What Are Marketing Communication Tools?
Marketing communication tools are the tools that your in-house marketing team – or outsourced marketing team – will use to generate brand or product awareness and increase sales. You’re able to connect with your target audience through a dedicated form of communication.
The 4 Top Marketing Communication Tools
While there are many communication tools in marketing at your disposal; we’ve chosen what we consider to be the top four that can work across a number of industries. Here’s a look at these tools and why they’re so beneficial to your business.
In this instance, we’re looking at what’s called ‘above the line' marketing – or ATL – which has extensive reach suited to attracting larger audiences. ATL advertising is a great option for bigger companies looking to implement a massive marketing campaign for something like a product or brand launch. This is available in paid and unpaid forms and is a great marketing tool for products with mass appeal rather than a targeted audience.
Some examples of ATL marketing include:
- Television advertising
- Radio advertising
- Print media
- Commuter displays
- Transit and bin advertising
Benefits of Advertising
If you have a sufficient budget and are considering this form of large-scale marketing, here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy:
- Extensive reach: You’ll get your message to audiences far and wide if using any of the above-mentioned media.
- Penetration: ATL advertising which uses a combination of audio-visual marketing, has extremely high penetration levels. Print media, as well, attract a lot of attention for maximum impact.
- Brand building: ATL advertising is great for brand building, with companies sometimes opting to start in print and build up, whereas others go straight for the big splash in TV and radio.
2. Online Marketing
Another marketing communication tool that you really need to consider in the modern age is online marketing, which also falls under the ‘Below the Line’ or BTL advertising title. This is more suited to operations that have niche target markets or much smaller audiences that they need to effectively tailor the marketing message towards. In these instances, outside agencies are often hired to run the campaign with the expenses outlined ‘below the line’ of the billing invoice, hence BTL.
Some specific online examples of this type of marketing include:
- Internet advertising
- Social media advertising
- Email advertising
When looking at online marketing as a communication tool, here are a few options you can consider:
With budgets stretched in the current financial climate, discounts or a great way to hook a new audience. Programmes like customer loyalty will ensure you’re able to retain existing customers.
The three types of sales promotions include:
- Initial discounts: This lures the customer to make a purchase with a discount on the first purchase. It often encourages the submission of an email address for future marketing purposes.
- Deadline discounts: This puts pressure on customers by getting them to buy before it’s too late. Great examples of these are Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday Sales or month-long discounts.
- Membership discounts: These encourage customers to make purchases to receive more premium discounts on a tiered basis.
One of the more effective brand communication tools is email, as it gives your business the chance to generate leads and direct online traffic to the website for quicker sales. This is a lead-qualifying system that, if done really well, can make a big impact on your business sales. One really great example of email marketing is newsletters - which can be sent manually or triggered via a workflow. Using your recipient list, you can send personalised content straight to their inbox to keep them engaged.
With the help of a dedicated marketing team, you can actually encourage two-way communication with your customers across a number of channels. Social media marketing, blogs, WhatsApp and SMS marketing can encourage responses directly from customers.
Benefits of online marketing:
- This marketing communication tool ensures you have a global rather than just a regional or national reach, accessing millions of prospective clients.
- Your marketing campaign is running 24/7, wherever the customer is.
- There are significant cost savings in this form of marketing when compared with above-the-line advertising campaigns. This means more reach at less of a cost.
- You’re able to establish and develop your customer relations.
- You can use customer information to tailor your advertising techniques.
- You’re able to provide your customers with quality content rather than just short soundbites.
3. Face-to-Face Engagement
Trade shows and seminars were once incredibly dynamic tools of marketing communication for businesses, with industry-specific themes streamlining audiences for more direct engagement. All of this ground to a halt at the start of 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic prevented social gatherings and any in-person engagement. However, this situation was quickly remedied by the introduction of webinars.
This direct innovative marketing communication tool not only cuts the many costs associated with organising a physical trade show or seminar, as well as the restrictive travelling costs, it suddenly opens up the marketing platform to a much bigger audience. Online streaming platforms refined their technologies and offerings so that face-to-face engagement was possible from the comfort – and safety – of home.
Benefits of webinars:
- Positioning your organisation as an industry leader, showcasing your knowledge and skills.
- Engaging a much wider audience.
- Massive cost savings.
- Generate funds through online advertising space or ticket sales.
- Allowing for this human element despite being online.
- A more in-depth explanation of products and services.
- A real understanding of your target audience’s needs through real-time questions.
- Raise your brand awareness.
- Once the webinar is done, you can repurpose your content in an eBook or blog post series for further reach.
- Because webinars can be recorded, people don’t need to attend the live event but can still enjoy all the benefits after the fact.
Public Relations (PR)
This marketing communication tool is best used when you want to increase your organisation’s brand image. It is also best used when you need to rectify and realign the brand image. A PR representative within your organisation or an outsourced PR team is able to maintain relations with various media and influencers as a way to keep your brand top of mind.
Where PR tends to be a more systematic process that builds relationships between your brand and the public, a PR campaign is a more targeted approach that runs for a short space of time. This can be to drive awareness about a new product or service, but it can also be used as damage control when a company receives negative publicity for whatever reason.
Monitoring and maintaining your brand’s image is vital to company success, which is where PR is so important.
Some of the public relations strategies could include:
- Speech writing
- Writing and distributing press releases to key media
- Organising imagery to distribute to media
- Writing pitches that can be shared with journalists (suggested story ideas to pursue)
- Setting up interviews between the media and the organisation’s representatives
- Creating special events to capture media attention
- Conducting market research on the company and assessing its brand
- Copywriting and blog writing
- Social media promotions; and
- Crisis public relations strategies
Benefits of PR:
A good public relations strategy will include a selection or suggestion of the marketing communication tools mentioned earlier and will drastically improve your company’s standing. Here’s a look at how:
- Improved credibility: Customers are much more informed these days and will often only support brands or organisations that are seen to align with their values and act responsibly. A good PR company will position you as a credible brand that customers can trust.
- Change or improve your image: Poor PR can absolutely topple a company, which is why preparing for crisis PR is so important.
- Understanding your market: Your PR company will be able to analyse exactly who your target market is and where your brand needs to be shared.
- Community engagement: You often have to start locally before going global, and a PR strategy will ensure you have a direct connection with local groups and communities. Elements such as community upliftment are great for brand positioning.
- Build media contacts: A great PR will have existing relations with local and national media outlets, which will assist in generating positive exposure.
Why Is Marketing Communication Important?
While there might be some form of organic business growth through word-of-mouth, you’re eventually going to stagnate or disappear without using effective digital marketing communication tools. There’s a wealth of competition out there, and you can be sure that your competitors are using integrated marketing communications to reach the same audience you’re looking to secure – so get in the game!
Remember, when crafting a marketing message, you need to:
- Clearly explain your product.
- Explain how the product benefits the customer directly.
- Use techniques to convince them why they need to buy your product specifically.
With Mobile Marketing Cloud, you’ll achieve all your marketing goals by interacting with your customers through your preferred channel and converting one-time customers into repeats.