Marketing communication channels - which are worth using?

Marketing strategy
Marketing communication channels are a conscious choice of a brand

Marketing is one of the processes that supports the brand in achieving sales and image goals. Today, it is also an inseparable element of any business that engages consumers. In order to achieve the expected effect, it is necessary to choose the right communication channels that will significantly increase profits. What they actually are communication channels marketing and why are they often confused with its tools? We hasten to explain.

Every marketing professional, regardless of whether they work inside the company or perform a task on behalf of an external marketing agency, should first check the current situation of the company. For this purpose, a thorough audit of the brand's current marketing activities should be carried out. If current channels have failed or no action has been taken, analyze the situation.  

What are marketing communication channels? 

Choosing the right marketing communication channels will be possible only after we get to know and understand exactly how each of them works. This is a very important first step, because the selected channels define the further way of brand communication and the types of messages used. The channels also have an impact on the way in which all the objectives that are to be achieved are implemented the purpose of the marketing strategy.  

Often, marketing communication channels are treated analogously to its tools, which means that the two concepts are simply confused. Treating tools as channels of communication is a mistake because one group is only interdependent with the other. Communication channels should be considered in terms of the characteristics of the target group to which the activities will be directed. Then it is possible to perfectly optimize activities and obtain much better results.  

To illustrate marketing communication channels with an example, you can refer to TV channels. These are places where every recipient will find something interesting, because the channels offer a whole range of different types of programs. These specific programs are tailored to the age or interests of the recipients and they can be compared to tools. Just as TV shows affect viewership, marketing tools are a determinant of a brand's success. However, it is the choice of channels that determines the subsequent use of these particular tools. Communication channels are used to build relationships - so they are certain places, or more precisely, methods that enable effective communication with brand recipients. At the same time, they offer many specific tools to achieve this goal.

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Check which communication channels we recommend to your company.

Marketing communication channels - definition

Are you wondering what are the marketing communication channels and what will be the right ones for your company? We will explain step by step, based on selected definitions, what these channels are and how to properly distinguish them so as not to be confused with marketing tools.

First of all, you need to be aware that marketing communication channels are one of the 6 elements that make up the entire marketing communication process. It also includes: participants of communication, i.e. the sender and recipient, message (message), noise (interference), feedback and the context of the communication. Some even distinguish 9 elements by adding: encoding, decoding, response.

Lechosław Garbarski in the book "Marketing" emphasizes that the essence of marketing communication is the flow of information about the organization, its products, values, features and ideas. The information communicated takes a specific shape and structure. The components of communication are tools, which include: advertising, personal sales, public relations, sponsorship, informal communication and marketing communication channels, i.e. media, places and people. The entire process of designing activities is based on both components. Marketing communication channels must be properly selected with adequate tools.

Before choosing a communication channel, be aware of the factors that affect the choice of a communication channel, namely:

  • Product - its type, price, life cycle
  • Buyer - characteristics of the target market
  • Marketing strategy enterprises - all elements of the marketing-mix.

Therefore, explaining what these channels of marketing communication are, Garbarski says that: "these are channels for the flow of marketing information between market participants "and" these are the ways through which information is transferred between the sender and the recipient. " Jan W. Wiktor in "Marketing communication" adds that "Marketing communication channels are a way and a means of reaching the recipient with a message."

In order to reach the recipient with a given message, appropriate marketing communication channels are used. They are divided into:

  • persons (e.g. seller, sales representative),
  • media (e.g. press, radio, television, Internet, traditional mail, mobile telephony),
  • places (e.g. shop, means of transport, call center hotlines, mobile customer service points, special events, exhibitions at fairs).

When choosing the basic division of communication channels proposed by Garbarski, you should carefully analyze what is included in each of the three categories.

According to Garbarski, “the media are standardized channels of mass influencing, (…) they have specific characteristics and reach, which is stable and predictable. (...) they are used in practically all activities with the use of marketing communication tools. " The media includes both electronic and printed media.

“Places are a communication space, most often of a visual, sound or olfactory nature. (…) There are many forms that can take promotion tools on this channel."

The last channel that people are "can spread information about product brands, new products or encourage a purchase. Word of mouth is used for personal sales and informal communication. "

Common elements of marketing communication channels

Another division is proposed by Barbara Szymoniuk in "Spherical model of marketing communication" dividing the channels of marketing communication into personal and non-personal. Personal channels allow direct contact with the recipient, for example sales representatives, sellers, agents, consultants, doctors, family, friends, neighbors, etc. Non-personal channels are carriers that convey a message without personal contact, e.g. mass media, media used in points of sale, events.

Another division is proposed by Jan W. Wiktor by dividing the marketing communication channels into individual means:

  • presentation: voice, face, eyesight, facial expressions, body, phrases, gestures,
  • representative: texts, images, drawings, photographs, films and all cultural products constituting a form of expression,
  • technical: press, radio, television, cinema, telephone, tablet, fax, computer, CDs, etc.).

How many definitions, so many different perceptions. However, any attempt to explain has certain commonalities and characteristics that are worth focusing on. A wide division into various channels of marketing communication helps to choose the right channel for our company and our recipients.

