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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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1. Introduction

1.1 Background

Pathé was founded in 1896 by the brothers Émile and Charles Pathé (Pathé.nl, 2015). Pathé is the largest film theatre company in the Netherlands. The company has 22 theatres in sixteen cities. These have over 172 theatre rooms and over 35.000 chairs. Besides film, Pathé also shows documentaries, opera, stage performances and concert registrations.

This thesis focusses on the Pathé Business department. Pathé Business was set up 8 years ago. The responsibility for this department resides with the Pathé Sales and Event department. The demand for auditorium rent in cinema's at Pathé increased enormously since the founding of the department (Kuppens, 2016). Pathé saw the opportunity to create a separate department that develops external events at Pathé. Pathé Business now creates customized events for various business to business clients. The Pathé Business department is also responsible for the set up and after sales of big premieres in the Netherlands. They are also selling vouchers and gift cards to businesses and consumers.  In some cases, the Business department also acts upon the wishes of private consumers of Pathé products, such as paying film tickets by invoice or organising events for individuals. However, the primary focus is on the B2B market.

The sales manager who has been responsible from the start of this department is Kyra Kuppens. In 2011 an extra sales manager joined the team (Kuppens, 2016). Two senior sales manager and one sales intern are responsible for the business events of 22 theatres around the Netherlands.

1.2 Problem analysis

The problem of Pathé Business is that potential clients are not as aware as desired about the possibility of Pathé's auditorium rent. Appendix 10.1 shows a specially conducted analysis of all event clients of Pathé Business in 2015.  Pathé Business mostly serves the sectors Business Services and Education. The sector Consumer Goods & Retail organises events via Pathé Business, however, both sales managers see potential to increase the client base of this sector. Pathé Business sees possibilities to add extra communication methods to increase the awareness amongst potential clients.

According to the Chamber of Commerce (2016), the Business Services sector is the largest in the Netherlands. In 2015 this sector contained 74.281 companies. The second largest sector in the Netherlands is the sector Consumer Goods & Retail, 66.946 companies in 2015. The sector Consumer Goods & Retail occupies 24% of the total business markets in the Netherlands (Vreugenhill, 2015).

In 2015, the sector Business Services organized 56,9% of all Pathé Business events. The sector Consumer Goods & Retail is only accountable for 8% of all events through Pathé Business in 2015. However, they are the second largest sector in the Netherlands.

According to the analysis in appendix 10.2, the hospitality sector occupies 8,7% of the total events organized at Pathé in 2015. In the analysis of appendix 10.1 the event agencies are part of the sector hospitality. According to Forbes Magazine (2016) events becomes more important. Events offer a unique advantage and give the audience a chance to ‘'feel'' the elements of a product or service. According to the magazine High Profile Locaties (2016), the budgets for businesses to host events will keep increasing. According to Weikamp (2015), 79% of the brands and businesses claim to use more events in advertisement in the future. He claims that 65% of the businesses will move on to the purchase of a product or service if it is being promoted through an event.

According to Respons (2015), the five biggest cities in the Netherlands organize 58,7% of all events in the Netherlands. The biggest five cities are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Eindhoven. Because Pathé has two theatres in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, both sales managers therefore decided that the focus of the awareness needs to cover event agencies in the cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.  

This research is aimed to see how Pathé Business can increase the awareness in the sector Consumer Goods & Retail in the Netherlands and among event agencies in the regions of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.

1.3 Problem definition

The sectors Business Services and Education are the two largest sectors for Pathé Business. Only 8% of all events in 2015 were organized by businesses from the sector Consumer Goods & Retail. 8,7% is organized by business from the sector Hospitality. According to both sales managers, more businesses in these sectors need to be aware of the fact that Pathé Business offers auditorium rent. They would like to make potential clients and event agencies more aware of the fact that Pathé Business offers auditorium rent.

1.4 Research objective

Understand the needs, want and preferences of the search process and decision process of potential clients regarding auditorium rent in order to increase the awareness of Pathé Business.

1.5 Research questions


Q1: What is brand awareness?

Q2: What are the characteristics of brand awareness?

Q3: What are the different types of brand awareness?

Q4: What is the importance of brand awareness?

Q5: How is brand awareness created?

Q6: How can we measure brand awareness?

Q7: How does a human decisional process passed work?

Internal Analysis

Q1: What are the mission and vision of Pathé Business?

Q2: What are the objectives of Pathé Business?

Q3: What is the marketing mix of Pathé Business?

External Analysis

Q1: What does the sector Consumer Goods & Retail look like?

Q2: What does the event agency sector look like?

Q3: What does the branch of Pathé Business look like?

Q4: What is the search and decisional process of the target group?

Q5: What are the wishes and needs for communication of the target group?

Q6: What is the level of brand awareness among the target group of Pathé Business?

Q7: Who are the competitors of Pathé Business?

Q8: What does their marketing communication look like?

1.6 Research methods

In order to answer all the questions above literature research, desk research and field research have been used to create this thesis.

Secondary data

Desk research was carried out through documents that were provided by Pathé. These offer insights into the situation at Pathé and Pathé Business. Literature research consisted of relevant academic theories from books and journals. Theoretical data is used to set the ground base to improve the communication through theoretical guidelines. In addition, it is important to define set terms. During the literature research, online sources were used to secure the latest literature data. Internet information is important to find up-to-date information about - for example - the sector and the competitors.

Primary data

The primary data collection for this research was carried out by means of interviews and desk research. Conversations with both sales managers indicated their opinion about the integrated values of Pathé Business as a department. Also, primary data from the organisation that was deemed relevant to the report have been included.

