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Background of Country Road Group

Describe about the Marketing Communication for Advanced Approach Towards Management.

Marketing Communication refers to the process of communication with target customers of the company[1]. The primary reason of marketing communication is to convey the message about the products and services of the company to the customers as well as to the stakeholders. There are various tools of marketing communication like an advertisement, public relation, personal selling, direct marketing and many others. Integrated Marketing Communication, commonly known as IMC, is the advanced process of marketing communication. IMC is an advanced approach toward achieving the marketing objective of a company by using the combination of integrated promotional activities. IMC evaluates the value of the marketing plans of a company and then make communication strategy to promote a particular brand[2].

This primary aim of the study is to formulate the Integrated Marketing Communication plans (IMC plan) of an Australian leading garments maker Country Road Group. The first part of the study is about the background of the company, their products and the marketing objectives. Then the very next part of the report evaluates the target market segmentation of the company. After that, the most important five communication or advertising objectives of the company has been developed. Then the ethical issue regarding the brand image creative advertisement has been recognized and discussed. The next part involves the development of the media plan of the company which includes the selection of the media vehicle. The media vehicle will help to achieve the marketing objective of the company. Lastly, a conclusion has been drawn based on the total study.

Country Road is an Australian retail company founded in the year of 1974. The company has its presence in other countries like New Zealand and South Africa. The parent company of Country Road is Woolworths Limited. Country Road is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The name of the managing director is Mr. Darren Todd and the name of the CEO is Mr. Matt Keogh. In the beginning, Country Road used to produce the clothes for the women. Right now, Country Road is Australia’s one of the major retail company which produces garments for children, men and women. The major product of Country Road is garments; apart from that Country Road also produces accessories and footwear for men, women and children. There is a portion o this company which produces furniture. In the year of 1998, Woolworths Limited showed interest in this company and acquired it. The current employee base of the company is around ten thousand.

Target Audience Segment Analysis

The primary objective all the company is to maximize the profitability by increasing the revenue. Country Road also has the same objective, but they want to achieve this objective by satisfying the needs of the customers. The marketing objective of Country Road group can be recognized by reading the vision statement of the company. As per the vision statement of the company, Country Road wants to become the omni channel market leader in Australia. That means the company wants to make available their products in every channel like online shopping, on call shopping and from mortal stores. At the same time, the company believes in innovation in their product so that their product can be the unique one in the market. Another objective of Country Road is to acquire the world class talented employee in their work force as they believe the employees are the heart of the organization.

The primary requirement to develop any marketing strategy is to set the target audience that is to know who the potential customers of the company are. Target segmentation depends on the nature of the business. Thus, different companies have different target segment[3]. In the case of Country Road, the company has segmented their customers depending on various aspects like geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavior. These aspects are discussed below:

Geographic segmentation refers to segment the audience by climate, size of the city or state and population. The clothes of both men and women vary depending upon the climate of the area. For example, the clothes of summer and winter are not same. Based on this factor, Country Road segmented their target audience and produces the products accordingly[4].

Demographic segmentation means to divide the target customer by age, sex, income, education, occupation and others. County Road has products for children, men and women and for all age group. On the other hand, they have some premium products for their premium customers. Country Road has targeted all income grope people so that everyone can buy their products[5].

Psychographic segmentation means to target the customers by social class, the personality of people, various lifestyles of the people and others. Country Road has specially customized clothes to cater to the psychographic needs of the customers. Some people want to wear clothes based on their moods. Country Road uses to analyze the various moods of the people and accordingly produces products[6].

Behavior Segmentation means to segment the customers based on various occasion and festivals. People like to wear new clothes at the time of festival and occasions. Based on that human character, Country Road produces clothes for people[7].

Communication Objectives

From the above discussion, it can be understood that Country Road has an excellent customer segmentation strategy that helps them cater to the various needs of the customers.

Every marketing strategy has some objectives behind it such as the objective of marketing strategies is to maximize the sales of the organization[8]. There are some specific objectives behind developing the communication strategy of Country Road Group. Three of those objectives are discussed below:

The first objective is to develop the brand image of the company. Brand image means the perception of a customer towards the particular company. As the customers are the source of income to every company, it is essential to build a good image to the customers. In the case of Country Road, it is necessary that the company have a good brand image. Effective communication strategy helps to create awareness about the products of the company as the brand image will be good when maximum people will get to about the company[9].

The second objective is to promote the new products of the company. Once a new product is launched in the market, it needs proper promotion so that people can be aware of the product. Thus, the aim of the IMC manger will be to develop an effective communication strategy to promote the new product in the market. The profitability of the company will be higher when more people get to know about the product[10].

The third objective is to influence the buying behavior of the customers. The communication strategy should be developed in such a way that it can be able to change the perception of the customers towards the products of the company. The advertisement campaigns of the company should convey the message of the benefits of the products. Only then customers will be attracted towards the products of the company[11].

These are the main three communication objective of the company Country Road. The IMC manager should keep these factors in mind while developing the advertisement or communication strategy of the company. The profitability of the company will increase when more customers are influenced to buy the product of the company.

Business communication strategies or the advertisement campaigns are such an act that helps to create the brand image of a company[12]. Brand image is a crucial aspect in establishing the image of the company in the market. The brand image refers to the reputation, goodwill and logo of the company. There is various advertisement style of creative advertisement. They are Unique selling proposition style, brand image creative style, Resonance creative style, Emotional Creative Style, Generic Creative Style, Preemptive Creative Style and others. In the case of Country Road Group, the chosen alternative style of creative advertisement by the IMC Manager is the brand image creative style of the company[13].

