Determining Communication Objectives
Intended goals of an advertising or promotional program. Possible communications objectives include (1) creating awareness, (2) imparting knowledge, (3) projecting an image, (4) shaping attitudes, (5) stimulating a want or desire, and/or (6) effecting a sale.
objectives are long-term goals where marketing campaigns are intended to drive
up the value of your brand over time. In contrast to sales promotions, which
are short-term inducements to buy, communication goals succeed when you
persuade customers through consistent reinforcement that your brand has
benefits they want or need.
awareness is not only one of the most common marketing communication
objectives, it is also typically the first for a new company. When you
initially enter the market, you have to let people know your company and
products or services exist. This might include broadcast commercials or print
ads that depict the image of your company and constant repetition of your brand
name, slogans and jingles. The whole objective is to become known and
memorable. Established companies often use a closely-related goal of building
or maintaining top-of-mind awareness, which means customers think of you first
when considering your product category.
Changing company or
brand perceptions is another common communication objective. Sometimes,
misconceptions develop in the market about your company, products or services.
Advertising is a way to address them directly. In other cases, negative
publicity results because your company is involved in a business scandal or
unsettling activities. BP invested millions of dollars in advertising to
explain the company's clean up efforts to the public following its infamous
Gulf of Mexico oil spill in mid-2010. Local businesses normally don't have that
kind of budget but local radio or print ads can do the trick.
Influence Purchase Intent
A key communication
objective is to motivate customers to buy. This is normally done through
persuasive advertising, which involves emphasis of your superior benefits to
the user, usually relative to competitors. It is critical to strike a chord
with the underlying need or want that triggers a customer to act. Sports drink
commercials showing athletes competing, getting hot and sweaty and then taking
a drink afterward is a common approach to drive purchase intent. The ads
normally include benefits of the drink related to taste or nutrients.
Stimulate Trial Purchase
Two separate but
closely related communication objectives are to stimulate trial use and drive
repeat purchases. Free trials or product samples are common techniques to
persuade customers to try your product for the first time. The goal is to take
away the risk and get the customer to experience your brand. Once you get them
on the first purchase, you have to figure out how to convert that into a
follow-up purchase. Discounts on the next purchase or frequency programs are
ways to turn one-time users into repeat buyers and, ultimately, loyal
Drive Brand Switching
Another objective closely tied to stimulating trial
use is driving brand switching. This is a specific objective of getting
customers who buy competing products to switch to your brand. Tide detergent is
normally pitted against "other leading brands" in comparative ads
intended to motivate brand switching. The advantage with this goal is that
customers already buy within your product category. This means need is
established. You just need to persuade them that your product or service is
superior and induce them to try it out.
Designing the message
The communicator must
identify an appeal or theme that will produce the desired response. There are
three types of appeals: rational, emotional, and moral.
Rational appeals relate to the audience‘s self-interest. They show that the product will produce the desired benefits. Rational appeal messages may show a product‘s quality, economy, value, or
Rational appeal messages may show performance. In its ads, Mercedes offers car
stressing engineering design, performance,itsmostrecognizable an quality, the
bad taste of its cough syrup, and turned it into an award-winning campaign
linked by the tag line, ―It tastes awful. And it works.‖
Emotional appeals attempt
to stir up either negative or positive emotions that can motivate purchase. Communicators
can use such positive emotional appeals as love, pride, joy, and humour.
Advocates for humorous messages claim that they attract more attention and
create more liking and belief in the sponsor. Cliff Freeman, the advertiser
responsible for Little
Caesars‘ humorous ―Pizza, Pizza‖ ads, contends that:
―Humour is a great way to bound out of the starting gate. When you make people
laugh, and they feel good after seeing the commercial, they like the
association with the product.‖ But others maintain that humour can detract from
comprehension, wear out its welcome fast, and overshadow the product.
Communicators can also use negative emotional appeals such as fear, guilt, and
shame, which get people to do things they should (brush their teeth, buy new tires),
or to stop doing things they shou invokes mild fear of cavities when it claims:
―There are some things
you just can‘t afford to gamble with.‖ Etonic ads ask: ―What would you do if
you couldn‘t run?‖ and go on to note that Etonic athletic shoes are designed to
avoid injuries—they‘re ―built so you can last.‖ A Michelin tire ad features
cute babies and suggests, ―Because so much is riding on your tires.‖
Moral appeals are
directed to the audience‘s sense areofused wha to urge
people to support such social causes as a cleaner environment and aid to the
needy, or combat such social problems as drug abuse, discrimination, sexual
harassment, and spousal abuse. An example of a moral appeal is the March of
Dimes appeal: ―God made you whole. Give to help those He didn‘t.‖
The communicator must
decide which of three ways to use to structure the message. The first is
whether to draw a conclusion or leave it to the audience. Early research showed
that drawing a conclusion was usually more effective; however, more recent
research suggests that the advertiser is often better off asking questions and
letting buyers draw their own conclusions. The second structure issue is
whether to present a one-sided argument—mentioning only the—ora twoproduct‘s-sidedargument—
st touting the product‘s strengths while also ad business around this
Usually, a one-sided
argument is more effective in sales presentations—except when audiences are
highly educated, negatively disposed, or likely to hear opposing claims. In
these cases, two-sided messages can enhance the advertiser‘s credibility and
make buyer The third message structure issue is whether to present the
strongest arguments first or last. Presenting
them first gets strong attention, but may lead to an
communicator needs a strong format for the message. In a print ad, the
communicator has to decide on the headline, copy, illustration, and colour. To
attract attention, advertisers can use novelty and contrast; eye-catching
pictures and headlines; distinctive formats; message size and position; and
colour, shape, and movement. If the message will be carried over the radio, the
communicator must choose words, s promoting banking services, for example,
should be different from one promoting quality furniture.
