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Principles of Marketing

13.2 The Communication Process

Principles of Marketing13.2 The Communication Process

Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. Setting the Stage
    1. 1 Unit Introduction
    2. 1 Marketing and Customer Value
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 1.1 Marketing and the Marketing Process
      3. 1.2 The Marketing Mix and the 4Ps of Marketing
      4. 1.3 Factors Comprising and Affecting the Marketing Environment
      5. 1.4 Evolution of the Marketing Concept
      6. 1.5 Determining Consumer Needs and Wants
      7. 1.6 Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
      8. 1.7 Ethical Marketing
      9. Chapter Summary
      10. Key Terms
      11. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      12. Critical Thinking Exercises
      13. Building Your Personal Brand
      14. What Do Marketers Do?
      15. Marketing Plan Exercise
      16. Closing Company Case
      17. References
    3. 2 Strategic Planning in Marketing
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 2.1 Developing a Strategic Plan
      3. 2.2 The Role of Marketing in the Strategic Planning Process
      4. 2.3 Purpose and Structure of the Marketing Plan
      5. 2.4 Marketing Plan Progress Using Metrics
      6. 2.5 Ethical Issues in Developing a Marketing Strategy
      7. Chapter Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      10. Critical Thinking Exercises
      11. Building Your Personal Brand
      12. What Do Marketers Do?
      13. Marketing Plan Exercise
      14. Closing Company Case
      15. References
  3. Understanding the Marketplace
    1. 2 Unit Introduction
    2. 3 Consumer Markets and Purchasing Behavior
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 3.1 Understanding Consumer Markets and Buying Behavior
      3. 3.2 Factors That Influence Consumer Buying Behavior
      4. 3.3 The Consumer Purchasing Decision Process
      5. 3.4 Ethical Issues in Consumer Buying Behavior
      6. Chapter Summary
      7. Key Terms
      8. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      9. Critical Thinking Exercises
      10. Building Your Personal Brand
      11. What Do Marketers Do?
      12. Closing Company Case
      13. References
    3. 4 Business Markets and Purchasing Behavior
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 4.1 The Business-to-Business (B2B) Market
      3. 4.2 Buyers and Buying Situations in a B2B Market
      4. 4.3 Major Influences on B2B Buyer Behavior
      5. 4.4 Stages in the B2B Buying Process
      6. 4.5 Ethical Issues in B2B Marketing
      7. Chapter Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      10. Critical Thinking Exercises
      11. Building Your Personal Brand
      12. What Do Marketers Do?
      13. Closing Company Case
      14. References
    4. 5 Market Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 5.1 Market Segmentation and Consumer Markets
      3. 5.2 Segmentation of B2B Markets
      4. 5.3 Segmentation of International Markets
      5. 5.4 Essential Factors in Effective Market Segmentation
      6. 5.5 Selecting Target Markets
      7. 5.6 Product Positioning
      8. 5.7 Ethical Concerns and Target Marketing
      9. Chapter Summary
      10. Key Terms
      11. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      12. Critical Thinking Exercises
      13. Building Your Personal Brand
      14. What Do Marketers Do?
      15. Marketing Plan Exercise
      16. Closing Company Case
      17. References
    5. 6 Marketing Research and Market Intelligence
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 6.1 Marketing Research and Big Data
      3. 6.2 Sources of Marketing Information
      4. 6.3 Steps in a Successful Marketing Research Plan
      5. 6.4 Ethical Issues in Marketing Research
      6. Chapter Summary
      7. Key Terms
      8. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      9. Critical Thinking Exercises
      10. Building Your Personal Brand
      11. What Do Marketers Do?
      12. Marketing Plan Exercise
      13. Closing Company Case
      14. References
    6. 7 Marketing in a Global Environment
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 7.1 The Global Market and Advantages of International Trade
      3. 7.2 Assessment of Global Markets for Opportunities
      4. 7.3 Entering the Global Arena
      5. 7.4 Marketing in a Global Environment
      6. 7.5 Ethical Issues in the Global Marketplace
      7. Chapter Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      10. Critical Thinking Exercises
      11. Building Your Personal Brand
      12. What Do Marketers Do?
      13. Closing Company Case
      14. References
    7. 8 Marketing in a Diverse Marketplace
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 8.1 Strategic Marketing: Standardization versus Adaptation
      3. 8.2 Diversity and Inclusion Marketing
      4. 8.3 Multicultural Marketing
      5. 8.4 Marketing to Hispanic, Black, and Asian Consumers
      6. 8.5 Marketing to Sociodemographic Groups
      7. 8.6 Ethical Issues in Diversity Marketing
      8. Chapter Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      11. Critical Thinking Exercises
      12. Building Your Personal Brand
      13. What Do Marketers Do?
      14. Closing Company Case
      15. References
  4. Product, Promotion, Price, and Place
    1. 3 Unit Introduction
    2. 9 Products: Consumer Offerings
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 9.1 Products, Services, and Experiences
      3. 9.2 Product Items, Product Lines, and Product Mixes
      4. 9.3 The Product Life Cycle
      5. 9.4 Marketing Strategies at Each Stage of the Product Life Cycle
      6. 9.5 Branding and Brand Development
      7. 9.6 Forms of Brand Development, Brand Loyalty, and Brand Metrics
      8. 9.7 Creating Value through Packaging and Labeling
      9. 9.8 Environmental Concerns Regarding Packaging
      10. 9.9 Ethical Issues in Packaging
      11. Chapter Summary
      12. Key Terms
      13. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      14. Critical Thinking Exercises
      15. Building Your Personal Brand
      16. What Do Marketers Do?
      17. Marketing Plan Exercise
      18. Closing Company Case
      19. References
    3. 10 Maintaining a Competitive Edge with New Offerings
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 10.1 New Products from a Customer’s Perspective
      3. 10.2 Stages of the New Product Development Process
      4. 10.3 The Use of Metrics in Evaluating New Products
