To enlightened marketers the headline may sound very odd. However, every now and then I meet marketers who have the most peculiar notions. Like for instance that Marketing communication is something else or different than Marketing. Or that selling is one thing and marketing something else.

I do not know the origin of these ideas. Nonetheless; here is a brief summary of how it is;

Marketing communication is an important part of marketing with the purpose to communicate with companies’ target markets [1]. Keller (2001, p. 823) describes marketing communication as representing “…the voice of a brand and the means by which companies can establish a dialogue with consumers concerning their product offerings”. The reasons why companies communicate to their markets vary but often the purpose is to bring to customers’ attention information regarding new goods and services, to change attitudes toward a product or to remind consumers about products (Keller, 2001). The companies’ communication activities can furthermore be part of an information exchange between company and customer with the intention to maintain and develop customer relationships (Reid, Luxton & Mavondo, 2005). No matter the purpose, communication is an integral part of the marketing function and is executed by staff and functions within the organization and/or together with external organizations specialized in the area of communication.

Marketing communication, frequently called promotion and being one of the four P’s, is a broad concept that covers the sub areas of advertising, personal selling, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and areas connected to these (Duncan & Moriarty, 1998). The various areas are serving different purposes and aiming at achieving different goals. For instance, sales promotion is short term incentives to stimulate purchase whereas advertising can be used to build a brand image or to create a presence on a new market. Common for these sub areas is that they all include an element of communication that is directed towards the market. Communicating with the market and the consumers is important since it over-bridges the gap between companies and customers. At a basic level, communication will make it possible to inform and make potential customers aware of a company’s business, its offering or to persuade customers to enter into an exchange relationship.

[1] The communication aspect of marketing is explicitly formulated in the AMA definition of marketing, “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.” (The AMA definition as reported by Keefe, 2004, p. 17 – 18)

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