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IDENTIFYING AND EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF PRINT MEDIA ADVERTISMENT ON BRAND
IDENITY AND EQUITY OF UK COMMERCIAL BANKS.
Advertising remains one of the cornerstones of marketing communications. However,
determining its impact on a firm’s performance continues to be a difficult proposition for many
marketing and advertising managers. Although firms in the USA spent over $280 billion on
advertising in 2001 (Coen, 2002), a clear link between advertising expenditures and financial
performances remains somewhat uncertain in many cases.
One common belief is that advertising creativity is an essential element of advertising success (El-
Murad and West, 2004; Smith and Yang, 2004) and may lead to an improved financial
performance, that is, as firm focus more resources and develop more creative advertising, they
will realise marginal benefit in the form of higher sales, an increased market share and higher
As an avenue to reach a large number of people, the importance of print media as a part of
marketing communication mix cannot be over emphasised. In developing these print media
campaigns, images are integral part, photographs play a lot of role in print media, it passed on the
right message when it is used appropriately.
Service providers face a variety of challenges that distinguish their marketing activities from
those of producing counterparts. Much of what we understand about service brand
communications draws heavily on the works of George and Berry (1981) who provided a number
of recommendations to marketers of services, which address issues concerning the intangibility,
heterogeneity and perishability of services. Such recommendations include: make the service
understood; which capitalise on word-of-mouth (WOM) communications; provide tangible cues,
promise what can be delivered; aim advertising at employees; and maintain advertising
continuity (D. Grace and A O’Cass Examining the effects of service brand communications on
brand evaluation Journal of Product & Brand Management)
The marketplace for financial services is extensive as banks, insurers and investment banks
operate in a global marketplace and have a wide range of customers, including retail consumers,
business customers of all sizes and other financial institutions. From a marketing perspective, it is
clear that none of these financial products is very desirable, especially when compared with other
things that money can be spent on. This lack of intrinsic desirability is key in the marketing of
financial services. (J. Dawes & A. Meidan, 2010, p.7)
The marketing communication approach for Banks as part of financial service providers in the
United Kingdom will be the main focus for this research. The general public are the target of these
banks, the banks want everyone to have an account with them and they are using all marketing
communication means to get our attention to bank with them. To get the customers, they have to
have the right message, the general public needs to know the message is for them, they must feel
that the bank is talking to them and trying to relate with them
The right message also must be through the right medium, prospective customers need to see the
message and be able to identify it in the right measure. They need to get the right amount of
information before they feel they are been bombarded with advertisement and have a second
thought it might be too good to be true.
SCOPE OF RESEARCH
1. To investigate the development of print media advertisement in banking industry and
evaluate its contribution to brand equity and identification.
2. To understand customer’s visual communication. Identifying their perception about print
3. To consider the advantages and disadvantages of various forms of images for print media
design – animated images, illustrations, brand ambassadors, staffs or customers.
4. To offer a framework for the appropriate use of images as part of marketing communication
mix and see the possibilities of using same in a different industry and country
5. To offer recommendation for enhancing brand equity through appropriate marketing
The hypothetical question is which form of images as part of print media advertisement is best
suitable for banking marketing communication campaign, taking into consideration the
intangibility, heterogeneity and perishability of services. This study will approach this
hypothetical question by considering the research from three major aspects: development of print
media as part of marketing communication, the perception of customers about the images and the
form- Illustrated images, brand ambassadors or staff/customers.
Issues has been raised about air brushing photographs in adverts, some believe it presents an
impossibilities, consumers wants advertisers to be honest and be truthful about the messages
they pass with their images. Though we all receive same messages from all the banks, we perceive
them differently based on our understanding and interpretation of these images which I call
Advertising researchers have usually assumed that the advertising text provides all of the
meaning in the text-viewer interaction (Mick and Buhl, 1992). As a result the focus of message
research will inevitably be biased towards the study of textual features of advertisement,
relegating the role of the advertising viewers to an assessment of the degree to which the
audience ‘gets’ the message.
Scott (1994) showed how an advertising text interacts with the knowledge, expectations,
emotions and motives of the reader and that each reader may make an individual interpretation
of the meaning of an image: ‘…pictures have been treated as producing effects by their mere
presence – as opposed to eliciting a response on the basis of what they signify’ (p.477). She
pointed out that images that relate to the self ‘…can inspire feelings of hopelessness, frustration
and the like’ (Scott, 1994, p.477)
Much has been said around my proposed topic, which includes approach to corporate image and
management process, corporate identity, branding and marketing, examining the effect of service
brand communication on brand evaluation and problems and strategies in Service Marketing.
