Theories in the marketing communication framework

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According to Kotler (2003, p.563) “A way of looking at the whole marketing process from the viewpoint of customer” Fundamentally, marketing communication is the essential process to convey the message between corporations and consumers which is to make the target audience trust the brand and marketer Burnett (1993). It has the different methods to reach the audience but the main aim is to build the medium which can inform and persuade the consumers. Also, marketing communication is the method to establish the invisible relationship between firm and customers. To ensure the audience correctly received the message is primary step. By using marketing communication, consumers can understand about firms, products and brands (Kotler and Keller, 2006). One fact which needs to be noted is that the difference between advertising, marketing communication and promotion. It has been claimed that advertising is part of marketing mix which is wider and complex than advertising. However, it is hard to distinguish the slight difference between. Therefore, they mean the same meaning in this report. Traditionally, there are several elements in the marketing communication which includes advertising, sales promotion, sponsorship, public relations, direct marketing, and personal selling (Pickton and Broderick, 2005). Even though there has been divided into several elements to distinguish the difference. There is still some room which is overlapped. Hence, it shows the importance of integrated marketing communication. Moreover, it has been claimed that there are some tools which also can be in the marketing communication mix such as packaging, word of mouth, point of sales, E-marketing and exhibitions. It has been stated that there are two categories, namely, above the line and below the line. Above-the-line include advertising which needs to pay the space for promotion such as TV commercial, radio or newspaper and magazine of press. Below the line consist of sales promotion and public relations (Smith and Taylor, 2004). The main reason to choose integrated marketing mix is that the message and information can extensively reach the target audience by all channels as well as more suitable and effective methods to achieve marketing communication objectives. By multi-channels promotion, it increase the awareness of brand and comprehend the message. After this, the purchase action could be expected happen by consumers Patrick et al., 2004, Smith and Taylor, 2004) Hence, each marketing communication mix element has the particular function to promote the brand in marketing campaigns. Nowadays, TV commercial, sponsorship, sales promotion are popular and essential marketing communication tools to be used in beer promotion campaign. Also, it has been found that words of mouth play the major role to influence the some beer customer. These marketing communication mix elements will the discussed as below.

In beer promotion campaign,


Advertising is the primary element in the marketing communication mix. It is common to find that majority of audiences consider advertising equal to promotion. According to Kotler and Keller (2006) “Any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of idea, goods or services by an identified sponsor.” It is a general definition of advertising but shows the key point of characteristic which are the promotion for product or service by a sponsor. It has also been admitted that advertising is suitable to build the long term brand image and create the initial awareness. It is controversial issue to distinguish which element is the most influential one in the marketing mix. However, it still needs to be admitted that advertising take the majority part of promotion budget in the campaign regularly as well as widely reach the mass target audience. Furthermore, TV advertising would is arranged the most money because it costs more than other categories like press or radio. In other words, although advertising takes most spend of promotion, it is still the low cost for each unit person (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006). Therefore, from firms’ perspective, advertising seems to be the economical methods to reach most consumers (Pickton and Broderick, 2005). Moreover, advertising can play the major role to supplement the rest of tools which efficiently enhance the awareness of campaign and increase sales. For example, it is evidential that most sales promotion messages are conveyed by advertising to reach most audiences. In addition, public relations event such as event sponsorship needs the advertising support to announce the information which also can enhance the awareness (Burnett, 1992). However, there are some limitations of advertising which have been argued. Firstly, it is hard to prove that audience would purchase the products after receiving the commercial message. In other words, the sequenced process needs to be demonstrated more evidences. (Pickton and Broderick, 2005). Also, there are several vital cause which can influence the purchasing such as reasonable price, convenient location and quality product (Burnett, 1992). Therefore, advertising can be the influential facts to brand awareness and attitude. Even the direct effect for stimulating purchasing needs to be considered the relationship, it still can be the functional tools in marketing communications.

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Sponsorship is in the sub-category of public relations which is to build a relationship and corporation image (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006). The definition of sponsorship is that the firms invest the money or in kind to expect the potential revenue to achieve the marketing objectives (Meenaghan, 1991; Berrett, 1993). In recent years, sponsorship has been popular and divided from public relations to be an independent tool in the marketing communication mix which show that the use of sponsorship is increasing and more different types of sponsorship are developing (Pickton and Broderick, 2005). Although most of firms keep a limited budget for sponsorship, in some sponsored activities the cost is still a great deal of money such as Carling sponsor as a title to Carling cup. Moreover, the world cup and Olympic both are the popular event which have attracted many aggressive sponsor to invest in it. It has been claimed that sport, arts, education and broadcast are the most popular categories for sponsorship (Smith and Taylor, 2004). It has been claimed that audiences can be aware of the sponsor brand and evoke the brand in the purchasing occasion which increase the brand recall and add the brand into the considered brand portfolio. The brand awareness would be higher than advertising promotion and get more involvement. Moreover, sponsor would evaluate the applicability of event which can be expected to convey the positive emotion and attitude to audiences. Therefore, sponsor expects to link the positive to their brand. In the sport, audiences also can be persuaded with the sport stars endorsement which can enhance the purchasing possibility (De Pelsmacker et al, 2004). It can be concluded that perfect sponsorship could to increase the positive attitude to sponsor and sponsored activities both. However, there are some potential risks of sponsorship which need to be noted. For example, the negative facts influence the sponsored entities which impact the sponsors directly or indirectly. It often happens in sport sponsorship like the sponsored teams or players do not play well in the match. It can be found that Carling and Guinness sponsor the different sport league not particular teams or player that would be a considered sponsorship strategies. In addition, overlapped sponsorship shows the extreme commercial image which could make audiences ignore the message (Pickton and Broderick, 2005). Hence, even sponsorship cost generally would be lower than advertising, it still need to be consider punctiliously. Ensuring the sponsored objective will be achieved and can be suitable to marketing communication objective. Also, budget and effectiveness measurement have to be planned in the process. After these, to integrate sponsorship into other communication mix element will reinforce the promotion campaign effectiveness (De Pelsmacker et al, 2004).

