MKT570 Integrated Marketing Communications

MKT570 Integrated Marketing Communications
Assignment Three
Todd Baldwin, Jessica Hildyard, Donna Squires
Part One
Review and critique the customer initiated marketing communication model by
Duncan (2005) in the text. Investigate this in relation to the rise of social media and
even citizen journalism and then investigate how businesses are working in this
environment. Provide some academic research, statistics and examples to make
your case.
IMC places the customer at the centre of an organisation and by doing so the role
of the marketer is no longer to plan, develop and implement communication
strategies; instead it is to respond appropriately to customer needs and wants
(Schultz & Schultz, 2002). Social media provides the perfect interactive market place
to facilitate such a relationship between the customer and business and makes
Duncan’s customer initiated communication model highly relevant to modern day
marketing communication.
Historically, marketers have applied one way marketing communication models
such as the Lavidge and Steiner Model (1961) in order to plan and implement
marketing strategies. According to Schultz & Schultz (2002, pg 160), marketers
typically relied on the out-bound distribution of messages and incentives. The
organisation developed what it wanted to say, developed messages and
incentives, selected distribution forms and methods, and then sent those messages
and incentives on their way. These one-way models where applicable as the use of
traditional mediums such as broadcast, print media and press releases, allowed
marketers to control, or at least tightly manage, messaging about their product or
company (Woods, 2005).
Rapid changes in digital technology have facilitated the rise of social media,
enabling bi-directional communication whereby audience members can directly or
indirectly express their views to businesses (Woods, 2005. pg 25). The bi-directional
nature of social media has fundamentally changed the way consumers are able to
communicate with business, making Duncan’s customer initiated marketing
communication model more applicable now than any time before. The speed in
which these messages are able to be sent, received and replied to, combined with
the complete lack of geographical boarders surrounding them and the sheer size of
the audience makes social media a channel like no other (Meyerson, 2010), thus
compounding the importance of such a model.
A customer with two tweets, a video blog and a Facebook status update can do
more harm or good to a brand than a well-planned marketing campaign (Levinson,
2010. Pg 1). Social media has provided the customer with unprecedented power,
which highlights the importance and practicality of Duncan’s model whilst creating
a new marketing communication environment.
The transparent nature and size of the social media and citizen journalism audience
[Facebook has approximately 600 million users (Who’s Blogging What), whilst the
number of internet blogs stands at over 200 million (Meyerson, 2010)], provides
businesses with an excellent opportunity to monitor and measure what is being said
about their products and services, thus helping businesses to accumulate
repositories of uninhibited customer initiated communication (Scott, 2010).
This communication provides information that enables organisations to better
understand who their customer is, their needs and wants, and assists in uncovering
changes in the marketplace allowing for more effective, efficient and dynamic
marketing strategies, products and services (Levinson, 2010). An excellent example
of this is whereby bloggers communicate with other bloggers
via uploading quantitative data regarding their running activities that are recorded
via a GPS tracking device. This communication can be linked to social media
networks that allow friends and follower to view and comment on this information.
Nike then uses this information to ‘reward’ participants via formulating personalised
running programs and voice messages from professional athletes.
Duncan’s two-way communication model and the digital technology that
complements it, has implications on the relationships between businesses and
consumers. Social media platforms not only provide businesses with relevant
databases but also an ideal medium to develop customer relationship
management programs, which aim to establish a relationship with customers
through affinities, and personalised communication (Belch et al 2010).
According to Duncan (2005, pg 3), businesses are engaging in dialogue with
customers which is increasingly (particularly with the rise of social media) being
initiated by the customer, furthermore businesses realise that building relationships
based on trust is more likely to yield financial results than ‘talking at’ customers.
Research conducted by Dolan (2011) indicates that through engaging with
consumers via social media businesses are able to build trust, which aids in
encouraging brand loyalty and building brand equity, in fact Meyerson (2010, pg
129) states that the key to a business achieving success with social media is building
up trust.
Businesses are now allowing consumers to do the talking for them. Veale (as quoted
by Barwick, 2011) suggests that generations X and Y are sceptical of traditional
advertising, furthermore, upward of 80% of people say they trust the advice received
through blogs/community networks and one in three users visit websites with user
generated content to help make a purchase decision. In light of this businesses are
using Social Media and citizen journalism to spin positive PR whilst reducing the
resources allocated to traditional media. An example of this unbiased, nontraditional use of media can be seen in the marketing practices of Chapel Hill
Winery. This organisation communicates reviews posted by wine bloggers with
stakeholders via social media platforms to reinforce their image of representing
premium quality.
Given the shift in the way people seek information and the many advantages of
social media, Woods (2005, pg 25) suggests it is imperative for businesses to join the
digital communication sphere as active participants and listeners in order to
develop richer relationships with consumers and understand what critics have to say.
Part Two
Review and critique the basic model of consumer decision making on page 127.