If the message is to be
carried on television or in person, then all these elements plus body language
have to be planned. Presenters plan their facial expressions, gestures, dress,
posture, and hair style. If the message is carried on the product or its
package, the communicator has to watch texture, scent, colour, size, and
Buckley‘s Mixture- has sided advertising—―It tastesnditawful,works.a‖ shape.
Colour pla food preferences. When consumers sampled four cups of coffee that
had been placed next to brown, blue, red, and yellow containers (all the coffee
was identical, but the consumers did not know this), 75 percent felt that the
coffee next to the brown container tasted too strong; nearly 85 percent judged
the coffee next to the red container to be the richest; nearly everyone felt
that the coffee next to the blue container was mild; and the coffee next to the
yellow container was seen as weak. Therefore, if a coffee company wants to
communicate that its coffee is rich, it should probably use a red container
along with label copy boasting the coffee‘s rich taste.
communications can be defined as the process of:
1. presenting an
integrated set of stimuli to a market target with the aim of raising a desired
set of responses within that market
2. setting up channels
to receive, interpret and act on messages from the market to modify present
company messages and identify new communications opportunities.
As both a sender and a
receiver of market-related messages, a company can influence customers to buy
its brands in order to make profit. At the same time it can stay in touch with
its market so that it can adjust to changing market conditions and take
advantage of new communications opportunities.
The source of the message
Receivers of a message
are often greatly influenced by the nature of its source. If an audience
perceives a communicator as credible, then they will be more likely to accept
his or her views. If, on the other hand, the audience believes that the
communicator has underlying motives, particularly ones of personal gain, then
he or she will be less persuasive than someone the audience perceives as being
objective. Some advertisers use ‗candid‘ tele their credibility and eliminate
intent to per buy a particular brand or asking them to trade their chosen brand
Another method used by
companies to increase credibility is to have the product endorsed by an expert
with appropriate education and knowledge on a given subject. This source will
be more successful in changing audience opinions. Specialized sources of
information are often perceived as expert sources, and are successful due to
the fact that messages are aimed at selected audiences, for example the use of
sports professionals as promoters for brands.
The credibility of a
source is also a function of its perceived status or prestige. The higher the
perceived status of a source, the more persuasive it will be. If a receiver
likes a source, it will be more persuasive. It is clear that age, sex, dress,
mannerisms, accent and voice inflection all affect source credibility and
subtly influence the way an audience judges a communicator and his/her message.
A source high in
credibility can change the opinion of receivers, but available evidence
suggests that this influence disperses in a short time after the message is
received. It has also been observed that where an audience initially receives a
message from a low-credibility source, their opinion change increases over time
in the direction promoted by the source. This is referred to as the sleeper
effect. Another aspect of this is that when a high-credibility source is
reinstated, for example by a repeat advertisement, it has been found that
audience agreement with the source is higher after a period of time than if the
source had not been reinstated. For a low-credibility source, reinstatement
results in less agreement with the source than with no reinstatement, and it is
said that under these circumstances reinstatement negates the ‗sleeper effect‘.
Electing the communication channels
The communicator must
select efficient channels of communication to carry the message. Communication
channels are of two broad types, personal and non-personal.
Personal communication channels
channels involve two or more persons communicating directly with each other.
The might communicate face to face, person to audience, over the telephone, or
Personal communication channels are further divided
Advocate channels consists of company salespeople
who contact buyers in the target market. Dalmia Consumer Care has assembled a
team of rural sales promotion (RSPs) to promote their non-tobacco bidi brand
Vardaan in rural areas. In addition to performing their routine sales jobs, the
RSPs also target consumers directly at haats.
Expert channels consist of independent experts who
make statements to target buyers. Marketers of building/construction products
like cement and GC sheets target masons to promote their brands. Expert
communication channels command more credibility in rural as they are considered
insiders and posses the required technical knowledge.
Social channels consist of neighbours, friends,
family members and associates who talks to target buyers. In the rural context,
the social channel is the first channel to which potential consumers
automatically turn, before they solicit views and opinions from the outside
Non-personal communication channels carry messages
without personal contact or interaction. They include the mass media,
atmosphere and events.
The mass media consist of the print media (newspapers,
magazines, direct mail), the broadcast media (radio, television), the
electronic media (audio tape, videotape) and the display media (billboards,
signs, posters). Most non-personal messages come through paid media.
the Promotion Mix
face the task of distributing the total promotional budget over the five
Sales promotion Direct marketing Public relations
Salesforce (personal selling)
promotional tool has its own unique characteristics and costs. Marketers have
to understand these characteristics in order to select the most appropriate and
advertisement for rural Audiences
Communication experts need to keep the following
factors in mind when creating advertisements for rural audiences.
Understand the mindset of potential customers,
including their hopes, fears, aspirations and apprehensions conducting
qualitative study (Focus group discussion) among the target audience would help
in better understanding of the consumer mindset.
Pick up ‗gems‘ in the form of idioms, expressions, words, etc. in relation to
the product category for later use in the creative.
Tricky, clever, gimmicky, or even suggestive advertising does not work with
rural audiences. 'Flicks‘ using very expensive computer graphics without any
human presence go over the heads of rural audiences.
Combining education with ‗entertainment‘ is a good route to take when targeting
rural audiences. Using locally popular flim stars or even featuring religious
events (melas) popular in the region, helps strike a chord with rural
'Quickies‘ (short television commercials) do not register well with rural
audiences. Advertising agencies need to provide for ample time and space to
communicate a message properly and effectively to the intended audience. This
is seen for instance, in the popularity of the two-minute theatre commercials
screened in rural cinemas.