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What Are Marketing Communication Tools?
As a marketer, there is a treasure trove of tools at your disposal to help your organization generate awareness and support sales efforts—these are known as marketing communication tools. But what are marketing communication tools and how can they be used to create better marketing programs?
The Definition of Marketing Communication Tools
Marketing communication tools are defined as a set of diversified programs designated to communicate with your target audience effectively. Any good marketer knows the importance of utilizing marketing communication tools that are best suited for specific marketing campaigns in order to reach your audience at various stages of the marketing funnel and across different channels. Deciding the best way to use these tools in order to effectively reach your audience is your marketing communication strategy, which is essential if you want your message to resonate.
Advertising & Sales Promotions
Advertising is one of the most prominent and widely used communication tools in a marketing campaign, as its main feature is increasing awareness. Ads can be effective not only for marketing your product or service but also for marketing your brand. Typically, advertising makes use of above-the-line (ATL) media campaigns because of the type of reach that can be achieved. Above-the-line marketing is often used by brands who aim to have a large, diversified market because ATL marketing has mass appeal. Some examples of ATL marketing include TV, radio, print media, cinema, and outdoor media such as billboards, transit advertising, and commuter displays.
Everyone loves a discount, which is why sales promotions are very popular marketing communications tools. Usually, discounts and coupons are used to get new customers, whereas memberships and loyalty programs are used for customer retention. There are three main types of sales promotions marketers use. The first is the discount that tempts the customer to make their first purchase. Think of when you’re browsing an online retailer’s website and see a pop-up stating you’ll get 10% off your first order if you enter your email address. The second is deadline discounts, which encourage your audience to “act fast before it’s too late” (i.e. holiday sales, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday). Finally, we have membership discounts, which focus on program tiers. These encourage customers to continue making purchases through your company in order to receive more premium discounts. Essentially, sales promotions help your brand build trust and authority with new customers.
Social media allows brands to engage with their audience while also providing information on their products, services, and values. From Twitter to TikTok, social media has rapidly become a valuable method for consumers to research a brand before the organization is even aware of the buyer’s interest. Potential customers are able to find social proof through other customers who have interacted with brands on social media channels. Additionally, brands have the opportunity to make themselves more human as they engage with their audience.
Direct Mail & Catalogs
While online marketing has taken the world by storm over the years, there is still great value in an offline marketing plan. In an increasingly digital world, direct mail and print catalogs can help generate leads and offer benefits that online marketing cannot thanks to localization and personalization. Many consumers find direct mail and catalogs easier to understand, as one study found that it takes 21% less cognitive effort to process.
Additionally, direct mail has also been proven to yield a higher average response rate when compared to digital. Finally, print ads won’t actively disrupt your viewer’s activity to get their attention, granting them the freedom to choose when they’ll receive your marketing message and thus allowing it to hit at the optimal time.
Email Campaigns & Newsletters
Email marketing is another tried and true tactic for lead generation. What’s more, it allows a brand to identify better-quality leads. Since email marketing itself is a lead qualifying system, you can see a prospect’s interest based on the fact that they signed up for your list, whether or not they open your emails, and if they click on any of the links within your emails.
Likewise, email newsletters are a powerful way to nurture leads by providing recipients with targeted and personalized content straight to their inbox. This helps push them further down the funnel and keeps them engaged with your brand.
Trade Shows, Webinars, & Seminars
Trade shows, seminars, and webinars are great tools to address issues, generate leads, and introduce a new product or service. Trade shows give consumers the opportunity to meet with brand representatives face-to-face, providing a more personable experience. Seminars and webinars can also establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, giving consumers a convenient outlet to learn about your product or service.
How Brand Management Helps Streamline Marketing Efforts
As you can see, there is a vast array of marketing communication tools to choose from. Developing a customized integrated marketing communications strategy for your individual marketing campaigns will enable your organization to successfully hit your KPIs. However, with so many different marketing channels and various assets used for different types of communication efforts, it can be challenging to keep brand consistency, identity, and legal compliance top-of-mind. Utilizing brand asset management software can help with just that.
Imagine you’re preparing for a large trade show at the end of the month, on top of maintaining your other always-on campaigns. You’ll likely need some customized assets for the trade show booth, such as pamphlets, business cards, and other marketing collateral. With the help of a brand management solution, you not only have access to your organization’s brand guidelines via your custom user profile, but you can use the system to order your promotional goods quickly and easily. What’s more, you can simultaneously manage your always-on campaigns thanks to your brand management solution’s social capabilities, ensuring brand-compliant messages across all channels.
By utilizing a centralized system built to manage all of your communication efforts, your brand’s story will speak loud and clear, driving brand equity. Assessing how and when your brand chooses to communicate is a strategic tactic that will ultimately help you build a better brand over time.
This blog post was originally published on February 5, 2020