Marketing Research and Marketing Communications

Introduction

Coca-Cola recently made a significant change in the marketing of its products. Currently, all the products of the company are selling under one trademark: ‘Taste the Feeling.’ Initially, the products were marketed using their brand names. The global campaign aimed to send the message to the world that all products of the company are one brand with similar iconography. The business has dramatically taken the market share, offering stiff competition to other companies such as Pepsico. Although the two companies have an active command in the market, Coca-cola has uniquely employed its promotional methods to expose its brands in different markets.

The institution still retains the authority globally, due to the structure of value it has engaged. Through a tradition of quality goods, it has been able to build a culture of efficiency both from the employees, customers, and suppliers. According to John (2010), customers are the significant assets of the organization. Understanding and targeting their needs is the most elementary point of consideration. Coca-cola managed to survey its customers by reaching out to other countries. Some of the brands which have witnessed massive promotion are Sprite and Fanta. The company has used almost all platforms such as media to increase their sales.

Tools used to communicate the Message.

In an emerging era of improved technologies, organizations have a wide choice of marketing tools to reach their customers. The management utilizes the designed communication channels to influence external shareholders such as customers and suppliers through improving the perception of the brand. According to Crosby (1996) he identifies that the information concerning a particular brand reaches the final user directly or indirectly. The business can choose to utilize its employees to propagate positive news about the company. Subsequently, the entrepreneur can choose to use other modern channels. The brand name is the voice of the company that the management uses to influence the preselected customers for their benefit. Doyle (2013) affirms that employing the right tools of marketing communication has the greater impact in securing more customers.

To start off, advertising is one of the most necessary tools for marketing. It is defined as the non-personal form of communication which aims to improve the image of the company. Coca-cola has been employing aggressive advertising, where the content is repeatedly played in the electronic media (Bang & Sook, 2002). Over time, the company has developed the creative material which is capable of attracting the viewers. Instead of designing content which could be boring, more graphics and enticing features such as songs are played from the background to lure the potential customers.  As the time progresses, the taste and preferences of people also change (Crosby, 1996). Due to this factor, the organization uses current trends to market their products. Celebrities are used as the brand ambassador to convey the message about the brand hence making Coca-Cola products fresh in the minds of its users. Throughout the year, considerable amount of efforts have been employed by the firm to retain its position in the world, by expanding their advertisements to other platforms such as social media (Egan, 2011). Apart from the messages being played on the TV and radio stations, the company has also designed ads which pop out in popular social platforms such as Facebook at a pay. The slogan of the business has remained memorable over time.

Furthermore, direct marketing is a new tool that is taking shape in the current world. Coca-cola has been in the forefront to embrace meaningful partnership with some restaurant and other businesses to promote their brand. Mc Donald is one of the businesses that has partnered with the company to promote their products (Egan, 2011). Through this coexistence, Coca cola has forced its competitors away from the market. According to Crosby (1996), the firm uses graphics and texts which appeals to the consumers at a personal level, attracting the users to buy the product.  The company also sponsors activities such as football both in international and national level. Although it is classified as a form of corporate social responsibility, most of the people get aware of the company’s products. The current consumers are complex and only desire to associate with the businesses which care about them (Hart et al., 2005).  Featuring on the TV while the sporting activities are taking place gives the organization an upper hand over the competitors.

Moreover, internet marketing is a form of communication which uses online platforms to send a message concerning the company. The firm has its website which interacts with the user without the need of personal assistance. The sales department has customized its services hence an individual can order the products online (Juraskova et al., 2017). Along, customer services are available online, therefore, no need for traveling to request for particular service. The organization has managed to reach out to its customers by engaging them on twitter and also Facebook. Migration to current forms of communication is attributed to the fact that most of the consumers of Coca-cola brands are young people, who spend most of their time on the internet. The message is relayed to the target group in a manner that appeals to their niche. A plethora of benefits such as increased sales is realized when online services are efficiently utilized.

