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Marketing research refers to a process whose objective is to link the customers, consumers, and producers to a marketer through utilization of available information to define or identify marketing problems and opportunities. This report aims to provide a brief description of a well-integrated marketing communications plan, challenges faced by companies when dealing with feedback loops, and importance of customer engagement.
Integrating Marketing Communication (IMC) Plan
With the advent of the internet revolution, technological advancement, fast, informed customers, and global competition, it is essential for any business entity to ascertain that a powerful impact is made on target markets and audiences.
Top-Down IMC Plan
A top-down IMC plan emphasizes entirely on managerial hierarchy inclusive of a methodical transfer of relevant information from top management to subordinates in a company. The communication structure is essential in determining the extent to which the staffs are utilization the data for the benefit of the company (Batra, & Keller, 2016). To effectively implement this model of communication, it is the responsibility of the company to ascertain that roles and obligations entitled to each staff are well defined. The employee structure (managers, superiors and subordinates) is well understood.
Bottom-Up IMC Plan
In bottom-up IMC model, a change in the organization is initiated by the employees. The employees are in a position to understand customers relative to the senior management. The company’s marketing strategy is therefore undertaken and developed by the employees who interact directly with clients. A bottom-up approach requires the employees to identify a gap/void in the market, obtain customer feedback, and conduct a market analyses for the benefit of the company (Batra, & Keller, 2016).
In conclusion, it is essential to blend the two approaches to achieve a well-integrated marketing communication plan. A blend between those two approaches ensures that everyone is directly involved towards improving performance and solving problems inherent in the company.
Challenges Faced By Companies When Dealing With Feedback Loops
The following are the significant challenges that a company faces:
- The company faces difficulty in dealing with the negative news. For instance, information concerning crisis inclusive of scandals tends to move faster than positive news. Unfortunately, firms have to cope with this echo verse in their day to day activities.
- Due to a revolution in online media, it has become a challenge to control and manage consumer sentiments. It has become mandatory for a firm to invest in social monitoring.
- Understaffing or inexperienced team of staff.
- Difficulty in forming an objective interpretation of the data obtained from the market
- A disconnection between the subordinates and executive management due to the poor communication model.
Importance of Customer Engagement
Customers can add economic value either directly or indirectly to the company. Customer engagement, therefore, refers to the emotional link between a brand and the customer (Kumar, 2018). Customers who are well engaged tend to promote more, buy more or even show much loyalty towards a particular brand.
Customer engagement enables a firm to understand customer needs, at what time the need is prevalent and at which location to avail brand. Customer data can be obtained through the medium such as mobile devices, social media, in-store demonstration and direct interaction with the customer (Kumar, 2018). A high customer engagement fosters and sustains customer loyalty, trust, better communication, a good customer relationship, strive for excellent results and valuable customer knowledge.
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There is typical cliché’ that customer is the king. Proper engagement with the client facilitates the creation of compelling content, product video, and a great value proposition (Kumar, & Reinartz, 2016). The management is in a position to gauge customer experience and feedback. Companies nowadays prefer obtaining information directly from their customers. This explains the current presence of online surveys that tend to collect valuable information from the customers. A greater customer engagement ascertains that such information is reliable and accurate to make critical decisions.
The transition from traditional to modern was of life has had a significant impact not only on the general consumer but also to the firm. It is the responsibility of a firm to conduct research meant to ascertain the level at which their esteemed and potential customers. It is vital for the firm to know the kind of brands to avail to their customers and how to package it well (Jaakkola, & Alexander, 2014). Information can be obtained through proper customer engagement.
The report commenced by providing a brief description of a well-integrated marketing communications plan. Some of the challenges firms face include inadequacy to control and manage negative news, inexperienced employees, and online media revolution.
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