3 la o translate a sales goal into a specific communications objective. But at some point a sales goal must be transformed into a communications objective. If the marketing plan for an established brand has as an objective of increasing sales by 10 percent, the promotional planner will eventually have to think in terms of the message that will be communicated to the target audience to achieve this. Possible objectives include the following:
• Increasing the percentage of consumers in the target market who associate specific features, benefits, or advantages with our brand.
• Increasing the number of consumers in the target audience who prefer our product over the competition's.
• Encouraging current users of the product to use it more frequently or in more situations.
• Encouraging consumers who have never used our brand to try it.
Figure 7-4 Setting objectives using the communications effects pyramid
Product: Backstage Shampoo Time period: Six months
Objective 1: Create awareness among 90 percent of target audience. Use repetitive advertising in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio programs. Simple message.
Objective 2: Create interest in the brand among 70 percent of target audience.
Communicate information about the features and benefits of the brand—i.e., that it contains no soap and improves the texture of the hair. Use more copy in ads to convey benefits.
Objective 3: Create positive feelings about the brand among 40 percent and preference among 25 percent of the target audience. Create favorable attitudes by conveying information, promotions, sampling, etc. Refer consumer to website for more information, beauty tips, etc.
Objective 4: Obtain trial among 20 percent of the target audience. Use sampling and cents-off coupons along with advertising and promotions. Offer coupons through website.
Objective 5: Develop and maintain regular use of Backstage Shampoo among 5 percent of the target audience. Use continued-reinforcement advertising, fewer coupons and promotions. Increase communications efforts to professionals.
Belch: Advertising and I IV. Objectives and I 7. Establishing Objectives I I © The McGraw-Hill
Promotion, Sixth Edition Budgeting for Integrated and Budgeting for the Companies, 2003
Marketing Promotional Program Communications Programs
In some situations, promotional planners may gain insight into communications objectives' relationship to sales from industry research. Evalucom, Inc., conducted a study of commercials for new products. Some succeeded in stimulating anticipated levels of sales; others did not. Figure 7-5 shows four factors the study identified that affect whether a commercial for a new product is successful in generating sales.
In attempting to translate sales goals into specific communications objectives, promotional planners often are not sure what constitutes adequate levels of awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, or conviction. There are no formulas to provide this information. The promotional manager will have to use his or her personal experience and that of the brand or product managers, as well as the marketing history of this and similar brands. Average scores on various communications measures for this and similar products should be considered, along with the levels achieved by competitors' products. This information can be related to the amount of money and time spent building these levels as well as the resulting sales or market share figures.
At some point, sales-oriented objectives must be translated into what the company hopes to communicate and to whom it hopes to communicate it. For example, in the highly competitive office supply industry Boise Cascade has been around for over 35 years. In a market where differentiation is difficult to achieve due to the fact that many companies make the same products at about equal prices, Boise lacked personality. The company needed to change the consumers' focus from price to the advantages provided by its knowledge and experience in the industry. After identifying the target market as women 18 to 54 with a high school diploma, the company combined with its agency to develop a "personality test" that customers and potential customers could take to learn more about their personalities and interactive styles. In addition, participants could learn more about the styles of coworkers, relatives, and so on, to improve communications. The "You've Got to Have Personality" campaign was designed in an attempt to have participants learn more about themselves as well as Boise Cascade. Initially using advertising, direct mail, the Internet, and sales promotions, the program was later extended to include trade shows and other promotions. The results were obvious—a 30 percent increase in web traffic and a 250 percent jump in visitors to the company's online magazine. Most important, recognition of the Boise name increased, a personality was established, and sales of the products promoted in the "Personality" flyer increased 15.8 percent over the previous year.12
Many marketing and promotional managers recognize the value of setting specific communications objectives and their important role as operational guidelines to the planning, execution, and evaluation of the promotional program. Communications objectives are the criteria used in the DAGMAR approach to setting advertising goals and objectives, which has become one of the most influential approaches to the advertising planning process.
• Communicating that something is different about the product. Successful introductory commercials communicated some point of difference for the new product.
• Positioning the brand difference in relation to the product category. Successful commercials positioned their brand's difference within a specific product category. For example, a new breakfast product was positioned as the "crispiest cereal" and a new beverage as the "smoothest soft drink."
• Communicating that the product difference is beneficial to consumers. Nearly all of the successful commercials linked a benefit directly to the new product's difference.
• Supporting the idea that something about the product is different and/or beneficial to consumers. All the successful commercials communicated support for the product's difference claim or its relevance to consumers. Support took the form of demonstrations of performance, information supporting a uniqueness claim, endorsements, or testimonials.
Figure 7-5 Factors related to success of advertising for new products
Figure 7-5 Factors related to success of advertising for new products
IV. Objectives and Budgeting for Integrated Marketing
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