Investigate this model and how an organisation might use communication tools to
walk the consumer (or business consumer) from awareness to becoming a loyal
customer. This will include how different tools might be used at different stages of the
model, consumers’ current attitude towards brands/products and services etc. As
with the above provide academic support, statistics and examples.
Belch and Belch et al’s basic model of consumer decision making (see page 127,
2011) leads us through 5 steps to help us understand the consumers decision making
processes. By recognising the stage of the process we can apply targeted
communications tools to guide the consumer from product awareness to a repeat
and loyal customer.
Consumer Decision making model
Model diagram courtesy of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore Accessed 06/09/2011
Kotler et al (2001) show a similar representative model of consumer psychology. The
first step of the model applies before the consumer is at the problem recognition
stage above. It suggests we examine what the consumer’s motivation is, in order to
understand: ‘what are they really seeking to satisfy?’.
Motivation  perception  learning  beliefs and attitudes  and personality and
Mass communication tools allow companies to disseminate untargeted information
to those consumers who may not realise they ‘need’ a product yet. If done well, this
information recall can fast track the motivation into a purchase decision. In an age
of database or direct marketing, saturation of products in mass media is not always
a strong strategy, when alternatives can provide stronger dividends.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a famous motivational analysis model for ‘Needs
based’ understanding. It is a bottom up approach with the largest segment of the
pyramid, leading to the least important for survival, represented by a smaller triangle
at the top of the pyramid model. Some may argue that having the latest iPhone is a
physiological need!
Model of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs courtesy of James McGovern - Accessed 06/09/2011
When Maslow’s classic needs hierarchy is applied to consumer studies, it reflects
what pushes the first stage of needs, into motives of the next stage of the decision
making process. Kotler et al (2001) says that ‘need’ transfers into ‘motive’ when the
need becomes significantly ‘aroused’, to push motive into action. By understanding
where the consumer’s motivation fits into Maslow’s pyramid, you can then begin to
pitch campaigning or messaging in that segment. For example, many ‘high end’
brands, like Rolex and Louis Vuitton, apply messaging to pitch at self-esteem or selfvalue by marketing their products as enviable, exclusive, desirable, elite objects that
applies the same set of values to the consumer by product association, to the
consumer’s (apparent) self- actualization.
Advertising research in the 1970’s (see Matsuno, 1997) took Maslow’s basic model
and adapted it to create a specific model called the ‘Hierarchy of Effects’ (HOE)
This is the model that seeks to represent the information gathering processing by a
consumer from external influences. Delozier (1976) is credited with a general model
(in Matsuno, 1997) showing 7 steps from awareness to purchasing.
Unawareness  Awareness  Knowledge  Liking  Preference Conviction  Purchase
Kotler’s Buyer behaviour model or the ‘black box’ model (pg 117, 2001) expanded
on his motivational model to reflect how the fundamentals of integrated marketing
communications (IMC) tools, the 5ps, led the purchase decision outcome by
providing ‘stimuli’ to the consumer.
This ‘black box’ model has since been criticised for its lack of depth explaining the
true processes through empirical research in the ‘black box’ component of the
model. (see Lye, et al, 2004.)
There are many different models that have been applied to consumer behaviour
research, complementary and stand alone, in which the outcome - the purchase
and future purchases (i.e. loyalty) can be arrived at. Through the academic
modelling above, the process looks systematic, but we know through our own
behaviour that intrinsic knowledge and external internal influences can occur at any
stage of the decision making process. For example, the application of alternative
evaluation can apply several times through the information gathering stage as a
continuous loop between new information and options analysis.
For the purposes of the next part of the discussion, we will apply communication
tools to the Belch and Belch model, to demonstrate how best practice strategies
could affect the decision making process, noting firstly, that the application of other
factors can always occur at any time, and secondly, that humans, as the complex
creatures we are, may not always move onto the next stage of the process. To
create harmonised IMC strategies, it appears it is sound to apply tools directly to
stages of the decision-making processes, to ensure each possible step is covered.
Stage 1 – Problem recognition: Ongoing availability of product information as a
motivational trigger, as outlined in Kotler’s motivation model is an example of a
strategy for this stage. This could be done via mass media outlets, such as ongoing
messaging. For example, “Harvey Norman’s whitegoods have an interest free
program for when you need something and don’t have cash up front. We supply
options for everyone.” A newspaper insert, or direct delivery of a catalogue to
mailboxes act as a needs recognition device, as they serve as a reminder for
uninformed consumers. For example, an insert or catalogue advertising stationary
specials at a local newsagency, timed just before the end of school holidays.
