Marketing Communications is an umbrella
term used to describe a series of functions and tools used by businesses, full-service agencies and consultants to garner
awareness from different desirable ‘publics’. Its mainstay functions generally include media advertising; public
relations & publicity; sales promotion and collateral materials development. In some instances within major corporations,
activities and budgets are sufficiently large to justify separating out one or more of these functions into a dedicated department
of its own. In recent years, the availability of the Internet as a worldwide communications medium has dramatically increased
the number of communications methods and tools utilized within the marketing communications organisation.
There are many skills under the MarCom
People who function within marketing
communications groups encompass a wide number of different skills and abilities. There are copywriters who generate the text
for advertising, public relations & publicity and sales promotion projects; artists and graphic designers who prepare
layouts and graphics that support the text; photographers; media buyers, traffic and production people; account executives,
managers and supervisors who interface between the MarCom group and clients; specialists in public relations and publicity
and people who function to implement Internet programs. Together, they are responsible for program development and implementation
of just about every project designed to create awareness for the company’s prospects or the agency’s clients.
In most cases, individuals who serve as marketing communications consultants have had many years inside the MarCom umbrella
and now limit their activities to program development and assessment. (SureSolutions, 2007).
The Internet has brought changes and
added reach to marketing communications
While traditional, well-established
marketing communications efforts are still important and ongoing; the advent of the Internet has demanded that MarCom groups
embrace an entirely new set of promotional concepts and techniques. It offers new types of advertising, unique publicity opportunities
and requires new skills to handle Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and other functions that increase promotional opportunities
by affecting the ranking of materials submitted to search engines such as Google, Yahoo and others. Never before has there
been a single medium that provided such a wide global reach for marketing communications materials. (Economist.com, 2007)
Notwithstanding its extensive ‘reach’,
the Internet really doesn’t do anything that’s very different from traditional media. It just does it better,
faster and is available to far more people than anything around today. And as you might expect, the competition for high rankings
on search engines and placements on websites is exceptionally high. To successfully penetrate the Internet or to design and
build websites, many marketing communications groups have hired specialists who have been working with the Internet since
it’s inception to fulfil these functions. Others have outsourced these highly-specialized functions to dedicated groups
outside their own organisations. The Internet has clearly mandated that marketing communications evolve as it has so that
they may continue to serve their companies and clients as effectively as possible. Moreover, it is virtually certain that
new technologies will prompt still further evolution.
Economist.com Business, Economist Print
Edition (2006) ‘The ultimate marketing machine’ [on-line].
Available from: http://www.economist.com/business/
SureSolutions, Inc. (2007) ‘Internet
Marketing & Advertising Methods’