Imperatives for Marketing Communication in the Contemporary Context

Mr. Tomi Ogunlesi MBA
September 13, 2011 — 1,630 views  
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One major imperative necessitated by the evolving dynamics of brand and marketing communication in this day and age will be that of influencing the conversation with consumers/target publics so that it reflects one's brand(s) accurately.

This may appear quite a bit of a challenge; especially as it will evolve moving away from the long-standing precedence of the monologue which advertising had been in the past to a contemporary dialogue in which there is meaningful interface between the brand and its consumer/publics. This will by no means be an easy task, but it's got tremendous potential to result in greater brand loyalty and even more cost-efficient communication, the latter being a paramount consideration as far as shrinking marketing budgets in a recessed economy is concerned.

The realization is that marketing communicators are strategically moving away from brash control to subtle influence - this being very similar to what is observed in a parent's or guardian's role change as their wards grow up to become independent adults.

Fundamentally, meaningful influence is practically impossible without, and actually begins with listening. Vox Pop is therefore very crucial in this regard. As brand managers and custodians, it will be essentially imperative that we first of all, as best as possible, find out what people's perception of our brand is as well as what they are saying about them. The truth is that there is an endemic tendency to be defensive about our brands and public perception of them (especially in these climes of ours) but we needn't, as objectivity has got its merits as far as proper identification and mitigation of brand image shortcomings are the issue- If the people are complaining, Image makers and brand custodians should ideally then make effort to be helpful, open and as authentic as possible.

  • Brands will also need to provide valuable services over mere advertising. This underscores the reason why a global megabrand, such as Coca-cola retains its massive equity and is still endeared to billions across the globe. It is first and foremost a good product with unassailable quality, bottled to impeccable standards and distributed employing one of the most efficient logistic frameworks that can be globally reckoned with - which is why the same Coca-Cola you'll get in the remotest cranny of Tibet is that you'll equally get in Tin Can here in Lagos - same taste and refreshingly chilled!

The foregoing is the result of impressive production and quality-control values coupled with an efficient logistic system - and not exclusively because of Marketing, Advertising or Promotional activity!(Coca-Cola's advertising meanwhile have unarguably come across as some of the most lovable and engaging the world has seen!)

  • Another challenge will be that of creating very engaging content that will appeal to consumers. This will also entail a detailed mastery of an increasingly complicated and expansive content distribution model, in addition to a re-think of how meaningful relationships are created with consumers.
  • Retaining Customers is very essential for market growth also. Questions of what reasons customers/loyalists have to stay plugged into our brands, and how strong these reasons are should come to the fore. Offering unique features and benefits, putting in place carefully thought-out loyalty programs and initiatives as well as establishing an on-line community will also be helpful in this regard.

 

In summary, The traditional and conventional big bang promotional methods still work for many products and services, but the clearly emerging truth is that in order for a brand to ‘stick' i.e. to have a real impact on culture, it has to engage its users and constituencies in a meaningful and on-going dialogue with adequate provision for feedback through which meaningful insights that can help shape the brand can emerge.

 

 

Mr. Tomi Ogunlesi MBA

Bates Cosse

A consummate marketing communication professional with experience spanning diverse brand categories ranging between corporate, FMCG, financial services and aviation, among others. A member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM, UK) He is also an alumnus of both Vega, the Brand communications school and the Wits Business School Product Strategy & Brand Management Program. He is currently a brand strategist at Bates Lagos, where he works as Brand Manager responsible for Segment and Product marketing for a leading African Financial services brand. He is also presently an MBA candidate at the Lagos Business School.