Design specific communication tools for each of the products (i.e., for Ultra and FreshX)

Companies have a broad choice of marketing communications choices. The 8 major tools of communication are advertising, sales promotion, public relations and publicity, events and experience, direct and interactive marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, and personal selling. Companies opt for different marketing communication tools depending on their brand objectives.

Suppose you have the contract to market two brands of laundry detergents, Ultra (an established brand) and FreshX (a new brand) in the US East Coast region. Both brands belong to Company A. The combined advertising budget available to you for both products is about $500,000. The target market for Ultra is the budget-conscious customer segment while FreshX is targeted towards younger, upwardly mobile professionals. Design specific communication tools for each of the products (i.e., for Ultra and FreshX) with regard to the following:

  1. Message strategy: What specific themes or ideas will you adopt for Ultra and FreshX – keeping in mind the respective target demographic types?
  2. Creative strategy: What kind of appeal – informational or transformational – will work best for each brand? Please explain.
  3. Message Source: What kind of spokespeople will you choose for each of the products? Please bear in mind the demographics of the target area.
  4. Discuss how you can use experiential marketing tools for the brands (especially for FreshX). What tools will you use to measure outcomes from such events?



Discussion Topic 2:

Emerging media technologies have vastly empowered customers to decide whether or how they want to receive commercial content. Consumers are no longer passive recipients of marketing communications and the real challenge for a marketer is how to regain the customers’ attention through the clutter.

  1. Web-based technologies can be combined with traditional media to build a successful marketing communication campaign. Cite two specific examples of companies/brands using this combination approach and discuss what made these campaigns successful. Did the two use similar techniques?
  2. With the help of relevant examples, can you describe how modern technologies can be used to promote interactivity between the product and the customers? In this context discuss the use of social media to generate excitement around a brand. Can you cite any recently launched new products that have managed to achieve this?



Discussion Topic 3:

Promotions work hand in hand with advertising to stimulate awareness and/or trial of a product or a service. Companies use a variety of promotion tools to get their message across ranging from sample giveaways to rebates to loyalty incentives.   Think back to the last time you participated in a promotion.  What kind was it?  Did it succeed in raising your awareness of the product?  Why?  Did it shift your purchasing behavior over the long-term?  Why or why not?  If you were CEO of the company, how would you change the promotion to make it more impactful and more effective?



Discussion Topic 4:

In recent years, social media has been a rapidly growing marketing communications vehicle.  In your view, how well has social media performed in helping companies achieve their marketing communications objectives?  Provide an example of a company/brand that uses the medium effectively and an example of one whose social media initiatives need improvement.   What separates the peak performing brands from the “also-rans” in this medium?



Discussion Topic 5:

  1. What criteria will you use to distinguish ethical advertising from unethical advertising?
  2. Many large firms are investing in Behavioral Targeting i.e., tracking online activities of the target customer (the pages or sites users visit, the content they view, the search queries they enter, the ads they click on, the information they share on social internet sites) and combining it with the time, length, and frequency of visits. Do you think Behavioral Targeting (BT) is ethical and conforms to market research standards? How can companies gather customer data without infringing individual rights to privacy?



Discussion Topic 6:

Provide a detailed overview of your organization’s marketing communications program.

  • What media and messages are the most prominent?  Why?
  • How would you change the program to make it more successful?
  • Would you change some elements of the messaging?
  • Would you shift dollars from one medium to another, or try to gain additional budget and add new media to the mix?

Try to apply the learning from this week to inform your discussion.






Week 9 Readings

Week 9 – IMC

Required Readings 

  1. Integrated Marketing Communications and the Changing Media Landscape
  2. Killian, G., & McManus, K. (2015). A marketing communications approach for the digital era: Managerial guidelines for social media integration. Business Horizons, 58(5), 539-549. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2015.05.006
  3. Schulze, C., Schöler, L., & Skiera, B. (2015). Customizing social media marketing. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(2), 8-10.Retrieved from
  4. Kumar, V., & Mirchandani, R. (2012). Increasing the ROI of social media marketing. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(1), 55-61.Retrieved from
  5. Kane, G. C. (2014). How Facebook is delivering personalization on a whole new scale. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(1), 1-6. Retrieved from

Recommended Readings


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