The Handbook of Marketing presents a major retrospective and prospective overview of the field of marketing, and provides a landmark reference at a time when many of the traditional boundaries and domains within the marketing discipline have been subject to change. The Handbook frames, assesses and synthesizes the work in the field and helps to define and shape its current and future development. It includes contributions from leading scholars in the field, and the input of an international and extremely distinguished advisory board of marketing academics. The Handbook of Marketing will be invaluable to advanced undergraduates, graduate students and academics in marketing.

Marketing Communications

Marketing communications

Introduction

Effective marketing and business strategies require obtaining the attention, informing and influencing relevant constituencies of the firm. Potential customers do not buy products or services that they are unaware of. Communication of the reasons a particular product should be purchased, e.g., the benefits associated with the product, and the ways in which a given brand within a product category is different or superior to competitive products, e.g., how the brand is differentiated, are fundamental to marketing success. Kotler (2000: 550) observes, ‘the question is not whether to communicate, but rather what to say, to whom and how often.’

Research on marketing communications has a long and rich history. It has roots in early research on verbal learning in psychology (Ebbinghaus, 1885). The first ...

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