When you venture into e-commerce, you can also learn a lot about traditional commerce. Although the basic logic is the same in commerce, e-commerce is a digitalized and more advanced version of traditional commerce. The common point is, of course, marketing. Both traditional and digital marketing are sine qua non of commerce. Reaping the fruits of marketing efforts is only possible with correct marketing communication. While doing e-commerce, you should carry out marketing communication work in a digital language. For this, you should know what marketing communication is and what it is not.
What is Marketing Communication?
Marketing communication; It is a term that can be used for the whole of the efforts of the producers and sellers to reach the target consumer and customer by using all marketing components. The basis of the communication process is to meet the demands and requirements of the target society, namely potential customers, and to satisfy the customers. This foundation is implemented based on the purpose of making a profit. Traditional and digital mass media such as TV, newspaper, radio, internet, and social media are used to reach the target society.
Marketing in general terms; is the process of transferring products or services from sellers to buyers in line with some planned organization. Therefore, the parties of marketing are the producer/seller and the consumer/buyer. The relationship between the parties is established through marketing communication studies. Accordingly, marketing communication; can be effective in the entire period from the first moment of a product or service to its consumption by the final consumer.
What Are the Characteristics of Marketing Communications?
It is a concept that can be understood more clearly with its marketing communication features. There are various definitions of this concept, but the general logic of each definition is the same. Therefore, you can make the actual definition through your own marketing communication strategy. Some of the features of marketing communication are as follows.
- Marketing communication contains all the elements of classical communication and marketing language together.
- The main purpose is to create a favorable brand perception in the minds of current and potential customers.
- Studies are carried out in line with the evaluation of the experiences, suggestions, complaints, requests, and demands of current and potential customers.
- Reaching the potential customer is one of the most important goals of marketing communication.
- Customers are often closed to communication. For this reason, employees responsible for marketing communications work on generating arguments that can capture the customer.
- Marketing communication is considered the sum of many small and large elements.
- From logo color to staff attire, from site design to physical store decoration, every action can be a part of marketing communication.
- It is not just about advertising, marketing communication can be established through social responsibility projects and initiatives such as sponsorship.
What Are the Purposes of Marketing Communications?
Objectives in marketing communications vary according to the preferred approach. The marketing techniques used can be designed according to two different approaches: “sales” and “communication”. The sales-oriented approach, as the name suggests, is aimed at increasing sales. The success of marketing communication is determined by the rate of increase in sales.
In the communication-oriented approach, sales are just one of the processes. The main thing is to make the presence of the brand feel to existing and potential customers. A non-sales communication language is highly effective in gaining the customer’s trust. Therefore, establishing marketing communication only on sales is not efficient on its own. The communication-oriented approach has effects such as increasing brand trust and customer loyalty.
Accordingly, the objectives of marketing communication can include:
- Increase sales
- Increasing repeat sales
- Making products memorable
- Increasing brand awareness
- Getting potential customers to know the brand and products
- Raising the perception towards the brand and products
- Constructing the behavior of target audience members through mass psychology
- To turn customers’ perception of quality in a positive direction
- Introducing the brand and products to wider audiences, making their name known
- Creating loyal customers who can shop repeatedly
- Reminding the brand and products related to the period in certain periods
- Developing products and business
- To innovate
Is Marketing Communication Important?
Marketing communication is important for every brand. However, not every brand can do enough work on this issue. Brands may have different goals and expectations. It is therefore likely that they will set up other strategies as well. Every brand benefits from marketing communications, but some build their entire strategy on it. If you know a brand by its color, slogan, logo, or ad music, that brand has done its marketing communications perfectly.
Since the intensity of competition in the e-commerce market is high, this awareness increases the sales on the one hand and extends the life of the brand on the other hand. Marketing communication, which is of great importance in the creation of brand identity, helps you gain the trust of the customer. A customer who trusts your brand means a loyal customer. Customer loyalty is important because it brings brand value rather than financial income.
