5 Marketing Communication Tools

A marketing person has many tools at his disposal for generating awareness and supporting the selling effort.  While there are numerous marketing communication tools, there are also numerous mixes for these tools. The following is a list of some of the more common tools along with examples of their use and some considerations. One important note is remember that marketing communication tools do improve understanding your product or service, reinforcing your messages, supporting the sales cycle and generating awareness.

1-      Advertising: Advertising’s main feature is increasing awareness.   An example of an ad might be an enterprise promoting that it is number one in providing top quality lawn mowers. Ads also help promote your product or service and branding for your enterprise.   Major advice regarding advertising is to very clear about its objective, who is the audience and how will you measure its effectiveness.

One major mistake that many companies make is that after doing an excellent job of determining the objectives, defining audience and establishing metrics, is that they do not fund the advertising plan so that it will be effective.  All too many times after an ad campaign starts they stop funding it because they do not see any positive results.  Typically ad programs have a “threshold” or how many times it must run to be effective, but many companies stop part of the way through and move on to something else.  Rule number one; do not run any ads unless you are funded for the full program!

2-      Direct mail or email campaigns: The primary purpose of mailings, direct or email, is to generate leads, via some form of an offer or call to action. An example of a direct mail might be a message that addresses the need for additional revenues and implementing a marketing program that will result in additional revenues.  Mailings can also be used for promoting any major communication messages.  Like advertising, first make sure you know your objective and have a targeted audience and how you will measure the campaign.  Word of caution, mailings do not usually replace the sales force (I am addressing business to business markets). But as stated, they provide leads or names of potential customers.  The biggest mistakes most companies make are; the offer does not line up with the targeted audience, the offer is not compelling. and a lack of a call to action. If you do not address these issues you are only “clicks” away from losing your potential customer.

3-      Social Media:  Social Media’s main purpose is providing “information” about your products, services, and enterprise, and other people’s opinions about all three. As Bob has discussed in a number of articles, social media is not only growing at a rapid rate, it is becoming a resource for consumer/buyers to research the potential product or service way before your enterprise is even aware of the buyer’s interest.  Key advice here is to at least monitor these activities, respond to viewer’s comments, especially if there is bad publicity.  Common mistakes are not engaging in one form of these activities, becoming defensive about social remarks and not gathering this information for future products or services.

4-      Trade shows, seminars, webinars: These tools can address many issues, but usually their primary objectives are leads and a product/service introduction or announcement. An example might be “Visit our booth #1234 and see the industry’s fastest switch”.   Two of the biggest mistakes are not getting the leads out to the field in a timely manner and having a very strong message that is easy to understand.

5-      Newsletters, Catalogs: Primary use is for convening information, be it some form of an update or similar to the trade show, an announcement of a new product or service.   Key for success for these is attention getting and true value proposition.

Understand there are numerous marketing tools and even more  when you make different mixes, and I have just highlighted just 5.  Regardless of the tools you use or what combinations, remember that you must have an objective, a well defined audience, an agreed method of measurement and most importantly, adequate funds for each program/campaign.  The key to a successful use of these marketing tools is to coordinate these activities with the sales organization (give them plenty of notice ahead of time) and other distribution channels.



RHL 06/15/10


11 comments to 5 Marketing Communication Tools

  • Jim Matorin

    I like the balance between classic and new marketing tools. I will add a sixth tool to the list: event marketing. I believe with the advent of social media and online tools (webinars), people (customers/consumers)will be starving for real time, authentic interactive engagement. Event marketing will lead to retention.

  • Emmanuel OLA

    I strongly believe Public Relation and publicity should also be part of it and to also support Jim's comment, Event & Experience is also a major tool as this cross across major stakeholder in the industry to have a first hand experience with the poduct. 

    This can also increase talkabilty/word of mouth, induce trial and will later lead to sales

    Just my thought

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  • Jason

    Webinars are effective marketing tools because it gives high sales potential to business, builds two way communication trusts etc. There are various webinar tools provider such as WebEx, gomeetnow, R-HUB web conferencing servers,  gotomeeting etc. to select from.


    Also billboards should be added as tool

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