      5. 10.4 Factors Contributing to the Success or Failure of New Products
      6. 10.5 Stages in the Consumer Adoption Process for New Products
      7. 10.6 Ethical Considerations in New Product Development
      8. Chapter Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      11. Critical Thinking Exercises
      12. Building Your Personal Brand
      13. What Do Marketers Do?
      14. Closing Company Case
      15. References
    4. 11 Services: The Intangible Product
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 11.1 Classification of Services
      3. 11.2 The Service-Profit Chain Model and the Service Marketing Triangle
      4. 11.3 The Gap Model of Service Quality
      5. 11.4 Ethical Considerations in Providing Services
      6. Chapter Summary
      7. Key Terms
      8. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      9. Critical Thinking Exercises
      10. Building Your Personal Brand
      11. What Do Marketers Do?
      12. Closing Company Case
      13. References
    5. 12 Pricing Products and Services
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 12.1 Pricing and Its Role in the Marketing Mix
      3. 12.2 The Five Critical Cs of Pricing
      4. 12.3 The Five-Step Procedure for Establishing Pricing Policy
      5. 12.4 Pricing Strategies for New Products
      6. 12.5 Pricing Strategies and Tactics for Existing Products
      7. 12.6 Ethical Considerations in Pricing
      8. Chapter Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      11. Critical Thinking Exercises
      12. Building Your Personal Brand
      13. What Do Marketers Do?
      14. Marketing Plan Exercise
      15. Closing Company Case
      16. References
    6. 13 Integrated Marketing Communications
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 13.1 The Promotion Mix and Its Elements
      3. 13.2 The Communication Process
      4. 13.3 Integrated Marketing Communications
      5. 13.4 Steps in the IMC Planning Process
      6. 13.5 Ethical Issues in Marketing Communication
      7. Chapter Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      10. Critical Thinking Exercises
      11. Building Your Personal Brand
      12. What Do Marketers Do?
      13. Marketing Plan Exercise
      14. Closing Company Case
      15. References
    7. 14 The Promotion Mix: Advertising and Public Relations
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 14.1 Advertising in the Promotion Mix
      3. 14.2 Major Decisions in Developing an Advertising Plan
      4. 14.3 The Use of Metrics to Measure Advertising Campaign Effectiveness
      5. 14.4 Public Relations and Its Role in the Promotion Mix
      6. 14.5 The Advantages and Disadvantages of Public Relations
      7. 14.6 Ethical Concerns in Advertising and Public Relations
      8. Chapter Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      11. Critical Thinking Exercises
      12. Building Your Personal Brand
      13. What Do Marketers Do?
      14. Closing Company Case
      15. References
    8. 15 The Promotion Mix: Personal Selling and Sales Promotion
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 15.1 Personal Selling and Its Role in the Promotion Mix
      3. 15.2 Classifications of Salespeople Involved in Personal Selling
      4. 15.3 Steps in the Personal Selling Process
      5. 15.4 Management of the Sales Force
      6. 15.5 Sales Promotion and Its Role in the Promotion Mix
      7. 15.6 Main Types of Sales Promotion
      8. 15.7 Ethical Issues in Personal Selling and Sales Promotion
      9. Chapter Summary
      10. Key Terms
      11. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      12. Critical Thinking Exercises
      13. Building Your Personal Brand
      14. What Do Marketers Do?
      15. Closing Company Case
      16. References
    9. 16 Direct, Online, Social Media, and Mobile Marketing
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 16.1 Traditional Direct Marketing
      3. 16.2 Social Media and Mobile Marketing
      4. 16.3 Metrics Used to Evaluate the Success of Online Marketing
      5. 16.4 Ethical Issues in Digital Marketing and Social Media
      6. Chapter Summary
      7. Key Terms
      8. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      9. Critical Thinking Exercises
      10. Building Your Personal Brand
      11. What Do Marketers Do?
      12. Closing Company Case
      13. References
    10. 17 Distribution: Delivering Customer Value
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 17.1 The Use and Value of Marketing Channels
      3. 17.2 Types of Marketing Channels
      4. 17.3 Factors Influencing Channel Choice
      5. 17.4 Managing the Distribution Channel
      6. 17.5 The Supply Chain and Its Functions
      7. 17.6 Logistics and Its Functions
      8. 17.7 Ethical Issues in Supply Chain Management
      9. Chapter Summary
      10. Key Terms
      11. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      12. Critical Thinking Exercises
      13. Building Your Personal Brand
      14. What Do Marketers Do?
      15. Marketing Plan Exercise
      16. Closing Company Case
      17. References
    11. 18 Retailing and Wholesaling
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 18.1 Retailing and the Role of Retailers in the Distribution Channel
      3. 18.2 Major Types of Retailers
      4. 18.3 Retailing Strategy Decisions
      5. 18.4 Recent Trends in Retailing
      6. 18.5 Wholesaling
      7. 18.6 Recent Trends in Wholesaling
      8. 18.7 Ethical Issues in Retailing and Wholesaling
      9. Chapter Summary
      10. Key Terms
      11. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      12. Critical Thinking Exercises
      13. Building Your Personal Brand
      14. What Do Marketers Do?
      15. Marketing Plan Exercise
      16. Closing Company Case
      17. References
    12. 19 Sustainable Marketing: The New Paradigm
      1. In the Spotlight
      2. 19.1 Sustainable Marketing
      3. 19.2 Traditional Marketing versus Sustainable Marketing
      4. 19.3 The Benefits of Sustainable Marketing
      5. 19.4 Sustainable Marketing Principles
      6. 19.5 Purpose-Driven Marketing
      7. Chapter Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Applied Marketing Knowledge: Discussion Questions
      10. Critical Thinking Exercises
      11. Building Your Personal Brand
      12. References
  5. Answer Key
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
    14. Chapter 14
    15. Chapter 15
    16. Chapter 16
    17. Chapter 17
    18. Chapter 18
    19. Chapter 19
  6. Index

