Case Study: AOL - Redefining Marcoms

Case study investigating and recognising AOL's investment in mail media as an alternative to traditional marketing communications disciplines. By Professor of Integrated Marketing Angus Jenkinson and Research Fellow in Integrated Marketing Branko Sain, Centre for Integrated Marketing, Luton Business School.

An open examination of AOL's creative strategy is an entry to understanding how communication professionals and brands could strongly benefit from radically rethinking their marcoms philosophy.

Industry estimates suggest that one billion AOL CDs produced by Asian manufacturers have been distributed to mailboxes as well as grocery store displays, cereal boxes and computer packages worldwide, with the peak of activity being in 1999. AOL themselves to say that they have never counted them, which seems surprising since counting the number of mailings and measuring responses is basic good marketing.

Contents

Integrated Marketing Learning points

Background

What marcoms discipline has AOL used?

Conventions about advertising

The roots of advertising

The modern advertising industry

Above and below the line

The essence of the problem

Advertising builds the AOL brand?

The clash of disciplines

The AOL communication cocktail

A new model of communications

New thinking on communications

New thinking on media

New thinking on structure

RADAR: a new communications tool

Executive takeaway

Notes

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