If you want to become a reliable and known brand and have loyal customers, you should know how important marketing communication is. If you sell a certain product at a price below the market within a campaign, many users who did not prefer your e-commerce site before will buy the relevant product. But when prices return to normal, the number of people choosing you for the same product may decrease significantly. Here, marketing communication is such an important work that it puts the price of the product in the background in the eyes of the customer and ensures repetitive sales.
How is Marketing Communication Made?
How marketing communication management is done is as important as the preferred strategy. Since the techniques to be used may differ according to the purpose of construction, it should be tried to reach the goal in the most accurate way. One of the main reasons for using marketing communication and persuasion techniques together is to achieve the target as soon as possible. If the planning is done correctly, the work will be successful. The stages of the marketing communication planning process can be summarized as follows:
- Making a situation analysis
- Setting goals
- Determining the marketing communication strategy
- Drawing the path to be followed in line with the strategy
- Taking steps in line with the budget on the path drawn
Marketing automation can also be used in the planning process. Because in this process, it is very important to know what the target audience wants. The basis of marketing communication is to satisfy the target society. This society does not always want to buy a new product. Rather, he wants a brand he can trust. Detailed data can also be collected with automation and software. Some examples of marketing communication activities that can be done are as follows:
- Carrying out public relations activities
- Performing customer relationship management
- Creating visual communication elements in the sense of brand, product, packaging, and corporate
- Developing one-to-one sales activities
- Investing in direct marketing activities
- Carrying out general advertising activities
- Setting a strategy for general marketing activities
- Doing work such as promotion, sponsorship, and viral marketing
What are Marketing Communication Models?
Marketing communication efforts are only successful when they make an impact. For this reason, while creating marketing communication methods, the target audience is placed in the center. However, a target audience created solely in line with demographic data and value segmentation does not constitute a sufficient pool to reach the most accurate people. Behaviors, tendencies, and even lifestyles within the audience should also be discussed in detail. Afterward, the following “steps to make an impact” should be taken.
- Determine what stage the customer is at with the hierarchy of effects model.
- Create an engaging and call-to-action message that adheres to the AIDA model.
- Wait for the right time to get in touch.
- Establish a link between the target audience and the brand.
- Create experiences for customers in the audience.
Hierarchy of Effects Model
Hierarchy of Effects model; It shows you where your potential customers are on their purchasing journey. There are various consumer profiles that do not know your brand at all, are not convinced to shop despite knowing it, and do not prefer to buy products for some reason despite being convinced. According to this model, customers take 6 steps to make a purchase. In these 6 steps, you must create a marketing communication that can sell the product to the customer.
- Raising awareness
- Giving information
- Getting likes
- Being preferred
- To convince
The thing to note in the hierarchy of effects model is that not every study starts from step one. Your potential customers may be waiting for you in the second or fifth step. With this model, you should plan to take your target audience to the next step. When you launch a new product on the market, you should inform the target market about it, raise awareness and provide information, get appreciation and bring the product to a preferable point, and lastly, you should work to persuade the customer to buy.
The AIDA marketing communication model is used to create the actual message that provides the communication in question. Regardless of the status of the product, it can only be sold when properly described. That’s why ads exist, and successful ads contain a call to action. According to the AIDA model, the main message should attract attention, arouse interest in the target audience, trigger the desire to buy, and enable the customer to take the desired action.
The model consists of 4 stages and takes its name from the initials of these stages.
- Attention: Attention!
- Interest: Arouse interest!
- Desire (desire): Create a desire to buy!
- Action: Activate!
What is the Marketing Communications Mix?
The marketing communications mix is one of the most basic and common strategies. Marketing communication elements that managers have to make decisions about while conducting the studies are called “mixed” in short. These elements, which should be addressed in the management of the process, also directly affect the functions of marketing communication.
Advertising is the constant dynamic of marketing. So much so that advertising and marketing are concepts that can often be used even in the same sense. But it’s also helpful to know the difference. One of the most effective ways to establish marketing communication between the brand and the customer is to use advertisements. There are many channels where you can advertise on both traditional and digital media. Therefore, advertisements published in areas where the marketing communication target audience is concentrated can form the basis of strong communication.
