LiteratureReview Integrated Marketing Communications In the recent times marketing communications has become’the favoured term among academics’ instead of other ‘commonly used names suchas ‘advertising’ or promotions.'(Pickton and Broderick, 2004.) It’s used to’communicate elements’ which a company offers to their audience. It could beeither a product or a service.(Fill and Turnbull,2016) A single definition forthis term still couldn’t be agreed however some define it as ‘communication withtarget audiences on all matters that affect marketing performance’. However JerryKliatchko proposes that the IMC is an audience-driven business process ofstrategically managing stakeholders, content, channels and results of brandcommunication programs.(Kliatchko, 2008) IMC is a ‘marketing strategy which hasemerged in the recent past.
‘ (The Balance, 2017) It is an idea to combine both ‘modern andtraditional marketing strategies'(The Balance, 2017) efficiently in order tocommunicate with the desired stakeholders. There a few different theoreticalmodels like AIDA and ELM. AIDAstands for Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. This is an important modelwhich ‘describes four stages that drives the consumers into.’ Going from thetop to the bottom ‘starting with awareness’ and finally reaching the marketersgoal which is Action.
(Alina Irina GHIRVU, 2013)The model is clearlydemonstrated in figure 1. The first hierarchyof effects model goes back as far as 1897 however included ‘initially 3 stepsthat a sales person should lead his client.'(Alina Irina GHIRVU, 2013) Laterthe fourth step has been added which is action. A stands for attention and it aims to ‘capture the reader’sattention’.(Forbes) To do that firms need to start with a concept thats somehowrelevent to the target audience. This stage should present something that willshock the audiance like a fact. The headline is very important and for exampleif youre trying to target teens that play video games, you should include termsrelevenet to them like ‘gaming’ or ‘multiplayer’. This way its much easier toattract their attention.
In the second stage, when you finally attract the targetmarkets attention, you want to make sure that you keep them interested. Youneed to help them see ‘how well you understand their problem.'(Forbes) Its necesseryto use persuasion techniques. Thirdly, the Desire stage, is about showing the audiance ‘howyour product can solve their problem.'(Chron) Very commonly used technique byadvertisers is called ‘before and after’.
For example cleaning products areadvertised to show how a material looked before the cleaning product was usedand after to show the difference. If this step is implemented well, thecustomer created a will to buy the item. Lastly like the word suggests, this final stage is about thecustomer taking action. Its about using a ‘powerful call to action'(Forbes) Theadvert should contain statements like ‘buy it now’ or ‘sign up for more’ Youshould aim to show what the reason is for the advert. Without a call foraction, the consumers mgiht forget about it. Moreoverthe Elaboration likelihood model (ELM) is a model of ‘persuasion andattitude change’ developed by Richard Petty and John Cacioppo.
According tothem there are two routes to persuasion. First one is a ‘central route, whichrelies on ‘argument’ and ‘peripheral route’ which relies on less centralfactors. (Chandler, Daniel, and Munday, 2016) This model suggests that when amessage is presented to an audience ‘a level of elaboration results.’ Its howmuch ‘effort’ the audience has to use to process the given message.(InteractionDesign,2016) Our brains have been designed to focus on things that matter to us themost whereas things with less significance to us will receive less attention.
In the Central Route the message requires a high level of engagement. Theperson reads the message closely with more detail ‘because of high motivation level'(Interaction Design,2016). The figure on the right shows both routes that themessage being received is going through. Central routeIn the Central route there is a lot of careful detail.
Whenan audience goes through this route they go carefully through the messageexamining it because of their ‘high motivation level.’ (Interaction DesignFoundation, 2016) Therefore if an individual has been persuaded using thisroute then it means that he/she has focused on the message and its strength.They can either agree or disagree with the message also they are ‘more likelyto focus and ignore’ any distractions around the message such aspop-ups.(Interaction Design Foundation, 2016)Peripheral RoutePeripheral Route however involves much lower level ofdetail in the message being presented. An example of an advertisement whichgoes through this route would include things like humour, fear or desire. Theperson receiving the message is likely to be less motivated. Products used bypeople on daily basis with ‘very little brand differentiation'(Chandler and Munday,2016) would most be suitable for a peripheralroute. For example products like soap, butter or toothpaste.
