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Integrated Marketing Communications: Consumer Insight Report Report

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Updated: Mar 21st, 2021

Executive summary

In this report, several elements of consumer insight are established as determining product acceptance. Through an explicit experimental study design, the report established that different elements such as brand attitude, social immersion, ad likeability, brand belief-palatability, and brand belief-healthiness determine the perception and general acceptance of a product. The independent variable in the research was photographic depictions while the independent variables were brand attitude, social immersion, ad likeability, brand belief-palatability, and brand belief-healthiness. The research was based on two photographic images of a similar product (carrot cake).

Especially, in the first test involving a comparative mean analysis between the independent variables for Ad1 and Ad2, there were no significant differences in brand perception from the photographic depictions in terms of brand attitude, brand belief-palatability, and brand belief-healthiness. There were mixed results on significant differences in brand perception from the photographic depictions (by gender) in terms of social immersion (significant of Ad2 and no significance for Ad1), and brand belief-palatability (significant for Ad1 and no significance for Ad2). The findings are an indication that male and female genders have different social immersion brand beliefs.

The female gender had higher product perception, evaluation, and impression than the male gender for all the dimensions. Therefore, companies interesting in maximizing consumer image perception of a product should ensure that photographic depictions in picture advertisements appeal to a balance between rational and emotional desire to positively respond to the primary intention of the ad. This has the potential of creating an intrinsic motivation response to the ad. Besides, such a company may establish healthy brand equity through product image salience incorporation in the photographic depictions.

Discussion of the findings

On the 5-point bipolar measurement of different magnitudes of the independent variables, the findings revealed that the mean of Ad2 had a higher score than the mean of Ad1 for all the variables. This is a clear indication that understanding of a photographic depiction differs and tends to have a direct impact on the perceptions of customers towards a product. As part of the research authenticity guarantee, procedural remedies were applied to minimize possible biases.

Among the tools applied included randomized scalar formats besides limiting the scale points to five. The research sample size consisted of 371 participants of which 49.9% were females while 50.1% were males. Interestingly, the photographic depictions had effects on consumer segments and responses by different magnitudes, for the same product. In a two-way comparative analysis, there were significant and non-significant differences in product perception from the two ads, elements determining each perception, and between different sexes.

However, there were significant differences in brand perception from photographic depictions in terms of ad likeability and social immersion. In the gender comparative analysis, there were no significant differences in brand perception from the photographic depictions in terms of brand attitude, ad likeability, and brand belief-healthiness.

From the findings, the table in appendix 3 was created to ensure that further analysis is explicit. The first set of table and graph summarises the comparative analysis of the independent variables and their effect on product perception from photographic depictions. From this table, it is important to note that the comparative analysis revealed interesting findings on consumer insight in relation to the perception of a product from the photographic representation. In testing the first variable, which is a brand attitude, the mean score of the two photographic representations indicated a score of 0.24 for Ad1 and 0.36 for Ad2.

The mean score was higher in Ad2 than in Ad1 but within the same significance level. Apparently, this was an indication that there was no significant difference in the perception of the participants in terms of brand attitude as determined by the two pictures of ads representing the same product. In terms of the t-test on ad likeability from the two photographic representations of the similar product, the mean score for Ad1 was determined at 0.04 while than of Ad2 was determined at 0.33. Apparently, there was a higher score in Ad2 than in Ad1 by a significant margin (Pitt & Ang 2014).

This is an indication that ad likeability determines the level of positive perception towards a product, at the need conception stage. Basically, the more likable an ad is, the more positive attitude customers attach to the product (Ang 2014).

From the findings, it is apparent that social immersion has a significant effect on the perceptions customers attach to a product, even in the case where several advertisements represent the same product. As indicated in the mean table, the mean score for the social immersion variable was 1.16 for Ad2 and 0.62 for Ad1. Social immersion arises from a bandwagon of thoughts that a customer develops from seeing an ad and trying to relate a personal experience with what the client sees (Ang 2014). Since Ad2 is more representational of common product experiences, it is apparent that it attracted higher positive perception than Ad1 which also represents the same product.

