussed in more depth in Chapter 2.
Objective setting
Once a thorough understanding of the stakeholders, external environment and the
organizational context has been gained, it is then possible to set communications
objectives for the campaign. These will often be the first part of a written marketing
communications plan and will be used to steer the rest of the process.
Communications objectives will be set within the framework of wider marketing
objectives of the organization and these in turn will have been set to achieve the
corporate objectives.
Communication objectives should not include overall sales value, profit margins
or market share, but should encompass goals specific to the direct effects of communication, e.g. brand awareness, response rates, attitude change, offer take-up,
personal recommendations etc.
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Marketing Communications Planning 9
The communications plan may include sub-objectives for each stakeholder or
target audience and for periods of time within the planning cycle. Separate objectives
for each communications method should not be set at this stage, as this presumes the
strategic choices yet to be made and jeopardizes the integration of the overall communications strategy. The setting of communication objectives is covered in detail in
Chapter 3.
Targeting
Deciding on the audiences, or recipients, of marketing communications needs to be
done at an early stage in the planning process. It may be necessary for this to be done
both before and after objective setting. As the communications plan is likely to be set
within the context of a marketing plan, target groups may well have been identified
as part of the overall marketing strategy. If this is the case then these ‘predetermined
audiences’ need to be focused on in the research stage and described in detail in the
situation analysis. Objectives can then be set for each group already identified. It is
then necessary to apply a further breakdown of these groups once the communication objectives have been set. For example, an objective to increase awareness of the
interactive aspects of Glastonbury Festival’s website may require the targeting of distinct segments, i.e. past customers, existing customers (those with tickets) and
would-be customers (those who could not get tickets), whereas initial targeting in the
marketing strategy may have been ‘eighteen to twenty-five-year olds who listen to
live music’.
Targeting is an essential part of successful communications as it recognizes the
preferences and needs of each different group, which can then be reflected in the
chosen strategies. These preferences and needs will be widely different between
some groups, e.g. sponsors, attendees, local community, but may also vary within
groups. For example, the visitors to the Ideal Home Show will include couples,
families and organizational buyers and these can be further split into those who
live in the UK to those from overseas, or those who attend regularly and first time
attendees etc.
Identifying target audiences, further segmenting each audience and then specifying their characteristics, preferences and behaviour allows communications methods to be tailored to their needs and therefore those methods are likely to be more
successful in meeting the objectives. The additional cost involved in creating separate targeted communications campaigns is far outweighed by the benefits gained
in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness.
Positioning and message strategies
In order to ensure the consistency and integration required, it is necessary to determine overarching strategies for positioning and for the communications message.
Positioning refers to the image in the mind of the audience of the organization, its
brand, its events or its services relative to their image of competing products. The
desired position will be developed based on the research undertaken in the situation
analysis, the focus of the communication objectives and to some extent predetermined from the marketing plan objectives and strategy if these exist. As positioning
reflects the perception of the brand by the target audiences, it is important to develop
appropriate positioning strategies for each target group. For example, a corporate
event organizer will recognize that being perceived as developing the most innovative and creative events may be important for some FMCG (fast-moving consumer
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10 Innovative Marketing Communications
goods) clients, whereas being seen as highly reliable with high levels of service may
be key for financial sector clients. These specific positioning strategies need to fit
within the overall image of the organization and its brand if consistency and synergy
are to be achieved. Therefore, an overarching positioning statement is developed and
adapted positioning strategies for each target market are fitted within this. Without
the overarching strategy the audiences are likely to receive mixed, confusing or at
worst conflicting messages.
The message strategy is developed from the positioning statement to provide a
consistent and repeated image to the target audiences. Again this will be adapted in
form and style for each target group, but the overall message will remain the same.
The strategic options available will be partly determined by the organization’s
competitive position (market leader, challenger, follower or nicher), the product
or industry life cycle (introduction, growth, maturity or decline), the strengths
and weaknesses of the organization and the external environment. However, the
most important determining factor should always be the needs and preferences of
stakeholders.
