It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword, but ride into battle clutching only a pen and that might not quite ring true. Julius Caesar, too, might have rather faced his foes when they were armed with writing instruments instead of wielding weaponry. As we trudge our way through the 21st Century however, and the proclivity of duels lessen, then the hypothetical pen is perhaps emerging as the mightier weapon.
Sticks and stones may break our bones but words have the ability to be formulated into engaging campaigns and drive sales. Less catchy? Well yes, but from a marketing perspective, communications is a fundamental element to a successful marketing strategy. In order to establish brand identity, strong marketing collateral is essential. The messages and media that companies use to relay their objectives to the public fall under the umbrella of marketing communications, or marcomms. Ultimately, the goal of marketing communications is to connect with consumers and drive sales; shortening the sales cycle is a significant aim of marketing communications.
Advertising is a key element of the integrated marketing communications mix and many companies are upping the ante with regards to this. The John Lewis Christmas advert, for example, has taken on a life of its own in recent years: the public actively anticipates the advert. On YouTube, the 2015 advert has been viewed almost 25,000,000 times, which is a staggering amount. Rachel Swift, Head of Marketing at John Lewis, explained that the Christmas advert is extremely effectively in driving sales, “Our TV campaigns at Christmas are our most profitable ROI… We don’t just do it for the sake of it, we do it because it actually gives a return to the partnership and makes it more profitable.”
In recent years social media has become a key branch of advertising strategy. The role of social media in marketing communications cannot be underestimated; in fact, back in 2005 Business Week described social media as being ‘the biggest change since the industrial revolution’(Zook, Z and Smith, P. 2016. Marketing Communications: Offline and Online Integration, Engagement and Analytics. Pg11). As of June 2016, Instagram had 500 million active users, and Facebook? In June 2016, Facebook had 1.7 billion users. Social media plays an integral role in establishing a brand identity; take the Kardashians for example, love them or loathe them, their marketing strategy has capitalised on the advent of social media and allowed them to build a brand that is internationally recognised and hugely profitable.
At Spotlight we recruit for a variety of marketing communications roles, head over to our job vacancies page to take the next step in your marcomms career!