Under the two dimensions of brand belief (healthiness and palatability), there was no significant difference in consumer perception of the product from the two photographic depictions of the cake. For the palatability dimension, the mean score for Ad2 was higher than that of Ad1 (0.45 and 0.39). Palatability represents the impression towards direct appeal to taste. The participants indicated that Ad2 had a more positive impression than Ad1.

This could be related to the images in Ad2, which display the actual consumption of the cakes. The characters are really enjoying the cake as evident in their jovial faces. Therefore, the higher score in Ad2 could be related to the imagination of being at the same table sharing the ‘sweet’ cake (Ang 2014). The second brand belief dimension, which is healthiness, depicts the impression that a customer may be created in the mind in terms of the health benefits of a product from a picture ad. From the research findings, it is apparent that all the participants dissociated the dimension of healthiness from the photographic depictions of the product.

This may be based on the previous knowledge of the product as being sugary, fatty, or addictive. Apparently, the mean score for Ad2 was calculated as -0.11 while that of Ad1 at -0.12 (Pitt & Ang 2014). The participants perceived the product from the two images as being unhealthy. These revelations are presented in the chart in appendix 1.

The second set of the table in appendix 2 summarises the comparative analysis of the independent variables against gender and their effect on product perception from photographic depictions. In the second analysis, in relation to gender, there were significant differences in participant impression, from the photographic depictions of the cake product, in the dimensions of ad likeability, social immersion (for the female gender), and brand belief-palatability (for the male gender).

However, the rest of the dimensions did not indicate any significant difference in impression by the participants. In the first dimension of brand attitude, the two genders showed similar behavior in terms of evaluation of the product from the two photographic depictions. In Ad1, the mean score for the male gender was higher than that of the female gender. The score for the male gender was 0.27 while than female gender at 0.21 (Pitt & Ang 2014).

The mean score for males in Ad2 was 0.34 while that of the female gender was 0.39. From the two sets of results, the male gender evaluated Ad1 more highly than the female gender. The opposite was two for Ad2. This could be related to different image conception between the males and the females. The female gender is keener on the visibility, in terms of color and display, then the male gender (Elder & Krishna 2012).

In the dimension of ad likeability, there was a significant difference in the perceptions of the male and female gender for Ad1 and Ad2. For Ad1, the mean score for males was 0.00 while that of the female gender was 0.08. In contrast, the mean score for the male gender in Ad2 was 0.31 while the score for the female gender was at 0.34 (Pitt & Ang 2014). In the two photographic depictions of the product, it is apparent the female gender exhibited a higher score than the male gender.

This could be attributed to a higher perception of the product in the impression of the female gender than the male gender. The higher perception is influenced by the intrinsic values of the images such as family, the position of the female gender, and the metaphoric meaning of the images. In the above case, the higher score for the female gender could be related to intrinsic association with the ‘ideal family’ in Ad2. The same differences are indicated in the dimensions of social immersion, brand belief-palatability, and brand belief-healthiness. Generally, the female gender had a higher score than the male gender with no significant differences in perceptions towards the two photographic depictions of the same product (Elder & Krishna 2012).

Recommendations and justifications

From the above findings, it is apparent that consumers are generally influenced by two factors: internal influences and external influences. These influences are personal feelings and thoughts that include self-concept, motivation, attitudes, emotions, and perceptions. These factors generally influence the perception, purchasing patterns, and attitudes customers develop towards a product or a service offered by a business.

Besides, these factors are directly linked to internal and external social aspects that control the pattern of thought and expressed feelings towards photographic depictions of different ad images for a similar product. Therefore, companies are interested in positively influencing brand attitude, social immersion, ad likeability, brand belief-palatability, and brand belief-healthiness as perceived by the potential customers (Ang 2014).

The first recommendation is that companies should ensure that photographic depictions in picture advertisements appeal to a balance between rational and emotional desire to positively respond to the primary intention of the ad. This is achievable through the balancing of colors and use of a common surrounding to motivate action as the subconscious mind of a viewer would be ignited to give a second thought about a product.

