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During this week’s readings, an understanding of the advertising will be emphasized, as well as, a basic understanding of how these messages are developed. Advertising is the primary means by which a company communicates to its customers about its products and brands, and position in the marketplace. Claims made in ads should be accurate and consistent with all a company’s messages and actions. TV commercials and print ads represent much of the typical advertising budget, but companies also advertise their brands in everything they do. Thus, many advertising gurus prefer the more general term “Integrated Marketing Communications” (IMC), which is broad enough to include other media (e.g., public relations, direct marketing), and it reminds the marketer to be sure the message has a holistic nature and is consistent and complementary across all media choices and executions. Advertising has both short- and long-term effects. Several of the short-term effects of advertising can be shown. For example, customers’ memory of ads and brands and attributes are easily measured. Attitudes are also easily surveyed and may be compared to prior attitudes (measured previously) to assess any change in valence. Advertising is a means of communication. Marketers must understand the basic model of dyadic communication. In the classic model, there is a source (e.g., the firm), a message (e.g., the ad), and a receiver (e.g., customer). The source intends to send out certain information, which is encoded (i.e., expressed in a certain way) and then transmitted. The receiver then decodes the message. Hopefully, the receiver interprets the content of the message in a manner like what the sender had intended. But there can be errors along the way. That is why copy testing (marketing research examining the content of the ad) is important, before launching the full ad campaign, to learn whether the intended target segment understands the message as the company intended. Goals must be set before ads can be evaluated. There are several classes of advertising communications messages. Rational or cognitive ads include one- and two-side arguments, comparative and non-comparative ads, product demonstrations, and dramas. Emotional ads include humorous and fear-inducing appeals, images, and endorsements. Advertising is tested via concept testing and copy testing. The content of what is measured depends on the corporate strategic goals of the ad campaign, and those assessments can include: Memory tests (recall and recognition), Attitudinal tests (enhancement of the favorability of the product and brand), and Behavioral measures (likely to purchase the brand or generate positive word-of-mouth).

During this week’s readings, Integrated marketing communications (IMC) will be discussed, along with how the impact of Social Media is changing the Marketing landscape. IMC refers to the idea that marketing planning should ensure that a company’s various advertising efforts send a coherent story across the different customer touchpoints. Most companies spend on their entire communications package (i.e., advertising in all its various forms, including the purchase of the necessary media) an amount determined by one of three methods:

1. The advertising budget as a percentage of last year’s sales.

2. The company spends approximately what it believes is parity with competitors.

3. The company can use its strategic advertising goal and work backward to calculate necessary expenditures.

The philosophy underlying IMC is logical: keep in mind the company’s overarching strategy and ensure that all marketing activities send a consistent message, beginning with the communications as well as other marketing mix elements. Research suggests a positive relationship between IMC practices and good brand outcomes. Yet, even if the IMC goal sounds great, it is not that easy to execute in practice, in part because traditional advertising agencies are not that good at public relations (PR), direct marketing, or nontraditional advertising tactics. To resemble full-line service providers, some ad agencies acquire smaller specialized agencies, and others outsource part of their overall IMC plan. Ultimately, IMC is the responsibility of the marketer and brand manager.

Mobile marketing is growing because our cell phones are convenient: they contain our identities and those of the people we talk to frequently. They are our portals to email and Facebook, our primary means of sharing information and entertainment. While electronic and information technologies are becoming more accessible and pervasive, traditional media are experiencing their own changes:

  • Newspaper circulations are declining, and magazine sales and circulations are down.
  • The number of radio stations has grown, but listeners are tuned in for less time each day.
  • Television channels continue to grow, but the audience for any given show is typically smaller, making it easier to target segments of viewers.

The other part of the social media story is its social or human element. Belonging to different communities and interacting with different people in our social roles is part of our self-identity. The most fundamental means of interaction is a dialogue. In social media, customers have become participants in a dialogue with marketers or brands. The phrase “social media” is usually applied to people interacting and connecting with others via online software or alternative electronic access technologies (e.g., smartphones). Social media have the following properties:

  • Some social media offer very rich, vivid sensory experiences (e.g., video games) with dynamic sights and sounds that compel the user to interact and engage. By comparison, other social media seem relatively simple (e.g., blogs).
  • Some social media are primarily social in nature, such as social network sites, which serve as places to asynchronously hang out with friends. Other media have more industrious goals (e.g., seeking jobs via professional sites like LinkedIn).
  • Social media vary regarding whether the interactions are pointedly commercial or not.

Learning Objectives:

Chapter 11 – Advertising Messages and Marketing Communications

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand what advertising is, its importance, and its goals.
  2. Distinguish between the various types of advertising formats.
  3. Understand the various ways to determine advertising effectiveness.

Chapter 12 – Integrated Marketing Communications and Media Choices

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the key issues associated with the three media decisions.
  2. Acquire an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of each advertising medium.
  3. Know the various non-advertising components of integrated marketing communication.
  4. Understand the evaluation of the advertising media’s effectiveness.

Chapter 13 – Social Media

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand social media.
  2. Understand social networks.
  3. Question .Understand the return on investment, key performance indicators, and Web analytics associated with social media.Read and reflect on the assigned readings for the week. Then post what you thought was the most important concept(s), method(s), term(s), and/or any other thing that you felt was worthy of your understanding in each assigned textbook chapter.
  4. Your initial post should be based upon the assigned reading for the week, so the textbook should be a source listed in your reference section and cited within the body of the text. Other sources are not required but feel free to use them if they aid in your discussion