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • 1 Describe the communication process.
  • 2 Identify and discuss each element of the communication process.

Communication Process Defined

At first glance, the communication process seems simple. However, a deeper look shows the complexity and issues that are involved with communicating. When choosing how to send a message to the consumer, it is important to understand how the communication process works. All forms of marketing promotion are methods of communicating from the company to the consumer. No matter which method of promotion you use, the elements of the communication process are important to recognize and consider.

Understanding how communication flows helps the marketer to create better messaging, better media, and a response system that facilitates the communication objective. Sending and receiving a message are only two small parts of the complex system that marketers work with when trying to send promotional messages to consumers.

Within the complex system of communicating are the variables of the sender, encoding, messaging, media, the receiver, decoding, and the feedback loop—all while contending with constant noise. Out of all the elements of the communication process, only the sender, the encoding, the message, and the media are in the marketer’s control. All of the other elements are outside of what marketing can control. Marketers must understand all of the other aspects of the communication process to mitigate the unknown and meet the campaign objectives.

When we consider communication, we are simply transmitting information. On the granular level, the communication process is how the message gets created, sent, and received. The elements of the communication process are consistent no matter what the message is or how you choose to send it. However, the variation in messaging, medium, and receiver all affect the encoding process and the feedback loop (see Figure 13.6).

The communication process is shown as boxes along a horizontal line. Rightward pointing arrows connect each box. Starting from the left, the boxes are labelled sender, encoding, message, medium, decoding, and receiver. A line labelled feedback goes from receiver, below the other labelled boxes, back to sender. Behind all of the boxes and feedback line is a cloud labelled noise.
Figure 13.6 The Communication Process (attribution: Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, under CC BY 4.0 license)

The Elements of the Communication Process

In order for communication to happen, it must go through a process. Both personal and professional communication are comprised of several elements that occur in order for the exchange of information to take place. For communication to happen, there must be a sender of the message and a receiver of the message. Between the sender and the receiver is the message itself as well as the channel by which the message is sent. All the variables in between include the elements that are uncontrollable and, if not managed well, can cause issues. These elements include the encoding and decoding of the message as well as the noise that gets in the way and the feedback that helps us gauge the success or failure of the message.