Sales Promotion:

Sale promotion is a short-term promotion to stimulate the consumer buying behaviour (Kotler and Armstrong, 2006). The function of sales promotion is not similar with other elements which to increase the long term relationship with consumers. It focuses to increase the sales immediately. There are two ways to achieve the sales. One of these is to encourage the current customers purchasing more products or another one is to attract the new customers’ attention to purchase. Therefore, it can be concluded that the features of sales promotion is to use simulative offers encourage the customers buy product in the limited time. Also, the measurement of sales promotion is easier to conduct than other communication mix tools (De Pelsmacker et al, 2004). Many tools can be used in the sales promotion such as couponing, sampling, premiums, contest and money-off. Those of instruments are planned to be used in different categories of products. Also, there are some particular sales promotion tools for trade like point -of tail materials and merchandising. One fact which it needs to note is that sales promotion would be often implemented with advertising which can enhance the effectiveness of campaign. By using sales promotion information in advertising, it would be effective to encourage from awareness to purchase (Pickton and Broderick, 2005). Even though sales promotion has been admitted to increase short-term sales influentially, the long-term effect to the brand and sales also needs to be considered. It has been stated that consumers would be used to the price reduce and disregard the quality of products. Moreover, sales promotion would offer a reference price in their mind which makes them more sensitive to the price. Therefore, sales promotion would need more striking price promotion to attract the consumer in the future (De Pelsmacker et al, 2004). In beer industry, sales promotion is often used to compete with other brewers in special period like world cup or Xmas. There also has some regular sales promotion which tried to be incentive for consumers. In recession, sales promotion are increasingly important to the total sale and integrate more communication mix elements to boost the sales. Hence, it can be expected that more sales promotion would be emphasized in the future.

Words of mouth:

Word of mouths is a strong medium for marketing communication. It is difficult to contend with friends’ recommendation by advertising or other communication mix elements. Also, it has been claimed that consumers are more likely to change their brand preference by advice than promotion mix. Thus, by people communication, experience, reputation and recommendation can be conveyed and believed effectively. Moreover, mass media has been claimed that it is not efficient to reach the besieged audience. Words of mouth can be the tool to break the barrier (Smith and Taylor, 2004). With the development of internet, the communication channel is convenient and the information is overload. The experience and feeling can be spread extremely fast which is not like other communication mix elements that could not be measured and control simply by promoters (Berrett, 1993). Even it is complicated to control words of mouth and ensure the content of communication to the brands or products, the impressive communication mix campaign could be the topic to be discussed and increase the positive attitude (Smith and Taylor, 2004). Therefore, words of mouth would be the most influential and uncontrollable part of marketing communication mix.

Hierarchy of effect models:

One of the prime theories in the marketing communication framework is hierarchy of effect model which logically explains the sequential tasks of marketing message influence. On other words, it affects the consumers’ awareness to purchase action which is assumed that the relative step would ideally push through to next process. First process is cognitive part which means consumers have received the message and like to awareness. Second process is affective part that shows the attitude and reaction to the promotion messages have been generate in the step. The final process is behaviour part which is the actual purchase to the promoted brand (De Pelsmacker et al, 2004). According to these three main processes, many different models have been created and AIDA is one of the models and often to be referred.


AIDA model is the fundamental theory in the hierarchy of effect model. It was created by Elmo Lewis who claimed that the influential process of marketing communication can be divided into four steps: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. It used to be used for sales training. However, it has been the most influential theory to explain marketing communication work nowadays. The model is explained that the process how to shift consumers from the beginning of unawareness to perceived the message and shows the reaction to action (Pickton and Broderick, 2005). Firstly, awareness is that the audiences have noticed and been aware of the promotion. Then, the audiences understand and believe the messages as well as feel interested to the advertising or brands. Following this, the message arouse consumer’ desire to look for this advertised product or brand. Finally, consumers do the action to purchase. In addition, it has been claimed that each marketing communication mix element can be influential to particular step in AIDA model. Firstly, Advertising and public are suitable to build awareness to make consumers know the brand as well as feel interested for the product. However, advertising are not effective to increase the immediate purchase.

Meenaghan, T. (1991) The role of sponsorship in the marketing communications mix, International Journal of Advertising, 10 (1) pp.35-47


Berrett, T (1993) The sponsorship of amateur sport-government, national sport organization and corporate perspectives, Society and leisure, 16(2), 323 – 346.

De Pelsmacker et al, (2004) Marketing Communications: A European Perspective, 2nd ed. Essex: Pearson Prentice Hall.


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