Comparative Analysis of Marketing Communication Tools Adopted by Telecommunication Service Firms: Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular with Special Reference to Eastern Rajasthan, India

Comparative Analysis of Marketing Communication Tools Adopted by Telecommunication Service Firms: Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular with Special Reference to Eastern Rajasthan, India

Kavaldeep Dixit (International School of Informatics and Management Technical Campus, India) and Neha Jain (International School of Informatics and Management Technical Campus, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0143-5.ch004
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Abstract

The increase in number of players in cellular telephony has raised the expectation level of customers compelling firms to devise strategies to gain competitive edge. Thus, the main objective of this research is to comparatively study employees and customer's awareness regarding marketing communication tools adopted by Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular in eastern Rajasthan. In the present study communication tools pertaining to advertising, sales-promotion, personal selling, direct marketing, events and public relations have been considered and analyzed. The present research will also attempt to explore the sources of information referred to by customers while opting for telecommunication services. The study will involve a sample of 250 existent customers and 25 employees for Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular respectively and the methodology employed will be structured questionnaire for customers and employees separately with reference to eastern Rajasthan. By identifying the strategic issues that affect customer decisions the present research will contribute to the understanding of the influence of communication tools on customers. It would also enable marketing managers to identify impact of these dimensions and to concentrate firm's efforts on those factors which enhance customer awareness. It is an exploratory study.
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Background

Integrated Marketing Communication involves planning and execution of major marketing communication tools required for a product, brand, idea, organization or place in order to accomplish a common set of objectives and facilitate the positioning of promotion. Fitzpatric (2005) highlighted that Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) involves the merging of distinct communication functions in a way that permits an organization to speak with “one voice, one look”. McGrrath (2005) opined that in case companies disregard IMC and various messages are not delivered in unison, it may result in an incoherent brand image, which can adversely influence consumer behavior. Holm (2006) expresses that the primary goal of IMC is to influence the perception of value and behavior through communication. Shimp (2007) felt that the main objective is to ensure all components communicate collectively in one (or a single) voice to strengthen and reinforce the main organizational or brand message. Smith (2006) highlighted that enhanced and better utilization of marketing communication tools within an IMC approach can yield better overall outcome and may subsequently deliver a more holistic picture. Panda (2009) asserted that the concept of IMC has evolved over four fundamental stages, beginning from tactical coordination of communication elements, redefinition of the scope of marketing communication and application of information and communication technology to the financial and strategic integration. According to Fill (2009), IMC represents both a strategic and tactic approach to the planning and execution of an organization’s communications strategy which also expects organizations to manage their diverse strategies, resources and messages in order to enable worthy and meaningful engagement with target customers. Picton (2005) corroborated that IMC involves integrating together all marketing communication activities across relevant target audience points to achieve effective brand coherence. According to Schultz (1998) IMC is a process through which companies accelerate returns by aligning communication objectives with corporate goals.

From the studies it is apparent that for applying IMC concept, various tools are used. Table 1 depicts their key specifications and applications:

Table 1.
Key specifications and applications of integrated marketing communication (IMC) tools
IMC ToolsKey SpecificationsKey Applications
AdvertisingNon-Personal
Paid
Monologue
Identified Sponsor
Brand Awareness
Brand Image
Brand Equity
Brand Identity
Induces Trial
Stimulates Demand
Sales PromotionShort Term
Offers an incentive
Encourages immediate response
Boost Sales
Facilitates buying decision
Gets rid of excess inventory/old stocks
Direct MarketingInteractive and direct
Involves diverse media
Data-based
Up-to-date
Customization of Product and services
Facilitates dialogue with customers
Public RelationsMost credible IMC tool
No spending on media
Reaches hard-to-find buyers
Creates and control brand news
Formal channel of communication with society
Reinforces and modifies brand image
Personal SellingPersonal Interaction
Most effective and expensive IMC
Prominent tool for B2B and certain products in B2C
Personalization of brand message
Cultivates Relationship
EventsRelevant and engaging for customersBrand reinforcement and public announcement

Key Terms in this Chapter

Public-Relations: The practice of creating and maintaining favorable image and goodwill of an organization among its stakeholders like, customers, employees, media, investors, suppliers etc., usually through publicity and other nonpaid forms of communication.

Advertising: It is the paid form of non-personal communication of information about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.

Events: Designed and developed company sponsored programs for promotion of a product, cause, or organization including a sporting event, music festival, fair, some display, an exhibit or some less formal activities.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Regarded as the most effective form of promotion it comprises oral or written recommendation by a satisfied customer to the potential customers of a good or service.

Direct Marketing: Marketing by means of direct contact with prospective clients or customers, by use of direct mail, telephone, fax, e-mail, internet, etc.

Personal Selling: Face-to-face interaction with a potential buyer (or buyers) with the purpose of selling a product or service by making presentations, handling objections and procuring orders.

Sales-Promotion: Involves set of marketing activities comprising variety of short-term incentives offered to encourage trial or boost sales of the product or service.

Integrated Marketing Communication: An approach to achieve the objectives of a marketing campaign through a well-coordinated use of different promotional tools like advertising, sales-promotion, personal selling, public relations, etc. to inform, persuade and remind consumers about the organization’s products and services.

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