MARK 453 – Marketing Communications
Week 1 – Chapter 1 – Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)
How does noise negatively impacts the effectiveness of different types of ads? Give examples
and explain your reasoning.
Noise is anything that distorts or disrupts a message.
Might occur at any stage of the communication process
Exists when customers are exposed to hundreds of marketing messages per day
Sender → Encoding → Transmission Device → Decoding → Receiver
Clutter remains most common form of noise
Explain what IMC are and how they differ from traditional marketing communications. What
are the different reasons why marketing communications should be integrated?
IMC : The coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, and sources
in a company into a seamless program designed to maximize the impact on customers and other
stakeholders at a minimal cost.
Traditional marketing communications
Focused mainly on advertising
Division of labor
Integrated marketing communications
Uses multiple communication channels
Need IMC to:
Reach consumers through different channels
Convey a clear and consistent message across platforms
Week 2 – Chapter 2 & 3 – Branding and Buyer Behavior
Why does brand image matters?
Summarizes what the company stands for
Made of tangible and intangible elements
Consumers’ beliefs > Firms’ beliefs
Negative perceptions > Positive Create specific impression in the minds of clients and customers
Varies from consumer to consumer or for each B2B buyer
Combined views (overall brand image) can be positive/negative
Holds true for individual brands
What are the different roles that a brand can play?
o Provides confidence regarding purchase decisions
o Gives assurance about the purchase when the buyer gas little or no previous
o Reduces search time in the purchase decision
o Provides psychological reinforcement (wise choice was made) and social acceptance
(others are likely to purchase same brand) of the purchase
- Quality image = basis for development of new goods and services
- Useful benefits for the firms:
o Extension of positive customer feelings to new products
o Ability to charge a higher price or fee leading to better profits
o Consumer loyalty leading to more frequent purchases
o Positive WOM endorsements
o Higher level of channel power due to positive customer attitudes creating stronger
positive feelings about the brand
o Ability to attract quality employees
o More favorable ratings by financial observers and analysts
Why would a brand feel the need to rejuvenate its image? What would the brand need to
take into account in order to increase the success of its image rejuvenation?
Rejuvenating a brand’s image
- To sell new products and attract new customers
- To retain loyal patrons and those who are comfortable with original version
- Remain consistent with previous image while incorporating new elements to expand the
- Key areas:
o Help former customers rediscover the brand
o Offer timeless consumer value
o Stay true to original, but contemporize
o Build a community
Who are the different types of people that could play a role in the consumer purchasing
User Actually uses product/service
Buyer Makes purchase
Influencer Influences purchase decision
Decider Authorizes purchase decision Gatekeeper Controls information about product/service
How can IMC attempt to impact each step of the purchase decision making process?
Step 1: Need recognition Know when consumers are most likely to experience needs
Step 2: Information search Provide relevant information about your brand
Step 3: Evaluation of alternatives Ensure that your brand is recalled
Step 4: Purchase decision Make it easy to complete the purchase
Step 5: Post-purchase decision Provide post purchase reassurance
What are the different types of needs? What are the different situations where a need for a
product/service could be identified?
When are needs recognized ?
When there is a gap between your actual and your ideal state.
Out of stock
What are the different ways consumers can search for information? Which sources of
information can they consult during each type of information search?
Set of alternatives
Marketer controlled sources
Others’ personal experiences
Variety of sources: friends, relatives, experts, books, magazines, newspapers,
advertisements, in-store displays, salespeople, internet, social media
Which attitude sequence is the most appropriate for which type of products/services?
ATTITUDES Cognitive (Think) / Think ð Feel ð Act /
Affective (Feel) / Feel ð Act ð Think /
Conative (Act) / Act ð Think ð Feel / (products with little thought, have a low price)
What would be an example of an evoked set? What could be potential inert and inept brands
in this set? Why is it important for brands to be part of the evoked set?
Example of dishwashers
The brands considered in purchasing situation
Inept set: brands not considered in memory because negative feelings (bad experience, negative
comments from friends..)
