Marketing communications refers to the element of a marketing system that includes the development and delivery of company or product messages to targeted customers. Paid advertising along with a number of other unpaid promotional tools are used to accomplish marketing communication objectives.


Prior to the development and execution of marketing messages, companies usually do research on the target market to learn more about their primary needs, interests and motivations. Focus groups, surveys, test studies and recognition studies are among common research tools used to get more familiar with targeted market segments. By understanding more about the current situation and motives of potential customers, marketers can more effectively prepare messages that persuade people to like a brand and buy it.


Promotions is the common term used to describe the communication component of marketing. Marketing is an entire process of research and design of a product or service, development of promotional messages and sales and service to customers. Communicating the value of your product or service to customers and developing a long-term brand image is vital to success. Without promotions, your ability to create awareness and favorable attitudes within target segments is limited.


Advertising is the paid part of a marketing communication strategy that includes paid broadcast, print or other media messages. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online media constitute the common, traditional media used by advertisers to present messages. Billboards, directories, aerial and transit media are support media used in advertising. By paying for ad messages, you typically have greater influence over the placement time and place, as well as the message itself, since you buy this service from the medium.


Publicity makes up the bulk of the promotional component of public relations. Publicity is any type of unpaid media coverage, such as a newspaper article or television feature. Small businesses try to make use of local news media opportunities because of their limited budgets. Relationships with local media are a huge plus for local companies. The risk is that you have less control over the timing or placement, as well as the message. A news reporter could use information to write about negative items, for example.