Though still taking into consideration the works done within this area, my proposal is aimed at
identifying with a particular service industry, which is the Banking sector with in UK and also a
particular form of corporate identity and images, which is photography as sub - level of
Advertising as part of the marketing communication mix.
Good marketing is integrated marketing. Two principles are important when designing and
implementing a marketing mix, i.e consistency and synergy. Marketing instruments have to work
in the same direction. (Patrick D. et al., 2007). Service providers face a variety of challenges that
distinguish their marketing activities from those of producing counterparts. Much of what we
understand about service brand communications draws heavily on the works of George and Berry
(1981) who provided a number of recommendations to marketers of services, which address
issues concerning the intangibility, heterogeneity and perishability of services. Such
recommendations include: make the service understood; which capitalise on word-of-mouth
(WOM) communications; provide tangible cues, promise what can be delivered; aim advertising
at employees; and maintain advertising continuity (D. Grace and A O’Cass Examining the effects of
service brand communications on brand evaluation Jourmal of Product & Brand Management)
The fundamental difference universally cited by authors (e.g., Bateson 1977; Berry 1980;
Lovelock 1981; Rathmell 1966,1974; Shostack 1977a) is intangibility. Because services are
performance, rather than objects, they cannot be seen, felt, tasted or touched in the same manner
in which goods can be sensed. Intangibility, according to Bateson (1979) is the critical goods-
service distinction from which all other differences emerge. The literature suggests that each
unique characteristics of service leads to specific problem for service marketers and necessitates
special strategies for dealing with them.
The branding development will involve identities, something the customers and prospective ones
can associate with. Business identity studies can be broken down into three main strands –
Corporate identity - What are we? , Organisational identity - Who are we? and visual identity -
What are the organization’s symbols and system of identification?
Brand Reputation, like those of people, are of immense value to corporations. Research to date
has examined how people form perceptions of a company’s reputation (Fombrun and Shaney,
1990; Fombrun, 1996), the effect of firm reputation on perception of price unfairness among
consumers ( Campbell, 1999), and he effect of corporate reputation on management decision-
making (Weiss, Anderson, and MacInnis, 1999). The Organisation may employ the best of
marketing communication mix but if there is an underlying bad perception, it may be difficult to
win the customer.
The proposed methodology in this research work includes the use of quantitative and qualitative
research methods. These will include existing field study (extensive literature review of the past
works) with more in-depth research which will include advertisement designs and developments
as part of marketing communication mix to familiarise myself with the aim to understand of
thought process behind various adverts and branding activities. I will also compile and analyse
detailed case studies within the industry
In order to achieve this, field trips will be employed to conduct interviews and administer
questionnaires to customers and the general public to find out about their perceptions about the
banks and their marketing communication activities. How much it has affected their choice.
Purposive sample selection will be employed, in common with most qualitative research. The
one- to-one interviews would allow trust to be established and allow the exploration of
underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes and feelings. Focus group discussions will also be
carried out to discuss the present images used by the banks.
More in-depth interviews will also be carried out with respondents from various backgrounds. I
will also meet with senior staffs within the banks responsible for branding integration and
marketing communications. Interviews will be conducted either in person or over the telephone.
The Advertising Agencies involved in the production of theses marketing communication will also
PLAN OF STUDY
This study will span a period of three years in which the research work is expected to address
various research questions identified as well as draw up answers. The first year of this research
programme will focus on extensive literature review on past related works in connection to the
corporate and marketing communication within financial institutions, Brand management and
equity. This is to revise the research questions as it will help to understand previous work carried
out and the vacuum still left to be filled. This will give the research work a specific focus. Field
work will also commence during my first year to gain background knowledge on the subject
matter as well as know the extent of contacts and visits to make in the following year.
My second year of study will focus on extensive field work, collection and analysis of data. This
will however be divided into two parts: the first will be meant for data collection and analysis
while the second will be for evaluation to determine if the data gathered so far can provide
necessary solutions to the research questions. This will determine if a second phase of field work
is required or not. Contact will be made through various organisations like the Advertising
agencies and internal communication team of the Banks.
The final year will be for the compilation of my report as all information gathered in the first and
second year will be fully utilised. Identifying the impact of images used for marketing
communications on brand equity of banks. Possible further study can also be identified.
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