Communication is the transmission of a message from a sender to a receiver via a medium (or channel) of transmission.


ð The sender, as the initiator of the communication, can be a formal or an informal source. A formal communication source is likely to represent either a for-profit (commercial) or a not-for-profit organization; an informal source can be a parent of friend who gives product information or advice. The sender is perceived as having nothing to gain from the receiver’s subsequent actions. For that reason, word-of-mouth communications tend to be highly persuasive.


ð The receiver of formal marketing communications is likely to be a targeted prospect or a customer (E.g: a member of the marketer’s target audience). Intermediary and unintended audiences are also likely to receive marketer’s communications. Examples of intermediary audiences are wholesalers, distributors, and retailers.


ð The medium, or communications channel, can be impersonal (E.g: a mass medium) or interpersonal (a formal conversation between a salesperson and a customer or an informal conversation between two or more people that takes place face-to-face, by telephone, by mail, or online. Mass media are generally classified as print (newspaper, magazines, billboards0, broadcast (radio, television), or electronic (primarily the Internet). Direct Marketers – often called database marketers – also seek individual responses from advertisements they have placed in all the mass media: broadcast, print, and online, as well as from direct mail.


ð The message can be verbal (spoken or written), nonverbal (a photograph, an illustration, or a symbol), or a combination of the two. A verbal message, whether it is spoken or written, can usually contain more specific product (or service) information than a nonverbal message.

ð Nonverbal information takes place in both interpersonal channels and in impersonal channels and often takes the form of symbolic communication. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has trademarked both the word Coke in a specific typographic style and shape of the traditional Coke bottle, and both are instantly recognizable to consumers as symbols of the company’s best selling soft drink.


ð Feedback is an essential component of both interpersonal and impersonal communications. Generally, it is easier to obtain feedback (both verbal and nonverbal) from interpersonal communications than impersonal communications. For example, a good salesperson usually is alert to nonverbal feedback provided by consumer prospects. Such feedback may take the form of facial expressions.


ð In general, a company’s marketing communications are designed to make the consumer aware of the product, induce purchase or commitment, create a positive attitude toward the product attitude toward the product, give the product a symbolic meaning, or show hoe it can solve the consumer’s problem better than the competitive product (or service).


ð The sponsor (initiator) of the message first must decide to whom the message should be sent and what meaning it should convey. Then the sponsor must encode the message in such a way that its meaning is interpreted by the targeted audience in precisely the intended way. The sources of impersonal communications usually are organizations (either for-profit or not-for-profit) that develop and transmit appropriate messages through special departments (E.g: marketing or public relations) or spokesperson.


ð The credibility of the source affects the decoding of the message. The sponsors of the communication – and his or her perceived honesty and objectivity – have an enormous influence on how the communication is accepted by the receiver(s).

ð Credibility is built on a number of factors, of which the most important are the perceived intentions of the source.


ð One of the major reasons that informal sources such as friends, neighbors, and relatives have a strong influence on a receiver’s behavior is simply that they are perceived as having nothing to gain from a product transaction that they recommend. That is why word-of-mouth communication is so effective. Interestingly enough, informal communications sources, called opinion leaders, often do profit psychologically, if not tangibly, by providing product information to others.

ð Even with informal sources, however, intentions are not always what they appear to be. Individuals who experience post purchase dissonance often try to alleviate their uncertainty by convincing others to make a similar purchase.


ð Not-for-profit sources generally have more credibility than for profit (commercial) sources. Formal sources that are perceived to be “neutral” – such as Consumer Reports or newspaper articles – have greater credibility than commercial sources because of the perception that they are more objective in their product assessments.

ð Because consumer recognize that the intentions of commercial sources (E.g: manufacturers, service companies, financial institutions, retailers) are clearly profit oriented, they judge commercial source credibility on such factors as past performance, reputation, the kind and quality of service they are known to render, the quality and image of other products they manufacture.

ð The ability of a quality image to invoke credibility is one of the reasons for the growth of family brands. Recognizing that a manufacture with a good reputation generally has high credibility among consumers, many companies spend a sizable part of their advertising budget on institutional advertising, which is designed to promote a favorable company image rather than to promote specific products.


