Marketing Communication

The Influence of The Integrated Marketing Communication on The Consumer Buying Behaviour

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to highlight, using documenting studies on the specialty literature, the influence that one has the integrated marketing communication on consumer buying behaviour. The research methodology involves the following steps: 1) Establish the main objectives of the research, namely: a) analyze the relationship between integrated marketing communication and consumer behaviour; b) determining those factors that may influence buying behaviour of consumers through the integrated marketing communication. 2) Identify tools used for the collection, processing and analysis of the findings obtained from research, as follows: a) were selected and analyzed a number of scientific articles published in the most known international databases; b) were consulted titles of books published in the domain of research theme; c) were identified items of interest that contributed to achieving the research objectives above-mentioned. 3) Interpretation of obtained theoretical results that contribute to the fulfilment of the main research objectives. Today, consumers use many sources of information, and the value of the integrated marketing communication has grown considerably. Highly targeted, the integrated marketing communication campaigns are based on the strengths of existing communication tools, for to a favourably influence the behaviour of the target audience. Improving the demarches of communicational nature can be achieved by changing the mode of thinking the organizations involving increasingly more the final consumer in the communicational process. Integrated marketing communication is a circular process (not one linear) that starts with the potential consumer and returns to identify the most effective ways by which should be developed the communications programs. The principle after which operates this process is based on the fact that any communication approach must start from the consumer. The method   of informational management used for the implementation of this principle is “outside-in”, which means that the communication process starts from outside the company to the inside of her, with order to determine the tools that best serve to the communication needs of the consumers potential and actual. Through the information obtained from the outside seeks to determine those weaknesses that need to be redressed, and the best ways to formulate the messages so that their impact to be maxim. The specialists in the integrated marketing communication must consider when designing a communicational message a number of factors that play an important role in consumers’ decision of choosing a product, because in this way can be influenced in a favourable sense the attitude towards product, leading to the determination of an effective buying behaviour.

1-Introduction

Today it is necessary that organizations to understand why the integrated marketing communication programs have become so important in their activity, especially after 1990. Traditional components of the marketing mix – the product, price, placement (distribution) – are not longer as efficiently as they were in the past. When the market passed through a slow period of development, these proved to be particularly useful in the work of any organization. But today, the elements of the traditional marketing mix have lost of their value as “weapons” competitive. Thus that many ways to obtaining a product can be copied by competitors in a very short period of time. The experience the organizations in provide value of the products, in a traditional way, is replaced today with the design and manufacture their assisted of computer or robotics. Also, any form of distribution can be easily reproduced competition. Efficiency of organizations was supported price to the point in which and this became an advantage in decline. In a parity market, the only way by which organizations may be differentiated is communication. The marketing communication can provide a real sustainable competitive advantage to any organization that leverages its potential. In an economy with a highly competitive, organizations must capitalize the integrated marketing communication in the most effective way, to ensure the creation and maintenance of long-term relationships with current and potential customers. Through integrated approach to marketing communication, companies “talk to with one voice” and the impact of messages sent is one maximum.

2-Research Methodology

 

2.1-The purpose of this paper is to highlight, using documenting studies on the specialty literature, the influence that one has the integrated marketing communication on consumer buying behaviour.

 

2.1.1-The main objectives of the research:

 

2.2.1-Analyze the relationship between integrated marketing communication and consumer

 

2.2.2-Determining those factors that may influence buying behaviour of consumers through the integrated marketing

 

2.3-Identify tools used for the collection, processing and analysis of the findings obtained from research, as follows:

a) were selected and analyzed a number of scientific articles published in the most known international databases; b) were consulted titles of books published in the domain of research theme; c) were identified items of interest that contributed to achieving the research objectives above-mentioned.

 

2.4-Interpretation of obtained theoretical results that contribute to the fulfilment of the main research objectives are presented further

Consumer behaviour present a big interest for marketing and communication specialists. Andreasen (1965) proposed a model that captures the relationship between the main factors influencing consumer behaviour, among they the most important being informing and the attitude.

Nicosia (1976) proposed a model of the consumer behaviour that focuses on the company’s efforts to communicate with current and potential customers through communicational messages as well as their predisposition to act in a certain way at these. The Nicosia model (1976) is based on the relationship between a company and its customers actual or potential. The organization communicates with them through by the communicational messages, and consumers reacts by buying the product and / or service. This model shows the fact that the company and consumer are connected to each other, respectively the company is trying to influence consumer purchasing decisions, and the consumers influencing the company through their decisions.

A model of consumer behaviour often quoted was developed by specialists Howard-Sheth in 1969. The model is important, because it emphasizes the importance of the input variables (inputs) in the buying process and suggests the ways in which consumers classify these inputs before deciding to purchase. Howard-Sheth model is the result of extensive empirical research. The input variables consist of four distinct types of stimuli: a) sources of information – coming from the external environment; b) significant stimuli – through which are provided information on the physical characteristics of the product, such as quality, price, service, features distinctive; c) symbolic stimuli through which are transmitted visual and verbal information about the features of the product; d) social stimuli – family, reference groups, social class.

Schiffman and Kanuk (1997) mentioned the fact that most models of consumer behaviour is based on a economic theory, more exactly on the notion that individuals acting rationally to maximize the benefits on which they can get when purchasing goods or services.

