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This assessment task will assess the following learning outcome/s:

1. be able to explain and critically discuss the role of marketing communication in the overall marketing and business strategy.
2. be able to evaluate theoretical concepts underlying integrated marketing communications.
3. be able to examine and evaluate various elements of a contemporary communication mix.
4. be able to critically evaluate marketing communications for a range of organisations and reflect on current organisational marketing by using communications tools.
5. be able to apply theoretical frameworks that integrate various elements of marketing communication to a specific organisation communications problem to develop an IMC plan.

Internal Situational Analysis

The situation around the IMC issue in CBA can be differentiated into Internal and External situations. Discussed below is the internal and external situational analysis:

Brand Image: CBA is one of the oldest established banks in Australia, established more than a hundred years ago (in 1911) and is also among the the oldest banks in the world. The bank also has a global presence with 1100 branches across the world. CAB has a very strong brand image, and it has established its position in the market for their high quality financial service that can suit different financial needs of a variety of customer profiles. In addition, the bank is also involved in different activities as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy which further improves their brand image (Chinomona, 2016).

Recently there has been a decline in the brand image of the company because of various reports of scandals regarding money laundering. Reports further allege that the bank had tie ups with about four money laundering syndicates, three of which were tied to drug trafficking and networking across Australia. According to a report by The Guardian, the company’s profts took a fall of 1.9% and the company had to put aside AUD 375 million to pay for fines. This also resulted in the reduction in the stock prices for the company’s shares across the world. This has been significantly cased due to an erosion of trust among the stakeholders (Farrer, 2018).

Brand Promotion: CAB has very effective brand promotional activities which makes it a widely popular and known brand in Australia and abroad. With its different branches operating across different countries, the bank has significant interest and involvement with these countries. In order to increase the awareness and reach to the customers, CBA uses a combination of both modern as well as traditional strategies and thus ensure effective promotion of the brand. This combination makes the brand promotions very strong and helps the brand name reach to a wide audience of potential customer (Kearns & Lewis, 2018).

The organization has strong budget for its promotional activities, in order to promote the brand using mainstream media, printed media, broadcast media and social media channels. The company uses repeated telecasts of its advertisements across various television channels. Additionally, the company also invests in public relations. However, because of the recent events that have eroded trust of the company, the current investments in promotions and puclic relations might not be effective, and more funding for the activities are needed. Moreover, investments are also needed for the Corporate Social Responsibility of the company to improve its brand image (Farrer, 2018).

Promotional activities followed previously: Before the implementation of the IMC strategy, CBA utilized on the traditional method of promoting their brands to the market. Additionally a strategy of ‘word of mouth’ advertising was also used by the bank. These strategies helped to inform the customers about the banking services and promote the brand. More recently, the bank have started using modern technology such as social media and other forms of electronic media for their promotional activities (Chinomona, 2016)

Brand Image

Strengths: Analysis of the banking services showed that one of the biggest strength of the bank is the customer oriented design of thei banking services that considers the diverse needs and expectations of a large number of customers across the world (Kearns & Lewis, 2018).

Weakness: One significant disadvantage of the bank is regarding the rates of interest given or taken by the bank on deposits or loans. Customers are given less interest rates on their deposits or they have to pay more interest for loans from the bank, compared to other banks in Australia. Due to this discrepancy, CBA faces a steep competition from other banks that provide better interest rates to customers (Ng, 2018).

Another significant weakness of the organization is the impact of the money laundering related allegations on the organization which have impacted the growth of the organization as well as its share process.

The Environment: Australia has a very favorable business environment for banking services. Additionally, the countries where CBA has its operations also have significantly positive market for banking, thus making the environment ideal for the CBA’s operations and viability. Such an atvantage allowed CBA to remain largely functional and continue generating profits even during times of financial crisis which crippled several banks, thus showing the stability of CBA market (Schlagwein et al., 2014).

Customers:  The main services that are provided by CBA include loans and mortgage services, thereby making prospective home owners, middle aged and middle income individuals the main customers of their banking services. The bank also have customers from a wide age group to whom a wider range or assortment of financial services are also offered.  Thus CBA has a significantly large customer base that spans across Australia and abroad (Worthington, 2016).

Competition: Competition in the banking sector in Australia is very high with major banking organizations such as Westpac, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Bank of Queensland, Bendigo Bank, Macquarie Bank, AMP bank and National Australia Bank (Murray et al., 2014). 