Moreover products whichare ‘evaluated by personal preference’ instead of actual quality also are verysuitable for peripheral route(Chandler and Munday,2016). This includes itemslike designer clothes and perfume. IMCTOOLSBoth models can be applied to the Integrated marketingcommunication tools.
Those tools are Advertising, Sales Promotion, DirectMarketing, Personal selling and public relation activites. Advertising- This form of promotion helps companies ‘reachwider audiance within the shortest possible time frame'(ManagementStudyGuide)This IMC tool is very important as it doesnt just increase sales but alsocreates ‘brand awarness amon customers.’ Direct Marketing- This tool helps firms to contact andadvertise straight with the customers.
An example of direct marketing is’emails, text messages, catalogues and brochures’Sales Promotion-Organisations can also advertisie ‘throughdiscount coupons, loyalty clubs and membership coupons.(ManagementStudyGuide)Sales Promotions just like advertising, builds brand awarness and ‘encouragesrepeat buying’ Branding According to Oxford Reference, Branding can be defined as themarketing process by which a company,product or a service acquires adistinctive identity in the minds of the consumers.(Oxford Reference,2017) Good product branding can allow your product ‘to stand outagainst what a competitor offers.'(Shopify) There are few different componentsthat build good product branding for example; logos,design and packaging. Addingthem together, it creates ‘an emotional connection for the customer.'(Shopify)Corporate Branding however is a type of branding whichfocuses on linking the ‘name of the corporation with the overall advertisingefforts’ in the eyes of the customers. Companies want people to associate them withpositive things. An example of a good corporate branding is done by CocaCola.
They have a ‘powerful corporate brand which focuses on the strength as much asthe features of the products’ (Bizfluent) Corporate branding can ‘increase thefirms visibility, recognition and reputation’ much more than product branding.(Balmer, J.M.T.
and Gray, E.R, 2003) MarketEnvironment Review Next is a British multinational fashion retailer with over500 stores in the UK and 200 in Europe and Asia. It is the Largest retailer inthe country by sales.
The company was founded in 1864, over 150 years ago inLeeds. The firm introduced online shopping in 1999 and their ‘entire bookbecame available to shop from on the internet, page by page.’ (Next,2017)Next plc’s biggest competitors currently in the marketinclude companies like Primark, H&M and Marks & Spencer’s. AdditionallyArcadia group ltd is also a competition to Next. Arcadia is a multinationalcompany with a few subsidiaries which the firm owns. This includes ‘Burton,Dorothy Perkins, Topman and Topshop.
‘ (Arcadia Group)The Internet StrategyNext plc will currently focus on increasing their onlineselling, ‘with the company planning to invest £10 million’. This investmentwill go towards improving their website (making it more accessible and adding arange of features to it) and towards ‘online marketing’.(Passport,2017) This decisionhas been made by the company due to changing trends. In the year 2015 Next plcsaw ‘95% of online orders in value terms from desktop computers’, however this percentagedropped by 35% making ‘smartphones and tablets more relevant.’ (Passport,2017)The investment has been therefore partially used towards developing andimproving mobile apps which would make online shopping easier to the customer.Applications have been launched for both Android and IOS devices. According to Mintel the UK Clothing market is valued at£48.66 billion.
Since 2008 it has grown by £11.4 billion however the valuegrowth has decreased to 1.6%. (Mintel,2017) From the total Market size, Women’s sections seems to be the biggestwith a total of £27.25 billion comparing to Men’s clothing valued at just£14.48 billion.
Next Plc is the market leader in the UK with 6.7% marketshare. There has been a decrease of 0.2% since last year. However they stillmanaged to keep the first place with Marks & Spencer’s coming second with6.1% of the total market share.(Mintel,2017) The table on the left presents the UK’s leading fashioncompanies with their total market share percentage.
In the third placeAssociated British Foods plc which owns Primark. This cheap fashion retailer ispopular amongst UK customers. PESTEL Analysis for Next plc For the purpose of this marketing review i have selected 3factors; Technological, Legal and Social factors. Technological- Due to the increasing development andpopularity of the world wide web, firms such as Next were able to expand intoonline retialing. The UK online retail ‘witnessed a strong double digit growthin the past few years.’ (Business Source Premier, 2016) Next is already’planning to invest 10 million pounds’ into online retailing and mobile appswhich would include marketing. (Passport,2017) In 2019, the UK online retailsector ‘is forecast to have a value of $125.4 billion.