Stage 2 – Information Search: Consumers utilise their ‘buying power’ and seek further
information before deciding on a resolution. The internet and online sites can make
it easier for consumers than ever before to seek information, ask others about their
experiences and take to the next stage of alternative evaluation. As an
organisation, you wouldn’t wish the alternative evaluation to take your potential
customer, so by applying open methods of communication such as online FAQs on
products,’ try before you buy’ in-store schemes, advertised discount or price
matching programs, targeted sponsorships (i.e. McDonalds and Milo sponsoring Little
Athletics Australia to directly market to families with children.) and traditional mass
media campaigns. Some consumers may, as discussed, decide after seeking to this
point, that they don’t actually need what they were looking for and exit the process
here. The power of social media is strong for modern IMC activities as it gives
consumers the opportunity to ‘opt-in’ on products of interest or future interest. This
may be attributed to the likeness of social media being similar to that powerful
mechanism, ‘word of mouth’. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook give companies
the opportunity to humanise themselves as part of their traditional branding, as well
as connecting consumers with products, and other like-minded consumers.
Mismanagement on these outlets can be a detriment to the brand though.
Using Google’s SEO strategies is very valuable as it allows organisations to control
where they sit in the world’s largest search engine, to be first point accessible for
information seeking consumers.
Stage 3 – Alternative evaluation: As said, stage 2 and 3 are linked and can be
applied in the consumer decision making at the same time. This is especially
apparent with grocery product selection due to the similarity of many products. The
need to differentiate or be recalled in store off the back of mass media strategies is
important in this environment. On-site strategies such as in-store placements, or
‘sample stations’ are still of value to the consumer’s decision-making process. There
is a lot of research that goes into the placement of products in supermarket stores to
influence or affect shoppers. Belch and Belch (pg 135, 2011) discuss sensory and
perception strategies as ways to influence consumer behaviour such as mnemonics,
jingles, and creative mascots to help consumers retain or recall the information
gathered. The application of one of 5 P’s – Price - also occurs as an alternative for
undedicated/unaware consumers. This can also be said about labels such as ‘lite’,
or ‘organic’, even though new research from the UK states that these ‘buzzwords’
may be losing their value for consumers. (See AFR, 5 September 2011)
Stage 4 - Purchase decision: This is where, hopefully the hard work of providing
knowledge to your potential consumer so the product has fit their motivation, met
their psychological requirements, stood up to solid internal and external influences
backed by research, been retained as part of the options analysis, and the
consumer is now satisfied that the product will provide value for their needs. What
happens now? The intention is good, and the consumer has now made a purchase
decision. Some external environmental influences can affect the outcomes at this
stage, such as availability of stock, no car spaces, online store cannot process credit
card details, etc. There remain a few controls that can occur at this stage, such as
rainchecks, strategic planning for and management of external physical space such
as adequate parking facilities, and follow up customer service or on-site help
services to retain the customer through the transaction.
Stage 5 – Post-purchase evaluation: Bringing them back - measurement of the
consumers’ decision-making process related experience is never in vain. The
opportunity to provide feedback to the organisation should be a key
communications tool. This can be done via 24-hour online contact service, in-store
materials, telephone services, or even public events such as field days or community
events. Gathering of this information can only strengthen the products and
organisation corporate positions, if analysed and applied appropriately. Database
management is a useful tool that allows consumers to feel appreciated and feel
they have a direct relationship with the company. Simple tools such as birthday
cards with giveaways or discounts personalise the relationship, and can entice
repeat business via alternative evaluation measures. Loyalty programs can also be
used as a retention measure.
Reference List
Barwick, J. (2011). Strategy needed in social wine message. In Grapegrower and
Winemaker, National Journal of the Wine Industry. (Feb 2011, Pg 74-75).Winetitles;
Belch, G.E., Belch, M.A., Kerr, G., Powell, I. (2009) Advertising & promotion: an
integrated marketing communication perspective. Sydney: McGraw Hill.
Dolan, R. (2011). Social Media as a Marketing Communications Strategy. Adelaide:
University of Adelaide.
Duncan, T. (2005). Using advertising and promotion to build brands. In Principles of
advertising & IMC (2ND ED., PP.3-24). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Lavidge, R. J. and Steiner, G. A. (1961). "A Model of Predictive Measurements of
Advertising Effectiveness", Journal of Marketing, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 59-62.
Levinson, J. (2010). Guerrilla Social Media Marketing, 100+ Steps to Grow Your Online
Audience, Attract Customers and Drive Profits. Entrepreneur Press; Canada. Viewed
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Meyerson, M. (2010). The Success Secrets of the Social Media Superstars.
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Scott, D.M. (2011). The New Rules of Marketing and PR. (2nd ED). John Wiley and Sons
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Schultz, D. E. & Schultz, H.F. (2004). IMC the Next Generation, Five Steps for delivering
Value and Measuring Financial Returns. New York; McGraw Hill.
Who’s Blogging What (2011). The Facebook Marketing Update Spring 2011. Hubspot.
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Woods. J. (2005). Digital Influencers: do business dare overlook the power of blogs?
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[Accessed 1.09.11].