The target market for CBA involves customers who have active banking accounts, including low-value customers, medium value customers and high value customers.

Low value customers: These customers can be of two types such as customers who have restricted income or limited financial needs and customers who are using services from several banks simultaneously. Even though the contribution of these customers towards the total profits of the organization is minimal, they have the potential to be converted to medium value customers by convincing them to invest in fewer banks. Also, the low value customers can represent a large part of the customer base, and include individuals from various professions and employment status (Hazledine, 2015).

Medium Value Customers: These customers are mainly of two different types such as customers who have most of their business with just one bank and customers who have their business spread across multiple banks. These customers have limited potential to be converted to high value customers. The the contribution towards the profits of the bank by the medium value customers are more than the low value customers as well (Komssi et al., 2015).

Brand Promotion

High Value Customers: These are the customers who have large sums of money deposited in the bank or have taken biag loans from the bank thereby paying a large sum of money to the bank regularly as interest, making them one of the most significant source of profit for the bank. However the number of high value customers can be very limited for a bank. These customers are also harder to retain because of their high expectations from the bank and also due to competitions from other bank who would want the customer to invest with them (Stangl et al., 2017).

Ex Customers: These are the customers who have become either inactive or have stopped using the banking services. This market segment provides a potential opportunity towards re-engagement of the customers with banking services. Even though converting the Ex-Customers to service users again can be a significant challenge since many would have closed because of moving the business to other banks, due to personal situations, a change in the needs of the customer or a prior bad experience with the bank causing dissatisfaction with the services (Najdi? et al., 2016).

Identifying the communication objectives is a vital stage of IMC as it helps develop effective strategies to reach to the potential customers and increase the awareness of the brand and its services and increase the number of customers (Letaifa, 2015). Discussed below is the communication objectives that can be used by CBA using the SMART model:

  • Increasing awareness of the brand among customers by 50%
  • Increasing Credit card Sales by 10%
  • Increasing funding for marketing campaigns by 25%
  • Increasing advertising campaigns by 50%
  • Increasing the usage of social media for marketing by 15%
  • Increasing public relations activities by 15%
  • Increasing the network traffic to company’s website by 200%

Specific: The main objective of the communication strategy is to increase awareness of the brand among the potential customers, and also inform them about the different banking services as well as the key benefits of using their services compared to the other banks. Specific market segments can be focused on for different messages to promote the bank and advertise its services, based on the customer profile. The specificity of the objectives is ensured through the percentages on proposed increase for marketing, advertisement and public relations activities.

Measurable: The efficacy of the marketing communication can be measured through an increase in the awareness of the brand among the potential customers and a subsequent increase in the number of customers opening their bank account with CBA. Also increase in the number of website traffic can also be used to measure the reach of the communication. The specific variables outlined in the objectives can all be quantified and measured.

Attainable: The communication strategy is completely attainable and can help the bank to increase its customer base. However, increasing the marketing campaigns can involve extra funding the result might take a long time to show. All the outlined objectives are attainable.

Relevant: The goal of increasing brand awareness and number of customer is a relevant one as it can help in the viability of the organization.

Time Bound: The marketing strategy would need at least 2 years to be successfully implemented to provide any positive outcome.

In order to implement the IMC model effectively, various types of creative approaches can be utilized by CBA in order to reach its marketing objectives and goals. Discussed below are few of those creative strategies to support better brand positioning:

Promotional activities followed previously

Advertisement: This is the most form common form of promotion and spreading awareness regarding the bank and its services. Advertisement can be broadcasted through television, radio, billboards and newspaper as well as through online advertisements (through platforms such as YouTube and Facebook) (Zhang et al., 2016). The advertisement can be aired on national television channels (such as ABC, SBS and Seven West Media), radio channels (such as ABC, 2GB and FOX FM) during the primetimes (6pm to 10 pm).

Launching Referral Programs: This is another strategy that can help the bank to reach out to more customers from an extisting customer network. Giving the existing customers some benefits everytime a referral opted for service or opened an account can help to gain trust and loyalty to the bank (Jang et al., 2018)

Community Reach outs: Reach outs can help to get to the challenging customer bases, and can help to re-engage customers. The community reach can also help to increase awareness of the bank and its services in remote communities that do not have much access to digital information (Dey et al., 2015).

