Marketing communication objectives are long-term goals where marketing campaigns are intended to drive up the value of your brand over time. In contrast to sales promotions, which are short-term inducements to buy, communication goals succeed when you persuade customers through consistent reinforcement that your brand has benefits they want or need. Marketing communications strategy utilizes social media and digital platforms alongside other more traditional marketing tools to accomplish this objective.
Increased brand awareness is not only one of the most common marketing communication objectives, it is also typically the first for a new company. When you initially enter the market, you have to let people know your company and products or services exist. This might include a promotional mix of sponsorships, broadcast commercials and print ads that depict the image of your company with repetition of your brand name, slogan and jingles to target customers. The whole objective is to become known and memorable through direct marketing strategies.
Established companies often use a closely-related goal of building or maintaining top-of-mind awareness, which means customers think of you first when considering your product category. Once this is established, word-of-mouth does the rest of the work: brands such as Kleenex or Band-Aid are prime examples of companies whose names have become synonymous with their product through word-of-mouth.
Sometimes, misconceptions develop in the market about your company, products or services. Market research is necessary to accurately understand where these are misconceptions are originating and guide decision-making in the new marketing plan. Brands may seek to reinvent company perception or brand image surround a new product to attract potential customers. Advertising and direct mail campaigns are a way to address them directly.
In other cases, negative publicity results because your company is involved in a business scandal or unsettling activities. BP invested millions of dollars in public relations and advertising to explain the company's clean up efforts to the public following its infamous Gulf of Mexico oil spill in mid-2010. Small businesses and startups normally don't have that kind of budget but local radio or print ads can do the trick.
Influence Purchase Intent
A key communication objective is to motivate customers to buy. This is normally done through persuasive advertising, which involves emphasis of your superior benefits to the user, usually relative to competitors. It is critical to strike a chord with the underlying need or want of the target market that triggers a customer to act. This communication tool does well through digital marketing channels to reach the vast online audience. Sports drink commercials and advertisements showing athletes competing, getting hot and sweaty and then taking a drink afterward is a common approach to drive purchase intent. The ads normally include benefits of the drink related to taste or nutrients. Effective marketing communication entices a customer to choose their brand when making a purchase.
Stimulate Trial Purchase
Two separate but closely related communication objectives are to stimulate trial use and drive repeat purchases. Free trials or product samples are common techniques to persuade customers to try your product for the first time. The goal is to take away the risk and get the customer to experience your brand. Once you get them on the first purchase, you have to figure out how to convert that into a follow-up purchase. Discounts on the next purchase or frequency programs are ways to turn one-time users into repeat buyers and, ultimately, loyal customers.
Drive Brand Switching
Another objective in communications plans closely tied to stimulate trial use is driving brand switching. This is a specific objective of getting customers who buy competing products to switch to your brand. Tide detergent is normally pitted against "other leading brands" in comparative ads intended to motivate brand switching. The advantage with this marketing message is that your target audience already buys within your product category– need is established. You just need to persuade them that your product or service is superior and induce them to try it out.