Ethical Issues in Communication Objectives

Every business strategy must have ethics in it. The strategies can be marketing strategies, promotional strategies or communication strategies. Ethics is a must in every business strategies. Hence, there is no exception in the case of Communication or advertisement strategies. One of the major ethical issues in advertisement communication is the presence of a subliminal advertisement. Subliminal advertisement refers to the portion of the advertisement which is shown for a very little time but has a very inner meaning. That means by subliminal advertisement; companies are trying to manipulate the customers[14]. Many companies are adopting the strategy of subliminal advertisement. However, many companies and advertisement agencies are considering the practice of subliminal advertisement as a wrong practice of advertisement. Another ethical issue in advertisement is providing the wrong information through the advertisement campaign. There are instances of many companies which try to convey the wrong message by their advertisement campaigns. This is an ill practice of communication campaigns. People are misguided by the false information provided by the company in their advertisement. This process creates a bad effect on the brand image of the company[15]. The IMC manger of Country Road must keep these ethical issues in mind while preparing the advertisement strategies of the company. The advertisements of the company should convey the right massage of the brand as well as should provide the correct information.

The crucial and most important job of an IMC manager is to develop the media plan of the company. The media plan involves the planning of advertisement vehicles to convey the message of the company to the customers[16]. In the case of Country Road, the objective of the media plan is to reach to the maximum number of people on a frequent basis. In this context, one of the most important aspects is the selection of the media vehicle. Media vehicle refers to the medium or channel by which the advertisement of the company will be done[17].

The chosen media vehicle for Country Road Group is all the local newspapers. There is a great significance of newspapers as the media vehicle of the company. The newspaper is such a medium which is available in every corner of the country and newspaper id the only media which is published on a daily basis. There is a relation between the chosen media and the three main objectives of the company. As discussed earlier, the three main advertisement objectives of the company are creating a brand image, promoting new products of the company and influence the buying behavior of the customers. All newspaper will have a one full page advertisement of the new products of Country Road. This process will create the brand image of the company as almost every people of the country read newspapers on a daily basis. On the other hand, the advertisement will make the readers know about the new products of the company and will convey the right message to the potential customers. Twenty-first centuries is the era of internet and in this era newspapers are available in the form of e-paper in mobiles, laptops, computers, tablets and many others. Thus, by choosing the newspaper as the media vehicle, Country Road Group can reach to millions of people on a regular basis and at the same time the objectives of the companies can be achieved by these media plan[18].

Every marketing strategy has success and failure. There should be one or a set of tools that will help to evaluate the effectiveness of the media plan. The best way to evaluate the success of the media plan is to adopt both qualitative as well as a quantitative method of evaluation. These two processes are discussed below:

The qualitative method of evaluation has aspects. First of all, it should be examined that if there is any biases toward the advertisement. The tone of the media should be good. There should be a group of people in the organization who will look after the evaluation process of the media. The group will frequently examine about the coverage of the media that means whether the media is reaching to the potential customers. They will also examine that whether the people are getting the core message of the advertisement. On the other hand, it should also be analyzed that how the competitors are taking the advertisement promotion of the company. The team will also be responsible to take care of the number of advertisement in the newspapers[19].

Another way to evaluate the effectiveness of the advertisement campaign is the quantitative method of evaluation. This method helps to evaluate the effectiveness on the monetary basis. The first method under quantitative media evaluation is advertising Cost Equivalent method. Application of this method will help to measure the success of the advertisement campaign by the revenue earned. The next method is to judge the impression of the advertising campaign that is how many times the advertisement is seen in the newspaper. Another way of evaluation is to see how many times the name of the company and the main message of the company appears in the newspaper[20].

These are the methods by which the advertisement plan of Country Road can be evaluated. The qualitative method helps to evaluate the effectiveness by people whereas quantitative method helps to evaluate the effectiveness on the monetary basis. Both the methods are important tools for the evaluation of advertisement campaign effectiveness.


Communication strategy is the process of establishing the brand image of the company to the customers. However, establishing the brand image is not the only objective of it. There are various objectives and benefits of communication objectives. Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is the advanced version of communication strategies. IMC deals with the creation and implementation of the media plans of companies. In this study, the media plan of the Australian Company Country Road Group has been set up. Country Road is one of the leading cloths manufactures in Australia. The company has divided their target customer in for segments. They are geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavior. This is a unique strategy as this strategy has given them a better view of their potential customer base.

After that, the three major objectives of the communication plan have been established. The objectives are establishing brand image, promoting products and influence the customers. Then the media plan of the company has been set and the newspaper has been chosen as the media vehicle. There is a direct relationship between the media vehicle and the objective of the company as the media vehicle helps to achieve the advertisement objectives by communicating the media plan with the potential customers. However, only setting up of the media plan is not enough. Evaluating the effectiveness of the media plan has the same importance as the setting up of it. There are two types of methods to evaluate the success of media plan that is a qualitative method and quantitative method. The quantitative method helps to evaluate the success on the monetary basis. In the case of Country Road Group, both quantitative and qualitative methods are suggested to evaluate the effectiveness of communication plan. Thus, form the whole repot, it can be concluded that to establish the media plan of a company, the analysis of target segment and setting up of objectives are necessary. After that, there should be effective tools to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans.

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