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Brand Media Strategy : Integrated Communications Planning

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Question:

Discuss about the Brand Media Strategy : Integrated Communications Planning.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Integrated marketing communication is important for irrespective of the kinds of companies such as small sized companies and the multinational companies. However, the mode of communication differs in some regards. This is because of the fact that every promotional mode does require high-end investments, which is not feasible to every organization. Another point is that different companies have different levels for the same promotional mode, which is mainly because of their global presence that compels them to approach the market differently. Irrespective of the kinds of the communication campaigns, all the companies have some similarities, which is the usability of some common campaigning mediums such as traditional and non-traditional modes (Ang 2014).

The chosen product for this assignment is “Samsung Galaxy S6”, which is set to be presented in this assignment as a product for undergoing the market communication planning. The reason to choose Samsung Galaxy S6 is the dominance of the previous offering of the same series. However, the overwhelming success, which the Samsung Company had ever fetched with the Galaxy S3, was never repeated. Some of the recent offerings of the series felt miserably in competition from some other competitors such as Sony and HTC. The recent offerings of the same series such as S4 and S5 could not sustain the same performance as done by the S3. This is because of the fact it becomes important that the Company does overwhelming promotion of the product, so that, it catches the minds of users (Belch et al. 2014).

The main purpose of this assignment is to analyze the existing market situation of galaxy S6. Moreover, this assignment is set to provide some effective medium of promotions to help the brand dominating and recapturing the minds of customers even more than before.

 

Current market situation

After the launch of the product, it has already steered the market with a sheer selling of approximately around 55 millions of unit’s sales. During the first three month of the launch of the product, it has already boosted the market share of the Company; however, it is finding stiff competition from some other competitors such as Iphone6 and HTC. Samsung is facing a direct competition from the Apple’s Iphone6 in respect to the cost of the product. The company has always performed exceptionally well on paper when it comes to the power packed inbuilt features. However, it fell short of every Apple’s product of the same generation when it comes to the overall performance of the product. This is one such reason, which has kept Samsung engaged for producing something bigger than before and outplays its biggest rival Apple’s Iphone. The comparative study of Galaxy S6 does very well indicate towards a fact that the irrespective of the kinds of offerings of the product is unmatchable from other. However, rest depends on the actual market responses and the customer’s feedbacks. The market competition is fierce because of the fact that both the Samsung and Iphone do brig their flagship handsets every year on a regular basis. However, this is also an undeniable fact that the market share of Samsung Smartphones has witnessed a dip of 57% whereas Apple has witnessed a rise of approximately around 40% (Inquirer, 6, Latest, & read, 2017).

Integrated marketing communication objectives

The main objective behind integrated market communication is to grab a maximum awareness of customers. Moreover, these marketing communication modes have now become widely used tools for the irrespective kinds of companies. Nevertheless, the quality of integrated marketing communication does produce a resonant effect on the market. This is done by means of several promotional modes, which are highly important for generating the spaces in the market. Nevertheless, the main objective behind the integrated marketing communication tool is to capitalize a pre-release dominance on the market and cash on the hyped curiosity. This is very effective in making huge unit sales in the initial few days after the venturing of the product (Blakeman 2014). Another objective behind the integrated communications modes is the enhancement of brand appeal, which helps in generating enough buzz in the market. This helps the brand in providing a stiff competition to the other competitors in the market. Samsung has the same objective with the Galaxy S6 as they want to capitalise the minds of consumers to give its product enough of spaces to fill this gap with some gigantic unit sales. The planning for the integrated marketing communication would be to pronounce the effect of the product by giving it some modification to receive the attention and support the brand with some good sales (Boone and Kurtz 2013). At present, the product is lagging behind to its biggest rival Iphone6 and Samsung is finding no solution to outclass the presence of Iphone in the market. This is indeed very difficult to re-establish the buzz among the customers about an existing product but this is how integrated marketing communication works. Integrated marketing communication is a good weapon for companies before the launch of the product; however, it continues to provide beneficial outcomes to its inhibitors. The execution of integrated marketing communication is to support the launched product with some innovative ideas to support its growth before the ultimate fall in graph happens. Following are two most important objectives behind an Integrated Marketing Communications (Lin 2012):

  • To capitalize a pre-release dominance on the market and cash on the hyped curiosity
  • To enhance the brand image, which creates enough buzz in the market that supports further growth of the product
 

Budgeting approach and its allocation

The best way to conduct the planning of the integrated marketing communication would be to use the Percentage of Sales method, which is widely used across most of the big multinational companies. This method includes the usage of the percentage of the past sales, which is the generated revenue. However, it is entirely up to the Company that how they plan for the usage of percentage. They can take percentage from the profit generated by some other products or they can also take percentage of the past sales of the same product. Following are some of the considerations, which managers can make before making decisions on ways to take percentage from the generated past sales (Percy 2014):