Communication Objectives

Marketing communication is long term goals which are used to retain the brand awareness for an extended period (Pearce et al., 2010).  The purposes of communication succeed when one can convince the consumer about the benefits of the product. One of the principal objectives is to increase the awareness of the brands. Although the Coca-Cola Company is well known all over the world, there is no guarantee that the coming years it will top the list.  The current customers could shift to another brand which satisfies their need. As a way of competing with others in the industry, the company has to continually remind its consumers about the health needs of the products (Richardson, 2010). Second, communication objective aims to influence the purchase. Irrespective of the brand awareness, the fundamental idea is to make sales. The producer convince the customers about the superiority of the product over that of the competitor. For example. Coca-cola sends a message to the customer that the drink refreshes the user by a single gulp. The slogan ‘’Taste a Feeling” lures the customers to try the beverage. The advertisement which is made on electronic media presents the nutritional content hence driving the intent to purchase (Richardson, 2010).

The final objective is stimulation of brand switching. Drinks industries are spread across the world, with every company willing to take control of a significant market share. Coca-cola controls about 60% of the beverage industry (Shoham&Paun, 1997).  The remaining percentage is shared among the remaining firms. The continued marketing and brand promotion are directed to suppressing the small enterprises and redirect their customers to embrace the Coca cola brands. For an organization to divert the customers, immense finances are needed to persuade and induce the customers to try out the products.

Target audience

The trading is complete when the final user is provided with the right products. The audience is defined as the targeted group of people in a campaign to promote a particular brand (Wilkie et al., 2012). Coca-Cola products are used across the age groups and gender. However, the usage is high among the young people. The campaign conducted by the company targeted different players in the market. First, the customer’s perception was significantly changed because the company disclosed the value of the drink. Advertising the products of the company as one brand cleared the misconception about the quality of different products supplied in the market (Bang & Sook, 2002). Further, the consumers were reassured of the nutritional value of the drinks hence boosting the loyalty to the company.

Consequently, through changing the marketing strategy, the company influenced the shareholders. According to Crosby (1996), buying shares is affected by the performance of an organization, which either attracts or scares away people from injecting their money into the company. The slight change in trade slogan created attention from people who own share within the company. The management targeted to convince the current shareholders to buy more and even attract new members. The final group that was influenced by the campaign was suppliers (Doyle, 2013). Service providers gauge the stability of the business through its internal disruption. By changing the operation model, Coca cola proved to service providers such as banks about their sustainability in the market.

Strategies and Tactics Used

Sending information concerning products in the market is not relayed without prior understanding of the consumers. Market research allows the producer to ascertain exact places to sell the products. Some of the communication strategies used by the company are; targeting the youths, press advertising, sports events and young adults. Pull strategy was used to appeal to the young people in the country (Egan, 2011). The company achieved this through sponsoring activities which are associated with youth such as music festivals. The event brings people together for a common purpose, where the best performers are selected and financed to further their career. Alternatively, financial compensation can be allocated to the winner hence promoting the brand of the company (Doyle, 2013). Withal, young adults are attracted to a push strategy.  The middle age adults are captivated by partying and other social events. The company liaise with the local restaurants to advertise for a free celebration organized to celebrate the brands. Coca-cola drinks are displayed as the favorite choice during the event and create a long-lasting memory about the drink. With the current era of sports, Coca-cola has moved to the forefront to sponsor premier league matches. The idea of financing favorite games is to reach the broader scope of an audience in the world (Pearce et al., 2010).

Conjointly, profile strategy was employed by continued press advertisement which aimed to bring out the positive aspect of the business (Hart et al., 2005). Various platforms were selected based on the primary audience in those sectors. For example, the form of advertising done on the internet was different from what was presented in local magazines and newspaper. Every age group is interested in different things. For example, a young person could be interested to read or listen to the advert when an interesting music is played. For an adult, a pop up of real estate business might attract his or her attention. The company excelled in meeting the needs of all stakeholders, who have sustained its operation up to date.

Throughout the year, the company has employed repetitive advertising to build the awareness. The products are mentioned more than one time in advertising media such as TV, accompanied by visual graphics which appeals to the customers. Coca-cola has scored high in the interactive advertisement where the company has designed persuading advert that convince potential customers (Crosby, 1996). Furthermore, the business promotes games with prizes.  In internet marketing, the company has continually used ads which appeals to the users. For example, the use of brand ambassadors is continuously employed to promote the sales. A celebrity represents the organization in passing their message. Social media are the primary target for the ads because a huge number of people visits the sites on a daily basis (Egan, 2011).   The tactic used in direct sales is sponsoring people for the social party. The business selects one of the known restaurants and advertises for the function. Any person attending the party could be guaranteed a free drink. The principal objective is to position the firm’s brand as the best compared to the competitors in the market.  Through direct sales, the principles of monopoly take place. Selected restaurants and shops are instructed to sell the Coca-Cola brand alone. The customers have no option to choose the drink of their wish but consume what is readily available.

