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Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #5

posted 27 Aug 2015, 05:31 by Jason Purton   [ updated 15 Oct 2015, 04:20 ]
What is Marketing? Many do it, but don't really consider what it is that they are actually doing. When you break it down to the very basics, it is simply a 'Communication between two individuals'. There are 3 very important parts to these 4 words. 
  1. Communication - The encoding and decoding of a message.
  2. Between - This infers that it is two way (i.e requires some form of adaptation and response).
  3. Two Individuals - The sender and the receiver.
Elements of Marketing Communication by Jason Purton


So you pull into your the newest cafe. Its popular (because its new) and you jump in line. After the 5 people in front of you, order your regular 'Half shot soy mocha latte with half a sugar' (meanwhile I'm standing behind you simply wanting a double espresso) and the 15 year old attendant says sure... next! Your coffee comes and it is a 'full strength soy cappuccino with no sugar '. Disappointed you say they don't know what they are doing, will never last and you will never go back... But, was it simply a lack of communication (I will tell you if it was a bad barista). Question: if you wrote it down for them, would they then have got it right?

Companies spend millions of dollars on marketing communications doing what we all do when we order our favourite cup of coffee, or chat with a friend. Why? To get the message and delivery right.

There are effectively 4 parts to communication message, encoding/decoding, noise and response. Below shows the process as outlined by Kotler, Keller & Burton (2009, Marketing Management).

Marketing Communication Process Model - Elements of Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, marketers are not trying to trick you into buying their stuff. What they are (or should) be doing is trying to create messages that will appeal to those people that are most interested in their products, and, deliver them to the target markets with as little noise distraction as possible.

How to...

So, here is the theory bit. 


If you create a message that is relevant to the receiver, they are more likely to focus their attention on it, no matter how many other messages are being sent (If your coffee above was exactly how the attendee behind the counter liked their coffee, do you think that it would have been made correctly, even with all the other orders?) This is relevance. This makes the message 'Stand out' against the noise, while at the same time appealing to the interests of the receiver. 


This is how you package and send your message. The important thing to ask yourself here is "Where are my target market finding information, hanging out or otherwise going to be receptive to the message?" E.g. Would you advertise McDonalds at a Fitness Centre? Not likely. The standards come in here, print radio, social media, etc. But put yourself in your target market's shoes for a day? If you drink actually drink the coffee mentioned above, then you are likely health conscious (soy and half strength to reduce caffeine) and also into new trends (remember the cafe is new and popular). You can see how I am building a bit of a profile on you. Now, I would say that you frequent a Gym or Yoga class, and if a cafe were promoting good healthy coffee on the same day you got disappointed elsewhere, well that is just good positioning.


Your marketing for a reason right? Sales, sign-ups, etc. This is one of the responses that you could be looking for. The point here is that you need to measure the feedback from the message you send. One of the results of your marketing campaign assessment (See Elements of Marketing - Back to Basics Part #4), could be that you need to improve the message to appeal more to your target market. How do you know? Well, you didn't get the result you wanted/expected, but all your customers are very happy. This would suggest that the communication didn't appeal to enough or the right audience. 

There is so much more to this but in summary: Right Message + Right Medium + Right Time = Successful Results