No matter how unique, high quality and affordable your product is, there is definitely an alternative. In today’s world, where e-commerce has reached and e-export can be done easily, the probability of selling a product that has no alternative is very low. But it is possible for you to be the first brand that comes to mind in case of need. For this, you need to do effective sales promotion work. Advertising is the basis of sales promotion. In addition to advertising, you can promote with various methods such as public relations, product development, personal selling, promotions, and discounts.
Even if the sales performance of a product is good, you should not stop the marketing communication activities related to that product. This is important in order to stay alive in the minds of customers and to be the first choice. The fact that the Coca-Cola brand is still advertising cola, a product of about 200 years, can be shown as a clear example of sales promotion efforts.
Marketing communication and public relations are also interrelated elements. The public, who are trying to establish a relationship, are actually potential customers in the target audience. A healthy relationship is only possible with marketing communication. After all, public relations; is the governing body organized to gain the support, trust, and sympathy of the people with whom a brand can communicate. It is indispensable for both sales and communication-oriented approaches.
Direct marketing, has an important place in marketing communication activities; It refers to all the ways in which the brand communicates its messages directly to its potential customers without the use of an intermediary media. E-mail marketing, which is frequently used in e-commerce, is one of the most well-known direct marketing methods. Sending e-mail is an act of communication in itself. Placing a marketing element in the e-mail in question can be considered a natural marketing communication effort.
The method called “personal selling” in marketing; is the face-to-face meeting of the sales and marketing departments with one or more potential customers. At the end of this meeting, it is aimed to complete the sale process. It is mostly preferred when the purchase amount is large and purchases are made at irregular intervals. In the sale of a newly developed product, the personal selling method is used to explain the features and working principles of the product in question.
How to Create Marketing Communication Strategies?
Marketing communication strategies; It is formed by determining long-term activities and targets, allocating resources to reach these targets, and determining the direction of the works. Strategies enable communication to take place, serve the right purpose and reach the goal. Strategies in this context are three: “product-utility”, “image-identity” and “product-positioning” strategies.
Regardless of the dimensions of marketing communication, all resources and opportunities should be harmonized with each other. Providing integrity between studies helps determine the right strategy. A correct marketing communication strategy should cover the following details.
- Evaluate target audience units
- To identify the means of communication that can convey the message in the most effective way.
- Set when and where to communicate
- Determine the marketing communications mix to use
- Planning how the budget will be allocated
Product – Benefit Strategies
Product-benefit strategies are created in order to highlight the benefits of the product that is the subject of the study and to convey to the target audience. It focuses on the character, functions, features, capabilities, and benefits of the product.
Image – Identity Strategies
The goal of image strategies is to create an impression of the brand in the minds of potential customers. With this strategy, the specificity of the brand is emphasized and it is ensured that it stands out among the brands in the same sector. Identity strategies are formed after the image is developed. It aims to create a brand image among consumers. Image strategies highlight the product, and identity strategies highlight the brand.
Product – Positioning Strategy
Product – positioning; It is a strategy based on telling who the products appeal to, what message they convey, and at what level they are positioned relative to competing products. The product subject to this strategy can be positioned in the minds of potential customers by associating it with competing products.
Digital Marketing Communication in E-Commerce
Digital marketing communication tools are used in e-commerce. These tools are ad-oriented and the only purpose of these ads is not to increase sales. Therefore, it is also possible to create digital advertising campaigns for marketing communication purposes. Some of the advertising types that can be preferred in digital marketing communication are as follows:
- Google Ads ads
- Social media ads
- Banner (display) ads
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Affiliate marketing
It is more efficient to use data while determining digital marketing communication strategies. Because, thanks to digital tools, very close to real data can be obtained. Browsing this data helps you both see the success of the current strategy and build your future strategy. The metrics that should be measured in digital marketing communication are as follows:
- Total number of website visitors
- Cost per customer
- Acquired customer rate
- Recycling rate
- Number of access
- Engagement rates