Companies use various forms of marketing communication, including personal selling, advertising, direct mail, public relations and sales promotions, according to marketing expert Dave Dolak. Marketing communication normally is used to notify, instruct or assist people both inside or outside the organization. Consequently, marketing communication must be tailored toward its specific audience to be effective.

Assisting the Selling Effort

Marketing communication can come in the form of visual aids and brochures for the sales force. These visual aids are called sales collateral materials, which are often produced by the marketing department. Both outside and inside sale representatives in a company can use the visual aids and brochures during their sales presentations. Sale reps can better explain product features and prices by showing customers brochures. Additionally, sales visual aids might display favorable company survey results that might help the sales rep make a sale. For example, a visual aid stating that 95 percent of customers are satisfied with the company's products can be a powerful selling tool.

Informing Consumers

Marketing communications such as advertisements and direct mail pieces can inform both customers and noncustomer consumers about a company's products and services. Most company advertisements such as magazine ads are designed to follow the AIDA, or attention, interest, desire, action, principle. For example, the heading of the magazine will usually appeal to a certain buying group, such as people on diets. Subsequently, the body of the ad builds the interest and desire of the dieter, which ultimately gets them to order the diet products. Companies use other forms of marketing communications such as websites to inform customers of new or existing products.

Informing Management and Executives

Some marketing communications are designed to apprise other managers or executives about happenings in the marketplace. For example, marketing research managers often will write comprehensive reports covering customer phone surveys. The phone survey might be conducted to determine why a company is losing customers. The marketing research manager often will write a report after analyzing the results of the study. He will then send copies of the report to management and executives. A marketing communication such as a research report might spawn a serious of meetings. Subsequently, executives and managers might implement new marketing strategies to recapture some of the lost business.

Informing Investors

Marketing communication professionals often will create corporate brochures with the company's annual financial data for shareholders and investors. The financial data will inform investors and shareholders whether or not the company has earned a profit, or if the value of the company's stock has increased. Shareholders play an integral role in a company, because they often will base future investments on the information contained in the annual report of the company brochure.