ð Consumers sometimes regard the spokesperson who gives the product message as the source (or initiator) of the message. Many studies have investigated the relationship between the effectiveness of the message and the spokesperson or endorser employed (that is male or female, a person who appear in a commercial that is why there are celebrities in the ads to promote the product). Here are some of the key findings of this body of research.

· The effectiveness of the spokesperson is related to the message itself.

· The synergy between the endorser and the type of product or service advertised is an important factor.

· Endorsers who have demographic characteristics (E.g: age, social class, ad ethnicity) that are similar to those of the target audience are viewed as more credible and persuasive than those that do not.

· The endorser’s credibility is not a substitute for corporate credibility; one study discovered that although the endorser’s credibility strongly impacted the audience’s attitudes toward the ad, the perceived corporate credibility had a strong impact on attitudes toward the advertised brand.

· Marketers who use celebrities to give testimonials or endorse products must be sure that the specific wording of the endorsement lies within the recognized competence of the spokesperson.


ð The reputation of the retailer who sells the product has a major influence on message credibility. The aura of credibility generated by reputable retail advertising reinforces the manufacturer’s message as well.

ð The reputation of the medium that carries the advertisement also enhances the credibility of the advertiser. The reputation of the medium for honesty and objectivity also affects the believability of the advertising. Consumers often think that a medium they respect would not accept advertising for products it did not “know” were good.

ð The consumer’s previous experience with the product or the retailer has a major impact on the credibility of the message.


ð Receivers decode the messages they receive on the basis of their personal experiences and personal characteristics. A number of factors affect the decoding and comprehension of persuasive message including the receiver’s personal characteristics, involvement with the product or product category, the congruency of the message with the medium, and the receiver’s mood.


ð The amount of meaning accurately derived from the message is a function of the message characteristics, the receiver’s opportunity and ability to process the message, and the receiver’s motivation. A person’s demographics (such as age, gender, marital status), socio cultural memberships (social class, race, religion), and lifestyles are key determinants in how a message is interpreted.

ð Personality attitudes and prior learning all affect how a message is decoded. Perception, based as it is one expectations, motivation, and past experience, certainly influences message interpretation.


ð People who have little interest (that is a low level of involvement) in golf, for example, may not pay much attention to an ad for a specially designed putter; people who are very interested (highly involved) in gold may read every word of a highly technical advertisement describing the new golf club. One study discovered a relationship between low involvement and the style and context of an ad. Subjects with low involvement with the product preferred message placed within a congruent context. Another study showed that the congruency between the nature of the television program and the advertisement affected the level of viewer recall.


ð Mood, or affect, plays a significant role in how a message is decoded. A consumer’s mood (E.g: cheerfulness or unhappiness) affects the way in which an advertisement is perceived, recalled, and acted upon. Marketers of many image-centered products such as perfume, fashion, and liquor have found that appeals focused on emotions and feelings associated with these products are more effective than rational appeals depicting the product’s benefits. Advertisers have found that emotional appeals work well even for technologically complex products.


ð Various “barriers” to communication may affect the accuracy with which consumers interpret messages.


ð Consumers selectively perceive advertising messages and tend to ignore advertisements that have no special interest or relevance to them. Further more, technology provides consumers with increasingly sophisticated means to control their exposure to media.


ð Just as telephone static can impair reception of a message, so too cans psychological noise (E.g: competing advertising messages or distracting thoughts). A viewer faced with the clutter of nine successive commercial messages during a program break may actually receive and retain almost nothing of what he has seen. E.g: a student daydreaming about a Saturday night date may simple not hear a direct question by the professor. So there are various strategies that marketer’s use to overcome psychological noise.

  • Repeated exposure to an advertising message (through repetition or redundancy of the advertising appeal) helps surmount psychological noise and facilitates message reception.
  • Copywriters often use contrast to break through the psychological noise ad advertising clutter.
  • Broadcasters and marketers also use teasers to overcome noise. E.g: Trivia quizzes show at the start of the commercial break to design the viewers in sticking with the channel in order to find out at the end of the break whether their own answers were right.
  • Where possible, marketers place ads in specialized media where there is less psychological noise.

ð The most effective way to ensure that a promotional message stands out and is received and decoded appropriately by the target audience is through effective positioning and a unique selling proposition.