  • Using the percentage of the revenues generated by the past sales
  • Including some portion of the promotion in the costing of a single unit and multiplying this by the number of units sold
  • Some companies do also consider the future projected sales from the product; they rather make some assumptions on the future sales and based on the assumptions, they decide on the amount needed to be invested on the promotion

Following are some of the examples, which show the advantages of using the Percentage of Sales method for planning the budget for the integrated marketing communication (Rogala and Kaniewska-S?ba 2013):

  • It is very safe, which helps company spending on the ICM by being within the limit
  • Irrespective of the kinds of investments considerations, companies are very safe if they use this method for budgeting the ICM campaign
  • The budgeting method is very stable
  • Promotional stunts might vary with the units of sales, which the company has aimed
  • Encourages the management as it enables them to see the relationships in between selling price, promotional costs and profile per unit
  • This method is suitable to those companies whose ad budget is lower than the generated sales or the future aimed sales

However, the method has some disadvantages as well, which are as follows (Schultz, Patti and Kitchen 2013):

  • The basis of selecting the budgeting was based on sales whether past or future; however, this might be the case that the aimed units of sales might not be achieved
  • It is very tough to predict the units of sale as the market competition is severe, which becomes a challenge for any company to calculate an approximately closer figure of units sales
  • The variance in the future sales would thus result in over budgeting or under budgeting, which verily depends on the differences in the expected units sales and the actual figure

Justification for the budgeting approach and allocation

The chosen mode for the integrated marketing communication is the Advertising and the Public Relations. However, it is very important to appropriately allocate the budgeting to the different kinds of integrated marketing communication modes. The chosen method for the integrated marketing communication is the Percentage of Sales Method, which makes this important for the planning team that they allocate minimal budget to the advertisements. This is because of the fact that the proposed method for the integrated marketing communication is best productive with the lower expenditures on the advertisements costs. The advertisement itself contains several of domains, which needs the allocation of budget but to a minimal degree. The advertisement may include but not limited to the factors mentioned such as printing, direct mailing, broadcasting and outdoor expenses. The budget may include several factors such as media costs, ads creation costs and conducting research to evaluate the success of the planning. Some of the companies do often pay approximately 15% of the costs involved in the purchasing of media to the advertising agency; however, some pay a set free. Nevertheless, some might also plan the advertising internally by hiring some copywriters and graphic designers on a contractual basis. They can efficiently handle the advertisement works. Hiring graphic designers and copywriters on a contractual basis looks very preferable choices for the chosen method, as the chosen method does not allow any higher expenditure on the advertisements (Shimp and Andrews 2012).

Allocation of budgeting in PR involves the expenditures on all the necessary components of the PR activities. It includes the relationship making with the member of media through different functionalities such as press releases, free samples and media days. Some PR may also include the running of promotion such as conduction of a cause-marketing campaign. Some other effective ways to generate PR is to donate some funding of the company to some of the non-profit organizations in the name of charity works and sponsoring for different kinds of sports (Thorson and Moore 2013).

 

Development of Integrated Marketing Communication

To develop an integrated marketing communication for Samsung Galaxy S6, it is required to follow some necessary steps that are widely important for the program. Following are some of the steps; which can be used to develop the integrated marketing communications for Galaxy S6:

There are different modes of marketing communications available; however, it is necessary to identify the best possible and feasible modes of marketing communications. Different kinds of marketing communications are such as advertising, social media and sales promotions. However, in the development of marketing communication for the galaxy S6, it is best feasible to stick to the two most widely used and effective tools such as advertising and PR for the marketing communication. The advertising mode is selected as it consumes less expenditures and best feasible to the Percentage Sales method of Budgeting. The advertising mode of communication is controllable and can be reduced to lower expenditures on hiring some copywriters and graphic designers on a contractual basis.   PR is another very important aspect in developing the marketing communication strategies for a product. This is nothing but a close interaction with the media personals. This is one of the easiest ways to interact with media and communicated indirectly to the targeted customers. This is also useful in promoting products in media shows, which is very useful for highlighting the newly added features in the existing product. This helps increase the curiosity level in customers to some extents as they are being promised to get more out of the box (Yeshin 2012).

The development of advertising can be done by hiring some copywriters and graphic designers on a contractual basis. They are cost-effective, which is important, as the chosen method is Percentage of Sales method. Some of the companies do spend a lot of amount on the expenditures; however, to Samsung Galaxy S6, it is best suited to stick to the hiring of required personal. This is cost-effective as well as deeply controlled approach, which provides firm support to the development management team.

The development of PR can be done by making some investments on scheduling some interactions with media personals. However, the interactions should be monitored at regular intervals to check the profitability of the implemented program. This is enormously important as the measurement saves from over budgeting and unnecessary expenditures (Percy 2014).

