Marketing communications are messages and related media used to communicate with a market. Marketing communications is the "promotion" part of the "marketing mix" or the "four Ps": price, place, promotion, and product. It can also refer to the strategy used by a company or individual to reach their target market through various types of communication.
Those who practice advertising, branding, brand language, direct marketing, graphic design, marketing, packaging, promotion, publicity, sponsorship, public relations, sales, sales promotion and online marketing are termed marketing communicators, marketing communication managers, or more briefly, marcom managers.
Traditionally, marketing communications practitioners focused on the creation and execution of printed marketing collateral; however, academic and professional research developed the practice to use strategic elements of branding and marketing in order to ensure consistency of message delivery throughout an organization - a consistent "look & feel". Many trends in business can be attributed to marketing communications; for example: the transition from customer service to customer relations, and the transition from human resources to human solutions and the trends to blogs, email, and other online communication derived from an elevator pitch.
The communication process is sender-encoding-transmission device-decoding-receiver, which is part of any advertising or marketing program. Encoding the message is the second step in communication process, which takes a creative idea and transforms it into attention-getting advertisements designed for various media (television, radio, magazines, and others. Messages travel to audiences through various transmission. The third stage of the marketing communication process occurs when a channel or medium delivers the message. Decoding occurs when the message reaches one or more of the receiver's senses. Consumers both hear and see television ads. Others consumers handle (touch) and read (see) a coupon offer.
One obstacle that prevents marketing messages from being efficient and effective is called barrier. Barrier is anything that distorts or disrupts a message. It can occur at any stage in the communication process. The most common form of noise affecting marketing communication is clutter.
Social commercials market share is rising, thanks to services like YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo. According to a 2011 study, "88% of all companies that have conducted social media advertising are satisfied with it."  Indeed, social commercials are steadily permeating our everyday lives, in the forms of billboards, apps, TV, and even print media. There is a large increase of businesses using video via YouTube for local business pages such as Google Local (formerly known as Google Places) which was integrated as part of the Google Plus network in 2010.
Email marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send ads, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Email marketing can be done to either sold lists or a current customer database. Broadly, the term is usually used to refer to sending email messages with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers, to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, and adding advertisements to email messages sent by other companies to their customers.
Another channel for direct digital marketing is in-product communication (also: in-product marketing), which delivers marketing content directly to a user's internet-connected device or software application. In-product marketing content is often very similar to that of email marketing campaigns, but the segmentation and delivery is more targeted. Because email has become a standard tool in the digital marketing toolkit, the email channel often is overloaded and overused, leading to much lower open rates, lower engagement rates, lower click-through rates (CTR), and lower conversion rates. The rise of internet-connected (IOT) devices is enabling a growing number of consumer products manufacturers to take advantage of this channel of marketing communications, to supplement other digital marketing channels.
In branding, every opportunity to impress the organization's (or the individual's) brand upon the customer is called a brand touch point (or brand contact point.) Such examples include everything from TV and other media advertisements, event sponsorships, webinars, and personal selling to even product packaging. Thus, every experiential opportunity that an organization creates for its stakeholders or customers is a brand touch point. Hence, it is vitally important for brand strategists and managers to survey all of their organization's brand touch points and control for the stakeholder's or customer's experience. Marketing communications, as a vehicle of an organization's brand management, is concerned with the promotion of an organization's brand, product(s) and/or service(s) to stakeholders and prospective customers through these touch points.
Marketing communications is focused on the product/service as opposed to corporate communications where the focus of communications work is the company/enterprise itself. Marketing communications is primarily concerned with demand generation and product/service positioning while corporate communications deal with issue management, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, etc.
- Clow, Kenneth E & Donald Baack. "Integrated Advertising Promotion and Marketing Communications", 3rd Edition, Upper Saddle River, 2007(6-7).
- Statistical Study On Social Commercials | Kinetic Typography Services Company Corporate Video Business Designers
- The Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications
- STC Marketing Communication Special Interest Group
- Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice