Strategic Brand Communication Campaigns
Schultz Don. E. Barnes B. Strategic Brand Communication Campaigns. – NTC Business Books, 1999. – 377 p.
When the first edition of this text was written in 1979-1980, advertising as a business function was finally starting to be formalized and codified. Strategic Advertising Campaigns was the first textbook written to describe the process of developing a cohesive approach to an advertising campaign. The goal was to take the student and the practitioner through the campaign development process, starting with the development and understanding of customers and prospects by using research and proceeding through the various steps in creating an effective and efficient advertising program: strategy development, creative execution, budgeting, media distribution, and evaluation. As more alternative forms of promotion were developed in the marketplace – such as sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing – those forms of promotion were addressed in subsequent editions. In other words, all the changes that were made in the various editions of this text have been reflections of changes in the marketplace, consumers, technology, media, marketing, and advertising itself.
In our view, however, advertising is changing so dramatically today that the last edition of this text, which illustrated an inside-out versus an outside-in approach, is no longer relevant or appropriate. Advertising is and will continue to be a driving force in marketing and the marketplace, but advertising alone is simply not enough for most marketing organizations. It is not enough, that is, to assure success in a global marketplace in which competitors abound and consumers are increasingly knowledgeable. Even the concept of Integrated Marketing Communication, which was pioneered by us, cannot accommodate the changes that are occurring in the marketplace.
Advertising, as it has been defined, even in campaign form, cannot assure the marketplace success of products and services. Such success takes more than advertising, and it takes different forms of communication. While advertising is a key ingredient, it is not the only ingredient in a successful product or service. From the marketing viewpoint, it takes a solid product, a sound price, relevant distribution, and effective promotion. From a promotional standpoint, it takes more than media advertising – or even promotion or marketing – to be successful in the twenty-first-century marketplace. It takes a different view of the marketplace and a different approach to communication.
In our view, the critical form of communication in the future will be broader than simply advertising. It will be broader than what has traditionally been defined as a promotional mix. It must be broader and perhaps deeper than even marketing itself, which is rooted almost entirely in the concept of transactions and exchange. In the twenty-first century, it is the brand that will be important. It is, after all, the brand with which customers and prospects have relationships, not the advertising or promotion or merchandising or the like. It is the brand that communicates value to customers and prospects. It is the brand, in fact, that combines all the communication forms and activities that give products and services meaning. It is the brand that will drive the twenty-first-century marketplace, and it is brand communication that must therefore be planned and developed and executed by skilled communication experts.
The most apparent and major change to this edition of Strategic Brand Communication Campaigns is the emphasis on identifying and managing the contacts that a customer or prospect has with the brand, rather than simply managing the messages that the organization sends toward customers in the form of advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and the like. While those elements are important, they are simply the output of the organization. It is the customer or prospect who is responsible for determining the outcomes of those communication activities–that is, the responses in the form of sales or purchases or inquiries or advocacy or whatever. It is this change in focus – from what we as marketers send out or distribute to what customers or prospects receive – that differentiates advertising management from brand communication management. Brand communication management is much broader than advertising because it includes all the ways customers or prospects come in contact with the brand. That includes the product itself, packaging, channels, pricing, distribution and location, employees, and on and on and on. In short, brand communication is how the customer or prospect encounters the brand, and that comes in multiple forms and formats over a period of time. Thus, brand communication is much broader than marketing. It is broader and deeper than product promotion. It is the sum and substance of everything about the consumer and the brand and their relationship in the marketplace.
In addition, brand communication is not just outbound – that is, only those messages the organization sends out to customers or prospects. Rather, it is both outbound and inbound: whenever the customer or prospect comes in contact with the brand it is in an interactive format. Something occurs. Something is enhanced or destroyed or reinforced or learned about the brand. This is a major change in the way we have traditionally thought about marketing and communication. It is from a customer's standpoint rather than a marketer's view. And it is dynamic, not static. It is something that the brand and the customer create together and through which they interact. So while traditional advertising might have some impact on customers and prospects, it was and continues to be primarily an outbound activity: something the marketer wants to communicate to the customer. Brand communication, in contrast, is an interactive relationship between the two. It adds to and changes what the brand means, and it is generally at the discretion of the customer, not the marketer. In other words, it is the outcome, not the output.
To sum up, this text has made a transition from traditional advertising to integrated marketing communication to brand communication. Strategic Brand Communication Campaigns is the first book to take this next step in what is a logical progression. While the approach we take here is completely new, it is a natural extension of technology, the consumer, the marketplace, and the marketing organization. It is global. It is interactive. It is designed for the twenty-first-century marketplace. But it is not complete. As our communication systems evolve, as they increasingly reflect the change in communication, these approaches will have to be adapted as well. We see this as the first step in the development of formalized communication systems between buyer and seller that must occur in an increasingly interactive marketplace. A caution, however: all commerce will not become electronic. All communication will not become interactive. All marketing activities will not be designed simply to achieve a transaction or exchange. Nevertheless, all communication must be related to the brand and to the brand relationship between buyer and seller. Therefore, we will deal with how to achieve outcomes for the brand, not outputs about the brand. That, in and of itself, will be a major departure as we move from the twentieth-century marketplace. Join us for the ride. It should be fun.
Don E. Schultz Northwestern University
Beth E. Barnes Syracuse University
Welcome to the Marketing Communication Revolution
There is little question that we are in the midst of a marketing communication revolution. There have been massive and rapid changes in how and where and in what ways people communicate, not just on a one-to-one level, but in the commercial world as well. Where once a letter sent through the postal service was the primary form of interpersonal communication, now electronic mail is delivered by a series of computers linked by telephone lines and satellites around the world. Where once the delivery boy sped court documents and business contracts and even advertising layouts across city streets, now the almost ubiquitous facsimile machine transports these kinds of documents. Where once couriers boarded steamships or airplanes to assure delivery of replacement parts or architectural plans or financial documents, today overnight delivery services such as DHL and Federal Express provide safe, secure shipment to any part of the world, commonly in less time than it would take a person to travel the same distance. Personal communication is becoming more personal, more direct, and easier, while impersonal communication is becoming more prevalent, even invasive.
Similarly, other forms of communication, particularly media, are expanding. Television is global. Radio is international. Newspapers and magazines are developing regional and local editions to satisfy the increasing demands of readers, viewers, and listeners. The World Wide Web now links commerce throughout the world, making distance an issue of the past. Speed is critical. Understanding is collapsed into "sound bites".
In other words, communication, particularly marketing communication, is changing, but is it really changing that much? …"
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