ð It is essential for the sender to obtain feedback as promptly and as accurately as possible. Only though feedback can the sender determines whether and how well the message has been received.

ð An important advantage of interpersonal communication is the ability to obtain immediate feedback through verbal as well as nonverbal cues. Experienced speakers are very attentive to feedback and constantly modify their messages based on what they see and hear from the audience. Immediate feedback is the factor that makes personal selling so effective.

ð Obtaining feedback is an important in impersonal (mass) communications as it is in interpersonal communications. Indeed, because of the high costs of advertising space ad time in mass media, many marketers consider impersonal communication feedback to be even more essential. Unlike interpersonal communications feedback, mass communications feedback is rarely direct; instead, it is usually inferred. Senders infer how persuasive their messages are from the resulting action (or inaction) of the targeted audience.


ð In evaluating the impact of advertising, marketers must measure the persuasions effects (that was the message received, understood, and interpreted correctly?) and the sales effects (that is, did the ad increases sales?) of their advertising messages.


ð In order to create persuasive communications, the sponsor (who may be a individual, a for-profit company, or a not-for-profit organization) must first establish the objectives of the communication, then select the appropriate audiences for the message and the appropriate media through which to reach them, and then design (encode) the message in a manner that is appropriate to each medium and to each audience.


ð There are numerous models claiming to depict how persuasive communications work. The cognitive models depict a process in which exposure to a message leads to interest desire for the product and ultimately to buying behavior.

ð The authors of this paradigm maintain that it reflects the interrelationship among the key factors of persuasion – perception, experience, and memory – in a manner more consistent with how the human mind really works than the older cognitive models, and the advertising messages based on this model are more likely to generate consumption behavior.


ð An essential component of a communications strategy is selecting the appropriate audience. It is important to remember that an audience is made up of individuals – in many cases, great numbers of individual Because each individual has his or her own traits, characteristics, interests, needs, experience, and knowledge, it is essential for the sender to segment the audience into groups that are homogenous in terms of some relevant characteristics. Segmentation enables the sender to create specific messages for each target group and to run them in specific media that are seen, heard, or read by the target group.

ð Companies that have any diverse audiences sometimes find it useful to develop a communications strategy that consist an overall (or umbrella) communications message to all their audiences, from which they spin off a series of related messages targeted directly to the specific interests of individual segments.


ð Media strategy is an essential component of a communications plan. It calls for the placement of ads in the specific media, read, viewed, or heard by each targeted audience. Media organizations regularly research their own audiences in order to develop descriptive audience profiles.

ð Before selecting specific media vehicles, advertisers must select general media categories that will enhance the message they want to convey. Which media categories the marketer selects depends on the product or service to be advertised, the market segments to be reached, and the marketer’s advertising objectives.


ð The message is the thought, idea, attribute, image, or other information that the sender wishes to convey to the intended audience. The sender must also know the target audience’s personal characteristics in terms of education, interests, needs, and experience. The sender must then design a message strategy though words and/or pictures that will be perceived and accurately interpreted (decoded) by the targeted audience.

ð The righteous buyer (who looks to recommendations from independent sources such as Consumer Reports), the social buyer (who relies on the recommendations of friends, on celebrity endorsements, and testimonials), and the pragmatic buyer (who looks for the best value for the money, through not necessarily the least expensive.

ð Nonverbal stimuli (such as photographs or illustrations) tend to reinforce verbal message arguments.


ð Involvement theory suggests that individuals are more likely to devote active cognitions effort to evaluating the pros and corns of a product in a high involvement purchase situations. The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) proposes that, for high-involvement products, marketers should follow the central route to persuasion; that is, they should preset advertisement with strong well-documented.


ð Some marketers must make in designing the message include the use of resonance, positive or negative framing, one-sided or two-sided messages, comparative advertising, and the order of presentation.


ð Advertising resonance is defined as wordplay, often used to create a double meaning, used in combination with a relevant picture.


ð Should a marketer stress the benefits to be gained by using a specific product (positive message framing) or the benefits to be lost by not using the product (negative message framing)? Research suggests that the appropriate message framing decision depends on the consumer’s attitudes and characteristics as well as the product itself.

