In present era, there is high competition in the market place because of which firm is not able to gain opportunities. Also, it leads to decline in the profit margin along with losing the market share. However, to address the same, company can adopt the practice of advertising and promotion in order to boost the brand awareness and to attract large set of customers on their side. Further, it aids in attaining the business objectives as cited practice helps in boosting the sales volume of company. However, it is required to developed knowledge and skills for the purpose of conducting sound advertising and promotion so that effectual results can be attained from it (Shah, 2009). In this regard, present report is prepared that aims to describe the scope of marketing communication, significance of advertising, concept of below the line and planning of integrated promotional strategies. For this purpose, newly start up Telecom Company is taken into account. However, to prepare this report in more precise manner, newly developed international calling card in UK is considered for the same.
1.1 Communication Process for Advertising and Promotion
Following is a communication process which is mostly followed by new calling card companies:
Sender is a person who sends a message. Here, company will be the sender as it will send message to its prospective customers about its schemes. Message which will be sent must be concrete and concise so that reader can be able to interpret it properly.
Company will prepare a message which will contain whole details about the schemes which it formulates for the customers. While designing the message, firm’s management should consider the current trends in consumer behavior regarding calling card.
Channel of communication
Company will select some modes of communication like e-mail, TV, websites for online purchase. In this case, and care should be taken that all channels of communication must spread same message that means they should not move in different directions. According to current trends, internet should be given with more weightage in comparison to other channels of communication. Special focus should be on social media and e-mail marketing.
Receiver will be the person who receives the message.
It is a process in which receiver interpret the message so it should be concise and concrete in nature. Technological words should be avoided and message should contain simple words so that each and every person will be able to understand the received message.
1.2 Advertising and promotion agencies in UK
Following are the advertising and promotion agencies in UK from which company can pick prospective agencies as per the requirement.
Advertising agency’s main task is planning and creation of advertisement for company. In today’s complex environment where people behavior changes regarding purchase frequently, it is difficult for the firm to plan itself regarding advertisement. So, organization can hire such agencies.
These are those agencies that prepare marketing and branding strategies for their clients (Martin, 2012). So client do need to worry about frequent change in consumer behavior of target customers.
These are those agencies who only create advertisements according to the needs of clients. They do not advice clients regarding the matter of advertisement.
These are those agencies that make planning about the use of particular channels of media out of several available options.
For advertising on channels like TV, company can buy slot from advertising agencies in order to advertise their products on television in effectual manner.
Full service agencies
These are those agencies which perform all functions regarding advertisement like planning regarding preparation of plan for marketing, for preparing advertisement and deciding budget and creation of advertisement.
These agencies only do advertisement of products that are related to specific sectors like auto sector FMCG sector, IT sector etc.
1.3 Bodies that regulate promotion in UK
These are some bodies and rules that govern broadcasting and print of advertisements in UK:
Advertising standard authority (ASA)
It regulates the content of direct marketing, sales promotion, advertisements and take actions on the complaints receive about advertisements.
Committee of advertising practice
basically works on updating or modifying the British code of advertisement.
Office of communication (OFO)
Its main objective is to protect the interest of citizens or consumers and to prevent the publication or broadcasting of harmful or offensive material. It has power to control advertisements in the television, radio, telecoms and postal sectors.
Distance selling regulations
It is a regulation that protects interests of those people who make purchase online. In online purchase, face to face communication does not happen between buyer and seller so there may be chances of cheating or mistakes. So such regulation protects the interest of online buyers.
Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulation
Its main objective is to ban unfair commercials as there are many commercial advertisements that are materially not fit for public in test and and it creates tension and fear among public
Consumer credit act
It is an act in which protection is given to those who buy sell goods on contract basis or take loan to buy the products hire purchase agreements com under this act. Under this act, trader must have license from office of fair trading.
1.4 Current trends in advertising and promotion and impact of ICT in UK
There are various channels of communication like TV, mobile, internet and e-mail. According to data collected in UK about use of mobile by people for online shopping facts, it tell that mobile is used by most of the users for online shopping followed by tablets both account about 18% of total e commerce sales in UK. UK mobile ad spends may cross 1bn euro mark in 2013. Mobile ad spend is expected to nearly double again to almost £2.26 billion (32% of total digital). According to the facts, company should focus on two fronts in which first is content marketing and second front is combination of mobile, social, video
As per the fact, we can see that in 2014, UK ad spending on internet is $8,509 which is greater than TV $5,515 followed by other traditional channels of communication. If we talk about internet, it encompasses mobile marketing, e-mail marketing, Social media web pages, and online sites. Social media should be given with top priority as per the study facts states that a big part of the world’s population uses social media. About 1,730,000,000 people are posting and commenting or visit web pages of company before making purchase of products especially electronic products (UK Mobile ad spending to pass 2B in 2014, 2014). There are many other benefits of social media to company which can solve the problems of existing customers. Thus, it can create brand loyalty and also came to know about what people communicate with each other with regards to product or about the opinion people have toward their product.