The Sender

The sender is the source of the message. This can be the company, the marketer, or the hired talent for a commercial. For example, when PepsiCo signed a multiyear contract with Beyoncé to be a brand ambassador, Pepsi made Beyoncé the sender of its messaging.16

Encoding

How the message gets developed is the creative process marketers go through to put meaning behind the information they want to share with their customer. The process of creating the message is known as encoding. The process of putting the thoughts and ideas into words or symbols is encoding. Encoding could be writing a press release, developing a tag line, writing ad copy, creating a jingle, or designing a brand symbol. How a marketer chooses to encode the message should be dependent on the characteristics of the audience.

The Message

From the encoding process, a message is developed. For marketers, the goal is to have the message reflect the value the product provides to the consumer. When Nike tells its customers to “Just Do It,” it has created a message. Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign created a message that beauty comes in many different forms.

The Medium

Once the marketer has the message developed, they need to send it. The medium is how the message is delivered. The message could be sent through the television in the form of an advertisement or a news story. The message could travel to the customer through an email directly in the customer’s inbox. Or the message could be a salesperson describing why the new Ford Broncos are safe and dependable.

The Receiver

In marketing, the customer is generally the receiver. However, messaging can also be delivered to groups and organizations. When Comcast develops its annual report and sends it to its group of investors, the investors are the receivers of the message. If Chick-fil-A creates a billboard saying to “Eat More Chicken,” the travelers passing the billboard are the receivers.

Decoding

Decoding is the process of unpacking the message and giving it meaning. It is the receiver’s understanding of the message that has been sent. Many things affect the process of decoding, some of which include the receiver’s knowledge and experience. To create the most effective messages and delivery, the marketer needs to have extensive research about and understanding of the receiver. When the consumer hears the message “Red Bull gives you wiings,” the company (sender) wants to convey that the product will give the customer (receiver) the energy to do whatever they want to do. If the receiver believes that they can actually fly after drinking Red Bull, there was an error in the decoding process.

Feedback

The feedback loop tells the sender if the receiver understood the message as they were intending it when they encoded the message. Feedback is the checkpoint on a specific call to action. It can be a return email, a click to a website, or a purchase using a coupon. When the feedback loop is complete, the marketer has data regarding the communication process.

Personal selling has the richest method of feedback. If the salesperson is in front of the receiver and can hear their voice when they respond and can see their body language, they have a complete understanding of whether the encoding was effective when the decoding takes place. If the marketer sends a coupon to a consumer via a mobile app and the consumer redeems the coupon at the point of purchase, the redemption is the feedback loop for the sales promotion.

Noise

In the communication process, many elements are outside of the marketer’s control. The biggest factor that can be a point of conflict for the marketer is the noise that interferes with the receiver’s ability to get the message, decode it, and provide feedback. All the elements that get in the way of the receiver getting the message are noise. Noise can be the distractions that happen while the ad plays during an episode of Seal Team—things such as getting a snack, talking to a family member or friend, or surfing channels just as the ad is playing. Noise can be the other thousands of messages targeting the same receiver and vying for their attention.

The marketer’s job is to understand the various sources of noise and work to create encoding and mediums that will help to reduce the interference. It is typically believed that because of all the noise that exists, the receiver must be exposed to the message on average 7–10 times before they take action toward the message.

Knowledge Check

It’s time to check your knowledge on the concepts presented in this section. Refer to the Answer Key at the end of the book for feedback.

1.
When a message is created and the company chooses to have a celebrity as the spokesperson, what does the celebrity represent in the communication process?
  1. Sender
  2. Feedback loop
  3. Medium
  4. Noise
2.
Which of the following is considered noise in the communication process?
  1. The sender sings a jingle.
  2. A special news bulletin interrupts a paid ad.
  3. The consumer calls the 800 telephone number displayed in the advertisement.
  4. The consumer clips the coupon from a mailer.
3.
A popular form of communicating is through television advertisements. Which element of the communication process is the television advertisement?
  1. Noise
  2. Sender
  3. Medium
  4. Feedback loop
4.
Putting thoughts, ideas, or information together in symbolic form is called ________.
  1. encoding
  2. noise
  3. decoding
  4. sender
5.
The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development purchased and ad in Southern Living. The ad encouraged people to choose the state of Tennessee for summer vacations. Along with beautiful, scenic photos of Tennessee, the ad includes the tagline “Tennessee sounds good to me.” In this print ad, the source of the advertising message is ________.
  1. the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
  2. Southern Living magazine
  3. the people in the scenic pictures
  4. readers of the magazine
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