Marketing communication channels - quotes

Knowing that marketing communication channels are one of the elements of communication, you should also define what marketing communication is. In recent years, many explanations have been developed for this concept, but it is useless to cite all of them. It is worth focusing on one definition to fully understand what the issue of marketing communication channels concerns.

According to Henryk Mruk in "Communicating in Marketing", marketing communication "Is most often defined as a set of information (signals) that a company emits from various sources towards not only its customers, but also other entities of the marketing environment (suppliers, intermediaries, competitors, opinion leaders) and a set of information that the company collects from the market ( trends, needs, preferences of buyers, economic development trends, etc. "

Properly selected marketing communication channels allow you to provide your recipients with a consistent, clear and convincing message about the company, products or services.

On foreign marketing blogs you can find quite similar definitions of marketing communication channels. You can find definitions such as: “The marketing communication channel is the way companies deliver their offer and value to the audience. Moreover, it is one of the first steps to a successful marketing campaign. Thanks to this function, companies build and strengthen the image of their brand, at the same time creating a bond with recipients, thanks to which the company feels a part of their life. " As well as such: “A marketing communication channel, sometimes also referred to as a media channel, is a tool for delivering a message or offer to customers. This is just one element of a successful marketing campaign, albeit very important. "

Commplace PR agency

The above definitions also emphasize the fact of providing information to consumers through an appropriate communication channel, as well as the fact that it is one of the many elements of marketing communication. What must not be forgotten.

Garbarski emphasizes that "marketing communication channels allow you to reach the message at a specific time. They can also give the message a specific shape by the fact that each channel has its own image. "

When creating marketing communication, one must not forget about marketing communication channels. They are an extremely important element in the entire message of information. Channels improperly selected for the audience do not fulfill their task. They will not deliver the message in such a way that the consumer understands it. The issue of marketing communication channels is extremely dynamic today. They are constantly developing, evolving and creating new ones. “Marketing communication channels have been systematically changing in recent years. It is mainly related to changes in the media and the evolution of attitudes and behaviors of the recipients of marketing communication. " - writes Garbarski.

Types of marketing communication channels  

The best known and transparent classification of marketing communication channels is the division into online and offline channels. It is also worth analyzing the matching tools to further illustrate the differences between individual channels.  

Among online channels stands out:

  • Own channels - with their help, the brand can exercise full control over the information reaching the recipients, as well as over the tools themselves, such as a website, blog or newsletter, sent to customers. 
  • Social media channels - it is an indirect solution, because the brand affects only some of the information that the recipients can see. The company presents messages, but the platform owner may limit its activities. In addition, other users can also present information about the brand here.  
  • Online paid channels - these are places where communication tools remain payable. They can be, among others publication of articles on external portals or blogs.  
  • Free online channels - this is the type of channels on which the brand has no direct influence, and the information comes mainly from other network users, e.g. reviews, opinions, forums, recommendations. The brand is not their initiator.

Marketing communication within online channels focuses on the brand's online activities. This sphere has achieved tremendous growth in the last few years. Todays brand communication In terms of marketing, it focuses on several types of online channels that provide varying degrees of brand engagement.

Offline channelsalthough they have been known for years, they have given way to online channels. It cannot be said that they are less accessible to the audience, but the speed and frequency of reaching the environment are less impressive in this case. Nevertheless, offline channels are still very strong support marketing strategiesas experienced specialists in this field know.  

The most important tools belonging to offline channels include: 

  • leaflets,  
  • brochures, 
  • catalogs,  
  • stands, 
  • displays, 
  • POS materials, 
  • sales representatives,  
  • sellers.  

The most important feature of offline channels is that they are effective in direct contact with a potential customer - whether during a conversation or visiting a store. It is especially valuable for the brand that thanks to them it can receive full feedback immediately, which makes communication with the customer effective and efficient.

How to choose the right marketing communication channels for your brand? 

What brands need to remember is that audiences are the most important piece of the puzzle. Therefore, the appropriate channels should be selected taking into account the needs of each target audience. So you should first: 

  • categorize each of them in terms of demographic data, including sex, age, level of wealth, education, profession, marital status, place of residence,
  • define the needs and expectations of recipients, as well as problems that they can face on a daily basis,  
  • visualize the recipient in the form of a persona - give it a name, face, consumer characteristics.  

Who is the brand communicating to?

Having all the data about its audience, it is much easier for a brand to answer the question of what products or services it can satisfy the needs and dreams of customers, and which channels will work best.  

What to pay attention to when designing a campaign?  

Defining the target group, the choice of communication channels and good strategy ideas - that's not all. In addition, the costs of running the campaign should be well estimated. Using each of the channels requires a well-defined budget. Only having all the necessary data can it be properly estimated. Otherwise, we may be surprised by later inconsistencies. The duration of the campaign is also important. It should be well optimized in terms of achieving the goal of the entire strategy.  

A proven method for an effective campaign is the possibility of linking various channels, including thanks to marketing automation systems. In this way, the conversion is increased and, moreover, the activities carried out, which are then easier to control, are simplified.  

The marketing communication channels used in the company are a matter of conscious choice. contact us - as PR agency we will help you choose the best solutions to support the development of your business.

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