Method and media strategies
The adaptation of the overall message to meet the needs of each target audience is
achieved through the manipulation of the wide variety of communication methods
and media available to the marketer.
An initial decision to be made is whether or not the methods will involve push or
pull strategies or a combination of both. Push strategies are targeted at marketing
intermediaries (agents, distributors, brokers) and pull strategies at end customers.
Methods involve choices such as stressing the USP (unique selling proposition)
of the brand or the brand’s image, creating a resonance with the audience, using
rational or emotional appeals. Other choices need to select methods on the scale of
one-to-one versus one-to-many communications, interactive versus passive and
information based versus image based.
The methods of marketing communications have been traditionally grouped into
the four categories of advertising, sales promotion, personal selling and public relations. However, with the advent of integrated marketing communications and the
development of new and innovative methods, these categories have become less
useful as many methods overlap and fit into more than one category. Pickton and
Broderick’s (2001) ‘Wheel of IMC’ demonstrates this well and clearly shows the
wide variety of methods now available.
The message and method chosen will, to a large extent, determine which media
are appropriate as will the characteristics and preferences of the target audiences.
Media choices range from the traditional use of newspapers, sales people, press
releases and prize draws to highly interactive websites, product placement in computer games, the use of SMS (texting) or ever more attention grabbing promotional
events. The important and increasing role of events as a communication method
used by other industries is covered in Section 3.
Creative combinations of a number of methods and media delivering a consistent
message will ensure the success of a communications campaign. The diversity of
methods and media available mean that there are unlimited possibilities for creating
the new and innovative communications campaigns that are necessary in an increasingly overcrowded marketplace. Consumers are becoming ever more cynical and
selective in their interest and responses to marketing communications and novelty
and subtlety are required to capture and maintain the interest of these audiences
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Marketing Communications Planning 11
exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day. The diverse range of methods
available for communicating with event stakeholders is covered in Section 2.
Communications budget
Any communication campaign will be set within certain organizational constraints.
These constraints will include the managerial style of the organization in terms of
risk-taking, innovativeness and creative freedom and of course the willingness to
commit financial resources. The determination of the budget for an integrated marketing communications campaign can be contentious as a quantifiable financial
return on investment can be difficult to prove in accountancy terms. This difficulty
again emphasizes the importance of having measurable objectives, as the achievement of these objectives can justify the original resources invested and can also be
used to secure future budgets.
The ideal form of budget setting is ‘objective-and-task’. This logical process suggests that if objectives have been set that are desirable, realistic and achievable then
the finances should be made available to enable those objectives to be achieved. The
budget negotiation process therefore takes place once the communications plan has
been determined, i.e. this is what we need to achieve, this is how it can be done and
this is what it will cost. If the resources are not available to meet the needs of the
proposed plan then the objectives must be revised, although this would, perhaps,
suggest that the original objectives were not set within an understanding of the
organization’s strengths and resources.
Although, objective-and-task budget setting is preferred, it is rarely the method
used with most organizations relying on more traditional financially based criteria.
These are likely to be based on a set percentage of last year’s sales or a percentage
of the overall marketing budget. If the budget is allocated prior to the determination
of objectives and strategies then the budget becomes part of the situational context
within which the communications plan is developed and objectives should be set
within this constraint.
An understanding of how and when the budget is negotiated and set is an important element of the marketing communications planning process and has implications for the implementation, control and monitoring of the plan once determined.
Implementation
This aspect of the communications planning process is often given less emphasis
with the focus tending to be on the creative aspects of strategy development,
however, the best strategies will fail if wrongly implemented.
The practicalities of implementing a fully integrated marketing communications plan
need to be addressed through cross-functional teams within the organization often
complemented by the use of agencies and other external specialists. The coordination and management of these roles and organizations requires detailed planning
and a clear delineation of duties and responsibilities along with a shared understanding of what is to be achieved. The key to successful implementation is therefore effective internal communications, as all those involved must send a single
positive message to stakeholder groups at all points of contact.
