Overview of the Marketing Communications Sector
There is a tremendous variety of marketing communications suppliers producing imaginative marketing services associated to branding, graphic design, internet marketing, advertising, promotion, publicity and public relations. Marketing communications companies produce campaign services, incorporating marketing, business communications, and public relations on behalf of their clients. These services are campaign explicit and aim to track down innovative ways to back up sales activities and generate new business sales leads. Much of the activity also involves the formulation of brand specific collateral to shore up sales and marketing initiatives and public relations activities.
Marketing communications suppliers have high levels of awareness regarding the latest digital channels and mechanisms for delivery of a consistent marketing message. Most notable is the growth of social media marketing and advertising. Activities will also include production of traditional printed media as well as promotional projects across online blogs, email forums and news wires. Regardless of the delivery channel or medium, the promotion of the brand is usually predominant. As such, marketing communications (or 'marcoms' as it is known) involves substantial creative and design disciplines to warrant any graphic design work is consistent with the companies common branded look and feel. This includes the correct and harmonious use of any slogans, logos, symbols, colours with historical marketing literature.
Most brand activity is planned to reinforce or promote the features and benefits related to a specific product or service. Consequently, most marketing communications services can be budgeted and have specific consequences, which are designed to support the company's marketing aspirations. For example, the key responsibilities of a third-party specialist might be to devise an innovative strategy which target distinct sales channels, to deliver key messages and industry specific unique selling points.
A typical example of a marcomms campaign is the launch of a new product into an existing market using multiple channels. This may involve the use of innovative advertising across TV, radio, newspapers, trade journals, and so on. However, these mediums aim to send out the message to mass markets, but at a high premium. Whereas, some marketing communications ventures are more explicit and zero in on an existing client base. Existing clients' can more easily be contacted using low-cost newsletters or announcements on company blogs and social networking pages. So much public relations activity can be achieved at relatively low cost through the use of online social media. Yet it is a time-consuming process which is best left to the expert. The application of networking to spread a message is at the heart of public relations activities. Specialist suppliers may bring a fresh perspective to business proprietors seeking new ways to advertise a special offer or reinforce key products or services deals.
Many suppliers offer specific services (such as telemarketing campaigns). Professional telemarketing companies can advise on most effective use of opt-in databases, selling laws regarding cold calling or email marketing, as well as carrying out a targeted and tracked telephone campaign to achieve a definite end. Other specialist services are market research companies. Market research forms the basis of marketing goals, which naturally lead into marketing communications. So all planned marketing activity should be consistent with research findings.
As the range online ways and means of promotion and advertising regularly change, so specialist providers need to keep up with these changes to maximise campaign effectiveness and ensure best practice. For small company owners, it can be a daunting task to do-it-yourself and an almost unmanageable one to keep up with all the latest online developments. Therefore, many business owners will search for advice from a professional marketing communications consultant for guidance on which online service to use, and how best to devise a targeted campaign. Everything from graphic design for new brochures, to launching a publicity event, to devising compelling copywriting for blogs and promotional materials, needs careful planning and consideration. At every point in which customers come into connection with a business, is an opportunity to raise awareness and generate publicity.
When searching for a proper marketing communications company, there are a multitude from which to choose. Some may possess all of the skills needed to deliver specific campaigns, whereas others may be limited but focused on one particular discipline (such as graphic design and advertising). Many online business directories will have sections set aside to specific business services within marketing which should help to identify the aptitudes, knowledge and skills of a particular supplier.
Check out online reviews from existing clients and recommendations to help guide your short listing. Read the suppliers' work on blogs, news announcements, or other web and marketing copy from former campaigns. This helps to establish how compelling their brand messaging is not to mention highlights the quality of their application of English and grammar in advertisements and other literary productions. Ask for examples of any printed communications, as well as online examples of their design work for promotional literature. Of course, a face-to-face meeting goes a long way to discover suppliers' level of experience and knowledge. It is a fast moving sector involving tight deadlines. For these reasons, any marketing communications skilled practitioner should be extremely organised and be able to remain cool as a cucumber under pressure.