The Engel-Kollam-Blackwell model (1995) highlights the importance on which has of the desire for knowledge to a product or service on purchase behaviour and consumption. This model shows the relationship between the four main components, as follows: A. The buying decision, which are based on the following steps: a) identifying the need; b) seeking the alternatives; c) evaluation of alternatives; d) post-purchase behaviour; B. Getting information – consumer receives information from various sources, which also influence the decision to purchase; C. The processing of information consists in the exposure, attention, perception, acceptance and retention of customer at the received information; d) The variables influencing the purchasing decision concerns at those individual influences – reasons, values, lifestyle, personality-, and environment – culture, reference groups, family.

Bettman (1979) emphasizes in his model the fact that most consumers rarely analyze the complex alternatives regarding purchasing decisions, and usually, they apply very simple strategy. This model capture seven steps: 1) ability to process information; 2) motivation; 3) the attention and perception; 4) the information search and their evaluation; 5) storing information; 6) decision making process ; 7) the process of consume and learning.

The Sheth-Newman-Gross’s model (1991) highlights five values in terms of the decision alternatives that can influence consumer behaviour: a) functional value – derived from the attributes or characteristics of product, such as durability, price etc.; b) social value – consumers have certain positive or negative stereotypes regarding purchasing a product based on the association with demographic variables: age, sex, religion; socio-economics: income level, occupation etc.; cultural: race, religion; political; c) the emotional value – an alternative acquires emotional value when it associated with certain feelings; d) epistemic value – an alternative decision acquires epistemic value through items such as curiosity, novelty and desire for knowledge. The epistemic aspects relate to the reasons which justify the satisfaction perceived through curiosity, desire for knowledge, and the needs exploration offered by the product. e) the conditional value – a decisional alternative acquires conditional value as a result of past physical and social experiences.

The Solomon model (1996) captures the following aspects of consumer behaviour: a) buyers and consumers can be different people; b) people can influence the buying process; c) the organizations may also be involved in the purchasing process; d) a large part of marketing activity focuses on adapting the supply of products to the needs and requirements of the target audience; e) stimulation to the existing desires by communication campaigns.

Middleton (1994) developed the so-called stimulus-response model of consumer behaviour. This model is based on four interactive components, the central component being “the characteristics of the buyer and the decisional process.” The model highlights the important effects that an organization can have on the buying process using the tools of the communicational mix.

Gilbert (1991) proposed a model of decision making purchasing with two categories of factors of influence that can have an impact on consumer behaviour. The first factor of influence include psychological variables, namely the perception and the learning. The second factor of influence take in consideration the sociological variables, more exactly reference groups and family.

Schultz and Kitchen (2000) suggests the fact that an additional way to improve the communication strategy is to the think the content of message in terms of the consumer: When is the most likely to a message be relevant? When is the most likely to a target audience to be receptive to it? Understanding of seasonal trends and the cycles to purchasing or the ways to the use a product/service can help organizations in their efforts to maximize the relevance of the communicational messages transmitted. Taking into account the customers preferences – through contact of these with the product/brand – may be determined the point where the client may be more receptive to a message (Schultz & Kitchen, 2000).

Integrated marketing communication is a process by that can develop, implement and evaluate programs of persuasive communication with current and potential customers, with employees, associations and other relevant audiences inside and outside the organization. The purpose of the integrated marketing communication is to generate both financial effects in the short term and build profitable customer relationships in the long term (Belch & Belch, 2009).

As the market is saturated of products and/or services, most companies try to differentiate by transmitting their functional attributes through messages by the communication. But, these features have become easily copied by competitors. That is why, the challenge to differentiate returns to the specialists in marketing and communication, which must transmit the values of emotional and/or rational that can influence consumer buying behaviour. The main goal of consumer behaviour analysis is to explain why consumers acts in a certain way in certain circumstances. The major objective of communication messages is to have a positive impact on purchase behaviour. Therefore, an important aspect is to determine the factors that influence consumer behaviour, in particular aspects of economic, social and psychological. Because buyers acts on base of some incomplete information, they assume a risk aware for each purchasing decision. The dimension of the risk decreases depending on the quantity and relevance of information transmitted through communicational messages (Kumar & Raju, 2013).

In an economy is highly competitive, organizations must capitalize integrated marketing communication in a most effective way, for to ensure the creation and maintenance of long-term relationships with current and potential customers. Through an approach the integrated of marketing communication, companies “speaking with one voice” and the impact of messages sent is one maximum (Fehrnstrom & Rich, 2009).

The marketing communication represent a source of interest allows consumers to understand the value of goods and services. The communicational messages to be transmitted the target audience have the ability to change consumer attitude and of to keep their constant interest regarding the products and/or services offered by a company (Fill, 2005).

In today’s competitive environment, organizations must constantly communicate with current and potential stakeholders, provides quality products and/or services, establish attractive prices and facilitates their access to customers. Therefore, marketing communication is the focus of all these activities, given that consumer perceptions and attitudes towards certain products and/or services may be influenced through communicational messages transmitted, that have the role to convince customers to purchase the products and/or services respective (Yeboah, & Atakora, 2013).

3-Conclusions

Today, consumers turn to as many sources of information, and the value of the integrated marketing communication has grown considerably. Highly targeted, the integrated marketing communication campaigns is based on the strengths of existing communication tools to favourably influence the behaviour of the target audience. Designing of a effective message and selecting the most appropriate communication tools are important steps in the creation and maintenance of consumer preferences for a product/one brand or company.

Integrated marketing communication is an activity that allows creating profitable customer relationships and creates value of the product/brand or of the company. It aims to ensure consistency of the message transmitted through a mix of communication tools such as advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, public relations, online communication, etc.

Knowledge the way how customers have access to communications transmitted on the market can reveal their preferences for how they want to receive the respective information. Taking into account consumer expectations, an organization can use the integrated marketing communication in a way most effective and economical for it.

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