Inert set: brands you know about but neutral feelings (lack of knowledge)
Based on the multiattribute model, how could different brands try to impact your evaluation
Highlight performance of the brand / non-performance of a competing brand
Highlight the importance of each attribute to the consumer
Why would a consumer evaluate alternatives through affect referral rather than the
Consumers choose brands they like the best or the ones with which they have emotional
Usually have low level of involvement or frequently purchased products
Affect referral model saves mental energy
Prevent from redoing multiattribute model repurchase based on positive feelings
Consumers often develop emotional bonds with brands
Why is it still important to communicate to consumers at the post-purchase stage?
What happens after the purchase?
Compare level of performance with expectations
Feeling of doubt
Due to conflicting attitudes
Marketers need to reduce post-purchase regret
Week 3 – Chapter 4 – Planning Process
Why should marketers perform communications research? What are the different types of
communications research they could perform?
Product sold : Benefits > Attributes
Potential buyers : Usage > Segments
Identifying key product characteristics that become selling points Understanding of attributes or characteristics
Understanding of benefits that a product provides
Identifying the context of a product’s use
Anthropological approach: Direct observation of consumers using the good or service
Sociological analysis of social class issues, trends and family life cycle change
Psychological motives for product purchases (feeling sexy, powerful or intelligent)
Identifies who will be the recipient of the planned communications campaign
Looks at the best market for a particular benefit of a good or service
Use of focus group and customers insights
What are the different criteria marketers can use to identify market segments? What are the
characteristics of a viable market segment?
How do you identify market segments?
Geodemographic (geographic, demographic and psychographic)
Usage (how often do people do they buy a product)
Homogeneous (similar within)
Differentiated (from other group of people)
Reachable (difficult when too specific or too narrow segment)
What is positioning? Why does it matter? What are the different positioning approaches?
Summarizes the perception in the consumer’s mind of the nature of a company and its
Features variables such as quality of products, price, methods of distribution, packaging,
Customer perception & product’s standing relative to the competition
Marketing communications reinforce what consumers already belive or try to shift consumer
Use or application (set of use for a product, eg: milk)
Product user: identify ideal stereotype consumer / specify who might use it and then address
message to them
Product class (more in term of product category)
Cultural symbol What are the main components of a marketing communications objective? Write a
marketing communications objectives that would be appropriate for an ad of your choice.
Guide the development and delivery of message
Aligned with overall marketing objectives
Supported by other marketing functions
Tasks (what is it I am trying to achieve)
Increase brand knowledge (tasks) from 25% to 50% (changes) among health conscious women aged
25-55 (target audience) over 12 months (time)
What are the different types of marketing communications budgets? Is there a type of
budget that is superior to the others?
TYPES OF BUDGETS
Percentage of sales
“Meet the competition”
Affordability – “What we can afford”
Objective and task
Best compromise to budget on marketing communications
Identify and list the objectives and calculate the associated costs
Communication budget = cumulative sum of estimated costs for all objectives
What are the different types of marketing communications schedules? Give examples of
product categories that would be most likely to use the different types of schedules.
Regular continuous pattern
Products consumed on an ongoing basis
Tissues, soap, coffee, detergents..
On and off
During peak times
Skis, winter tires, suncreams
Combination of continuous and flighting
Increase number of advertisement around high buying times
Week 4 – Chapter 5&6 – Creative Strategy What are the different goals an IMC campaign can try to accomplish?
1. Build brand awareness: People need to recognize you when making a purchase. Successful
brands possess 2 characteristics:
A) Top of mind: Brands that come up to mind when asked to name brands from specific
B) Top choice: first or second pick when evaluating alternatives
2. Provide information: Typical info includes store hours, location, more detailed product
specifications (make purchase process appear simple/convenient)
3. Persuasion: Convince customer of superiority
4. Supporting Marketing Efforts: accompanies promotions
5. Encouraging Action: behavioral goals (ex: encourage to call – shamwow)
How can marketers use variability theory to improve the effectiveness of their marketing
Variability Theory: Variable encoding occurs when a customer sees the same advertisement in
different environments. Increase recall and effectiveness by encoding it into the brain through
various methods. Can use more than one medium or just change ads within same media.
What are the different factors that can impact the effectiveness of the money spent on an
1. The communications Goal: If the goal is to create awareness, won’t necessarily yield high return.
2. Threshold effects: Early effects of advertising may be minimal. At first, few responses but over
time, as consumer gets repeatedly exposed to communication message, recalls the brand and
more likely to purchase. Threshold effects occur at the point where the advertising begins to
have significant impact on reponses.
3. Diminishing returns: When campaign has saturated the market, further expenditure will produce
a minimal impact
4. Carryover Effects: Promotions for products that are only purchased when needed (ex: washing
machine) should be designed to create brand recall (consumer exposed to company for so long
that when time comes to buy they choose them).
5. Wear out effects: When campaign becomes old or boring (tend to ignore or tune out or even
develop negative attitude).
6. Decay Effects: When the company stops advertising, consumers slowly forget (should always
engage in some form of mark communications to keep brand in people’s mind). How can IMC attempt to impact each step of the hierarchy of effects?
Helps to clarify the objectives of an advertising campaign
6 sequential steps a consumer moves through when making a purchase:
o The actual purchase
Helps building brand loyalty
Responses that IMC should stimulate
Cognitive-oriented asachieving brand awareness and brand knowledge
Affective-oriented asinspiring liking, preference and convictions
Conative-oriented ad facilitating product purchases or other actions
But, six steps not always route taken by customer
Make purchase and then develop knowledge, liking, preference and conviction
Coupon, discount, or purchase incentive
Might not remember name of brand purchased previously
What is the means-end chain? How can a brand use it to develop its creative strategy?
Advertisement should contain a message/means that leads consumer to a desired end state
End states are personal values
A means-end state should start a process in which viewing the advertising message leads consumer
to believe that using the product will help them achieve a personal value.
The Meccas model explains ways to move consumers from product attributes to personal values by
highlighting product benefits. Marketers need to link product attributes to specific benefits which
lead to personal value for consumer. (Ex:product attribute is calcium in milk, benefit of healthy bones
and value is feeling wise for using product that betters your life) What are the main components of a creative brief?
A document prepared by advertising agency to guide the production of an advertising campaign or
for a specific commercial.
1. The objective: main goal of campaign (ex: increase brand awareness)
2. Target Audience: specific (ex: male,, 20-35, hobbies, lifestyle, interests)
3. Message theme: Key ideas (benefit or promise advertiser uses to reach people – ex: car
industry could be safety,luxury,fun,fuel effeciency) can be oriented to rational (left side of
brain) or emotional processes (right) or both.
4. Support: facts that substantiate the message theme
5. Constraints: legal or mandatory restrictions placed on ad.
When and why should a brand use (vs. not) crowdsourcing to help develop their marketing
Crowdsourcing: outsourcing creative aspect of adv. or campaign to the public.
- Increase involvement
- Generates buzz
- Customer retention
- Relatedness (sharing background information increases persuasive and credibility)
- Stable customer base
- Lack of consistency
- Lack of linkage
What are the different types of message strategies? When is each type of message strategy
most appropriate to use?
1. Cognitive Message strategies: rational arguments/info. Describes attributes or benefits
obtained through product.
i. Generic Messages: Directly promotes attributes/benefits without any claim of
superiority (works best for brand leaders). Contains little info bu instead tries to link to
product category in brain. ii. Preemptive Messages: claim of superiority based on attributes/benefits with intent
of preventing competition from making a similar statement. (Need to be the first one to
use it or else you’re a copycat even if your brand does it too ex: crest cavity fighter)
iii.Unique selling proposition: What makes you unique or superior to competition
(testable and concrete claim)
iv. Hyperbole: Untestable claim based on attribute or benefit (ex: best radio station)
v. Comparative Advertising: compare product to the competition on some product
attribute/benefit (less believable because info thought to be exaggerated and
misleading) – comparing low market share brand to leaders works better (people listen
more for message/content)
2. Affective Message Strategies: Evoke feelings or emotions and link it to the brand (attempt to
enhance likeability and recall). Want emotions to turn to action.
i. Resonance: Connecting brand with a consumer’s experiences in order to develop
stronger ties between the product and consumer.
ii. Emotional: Attempts to elicit powerful emotions that lead to product recall and
choice (trust, reliability, happiness, security…) – help build stronger brand name
3. Conative Message strategies: seek to lead directly to a consumer response (can support
other promotional efforts such as coupon redemption programs). Knowledge or liking may come
What are the pros and cons of using a comparative message strategy? What does a marketer
need to take into consideration when doing so?
- Captures attention
- Increases awareness
- Message retention
- Negative attitudes
- Trait transference
- Viable competition
- Misleading claims
- Market share (shooting out > bullying)
*Choose appropriate comparison and use caution when using negative comparison format (must be
viable competing brand and can’t make misleading statements).
What are the different types of creative appeals? What are the pros and cons of using each
type of appeal? When is each type of creative appeal most appropriate to use?
1. Fear Appeals: Pros- increase viewer interest and can increase persuasiveness. Can also make
- Severity and Vulnerability: Picture of severity of issue if don’t buy product or how
vulnerable you will be if you don’t get it.
- Rewards to response efficacy: What rewards will you get by engaging in
behavior/product (intrinsic and extrinsic). What is the cost of engaging (response cost –not
just monetary). Degree of self efficacy (belief in ones self). Make decision based on all
components put together. - Appeal strength: powerful to capture attention but not scary that people avoid.
2. Humor Appeals: Pros- High recall scores, consumers enjoy ads that make them laugh, makes
ads more likeable, cuts through clutter.
Cons – harder for global campaigns because humor changes depending on culture
*don’t let humour overpower the message. Humour should link back to product benefits (means-end
3. Sex Appeals:
- Subliminal approach: placing sexual cues or icons in attempt to affect viewers subconscious
(cons: don’t pay much attention to adds to definatelt don’t register small cues - ineffective)
- Sensuality: More sophisticated (pros: women respond better to this than overly sexual
- Sexual suggestiveness: Hints that sex is about to take place
- Nudity or partial nudity
- Overt Sexuality: Becomes controversial when used for product unrelated to sexuality.
- Decorative models: ex: beer or car commercials
Pros: Increase attention, deemed more interesting, increase arousal response
Cons: Recalls lower then with other appeals (don’t notice brand name), people feel is perpetuated
dissatisfaction with one’s body
4. Music Appeals: Connects with emotions, memories and experiences. Can be intrusive (grab
attention). Increases retention of information. Can increase persuasiveness of an argument.
Brand equity/awareness/loyalty become easier when people know and like the song you use.
Can create partnerships with musicians so cost you less/ be cool/ musician gets known.
5. Rational appeals: Follows the hierarchy of effects stages of awareness, knowledge, liking,
preference, conviction, purchase.
1. Pros: Stronger conviction about product’s benefits (consumer must pay attention to
commercial, understand message and compare info to what they already know.
2. Usually work when customers have high levels of involvement and willing to pay
attention to ad (need to have interest in brand or product)
6. Emotional Appeals:
3. Pros: Can capture a viewer’s attention and create an emotional attachment between
the consumer and the brand. Increases brand loyalty.
4. Works best on TV and can be linked with other appeal (ex: humor, fear…)
7. Scarcity Appeals: Urge consumers to buy because of limitation
5. Pros: increases perceived value
What are the different types of executional frameworks? When is each type of executional
framework most appropriate to use?
1. Animation Executions:
2. Slice of life: provide solutions to everyday problems encounter-problem-interaction-solution.
Allows advertiser to highlight the ways brand can meet needs.
3. Storytelling: 30 second movie with a plot. This takes away the hard sell approach (product isn’t
center of ad). Form our own conclusions about product.
4. Testimonial: Add credibility to claims (especially in business-to-business and service sectors).
Service sector isn’t tangible so can’t feel before you buy. Most credible come from everyday
people because not paid like celebrities or actors. 5. Authoritative: Seek to convince viewers regarding brand’s superiority. Have experts back up the
brand’s advantages. Creates credibility if consumer is using cognitive processes and pays
attention to ad + info conveyed.