‘Thanks to increasingnumber of customers shopping online, there are less people shopping in-store. Legal- Rising Laber wages. The laber costs keep increasingevery year. In 2014 the minimum wage was just £6.
50 however 3 years later inincreased by a pound to £7.50. Those rising wages ‘increase the operationalcosts and reduce profitability’. (Business Source Premier, 2016) According toFinancial Times the rising minimal wage ‘could cost a total of about £80’ extrain the following five years. (FT,2015) Furthermorerisk of VAT rising would affect the company negatively. In 2011, when Vat has ‘risenfrom 17.5% to 20%'(BBC,2011) the prices in shops had to automatically increasetoo. However according to Theresa May, VAT increase has been ruled out ‘before2022′(Telegraph,2017) meaning that the retailer doesnt have to worry about itfor now.
Thirdly Social-Cultural Factor may have an impact on theBritish fashion retailer. Any changes in Fashion and lifestyle will have beeither a threat or a opportunity for Next to use. Back in 2008, the retailer,purchased a fashion brand for younger demographics called ‘Lipsy’ for a huge£17 million.
(Guardian,2008) This hasbeen done to take advantage of the changes in their demographics. Moreover theincreasing cultural diversity in the country means that Next has to allignproducts specifally to suit those different cultures.In 2014, ‘a total of560,000 immigrants arrived’ in the UK. According to the National Statistics,its a ‘rise of 68,000’ CompanyStrategies Brand Positioning- Next has a wide variety of consumers who they target.
It varies fromdifferent ages and genders. They are targeted through the use of Internet(Their own website) , advertising, direct marketing and sales promotions. Theirtarget market are young adults aged between 18-45 both men and women.
(Verdict,2017)The younger customers are being targeted by the use of internet and socialmedia. Next’s customers are early trend adopters who are socially active andhave families. According to Passport research from 2017, the British retailerpositions itself between middle and high end pricing.This can be seen in theimage below. The firm is positioned with ‘strong British heritage’. The clothesoffered to the consumers are of classic design with a focus on ‘office wear,events dressing and casual.
‘(Passport,2017) Positioning maps helpto show how the customers see the comapny. Next is seen as quiet fashionableand not high in price. The positioning map for Next is presented in the figureon the right. The key competitors are Zara, Debenhams and Asos. NextsIMC tools include Advertising, Direct marketing andsales promotion. Advertising- This tool is used in order tosend a message to a wide reaching audiance.
Next plc launched an advert in 2007to celebtrate its 25th anniversary. The advertising campaign starreda well known ‘supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio.’ (Youtube,2008) This advert hasbeen released in order to make the audiance aware of the new collection whichwill be available in stores. The use of a supermodel was intened to attract awide audiance and to ‘increase consumption’ of the new collection and ‘createbrand awarness'(Management Study Guide) Furthermore Nextchose the use of billboards to advertise the same collection. Those bilboardswere placed in busy places visited by thousands of people everyday. For examplethe image on the right presents one of the many billboards used by the reailer.
It was located in Oxford Street, which is known for being Europes busiestshopping street according to Rough Guides. With approximetely half a millionvisitors every day, this place was perfect for a billboard advertisement. 3 Years later another advert was filmed by the company withthe help of Ben Watts who previously shot ‘advertising campaigns for Nike, PoloRalph Lauren, Gap, Apple’ and many more. (BenWatts) This showed that Next waslooking to make the best quality advertising campaign possible. The advertfilmed in an iconic location, right in front of the Eiffel Tower, starredBrazillian supermodel Emanuela De Paula and Spanish actor Jon Kortajarena.(Youtube, 2010) Direct Marketing- For few years Next decided to turn off directmail to their customers as they found it ‘innafective’.(Marketing Week,2014) Thiswas because the quantity being sent was too high.
However Lord Wolfson siadthat Next decided to “Turn it back on” after a couple of years. This has helpedto ‘increase sales in the UK’ which shows that they have effectively used thisIMC tool. According to the Chief executive of Next, the more mail there is sentout, the “less effective it becomes”.(Marketing Week, 2014) The UK retailer sawan increase of sales up by 10.
3% which shows that Direct Marketing has beenused successfully.