This has the potential of creating an intrinsic motivation response that triggers the mind to activate affiliation, self-acceptance, and feign community feeling with the company’s products. In the end, this strategy will appeal to emotions through capitalization on the biases and prejudices of people. According to Solomon (2009), “central to the theories of consumer behaviour is the conviction that different consumers go through markedly complex decision making process that is influenced at different stages by a number of possible variables” (Solomon, 2009, p. 34). The buying process normally begins with the need for a particular product or good.

The need for recognition by consumers is an essential part of the buying process because purchase cannot take place without it. Therefore, a marketing management process consists of a topological structure of decision science which functions between actual needs and perceived needs. The process is meant to act as the continuum of increasing the value of product acceptance as measured through data, information, and knowledge (Elder & Krishna 2012).

Customer retention is achievable through the creation of reliable, informed, and reliable photographic depiction ads. This achievable through a careful mix of color and other visual attractions in photographic depiction, such as creative branding and mixing of bright colors, in a picture advertisement for a product. Branding offers a “differential advantage (desirable attributes) over rivals’ products” (Bergkvist & Rossiter 2008, p. 87). It is a vital part of establishing healthy brand equity.

From the brand personality analysis, a company should make sure it has a higher score in presenting enthusiasm than its competitor. This aspect can be achieved through the incorporation of the concept of product salience in the photographic representation of a product. As indicated by Underwood and Klein (2002), salience is the main reason why consumers would prefer a given brand to others despite their similarities (Underwood L & Klein 2002).

Basically, creating innovative brand ads that stand out in the market might have been passed by time especially with the ability of different competitors to come up with similar ads. However, salience is the key factor in changing consumer behavior and perception towards a preference for a given product from the photographic images in picture advertisements.

Reference List

Ang, L 2014, Integrated marketing communications: A focus on new technologies and advanced theories, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Bergkvist, L & Rossiter, J 2008, “The role of ad likeability in predicting an ad’s campaign performance”, Journal of Advertising, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 85-98.

Elder, R & Krishna, 2012, “The visual depiction effect in advertising: Facilitating embodied mental simulation through product orientation”, Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 38, no. 6, pp. 988-1003.

Pitt, J & Ang, L 2014, MKTG204: Understanding the effect of photographic depictions of food products on consumer segments and their responses: Assessment Task 2B, Session 2, 2014 Consumer insight survey results, Macquarie University, North Ryde.

Underwood L & Klein, M 2002, “Packaging as brand communication: effects of product pictures on consumer responses to the package and brand”, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 58-68.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Representation of the results for the first analysis

Comparison of the two ads

Appendix 2: Mean comparative score for gender-based analysis

Variables Mean of Ad1 Mean of Ad 2 Level of significance
Brand attitude 0.27 M
0.21 F
0.34 M
0.39 F
Not significant
Not significant
Ad likeability 0.00 M
0.08 F
0.31 M
0.34 F
Significant
Significant
Social immersion 0.54 M
0.69 F
0.94 M
1.40 F
Not significant for Ad1
Significant for Ad2
Brand belief-Palatability 0.24 M
0.52 F
0.43 M
0.48 F
Significant for Ad1
Not significant for Ad2
Brand belief-Healthiness 0.00 M
-0.23 F
0.04 M
-0.09 F
Not significant
Not significant

Appendix 3: Mean comparative score for the dimensions in the first analysis

Variables Mean of Ad1 Mean of Ad 2 Level of significance
Brand attitude 0.24 0.36 Not significant
Ad likeability 0.04 0.33 Significant
Social immersion 0.62 1.16 Significant
Brand belief-Palatability 0.39 0.45 Not significant
Brand belief-Healthiness -0.12 -0.11 Not significant
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IvyPanda. "Integrated Marketing Communications: Consumer Insight Report." March 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/integrated-marketing-communications-consumer-insight-report/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Integrated Marketing Communications: Consumer Insight Report." March 21, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/integrated-marketing-communications-consumer-insight-report/.

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