As the marketing manager of automotive company during an economic downturn, you are responsible…
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As the marketing manager of automotive company during an economic downturn, you are responsible for putting together a communication plan for the coming year. which promotional tools might you use and why?
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Technifi Expert’s Answer:
Communication plan and promotional tools
A communication plan for the automotive company during an economic downturn describes what an organization wants to accomplish with the information it sends out. It lists objectives and the tools used to produce communications and intended recipients. The plan describes what information will be shared and how it will be distributed. The plan also identifies the people responsible for building and managing information, when it should be communicated and where records should be stored.
A communication plan acts as proactive measure to ensure that everyone has the right information in a timely manner. The plan describes who produces each type of communication and how frequently it gets updated or distributed. Prioritizing the communication needs helps the organization identify how much time needs to be allotted to these tasks in overall organizational planning.
One way to look at planning for communication is as a step by step process.
The steps are:
- Identify the purpose of your communication
- Identify your audience
- Plan and design your message
- Consider your resources
- Plan for obstacles and emergencies
- Strategise how you’ll connect with the media and others who can help you spread your message
- Create an action plan
- Decide how you’ll evaluate your plan and adjust it, based on the results of carrying it out
Further once the communication plan is developed then the four main tools of promotion of communication are advertising, sales promotion, public relation and direct marketing.
Advertising is defined as any form of paid communication or promotion for product, service and idea. The treatment meted out to advertisement defers from an organisation to an organisation. Advertising development involves a decision across the following
Mission looks at setting objectives for advertising. The objectives could be to inform, persuade, remind or reinforce. Objective has to follow the marketing strategy set by the company.
Money or budget decision for advertising should look at stage of product life cycle, market share and consumer base, competition, advertising frequency and product substitutability.
Message’s development further is divided into four steps, message generation, message evaluation and selection, message execution, and social responsibility review.
Once the message is decided the next step is finalizing the media for delivering the message. The choice of depends on reach of media, frequency of transmission and potential impact on customer. Based on this choice of media types are made from newspaper, television, direct mail, radio, magazine and the internet. After which timing of broadcast of the message is essential as to grab attention of the target audience.
Checking on the effectiveness of communication is essential to company’s strategy. There are two types of research communication effect research and sales effect research.
Promotion is an incentive tool used to drive up short term sales. Promotion can be launched directed at consumer or trade. The focus of advertising to create reason for purchase the focus of promotion is to create an incentive to buy. Consumer incentives could be samples, coupons, free trial and demonstration. Trade incentive could be price off, free goods and allowances. Sales force incentive could be convention, trade shows, competition among sales people.
Promotion activity can have many objectives, for example, to grab attention of new customer, reward the existing customer, and increase consumption of occasional users. Sales promotion is usually targeted at the fence sitters and brand switchers.
Sales promotional activity for the product is selected looking at the overall marketing objective of the company. The final selection of the consumer promotional tools needs to consider target audience, budget, competitive response and each tool’s purpose.
The Sales promitional activity should under-go pretest before implementation. Once the activity is launched it should be controlled as to remain within the budget. Evaluation program is a must after implementation of the promotional scheme.
It is hard for companies to survive in isolation they need to have a constant interaction with customers, employees and different stakeholders. This servicing of relation is done by the public relation office. The major function of the public relation office is to handle press releases, support product publicity, create and maintain the corporate image, handle matters with lawmakers, guide management with respect to public issues.
Companies are looking at ways to converge with functions of marketing and public relation in marketing public relation. The direct responsibility of marketing public relation (MPR) is to support corporate and product branding activities.
MPR is an efficient tool in building awareness by generating stories in media. Once the story is in circulation MPR can establish credibility and create a sense of enigma among sales people as well as dealers to boost enthusiasm. MPR is much more cost effective tool than other promotional activities.
The communication establishes through a direct channel without using any intermediaries is referred to as direct marketing. Direct marketing can be used to deliver message or service. Direct marketing has shown tremendous growth in recent years. The internet has played major part in this growth story. Direct marketing saves time, makes an experience personal and pleasant. Direct marketing reduces cost for companies. Face to face selling, direct mail, catalog marketing, telemarketing, TV and kiosks are media for direct marketing.
The Advertisement, Promotional activity, Public relation and direct marketing play an essential role in helping companies reaches their marketing goals.
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