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Image showing a large yellow and white megaphone in front of social media profiles and a pink and white target with a purple arrow in the bullseye. Marketing communication strategy blog post.

Why You Need a Marketing Communication Strategy

Khalipha Ntloko

Sep 22, 2023

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In order to attract customers to your business, you need to first attract their attention. And with hundreds (if not thousands) of competitors in most industries, a marketing communication strategy is your chance to outline how you plan to capture and keep the attention of consumers.

For anyone wondering why an integrated marketing strategy is necessary, we'll break down how to develop a marketing communication strategy that targets the consumers you want to reach and drives sales.

Table of Contents

What is Marketing Communication?

Marketing communication, often referred to as marcom or integrated marketing communication (IMC), is a comprehensive approach to promoting a product, service, or brand to a target audience.

It encompasses all the tools, strategies, and tactics a company uses to convey its marketing messages and build relationships with customers or stakeholders.

The primary goal of marketing communication is to influence the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of the target audience in a way that supports the company's overall marketing objectives.

What are the Key Components of Marketing Communication?

  1. Advertising: The use of paid media channels such as television, radio, print, online, and social media to deliver promotional messages and reach a wide audience.
  2. Public Relations (PR): Managing the company's image and reputation through media coverage, press releases, events, and other strategies to build trust and credibility.
  3. Sales Promotion: Short-term incentives, discounts, coupons, contests, and other promotional activities designed to stimulate immediate sales or customer engagement.
  4. Personal Selling: One-on-one interactions between sales representatives and potential customers, often used for high-value or complex products/services.
  5. Direct Marketing: Direct communication with individual customers through channels like email marketing, direct mail, telemarketing, and personalized offers.
  6. Content Marketing: Creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and informative content to engage and educate the target audience, often through blogs, videos, infographics, and social media.
  7. Digital Marketing: Utilizing online channels, including websites, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising, and mobile apps to reach and engage customers.
  8. Sponsorships and Event Marketing: Associating the brand with specific events, organizations, or causes to enhance brand awareness and image.
  9. Social Media Marketing: Leveraging social media platforms to connect with customers, share content, and facilitate two-way communication.
  10. Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with individuals or influencers who have a significant following and credibility within a specific niche or industry.

Effective marketing communication involves understanding the target audience, selecting the appropriate channels and messages, and continuously measuring and adjusting strategies to achieve desired results. It plays a crucial role in building brand awareness, establishing brand loyalty, and driving sales and revenue for businesses and organizations.

What is a Marketing Communication Strategy?

The definition of a marketing communication strategy is how your business plans on conveying a particular message to your target consumer through different mediums.

Let's break down the three core elements of an integrated strategy:

  • The message: What you want to say
  • The target: Who you are speaking to
  • The medium: What channels you are using

In order for your marketing communication strategy to be successful, all three elements must complement one another. Public Relations teams have traditionally been in charge of a company's communication strategy, but the lines are blurring.

It is becoming more common for marketing and communication departments to not being treated as two separate entities, which helps create harmony between the message and the medium. When there is a disconnect between these it causes confusion — or worse, disinterest — on the part of the consumer. 

You want all your messaging, branding, advertising, and sales promotions to be consistent for consumers across channels, which requires your organization's departments to work together. Aligning your team members around an integrated marketing and communications plan can help you achieve this type of collaboration. 

marketing measurement metrics and analytics

But before your teams begin planning, it's important to define your actual business goals. Maybe your goal is to help your business create demand for its products and services, but there are others:

  • Building a more world-class and recognizable brand 
  • Raising awareness about your existing brand through PR
  • Providing better customer service on social media
  • Gaining a more strategic competitive advantage

In order to determine the successes of your integrated marketing communications strategy, you first need to set measurable goals. So ask yourself: what are our marketing communication objectives?

Tip: We've outlined the key PR metrics in our article on the KPIs That Matter and How to Track Them if you're looking for inspiration.

Why is an Integrated Marketing Strategy Important?

There are many reasons having a well-thought-out marketing communications strategy is important.

1. Build brand trust

From a consumer perspective, it's easier to trust and connect with a brand that speaks to them consistently. Hearing conflicting information or having disjointed brand experiences, doesn't sit well with audiences. Using an integrated marketing communications strategy is a good way to build trust among your audience, across all platforms.

Part of your strategy may also entail reaching out to journalists, bloggers, or influencers to help tell your story. By leveraging the trustworthiness of particular writers or publications you can build consumer trust through these types of positive associations. 

build brand trust with marketing and communications

2. Reach the right audience at the right time

From magazines to billboards, radio to social media, the list of mediums you can use to reach consumers today is extensive. And with so many platforms available, the challenge for PR teams today is identifying the channels that make the most sense for any given message.