ð Another study found that an individual’s self image impacts the type of framing that he or she finds more persuasive. Individuals with an independent self-image.


ð Should marketers tell their audience only the good points about their products, or should they also tell them the bad (or the commonplace). There are very real strategy questions that marketers face every day, and the answers depend on the nature of the audience and the nature of the competition.

ð If the audience is critical or unfriendly (E.g: if it uses competitive products), if it is well educated, or if it is likely to hear opposing claims then a two-sided (refutational) message is likely to be more effective. Two-sided advertising messages tend to be more credible than one-sided advertising messages because they acknowledge that the advertised brand has shortcomings. Two-sided messages can also be very effective when consumers are likely to see competitor’s negative counterclaims or when consumer attitudes toward the brand are already negative.

ð Some marketers stress only positive factors about their products and pretend that competition does not exist.


ð Comparative advertising is a widely used marketing strategy in which a marketer claims product superiority for its brand over one or more explicitly named or implicitly identified competitors, either on an overall basis or on selected product attributed. Comparative advertising is useful for product positioning, for target market selection, and for brand positioning strategies.


ð Is it best to present your commercial first or last? Should you give bad news first or last? Communications researchers have found that the order in which a message is presented affects audience receptivity.

ð When just two competing messages are presented, one after the other, the evidence as to which position is more effective is somewhat conflicting.

ð Order is also important in listing product benefits within an ad. If audience interest is low, the most important point should be made first to attract attention.


ð Repetition is an important factor in learning. Thus, it is not surprising that repetition, or frequency of the ad, affects persuasion, ad recall, brand name recall, and brand preferences. It also increases the likelihood that the brand will be included in the consumer’s consideration set. Another regard claims that are repeated frequently as more truthful than those repeated with less frequency.

ð A study examined the effects of repetition of the same ad versus repetition of varied ad executions (holding the number of repetitions for each variable constant) found that varied ad executions enhanced memory for the brand name over repeated same-ad executions.


ð Some times objective, factual appeals are more effective in persuading a target audience; at other times emotional appeals are more effective. It depends on the kind of audience to be reached and their degree of involvement in the product category. The following sections examined the effectives of several frequency used emotional appeals.


ð Fear is an effective appeal used in marketing communications. Some researchers have found a negative relationship between the intensity of fear appeals and their ability to persuade, so that strong fear appeals tend to be less effective than mild fear appeals. Strong fear appeals concerning a highly relevant topic (such as cigarette smoking) cause the individual to experience cognitive dissonance, which is resolved either by rejecting the practice or by rejecting the unwelcome information. Marketers must also consider that the mention of possible detrimental effects of using a product while proclaiming its benefits may result in negative attitudes towards the product itself.


ð Many marketers use humorous appeals in the belief that humor will increase the acceptance and persuasiveness of their advertising communications.

Impact of Humor on Advertising:

Humor attracts attention.

Humor does not harm comprehension.

Humor is not more effective at increasing persuasion.

Humor does not enhance source credibility.

Humor enhances liking.

Humor that is relevant to the product is superior to humor that is unrelated to the product.

Audience demographic factors affect the response to humorous advertising appeals.

The nature of the product affects the appropriateness of a humorous treatment.

Humor is more effective with existing products than with new products.

Humor is more appropriate for low-involvement products and feeling-oriented products than for high-involvement products.


ð => How effective can unpleasant or annoying ads are? Studies of the sleeper effect, discussed earlier suggest that that memory of an unpleasant commercial that antagonizes listeners or viewers may dissipate over time, leaving only the brand name in the minds of consumers. All of us have at one time or another been repelled by so-called agony commercials.

ð The Sleeper Affect à The idea that both positive and negative credibility effects tend to disappear after a period of time.


ð In our highly permissive society, sensual advertising seems to permeate the print media and the airwaves. Advertisers are increasingly trying to provoke attention with suggestive illustrations, crude language, and nudity in their efforts to appear “hip” and contemporary.


ð The provision of feedback changes the communications process from one way to two way communication. This is important to senders because it enables them to determine whether and how well communication has taken place. But feedback also is important to receivers because it enables then to participate, to be involved, to experience in some way the message itself.

1 comment:

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