Introduction

This chapter continues to use the framework outlined in the previous chapter, by devoting its attention to the creation and communication activities within the marketing cycle. For many people the communications aspects of marketing are the most familiar. After all, if you turn on the television, open a newspaper, drive or walk around our cities, a company is trying to grab your attention - be it from a hoarding/billboard, a leaflet in the street or a message emblazoned on the side of a taxi or bus. We ourselves can even be considered as part of the marketing message, as we visibly display various brand names on our clothing.

As a student of marketing, you know that marketing is more than simply the very obvious activities of communication or promotion. We have already seen in Chapter 6 how understanding the customer is a vital part of the marketing process. It is the precursor to creating products and services which, customers actually want. Their needs and wants have to be incorporated into the products or services before going on to tell the same customers that you can offer these to them. Communication is perhaps the most visible marketing activity, but to fully work it must be integrated with all other parts of the cycle. Clearly, simply understanding customers and producing good products or services is crucial to the success of a busi ness, but unless potential customers are told about the product then who is going to buy it? Communication entails many marketing decisions; who to 'speak' to; how to reach them; what to tell them? Within this chapter we will look at the issues surrounding the creation of products or services including the development of global brands and issues to do with pricing and packaging. In the next section the basics of communicating value will be discussed, before going on to consider the role of advertising. Finally, the standardization versus adaptation debate will be discussed before concluding the chapter.

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