The main aspects of implementation have been defined by Smith et al. (1997) as
the 3Ms; men, money and minutes. These include the roles and responsibilities for
each element of the plan, the costs involved and the timing and flow of tasks.
The management of the communications plan involves process management,
resource management, internal marketing and communications, scheduling and
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12 Innovative Marketing Communications
budgeting with an overarching focus on the integration and coordination of a variety
of resources and expertise. These areas will be considered in Chapter 14.
Measurement, evaluation and control
In order to ensure the success of a marketing communications plan, it is necessary
to measure certain aspects both during and after the campaign and to evaluate these
measures against predetermined criteria. These criteria need to be based around the
objectives of the campaign often broken down by time-scale, target group or campaign tactic. The evaluation against these criteria will then provide the necessary
indicators to use for control purposes. Control is the action taken as a result of the
evaluation and may involve the decision to maintain or amend the existing plan as
well as being the basis for future plan development.
There are, therefore, two aspects to control. First, to ensure that the plan is being
implemented as it should be and secondly, to check that the strategies being implemented are having the expected effect, i.e. the control of implementation and the
control of outcome (or efficiency and effectiveness control).
For example, as a part of its communication campaign a music festival advertised
a free ticket hot line in the local newspaper. Interim measurements found that only
50 per cent of the claimed tickets were likely to be used. An evaluation of the reasons for this disappointing take-up discovered that it was largely due to customer
dissatisfaction with the attitude of the telesales staff handling the ad response and
that their lack of knowledge had deterred respondents from attending the event.
This evaluation, therefore, suggested an implementation problem rather than a
problem with the strategy and it was possible to switch to a more specialized
telesales agency for the remainder of the campaign.
The methods used to measure and evaluate communications strategies are varied
and can range from large consumer surveys to ad hoc sales force feedback, from
complex statistical data analysis to intuitive interpretation of anecdotal evidence.
All can be valid and useful as long as they are undertaken and interpreted in an
objective, timely and systematic way and use the campaign objectives as their main
criteria for evaluation. Methods that can be used to research campaign effectiveness
will be considered in the next chapter as well as in Chapter 14.
The written communication plan
The written plan is a vital document for internal communications and implementation and should as a minimum include:
●
●
●
●
●
objectives
goals
audience/s
timetable, tools and budget
evaluation.
In order to help achieve the shared understanding and integration of purpose
needed, the plan should summarize the main issues and details of marketing communications activities, showing relevant background information and marketing
communications decisions (Pickton and Broderick, 2001).
An example of the communications planning process is shown in Case study 1.1.
This case illustrates how a well-developed communications plan helped a smallscale festival gain nationwide recognition.
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Marketing Communications Planning 13
Case study 1.1
The DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival Agency:
McKinney & Silver
Situation analysis
This documentary film festival based in North Carolina, USA was founded in 1998. The festival
had a narrow fan base and, due to this and its regional image, was failing to attract sponsorship
investment. The lack of sponsors meant that the organization had less money to invest in building its brand to attract the better directors that were needed to attract a broader fan base and so
the cycle continued. The key problem, therefore, was in changing perception among stakeholders
from being seen as a regional festival to being a major player in the entertainment industry.
Aim: Broaden the appeal of the film festival
Objectives
●
●
●
●
Increase advanced sales of passes by 50 per cent
Increase overall attendance (seats filled) by 15 per cent
Increase sponsorship $
Gain recognition as one of USA’s leading film festivals
Target audiences
●
●
●
●
Main focus: Mainstream entertainment enthusiasts (new target audience)
Peripheral: Existing loyal fans (not to be alienated by new campaign)
Existing and potential sponsors
Industry press and associations
Creative strategy
●
●
●
●
Positioning: Research found that off-centre stories with an edge were most appealing.