Understanding your audience is an essential part of this process. Before investing in TV ads or magazine ads, you want to be sure that your audience watches that particular TV channel or subscribes to that magazine.

To collect this sort of information on your target audience, you'll need to conduct market research. Surveys, focus groups, and interviews are just a few ways in which you can collect these important customer insights. You can also use consumer intelligence tools, like Meltwater, to understand your target audience's online behavior, interests, and personality traits.

3. Achieve positive ROI

Marketing communication involves getting the attention of consumers and building brand equity. But the ultimate goal (usually) isn't just interaction, it's making a sale.

When a public relations team is crafting a product promotion strategy, a primary goal is to increase sales of the product or service. Measuring these types of marketing efforts has traditionally been a challenge for marketing teams, but the PR and social media reporting tools available today can help you accurately track, analyze and prove the value of your efforts in the boardroom.

If you have delivered your brand message to the right target audience on the right channels, you should see positive results.

Tip: Siloed departments won't help you maximize the ROI of your marketing communications strategy. Instead, PR and marketing teams should work together to have an integrated approach in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the industry. 

people looking at paper to analyse return on investment

Using a Marketing Communication Strategy to Meet Your Business Goals

Now that you have an understanding of the need for an integrated marketing communications strategy, let's answer the question "how do marketing communications work?".

1. Gain a better understanding of your target audience

You can't create an effective marketing communications strategy without knowing who your target audience is. Whether it's through digital marketing, advertising, or on social media, you always need to be clear about the audience you are trying to reach.

Having an understanding of your consumers, and segmenting them into buyer personas, will inform which platform you should communicate on, and how you can be strategic in delivering that message. If your service speaks to baby boomers, you might consider using direct mail or Facebook while marketing to Gen Z means sharing your message on TikTok and Instagram. 

Social First Content Strategy: Start with Social, End with Success

While you gain a deeper understanding of who your growing target audience is, it's important not to neglect your existing customer base. Keeping your current customers is just as important as acquiring new ones. You still need to communicate and keep these consumers up to date with relevant information on your business, product updates, and incentives that you may be providing.

Related: Read more about the difference between transactional and relationship marketing.

Your marketing communications strategy needs to ensure that it provides value to both your aspirational target audience and your current consumers. Your competitors will be vying for their attention as well, through their own digital marketing strategies and PR efforts, so standing out is key. 

2. Creating alignment between your content and channels

The actual content of the brand messages you send to your audience is what will clinch a conversion. Content marketing is an important component of any effective integrated communication strategy. 

And, if you have done your research on who your target audience is, then you should be able to create content that is consistent, just like your branding, across the various platforms and channels you use to communicate on, whether it be in a social media post, advertisement, email, or through influencer marketing.

Check out 50 content marketing metrics to track your success!

As part of an integrated marketing strategy, understanding the content that speaks to your audience most effectively is one of the golden keys to ensuring this strategy is successful. 

For example, if you are trying to generate new leads, you may want to consider content that is top-of-funnel, such as a how-to blog or downloadable guides. Or, if you are looking to convert current leads into opportunities, you could engage them with retargeting emails, customer stories, or testimonials that help with their decision making. Either way, the content of your message needs to speak directly to them, at their particular point of the customer journey.

insights into building a world class brand through marketing communications

If you want to want to see how modern marketing communications teams are operating today, watch this on-demand webinar with Davitha Tiller, Executive Vice President, Social & Integration at Red Havas US.

3. Establish continuous communication with customers

Now that you understand who your customer is, what platform to communicate with them on, and what message you want to deliver, you need to understand that an effective marketing comms strategy is continuous and ongoing. Keep personality based marketing top of mind so you understand what makes customers buy a particular product or service, and why they should come to you to meet this need.

This is where it's important to get familiar with the customer journey

Woman consumer shopping

In a digital world, customers aren't just looking for the next best product or service; they want an authentic experience and a connection with you as a brand. You can achieve this through an integrated marketing communications strategy. With this in place, you help customers receive your intended messages on the channels they use, and you're better able to see the results from this. 

Organizations that take the time to understand the customer journey and their decision-making process have the ability to enhance the effectiveness of their marketing communication strategy through tailoring their brand message to where their customer is on their journey. 


Having a marketing communication strategy help you to better communicate your brand message and values to your target audience, retaining customers and attracting new ones. When marketing and communications are integrated effectively, you're better able to connect to your audience and maintaining steady business growth. 

Meltwater can help you with all your communications needs! Fill out the form below to schedule a 15 minute demo.