Understanding the decision making factors in customers

This is very important as the campaigning of different programs and relevant expenditures would be only helpful if these stunts are relevant to the customer’s needs. This is also necessary in saving the over budgeting. The different kinds of integrated marketing communications do only provide some ways to interact with customers, it never guarantees of success, which entirely depend on the customer’s perceptions. This is why it is very important to know the requirements of customers to best utilize the different kinds of communication modes. For example, if customers are wanting something on the display part of the screen and the company unanimously came to a conclusion without having any thorough research on the problem and presented some other new addition to the existing offerings. This would simply be wastage of money and constraints on the management team. The development program would also be affected. It would be a total loss of budgeting, physical labours and time (Lin 2012).

The implementation of the chosen modes of campaigning should be done in accordance to the actual requirement of the customers. The advertisement in particular needs to be attractive and full of useful messages conveying the flow of changes in the existing offerings. This is very important in saving the campaigning from any kinds of failure. The PR related activities does not need any charming presentation, as quality is more important than just the words. The interaction with the media personals would be to show the highly incremented gratitude to their requirements and the counter actions from the company. The message needs to be clearly delivered at the time of interaction with the media personals (Percy 2014).

 

Evaluation, monitoring and controlling of the proposed program

The evaluation and monitoring of the proposed marketing communications is very important to help company save from unnecessary expenditures and over budgeting. This is because of the fact that a continuous evaluation is mandate to bring the maximum profitability to the selected product by implementing chosen IMC. Following are some of the ways, which are extremely helpful in evaluating the outcome of the implemented IMC program (Young 2014):

KPIs are extensively useful in measuring the outcome of the proposed campaigning for the enhancement of existing sales of the Galaxy S6. The evaluation can be made by measuring the success of both the program on a scoring scale to check the level of success such as customer feedbacks with numbers of positives or negatives responses and the publishing media news, which help check the reflection of campaign on the media personals

Return on investments is another method to check the profitability of the campaigning as it is a long term evaluation method, which would give results only when the units sales of the product are increased

Recommendations

The first point of recommendation is related to the pricing of the galaxy S6, which is very much manageable than incepting some new features in the product. This is probably has become a popular trend among the different Smartphone companies. This help grab and turn the attention of customers into their favour. A high number of populations living in the world do prefer a reasonable pricing tagged to the top-end offerings. Samsung has also committed the same thing but their price reduction is not that much low, which could compete with some other brands such as Lenovo. However, the highlighted problem was related to the severe competition with the Iphone6, which means that a price reduction would certainly influence and change the perceptions of a group of customers that has less priority to high-end pricing. However, it would not help company in winning the hearts of premium customers, as they have more concerns for quality product and less regards to the pricing. Indeed, the quality of Galaxy S6 is not poor but it is not as good as Iphone6.

Conclusion

Integrated marketing communication is helpful in making some useful revenues; however, it is only an alternate solution, which could enhance the profitability of a venture to some extent. Organizations need not depend entirely on the integrated marketing communication campaigning as the quality of the product matters the most. However, the importance of marketing communications can never be ignored as it adds some important values to the credibility of the products.

 

References

Ang, L., 2014. Principles of integrated marketing communications. Cambridge University Press.

Belch, G.E., Belch, M.A., Kerr, G.F. and Powell, I., 2014. Advertising: An integrated marketing communication perspective. McGraw-Hill Education.

Blakeman, R., 2014. Integrated marketing communication: creative strategy from idea to implementation. Rowman & Littlefield.

Boone, L.E. and Kurtz, D.L., 2013. Contemporary marketing. Cengage learning.

Inquirer, T., 6, S., Latest, I., & read, M. 2017. Samsung sheds market share as the Galaxy S6 fails to challenge Apple's iPhone 6 | TheINQUIRER. https://www.theinquirer.net. Retrieved 1 May 2017, from https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2422775/samsung-sheds-market-share-as-galaxy-s6-fails-to-challenge-the-iphone-6

Lin, T.L., 2012. The Sparks When Integrated Marketing Communications Meets Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Experience Marketing. New York Science Journal, 5(5), pp.70-85.

Percy, L., 2014. Strategic integrated marketing communications. Routledge.

Rogala, A. and Kaniewska-S?ba, A., 2013. Internal communication as a marketing communications tool. In 13th International Marketing Trends Conference, pod red. Françoise CONCHON-Pary?: ESCP-AEP European School of Management.

Schultz, D., Patti, C.H. and Kitchen, P.J., 2013. The evolution of integrated marketing communications: The customer-driven marketplace. Routledge.

Shimp, T.A. and Andrews, J.C., 2012. Advertising promotion and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Cengage Learning.

Thorson, E. and Moore, J., 2013. Integrated communication: Synergy of persuasive voices. Psychology Press.

Yeshin, T., 2012. Integrated marketing communications. Routledge.

Young, A., 2014. Brand media strategy: integrated communications planning in the digital era. Springer.

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