Evaluation of the effectiveness

Selecting the right communication tool is an essential element in communication marketing. When the wrongs choice is made, the output is low hence the company growth is delayed. According toCrosby (1996), an organization should structure its plan to market the products by understanding the available tools and also evaluating the type of customers they deal with. The case study presented evaluates the effectiveness of various channels employed by Coca-cola to clinch to superior market command.  One way to get information on various tools employed by the company is to gauge their effectiveness using different research methods. An advertisement is a form of product awareness that is done on social media or directly reaching out to the customers (Hart et al., 2005). The best way to determine its impact on the company is through tracking the studies. Every organization prepares the annual trading reports, which are to strategize on the best way to improve performance. The balance sheet and other trading accounts can be checked to ascertain the contribution of advertisement to the general performance of the company (Crosby, 1996). The primary intention of a business to employ considerable funds in the advertisement is to boost their sales. Checking the records of various organizations can give a glimpse of this tool of marketing.

Qualitative research involving the survey will be used to measure the usability of advertisement. Past papers and business releases will be reviewed and compared. The process will include reading all business related topics covering marketing communication, with the particular interest in the advertisement (Juraskova et al., 2017). The profits of various companies will be compared before and after the particular brand campaign and conclusion made from the data presented. Evaluating direct marketing will involve enquiry test. The process consists of visiting specific places where the company has selected its ambassadors to sell their products (Egan, 2011). Through question and answer interview, the owner will be able to give information regarding the product. The most important thing about inquiry test is that the information received is first hand. It is also possible to observe the general trend from the buyers who visit the premise. To achieve the objective, a quantitive research method involving focus group will be included to collect the information. The challenge of this approach is lack of accuracy. The respondents are mandated by the company to remain loyal to the company hence can give biased information.

Conclusion

Marketing communication is a strategy employed by the business to convey the brand message to the potential and existing customers. Over the years, it has been proven to impact the organizations positively through improved sales. Coca-Cola has retained the market due to its rigorous campaign for it products.  Moreover, changing the form of marketing is also essential, since the nature of the customers differs. The description detailed in the above paragraphs indicate that targeting a particular audience in marketing is necessary. Additionally, an organization should be able to choose the right strategy and tactic that would benefit the business immensely.  Various communication tool such as the advertisement, direct marketing, and internet marketing have enabled Coca-cola to maintain its productivity and growth

References

Bang, H., & Sook Moon, Y. (2002). A comparison of services advertising strategies used in US and Korean magazine ads: a content analysis. Journal of Services Marketing, 16(5), 443-459.

Crosby, J. V. (1996). Managing the big sale: A relational approach to marketing strategies, marketing tactics, selling. Lincolnwood, Ill: NTC Business Books.

Doyle, P. (2013). Value-based marketing: Marketing strategies for corporate growth and shareholder value. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Egan, J. (2011). Relationship marketing: Exploring relational strategies in marketing. New York: Financial Times, Prentice Hall.

Hart, T., Greenfield, J. M., & Johnston, M. W. (2005). Nonprofit internet strategies: Best practices for marketing, communications, and fundraising success. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Juraskova, O., Jurikova, M., &Cockova, R. (2017). Influence of Marketing Communication Tools on Brand Building in the Context of Marketing Management and Corporate Prosperity. Strategic Innovative Marketing, 189-195. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-56288-9_26

Pearce, M., Wahr, M., & Films for the Humanities & Sciences (Firm). (2010). The four P’s: Marketing strategies. Hamilton, NJ: Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

Richardson, N. (2010). A quick start guide to mobile marketing: How to create a dynamic campaign and improve your competitive advantage. London: Kogan Page.

Shoham, A., &Paun, D. A. (1997). A Study of International Modes of Entry and Orientation Strategies Used in Countertrade Transactions. Journal of Global Marketing, 11(3), 5-19. doi:10.1300/j042v11n03_02

Wilkie, D. C., Johnson, L. W., & White, L. (2012). Strategies used to defend pharmaceutical brands from generics. European Journal of Marketing, 46(9), 1195-1214.

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