6. Demonstration: How does product work? Effective way to communicate benefits
7. Fantasy: Lift beyond real world to a make believe experience. People often recall the most
irrational/illogical ads. Fits with target audience that have preference for a tamer presentation
(instead of raw sexuality, it will focus on romantic make believe). Ex: perfume make woman feel
8. Informative: Give info in straightforward manner. Usually used more when only verbal
communication takes place (radio). Works better with people who are highly involved.
Placement is everything (ex: restaurant add right before noon will catch more attention than at
What are the different types of sources and spokespersons that can help convey a message
in marketing communications? What are the pros and cons of using each type of source or
1. Celebrity: May enhance brand’s equity (transfers bond between celebrity and
audience onto brand – usually work better for younger consumers), helps with brand
awareness and brand personality. Unpaid spokesperson enhances credibility for cause. Cons:
Is expensive, and might not work as well for new products. If only a voiceover, may be
distracting as people try to identify the voice. May be slightly overused. If celebrity has
negative image it transfers onto brand. If celebrity endorses too many products it tends to
2. CEO: Can become major asset for company, become local celebrities. Cons: not
professional actor so might come off awkward in commercial.
3. Experts: Backup testimonials, serve as authoritative figures, demonstrate products,
enhance credibility. More believable then celebrities for high tech products= Better at
reducing perceived risk in purchasing.
4. Typical Person: Either paid actors/models that portray everyday people or actual
everyday people. Less boring then celebrity (less overused).
What are the different characteristics that a source can possess? How do these
characteristics correspond with the different types of sources and spokespersons?
1. Credibility: Everything below affects credibility which in turn affects receiver’s acceptance of
spokesperson + message. Celebrities usually possess the most elements below.
2. Attractiveness: physical and personality characteristics (helps form emotional bonds with the
3. Similarity: Influenced more by people similar to us because we identify with them (ex: stay at
home mom). They probably have similar beliefs, values, preferences…
4. Likeability: You like the character that actor played, will then like product. Use well liked
5. Trustworthiness: Celebrity may be likeable and attractive but not trustworthy. If you are
liked, you tend to be more trusted and vice versa.
6. Expertise: Become more believable if show expertise. This is when CEO or expert in field is
* Celebrities: score well on trust, believability, persuasiveness and likeability (even more when
celebrity fits with product) * CEO may not be likeable or attractive but trustworthy, expertise and credible.
*Experts should be credible (usually seek attractive, likeable and trustworthy experts).
*Typical person: trustworthy, similarity and credibility rise for bald/overweight but attractiveness
and likeability may be lower (double edged sword)
Week 5 – Chapter 7 - Advertising
What information do marketers need when starting the media planning process?
Media planning commences with an analysis of the target market. They need to understand the
processes customers use in making purchases and what influences their final decisions (role of media
in customers purchasing process).
Media plan includes marketing analysis (4 Ps), advertising analysis (IMC planning process), media
strategy, media schedule, and then justification and summary
What are reach and frequency? How do they differ from effective reach and effective
frequency? What are the different approaches that can help you determine the optimal level
of reach and frequency for an IMC campaign? What are the different elements that can
impact the optimal level of reach and frequency for an IMC campaign?
Reach: number of members of your target audience exposed at least once to a particular
advertisement during a specific period of time
Frequency: average number of times a member of your target audience is exposed to a particular
advertisement during a specific period of time
Effective Reach = % of an audience that must be exposed to a particular message to achieve a
Effective Frequency = # of times a target audience must be exposed to a particular message to
achieve a specific objective.
To determine optimal level of reach and frequency :
6. Theories: three-exposure hypothesis / recency theory / variability theory
Element that impact optimal levels:
7. Objective (brand recall/brand recognition)
8. Size, placement of an ad
9. Number of media used
10. Synergy between media
What is “opportunity to see”? How is OTS calculated? What is the main problem with OTS?
OTS (=frequency) (cumulative exposures achieved in given period). When company places two ads
on a weekly tv show, eight OTS (four shows x two ads per show) occur during the four week period.
Main problem: OTS is most of the time above the actual exposure
We assume that OTS = exposure
What are “gross rating points”? What are their main purpose? How are GRPs calculated? GRP = measure impact or intensity of a media plan. Vehicle rating x OTS or Reach(%) x Frequency
Provide advertiser with better idea of the odds that members of the target audience actually viewed
the commercial (by increasing OTS or frequency, chances of buyer seeing the ad rises).
