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Chapter: Business Science : Rural Marketing : Rural Consumer Behaviour In Marketing Research

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.

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.


Marketing communication 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.


Increase Awareness


Increased brand 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.


Change Attitudes


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 customers.


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


Message Content


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 

desired benefits. 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.‖


Message Structure


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 technique:



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 anti-climactic ending.


Message Format


The marketing 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.

Marketing 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 target;

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 for another.



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


Personal communication channels involve two or more persons communicating directly with each other. The might communicate face to face, person to audience, over the telephone, or through mail.


Personal communication channels are further divided into:


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 world.


Non-personal communication channels


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.


Deciding the Promotion Mix


Companies face the task of distributing the total promotional budget over the five promotional tools




Sales promotion Direct marketing Public relations


Salesforce (personal selling)


Each promotional tool has its own unique characteristics and costs. Marketers have to understand these characteristics in order to select the most appropriate and useful tool.


Creating 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 audiences.

 '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.

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