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Developing Effective Communications

Figure 14.3 on page 250 shows the eight steps in developing effective communications. We begin with the basics: identifying the target audience, setting the communications objectives, designing the communications, selecting the communication channels, and establishing the total marketing communications budget.

Identify the Target Audience

The process must start with a clear target audience in mind: potential buyers of the company’s products, current users, deciders, or influencers as well as individuals, groups, particular publics,

FiGURE 14.2 Response Hierarchy Models

Sources: aE. K. Strong, The Psychology of Selling (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1925), p. 9; bRobert J. Lavidge and Gary A. Steiner, “A Model for Predictive Measurements of Advertising Effectiveness,” Journal of Marketing (October 1961), p. 61; cEverett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovation (New York: Free Press, 1962), pp. 79-86; dvarious sources.

or the general public. The target audience is a critical influence on decisions about what to say, how, when, where, and to whom.

Though we can profile the target audience in terms of any of the market segments identified in Chapter 6, it’s often useful to do so in terms of usage and loyalty. Is the target new to the category or a current user? Is the target loyal to the brand, loyal to a competitor, or someone who switches between brands? If a brand user, is he or she a heavy or light user? Communication strategy will differ depending on the answers. We can also conduct image analysis by profiling the target audience’s brand knowledge.

 
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