Understanding the communication mix

Marketing communication functions within a marketing framework. However, at least 70% of my clients who request marketing help, actually want help with communications, rather than strategy. No one can do business with you if they they don’t who you are . . . and to find out who you are you need to communicate with them.

We’ll cover the many aspects of Marcomms in future blogs, but here are the important elements and where they fit.

The primary goal of marketing communication (whether internal to staff, or external to the marketplace) is to reach a specific audience and affect their behavior by informing, persuading, and reminding.

A secondary goal of marketing communication is to build & reinforce ongoing relationships with your audience.

The Marcomms mix

Relies on making the right choices of a combination of options called the promotional mix. These options traditionally include advertising, promotions, public relations, direct marketing, and personal selling.

Online and digital media deserves a category of it’s own in that it complements the traditional concepts of Marcomms, but requires specific knowledge, skills & technology.

The role each element takes in a marketing communication programme relies in part on whether a company employs a push or pull marketing strategy. A PULL STRATEGY relies more on consumer demand than personal selling for the product to travel from the originator to the end user. The demand generated by advertising, public relations, and sales promotion “pulls” the goods or service through the channels of distribution. A PUSH STRATEGY, on the other hand, emphasizes personal selling to push the product through these channels.

Successful Marketing Communication

For marketing communication to be successful, it needs to work with the other areas of marketing, the product, service or idea itself, the price at which the product will be offered to the market & the places through which customers may purchase the brand. The best promotion CANNOT overcome poor product quality, high prices, or insufficient retail distribution.

Integrated marketing orchestrates all forms of the promotional mix to reach customers at different levels in the decision making process, and requires sound management decisions and co-ordination of the various elements of the promotional mix.

Integrated Marketing Communication

Rather than the traditional inside-out view, IMC is seen as an outside-in perspective and focuses on relationship building and synergy. Customers are viewed not as targets but as partners in an ongoing relationship. Customers, prospects, and others encounter the brand and company through a host of sources and form a perception about the brand and company.

By knowing the media habits and lifestyles of important consumer segments, marketers can tailor messages through media that are most likely to reach these segments at times when these segments are most likely to be receptive to these messages, thus optimizing the marketing communication effort.

Ideally, IMC should work hand in hand with the development of databases on customers and prospects, segment current and potential customers into groups with common needs, predispositions, and behaviours, and develop messages and media strategies that guide the communication tactics to meet marketing objectives.

In doing this, IMC builds and reinforces mutually profitable relationships with customers and others, and generates synergy towards achieving clarity, consistency, and maximum impact.

Some more topics in the pipeline coming soon.


  • Advertising
  • Publicity
  • Promotions
  • Sales support
  • Personal selling
  • Online techniques

On January 7, 2011, posted in: General, Marketing Communication by
4 Responses to Understanding the communication mix
  1. Very good article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.

  2. I truly tend to go along with the whole thing that has been composed inside Matchstick Blinds “Understanding the communication mix”.

    Thank you for pretty much all the details.Thank you-Mildred

  3. I want to know exactly why you labeled this particular blog post, “Understanding the communication mix”.
    In any case I actually adored the blog!Thanks for the post,Felicitas

    • Hi, glad you liked the blog although not sure about your question. I thought the article was self explanatory? In my experience many businesses prepare marketing strategies without understanding fully which aspects of the communication mix are appropriate to use, and when, and how it all fits together for cohesive communication across all client touch points.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>