Business influence through marketing communications can be done through word, pictures, symbols, spokespersons and special channels.
The advertiser (source) of interpersonal communication may be formal or informal. Informal sources include, friends, family, neighbours, who speak with the receiver/target audience regularly. Formal sources include sales persons, political candidates who are compensated in a way to influence consumers to act in a certain way.
Impersonal sources are usually oganisations who want to promote an idea, product, service or image to a consumer. The message can be transmitted through the mass media such as television, radio, billboards and the personal media such as direct mail and sales promotion.
The creditability of the source The perceived honesty and objectivity of the advertiser (source) of communication has a huge influence in the acceptance of the message. If the source is well respected and highly thought of by the intended consumer (audience), the message is much more likely to be believed.
Creditability of informal sources is built on the perception that they have nothing to gain from the recommendation, e.g. an opinion leader.
Creditability of formal sources is based on intention, reputation, expertise and knowledge. Consumers judge commercial sources based on their past performances, the kind and quality of the service, the quality and image of products offered, and their position in the community.
When the intentions of the source are clearly profit making, then factors affecting creditability include reputation, expertise and knowledge. Factors affecting these are:
Creditability allows companies to market new products with less risk. Manufacturers with good brand images prefer to give new products the existing brand name to get quick acceptance from consumers.
Institution or corporate advertising is designed to promote a favourable company image rather than promote a specific product.
The retail outlet that carries the product by a well known quality store seem to carry the added endorsement of the store itself. i.e.. advertisements state 'sold at these fine stores'.
The medium that carries the message as to its honesty or objectivity also affects the creditability of the advertising. i.e. high quality magazines tend to be regarded with more credibility than lesser specialised magazines.
The company spokesperson who delivers the message, their reputation is extremely important. That is why salespersons who can project confidence and give the impression of honesty and integrity are very successful.
Testimonials are effective when perceived to be sincere. There are four types of person used for testimonials, the celebrity, the professional or expert, the top corporate officer and the typical consumer. Celebrities can negatively affect the creditability of the message such as Michael Jackson and Hansie Cronje or positively like Francois Pienaar and Nelson Mandela.
The target audience attitudes affects the credibility of the message. The initial opinion of the message held by the audience before it receives the message will affect the persuasiveness of the message. Companies sponsor sporting and cultural events to enhance their images and creditability with the target audience.
The persuasive effects of high-creditability sources do not endure over time. Both the positive and negative effects of the communication tend to disappear. Consumers forget the source of the message before they forget the message itself. Reintroduction of the message serves to jog the audience's memory and the original effect re-manifests itself.
Its not always the size or length in time of the advert, but the frequency that it is flighted that will have the desired effect.