What is “cost per thousand”? What is its main purpose? How is CPM calculated?
CPM = (cost of media buy / Total audience) x 1000.
Cost measures the overall expensitures associated with an advertising program or campaign.
To see how cost-effective one medium or ad placement is compared to another CPM can be
calculated. CPM identifies the dollar cost of reaching 1000 members of the media vehicles audience.
What are “rating” and “share”? How do they differ? How are they calculated?
Rating and share are terms that calculate media audience
Rating (%)= measure the percentage of a firm’s target market exposed to a media (television show
or readers of a print medium). (# of H tuned into a program/total # of households)
Rating = target market exposed to media / total target market
Share (%) = Number of H tuned into a program/total # of H with a TV on
Cost per rating point = cost of media buy / vehicle rating measures relative efficiency of a media
vehicle relative to firm’s target market
What are the pros and cons of the different types of advertising media?
High frequency potential
Low cost per contact
High intrusion value
High level of clutter
Short amount of copy
High cost per ad
Narrower target markets
Match ad & audience
Fit local conditions Intimacy
Short exposure time
Hard to reach national audience
Strong audience interest
Poor buying procedures
Short life span
High color quality
Long lead time
Select geographic areas Accessible for local ads
Low cost per impression
High frequency potential
Large visuals possible
Short exposure time
What type of advertising mix would work best for different IMC objectives, target audiences,
and/or product categories?
Select right advertising media mix : analysis market scale, characteristics, media choices + message
Multiplier effect: combined impact of using 2 or more media will be stronger than using either
Question asked with example in support
Week 7 – Chapter 12 – Sales promotion
What are [depending on the type] the goals, pros and cons, and/or keys for successfully using
the different types of consumer promotions?
Goals Pros Cons Keys to success
Coupons Offer price
Premiums Prizes, gifts, or Match the premium
other special to the target
offers received market +
for free when Carefully select the
purchasing premiums (avoid
products fads, try for exclusivity) +
Pick a premium that
firm’s product and
Contests and Increase Extrinsic value:
sweepstakes customer traffic Actual
May or may not attractiveness
boost sales of the prize
Sampling Trial Effective Most effective
method of when new product
getting or new version
consumers try introduced
and purchase a Targeting right
particular brand audience at right
Effective way to venue at the right
introduce new time
interest in it
Price-offs Temporary Stimulate sales Negatively Appeal of monetary
reduction of of existing impact profits savings
price products Encourage price- Grand immediate
Entice new sensitivity rewards
products trial Negative impact
Encourage on brand image
switch in brand
or when no
the product and
the item (not
toothpaste) Refunds & Low-response When new or
rebates rates original
Too many steps
or long waiting
level is reduced
Bonus packs Reward Rarely attract
customer new customers
opt for brands
that offer more
at a minimal
How do different types of consumers respond to sales promotions?
- Regularly respond to various consumer promotions
- Like to purchase products that are on-deal
- Price remains primary criterion used in purchase decision
- Take advantage of any type of promotion that reduces price
- Consumers purchase cheaper brand whether on-deal or off-deal
- Purchase only one particular brand and do not substitute regardless of any deal being
- Consider a small set of brands for which they have strong attachment
- When promotions are offered for one of chosen brands, it becomes the one to be purchased
- Consumers ignore promotion for brands not in the brand preferred set, regardless size or
type of promotion
How can the different types of trade promotions help support an IMC campaign? What are
the concerns associated with using trade promotions? Trades promotions
Incentives designed by members of trade channel to entice another member to purchase goods for
Companies select trade promotions techniques based on:
Nature of business (manufacturer vs distributor)
Type of customer to be influenced (retailer vs wholesaler)
Objectives of IMC plan
4 types: trade allowances, trade contests, trade incentives, trade shows
- Strong brand image causing retailers to stock the product, making trade promotions useless
- High costs of trade promotions higher prices of the product for the consumers
- Situation when merchandise does not move until trade promotion incentive offered
- Constant use of deals = manufacturer margins on products & compe