2.1 Role of advertising in integrated promotion strategy for calling card
Advertisement plays a very important role in integrated promotion strategies as it creates awareness about new products. Mostly, people view TV in leisure hours therefore; if product is new then it is better to prefer TV as a channel of communication. This is so because visual messages reach more easily to target customers and it have longer retention value and it also to reduce resistance from buyer sides. It also increases the profitability of a company. Moreover, TV is also able to generate demand for newly launched products. Advertisements in TV have good reminding and persuasion value. Advertisement also plays an important role in promotion mix of companies (Sabri, 2012). Even internet marketing is growing at a fast pace but importance of TV as a source of communication is not reduced. This reason behind this fact is it provides visualization about use of product to customers and also to communicate the message about benefits that user will get while using the product. It is not possible in internet marketing in today’s era (Carrillat and Astous, 2012). In marketing, the biggest hindrance is resistance from customer side and TV is a channel of communication that helps companies to a large extent for reducing the resistance. So, advertisement plays a very important role in integrated promotion strategy of company.
2.2 What is branding and how it is used to strengthen the business or product
Branding is a process of creating a special image of products through advertisement campaign, sales promotion activities internet and public relations. It can be used to a large extent for providing strengthsto a company’s product. Through positioning, a product can be kept in minds of customers in several ways like it can be positioned on the basis of cost, low price, efficiency of machine, durability of product, its availability, access to product, technology used in product manufacturing and special features that can act as USP (unique selling proposition) for organization. So firm may use celebrity endorsement to create a special image. Along with that, it can create attractive schemes regarding use of limit. Also, it can provide prepaid cards with low to high limit (Kshetri, Williamson And Schiopu, 2007). Company should divide its customers on the basis of age and needs and accordingly frame schemes. So, the cited enterprise can take any out of aforesaid factors for positioning its products. It should be kept in mind that basis of positioning of product should be very unique in comparison to competitor’s advertisements (Parsons And Schumacher, 2012). It will also act as the strength for company because it may become core competency of organization and may also create special image in the eyes of consumers. Swatch is created as a defense against low priced Japanese quartz watches that covered the market instead of focusing on price. SMH positioned its product as "fashion watch" and creating a new market. Hyundai create a special image by focusing on innovation.
2.3 Creativity in advertisement of calling card
For making creative advertisement of calling card, company can work on three fronts, first is making attractive slogans, second is usage of emotional appeals and position the product on the basis of schemes. Slogan can be “We are not only doing a business we are always with you”. It will indicate that firm is not only doing a business but also focused on needs of each segment of people and it is prepared to cater their needs by creating various kinds of schemes for various segments of people (Fam, Waller And Erdogan, 2004). Firm should use emotional appeals in its advertisements that will persuade people to buy firm’s product. Thus, resistance will be reduced in advertisement. Additionally, company can portray that person is in problem and has only small amount of money to meet his requirement so he can use prepaid recharge scheme of small balance. Beside this, third front is that firm should position its product. Base of positioning should be such factor that does not receive attention of competitors till the date (Robinson, 2010). This will create a special image of firm’s products in the mind of customers and will help in capturing the market share quickly. Positioning can be done on the basis of service, low cost, low balance etc.
2.4 Ways of working with advertising agencies in UK
Before selecting advertisement agencies, firm will decide that entire work regarding advertisement like planning advertisement, determining advertisement budget and creation of advertisement will be done by the advertisement agency or some functions will be performed by the firm itself like planning about content of advertisement and preparing advertisement budget. After taking decision, firm will select the available agencies (Lawlor And Prothero, 2008). Organization should have profile of agencies like work experience within the field of advertisement, development of technology they used, fee they charge for service, they must provide their functional expertise in particular thing. This can be planning of advertisement, preparing budget or its specialization in particular sector like automobiles, pharmacy, IT, FMCG, account management (West And Prendergast, 2009). Further, it must have particular industry experience, execution excellence, strategic thinking which is necessary to give uniqueness to advertisement. Also, it must ensure that it will have high attentive value, creativity in advertisement so that high retention value of advertisement can be done over long period of time in the mindset of viewers. Further, it must be culturally fit, adaptable to change, commitment to work with other agency and other related so that effectual results can be attained through it. After selection of advertisement agency, an appointment will be taken for having a detailed discussion that will happen regarding requirements of advertisement fee structure service that they provide. If company gets satisfied with the meeting, it will sign contract with that advertising agency (Chen, 2010). Now agency will start its work and will report the organization about progress in advertisement.
3.1 Techniques of below-the- line promotion and its uses in integrated marketing
BTL (Below the Line) is a communication tactics which will be used to create the brand awareness and to drive the sales through specific offers or schemes. Such communication is used when sales are going down and need push. At that time, below-the-line communication is used. There are several techniques of below-the-line method namely sales promotion, direct marketing, personal selling and Public relation. In sales promotion, there are several methods that can be used for calling card like board on streets, hoardings, cloth on wall, cloth painting on taxi etc. Personal selling can be used in which, representatives goes in the market and meets with the people in order to inform them about the benefits and schemes of specific products such as calling card (Mueller, 2011). Person can visit different offices as well for the purpose of meeting people and demonstrates them benefits of using calling card. Public relation can be used for the advertisement. Through media, firm can directly interact with target customers to tell them about calling card use and their benefits. There are many other below-the-line techniques like coupons, rebates, promotional pricing, trade in, loyalty programs, trial facility, contests, demonstrations, personal appearances and Sponsorship.
