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Marketing Communications Strategy

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Essay title: Marketing Communications Strategy

Leadership Research Paper-Learning Team-Week 2 Assignment- Fo’s Part

Marketing Communications - Strategy

In marketing communications, the single most important tactic is…Strategy. Too many marketers leap right into the details of communications without formulating a truly strategic plan.

As seen throughout the “Managing across the Organization” simulation, Good Sport Company established a sound strategic communications plan which includes establishing goals, conducting and compiling research, identifying key audiences, defining messages, targeting media, and developing creative, cost-effective ways to combine all these components to maximum effect. “Marketing strategic communications planning is not a secret science, and it needn’t be expensive. It starts with setting realistic goals for the communications program,” Cynthia Fontayne said.

One company that relates to this is Costco. “With $59 billion in sales from 488 warehouse locations, Costco, No. 28 in the Fortune 500, is the fourth-largest retailer in the country and the seventh-largest in the world”, cnn.com. “Costco Wholesale Corporation operates an international chain of membership warehouses, mainly under the "Costco Wholesale" name, that carry quality, brand name merchandise at substantially lower prices than are typically found at conventional wholesale or retail sources. The warehouses are designed to help small-to-medium-sized businesses reduce costs in purchasing for resale and for everyday business use. Individuals may also purchase for their personal needs,” www.costco.com.

Costco uses various communication strategy tactics to win the trust and acceptance of their employees, board members, and customers. According to Jim Sinegal, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, "Costco is able to offer lower prices and better values by eliminating virtually all the frills and costs historically associated with conventional wholesalers and retailers, including salespeople, fancy buildings, delivery, billing, and accounts receivable. We run a tight operation with extremely low overhead which enables us to pass on dramatic savings to our members." Costco uses “Consultation Tactic (involves getting others to participate in planning, making decisions, and changes) and “Employee Empowered” (employees have increased powers to function freely, with higher authority and decision-making capabilities). Costco’s intent is not to tell their managers how to run their places. “Our managers are entrepreneurs, not somebody who just comes in and unlocks the doors. Indeed, with some locations doing upwards of $300 million in sales a year, each warehouse is a mini-corporation, and each manager a de facto CEO,” Jim Sinegal said. One of Costco’s four marketing strategies is price competition. Costco refuses to mark up any item more than 14 percent, in contrast to supermarkets and department stores, which often carry markups of 25 percent and 50 percent, respectively. "We always look to see how much of a gulf we can create between ourselves and the competition," Sinegal says. "So that the competitors eventually say, 'these guys are crazy’. We'll compete somewhere else." The company doesn't use pricey ad agencies. Products move right from the delivery truck to the charm-free concrete sales floor. There are no commissioned salespeople. There aren't even any shopping bags.

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