Telemarketing: Customers can also be reach via telephonic marketing that can help to communicate with customers across the world, understand their needs and provide/offer them services accordingly (Valvi et al., 2015).

Understanding the target customers: This is an important strategy that can help to understand the needs and expectations of the customers and identify factors they have in common. This can also help to explain why they need to opt for the banking services and also understand the characteristics and demographics of the customer. Strategies such as feedback forms can be used to collect such data from the customers.

Defining the Unique Selling Proposition (USP):  The USP provides the customer an understanding of the benefits of the service and thus should be clear, understandable, consistent and easily recognized and identified. The USP can help to develop effective pitch. The USP can be developed based on a SWOT analysis using the point of view of the customers.

Determining the marketing communication mix: The marketing communication mix can include different strategies such as online advertising, offline advertising, personal selling and direct marketing which can be used to reach out to the customers and increase awareness of the brand and its services.

Defining the branding elements: Different branding elements that can be used to communicate information regarding the brand and services include the organization’s website, social media platforms, direct marketing activities, advertisement activities, business cards and word of mouth promotions.

Defining success metrics: Success metrics can help to understand whether the marketing has been successful to reach customers and deliver the intended message from the organization. The success of the marketing communication can be accessed through the number of visits to the website, number of accounts opened, number of service opted, shares on social media and number of mentions on different media (newspaper, magazine, radio, tv, blogs and social media). 

The media mix planning is important to estimate the correct budget mix that can enhance the effectiveness of the marketing strategies. For CBA a top down approach to plan the media mix can be used. This approach can help to understand the spending at the high level and the revenue of the organization to plan the marketing strategy. Moreover, ad-stack can be used to determine the planning and execution of the marketing strategies (Steinberg, 2018).


The ad-stack provides a creative design that uses several channels of input of real time data related to the behavior of the customers and helps in the management of multiple contents of information within a single dimension, helping to compare the data and perform effective data analysis and interpretation and thus develop a greater insight into the market. The ad-stack can also improve the synergy within the company and help the employees better understand the process of sales, give the managers better predictions towards the need for financial respurces and helps in an over improvement in the sales by the organization (Levinson et al., 2017).

In the model, data from marketing inputs and outcomes help to developa modeling for the marketing strategy which can be based on the insights and predictions. The execution of the strategy provides more data which can be used as marketing inputs. 

Discussed below is the basic budget for the marketing activities:

Marketing Budget Plan



Cost per Unit (AUD)



Research firm fees




Web research




Independent research




Research Costs Total



Promotional brochures
















Communications Costs Total















Networking Costs Total


Additional Costs

(printing and postage costs)



Time & Expense (T&E)



Company staff T&E



Customer testimonial T&E



Additional Costs Subtotal



Product giveaways




Product discounts




Special offers




Promotions Costs Total



Brochures (development and production)




























Bus sides




Advertising Costs Total


Public Relations

Charity events








Public Relations Costs Total




Conclusion/Summary Recommendations:

Communication is one of the most significant aspects that helps in the long term sustainability of the organization and helps them to share vital business relation regarding the products and services with the stakeholders and customers. This helps the organization to increase awareness of their services and products which additionally helps the organization to increase its revenues. Integrated Marketing Communication is a marketing approach that integrates effective communication strategies with marketing strategies and helps organizations to effectively share information regarding the products and services with the customers. The study analyses the IMC strategy used by Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). Analysis of the internal and external environment showed that the internal environment of CBA includes strong brand image and effective promotions while external environment comprises of the market environment, customers and competitors. The target market for the bank includes low value, medium value and high value customers, as well as ex customers. The objectives for the communication that needs to be used should be specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant and time bound. Creative strategies such as advertisements, launching referral program, community reaches and telemarketing can help in brand promotions. However to ensure an effective marketing mix strategy, understanding the customers, defining the USP, determining marketing mix for communication, identifying the branding elements and defining the success mix. For the media mix, a top down approach can be used the the marketing mix can be planned using the ad stock model. A total estimated budget of AUD 956,950.00 would be needed to cover costs of research, communications, networking, additional costs, promotions, advertising and public relations. It can be expected that using these strategies, a successful marketing campaign can be ensured.

Few recommendations can also be made to ensure successful marketing such as:

  • Using smart objectives for communication strategies
  • Using Ad stack model to design and implement media mix
  • Using effective communication strategy mix
  • Using effective promotional activities
  • Using marketing strategies according to the specific customer segments  


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