3.2 Evaluation of other techniques used in below-the-line Promotion for calling cards
The other techniques that are used for calling card by UK based companies are internet. In internet, content marketing can be done by companies in which information can be provided about their offers, how they work and also provide information about international rates. All these information makes customer aware about company’s offer through which people are able to select best offer which suit to their need (Fay, 2006). Companies are using social media for providing information regarding their product. By using social media, now firms of calling card are able to respond to their customers quickly. It helps these firms in building a strong relationship with their clients (West And Prendergast, 2009). Companies give special attention on the use of social media because by taking help of agency, they would come to know about their customers in detail. With the help of it, company is able to gain knowledge about the opinion of customers towards product, what they like in their product, what they dislike about their product and other related. So, company gets a specific overview that where they actually need to focus. With this, firm came to know about their weaknesses through which appropriate actions can be taken as part of removing those weaknesses (Clow And Baack, 2013). Personal selling to a large extent is used by various calling card companies in order to reach at the target customers.
4.1 Process for preparing a budget for an integrated promotional strategy for the calling card
Process for preparation of budget is given below:
Firm can calculate overall marketing budget that it they will require for running its marketing campaign smoothly. For this purpose, company can review the budget determined in last year and can use methods such as percentage sales method in order to determine actual amount of budget. After deciding an amount, management can decide about the component of its integrated promotion strategy. With the help of it, management will take decision on priorities given to various channel of communication. In this context, decision will be depending on current trends in market and past experience of company with respect to use of channels of communication (Carrillat and Astous, 2012). Also, firm can review last year advertisements on the basis of return on investment and cost profile of every channel of communication so that better decisions can be made. After this, allocation of total budget will be done among all channels of promotions by considering return on investment and cost profile along with past performance of all channels in previous year (Alvarez And Casielles, 2005). After allocation of budget, same can be divide month wise so that per month budget can be determined. Here, some techniques that firm can use for preparing the promotion budget for calling cards are like:
1.Affordable method – In this method, management decide a level of amount that it can afford for advertisement budget.
2.Arbitrary allocation- In this method, budget is decided at management discretion.
3.Percentage of sales method- A fixed percentage is decided and percentage of previous year sales is taken as the amount of advertisement budget.
4.2 Development of a promotional plan for calling card
Following is the process of preparing promotional plan for calling card:
First of all, target customers are decided by the management. In other words, firm will decide who will be the target customers and accordingly advertisement message will be decided in integrated promotion strategy message from all channels of communication which must be in same line. There should not be any difference between messages from different channels of communication (Fam, Waller And Erdogan, 2004). After determining the target area, objectives must be decided to achieve that goal which must be short and measurable. Employees must be able to understand the objective. It should also be challenged but it must be achievable target. Now firm will prepare the strategy in which it will decide what it will do to promote each target. So, firm will need to prepare different set of strategies for different promotions. So, target customers must be considered while preparing strategy. After this, all strategies will be implemented in a determined way (White, Parsons And Ceylan, 2014). A time line will be prepared which will give information about the time and type of promotion strategy that will be used and also the specific duration after which it will come to an end. All promotion strategies will be implemented as per the schedule. Finally, evaluation will be done of each strategy. If there will be some deficiency in implementation then corrective actions will be taken to make the improvement.
4.3 Planning for integration of promotional techniques into the promotional strategy for the calling card
For the purpose of conducting effectual promotion, varied platforms can be used. In this regard, social media, public relations and positioning strategies are core in the integrated promotion strategy. It should ensure that all medium like social media, public relations, positioning of product should communicate the same message. Focus should be on content marketing (Robinson, 2010). Also, content of advertising will be unique from which large number of customers gets influenced towards it. Through social media, firm will be able to reach at end customers and will be able provide information related to products. Same will be done in public relation and positioning of product. Attention should also be given on packaging which must be attractive and eye catching.
4.4 Appropriate techniques for measuring campaign effectiveness for the calling card
Following are techniques of measuring campaign effectiveness
Firm will try to find out that the extent to which people are aware about their products. Then firm will compare the outcomes with previous facts regarding awareness about company’s product. The gap between both facts will determine of the success of campaign.
People receive message through advertisements, so people should be able to decrypt the message clearly. So, a small interview can be taken and people will be questioned that what they exactly know about their products. This will make it clear that whether people receive our advertising message clearly or not.
With the help of this report, it can be stated that social media, e-mail marketing, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and personal selling can be used for the integrated promotion of calling card. From social media, firm will be able to reach at a large number of people and can also communicate the product related message in a better way. Along with that, it may also come to know about opinion about people about their products. Use of mobile is increasing at a very fast pace so, focus should be given on e-mail marketing (Belch, Belch And Belch, 2012). So, on the basis of facts, it is concluded that social media and e-mail should be given with priority over other medium of communication.
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