Needed to provide a ‘taste’ of documentaries as entertainment and the feeling that this style
of entertainment could only be experienced at the DoubleTake Festival.
Message: ‘True reality is more entertaining than TV boardroom created reality’.
Method: Mini-documentaries showing absurd and provocative real-life vignettes.
Media: A low budget for media was provided so low cost but well-targeted cable channels
were used such as MTV, P, Comedy Central plus coverage on NBC. These television advertisements were complemented by print ads in local newspapers and alternative news weeklies in order to re-frame mainstream audience perception of documentaries.
Integrated communications
The main campaign was television based but was extended to all touchpoints via websites,
direct mail, point-of-purchase and sponsorship sales kits. Posters were also provided as
premiums for sponsors.
Budget for media: $500k
Evaluation
●
●
●
●
Advanced sales of passes up 177 per cent
seats filled up 31 per cent
sponsorship up 26 per cent and lead sponsor gained for next year
gained number of prestigious national recognitions.
Source: based on Effie Awards: Brief of Effectiveness 2003
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14 Innovative Marketing Communications
Summary
Integrated marketing communications has provided the basis for much of the
continued interest in one-to-one marketing and customer relationship management
and has the potential to bring together the concepts of integration, alignment,
measurement and accountability in communications (Baker and Mitchell, 2000). The
merging of these ideas into an approach that recognizes and takes advantage of the
convergence of traditional and new interactive marketing approaches is undoubtedly the way forward in marketing communications.
An integrated marketing communications programme includes written, spoken
and electronic interactions with stakeholder audiences. These interactions are used
to create awareness, interest and involvement in the organization, its activities,
programmes, people, service and products.
The integration of a variety of communications methods ensures that the message
remains focused and therefore achieves a far greater impact than traditional
fragmented promotional methods.
A successful communications plan will be based on an understanding of target
audience needs and requires the organization to spend time analysing their market
position and determining objectives. Through this analysis the planning process
encourages consideration of new marketing tactics, methods and media. The
requirement for cooperation and coordination helps to build teamwork, commitment and focus, both at intra- and inter-company level, improving all internal and
external communication. A well-developed and implemented communications plan
will facilitate continual improvement through measurement and evaluation and
will ensure efficient progress towards longer-term communication objectives.
In order to ensure these benefits a process for integrated marketing communications planning is needed which should involve consideration of:
●
●
●
●
●
●
●
●
situation analysis
objective setting
targeting
positioning and message strategies
method and media strategies
communications budget
implementation
measurement, evaluation and control.
The communications planning process for event organizations needs to include a
staged process where the current position is researched, objectives set, target markets ascertained and communication messages implemented through a variety of
methods and media. The plan needs to be implemented, measured and controlled
with the results feeding into the next planning cycle. The whole process should be
informed by continual research and evaluation and must allow for the flexibility,
creativity and innovation necessary to produce effective marketing communications. A model which incorporates these factors is shown in Figure 1.2.
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n
Obj
ec
tatio
n
tiv
e
e
n
a
o
n
em
i
t
a
l
lysi
ua
t
p
i
s
S
g
ttin
se
Im
Marketing Communications Planning 15
Target
ing
Budgeting
Communications about:
Event
Event programme
Brand
Event organizer
Venue
Sponsor
t
ds
Evaluation, measurement
and control
and
m edia Positioning and me
pme
Me
ho
nt
Communication to:
Attendees, participants,
sponsors, media,
employees, volunteers,
community
ev
d
e
g
ssa
elo
Figure 1.2 An integrated planning model for marketing communications.
Discussion points
1 With reference to Case study 1.1 and your own examples summarize the key
elements of integrated marketing communications planning.
2 Identify and compare the benefits and drawbacks of applying a formalized marketing communications planning process in the following organizations:
a) a large exhibition venue
b) a community festival committee
c) an international sporting tournament organization
d) a wedding planner
e) one more event organization of your choice
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16 Innovative Marketing Communications
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