Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 663
, Published on 14 August 2015
Marketing channel mix is broadly defined as the number of channels you are using for the marketing and advertising of your product and the ratio in which you are using these channels in terms of advertising spend and volumes. Marketing channels are of various types. Some widely known marketing channels comprise of television, Print media, Radio, in movie placements, sponsorships of live events and outdoor advertising.
The choice of these marketing channels and their ratio of use varies from product to product, brand to brand, customer to customer etc. Let us first look at the factors on which their choice depends.
1. Product type-
Product offering highly influences the choice of marketing channel. Marketing channels varies from the type of product- ranging from low involvement products to the high involvement products. On the whole, it categorises where its target group are more likely to be and the choice largely varies on that. For example If we take a product like toothpaste, it is a kind of a regular purchase item just like grocery and not much involvement is generally put into its purchase unless the customer wants to purchase something specific. As a result of this its advertisement is done on general entertainment channels of television (such as Star Plus, Sony etc.) keeping in mind that in most cases in India the buyer of this product is the home maker of the house which has largest probability to be on that marketing channel. This was one such case. Such type of patterns are followed in every such type. Be it a very niche product like a BMW 7 series car. Its advertisement is in sync with the offering i.e. a niche channel selection (such as AXN, Star World) is done by the company so as to attract that kind of potential consumers. Same goes for the other channels apart from television be it print, radio, outdoor media, sponsorships etc.
2. Brand –
This is also an influential factor in the choice of the marketing channels. Brands have a certain type of image and reputation attached to them and they want to maintain that going a step ahead even if it may counter the marketing channel selection by the product offering. Certain brand perceptions restrict those brands for marketing or advertising in channels which may erode that effect. For example we take the case of Audi. It has a strong brand value and likeness among the consumers. Even if Audi comes up with a low product offering in the price range of 7-10 lakhs, still it would have that premium value because of the “brand” effect. It knows its consumers are not the ones purchasing the Maruti Suzuki car of that segment hence its channel selection would be totally different from the former. As it is very rightly said for the advertising world, “Initially you carry the brand, then the brand carries you all over”.
Although most of it has been discussed in the above 2 points, yet a separate strategy dependent on this can be formulated to increase the attractiveness and the value of sales. The concept of target group has been discussed already. Now the concept comes of exposure. Obviously you are catering to your future potential or existing customers. A certain level of recall has to be always there in their minds. Not all your consumer segment would be glued to a specific marketing channel. You have to choose the marketing channels in such a way that all of your consumers get the exposure or the communication of your product at least once. That you do by categorising your consumers by age, location, behaviours, marketing channels available etc. Hence you come to an ideal marketing channel mix.
4. Information to be given-
Some type of information are sensitive to a media. Certain type of product attributes and technical information can be more explicitly explained in TV as compared to print or outdoor and vice versa. At that stage that also becomes a deciding factor in the selection of the marketing channels. For example certain type of detailed technical information regarding all the features or attributes of a certain type of car or smartphone is to be conveyed. For that purpose, print is more effective as compared to TV media. Similarly TV media is more effective if in a case some breakthrough feature info about the product is to be conveyed as that medium is preferable for limited info but in an effective way means type.
Till now we have discussed the choice of various marketing channels and how to choose them. Let’s go a step forward and look at the ratio in which these marketing channels should be used. Factors affecting ratio of use are-:
1. Exposure- Generally it a practice by the company that through its advertisements it should be able to reach a 75-80% of its potential customers. We are taking this figure because in a world reaching a total 100% is practically not possible or it will increase our costs by a humungous level. Generally companies put money in various channels keeping in mind a thumb rule that 65% of the target audience reached should be exposed to the communication at least 4 times in a purchasing cycle (Purchasing cycle determines the period after which a customer rebuys that product. It can be a day, week, month etc.). Exposure value means how many times the customer has been exposed to the product. An exposure value greater than 7 is not considered that cost effective as its incremental value on sales keeps on decreasing after the value of 7.
2. Advertising budget- This is a bigger constraint than the one discussed before. Budgets are always limited and the ambitions unlimited. They have to make to run in sync to maintain the company in the slab of profit. For example if the advertising budget for a specific product is low, then more money will be pumped into media of effectiveness even if some amount of brand value has to be sacrificed. Profit is the key for the company. The other way can be company is advertising only in the period before its peak season of sales rather than round the clock to do justice with the budget. Of course this technique may not be effective in brand building but drive sales and that is the bottom line for which the company operated.
The above article is a general study before getting into the world of showbiz. This gives us a bird’s eye view of how the advertising market functions or operates. The one thing is guaranteed that the next time we see an advertisement on any channel it would not be the same as we have seem till now. Our analytical minds behind the positioning, timing, channel behind that will surely judge their effectiveness in their own ways. If that is done, the purpose of this article is well achieved!!
This article has been authored by Ankit Aggarwal from IIM Kashipur
Advertising & Promotion by George E. Belch, Michael A. Belch, Keyoor Purani
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