Individual in-depth interviews have been carried out amongst the current and potential clients and event agency employees in order to gain a deeper understanding about the brand awareness of Pathé Business among businesses in the sector Consumer Goods and Retail and event agencies. By interviewing potential clients and event agencies, the research has to indicate what their search process and decisional process is. By interviewing existing clients, the research has to indicate how and why they came the first time. The selection of interview respondents is based on the type of business they have. All respondents have or had the responsibility of organising an event within their business.

1.7 List of terms

B2B Business-to-business

Sales and Event Managers The Sales and Event Managers are:

Kyra Kuppens and Suzanne van Cuijk.

KvK Kamer van Koophandel

(Chamber of Commerce)

SME Small and Medium Enterprises

CBS Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek

(Central Statistics Office)

CPB Centraal Plan Bureau

2. Theoretical Framework

This research will focus on how Pathé Business can increase their awareness in the sector Consumer Goods & Retail and event businesses located in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Questions such as, what brand awareness is, what the characteristics are, what different types there are and what the best way of creating awareness is will be discussed. Defining and explaining what awareness is and what it can do is important because it gives insight into the objective of this research.

2.1 Brand awareness  

According to Aaker (1996), brand awareness is described as a marketing concept that measures the knowledge of consumers about the existence of a brand or product. It refers to the strength of presence of a particular brand in the consciousness of the consumers. A percentage of the market knows about the existence of a brand name (Aaker, 1996).

Brand awareness is an important factor in marketing. Consumers do not necessarily have to remember the name of the brand, sometimes the visual image that comes to mind is enough to convince the consumer to purchase the product (De Pelsmacker et al., 2013).

2.2 Characteristics of brand awareness

Aaker (1996) states that if a marketer wants to enhance its brand awareness, he needs to take these three characteristic into account:

1. ‘'Brand awareness indicates a sign of presence, content and undertaking.'' This

means that the consumer knows about a particular product or brand, and has an association with that brand.

2. ‘'The degree of conspicuousness will decide to what extent it will be repeated on key moments in the buying process for the consumer. It is important that it is chosen in auditory, visual or audio-visual''

3. ‘'Brand awareness shows how known the brand is by the consumer.''

2.3 Different types of brand awareness

De Pelsmacker, Geuens & Van Den Bergh (2013) state: ‘'brand awareness is the association of physical characteristics such as a brand name, logo, package, style, with a categorical need.'' According to Aaker (1996) brand awareness can be defined in four different ways.

1. Brand recognition: ‘'This is the lowest form of brand awareness. People can recognize a brand by its package, colour or logo. This is called brand recognition or aided awareness. In brand recognition it is important that the consumer already has heard of the brand.'' (Aaker, 1996)

2. Brand recall: A consumer names the brand on his own initiative, when a product category of a certain brand is explained.  ‘'There is a correlation between recall and recognition. Potential buyers are better able to recognize a brand than recalling the brand's name. However, the fact that a person can recall a brand's name, does not guarantee that the buyer will recognise the brand in a shop. Brand recall is also known as spontaneous awareness.'' (Aaker, 1996)

3. Top-of-mind awareness: ‘'This looks like brand recall. However, the consumer does not only name the brand, they name it as the first brand. The brand is high in the consciousness of the consumer. First, there is top-of-mind awareness. For example, if someone says ‘smartphone', people can link it to Apple and Samsung. This is also called brand recall or unaided spontaneous awareness.'' (Aaker, 1996)

4. Dominant brand: ‘'This is the highest form of brand awareness. Dominant brand is when a consumer can only name one particular brand when that product category is given.'' (Aaker, 1996) For example, think of a cinema in the Netherlands, they immediately think of Pathé.

2.4 Importance of brand awareness

Every communication activity must take all sides of brand awareness into account. Aaker (1996) states: ‘'If a brand is not known, it will be impossible to create an image, preference or attitude towards that brand''.  

According to Van Eekhout (2011), high brand awareness is important because of three conditions. It is important that the potential clients have the company in their consideration set. ‘'A consideration set is the total amount of brands a consumer is aware of in any given product category'' (van Eekhout, 2011). If a brand immediately pops-up in the mind of a consumer, then it is an example of top-of-mind awareness. Brand awareness can influence the consideration set of a consumer, even if they do not know the brand at all. Consumers could have heard the brand in word-of-mouth conversations or in advertising. Creating a small amount of brand awareness can make the difference for the client to purchase the product or not. The final condition for brand awareness is that the brand needs to have certain associations with what they actually communicate. The more a business communicates a certain value, the quicker the consumer can place it in his or her memory.

Aaker (1996) has predicted that with the ever-changing new ways of media, it becomes more and more challenging to create good brand awareness. Considering the importance of brand awareness, businesses must look at the traditional way of creating brand awareness.

Businesses that can coordinate messages across all media such as advertising, TV, radio, internet, sponsorships and direct marketing are the businesses that will come out on top when competing for brand awareness. However, a firm must be very good in operating outside the traditional media methods. Traditional methods are being affected by new ways of creating brand awareness, such as social media.

Aaker (1996) also states that there is a close connection between awareness and positioning. For a brand to become successful, it is not enough to just reach brand recognition.

The best way for a brand is to be positioned in the mind-set of the client in their product category. When the need for a product comes up, the client will then immediately think of that brand. Another important aspect of brand awareness is brand knowledge. People with brand knowledge are aware of the characteristics of a brand and its features and know what the possibilities of the brand are.

2.5 Creating awareness with communication

This paragraph will include ways to create the awareness. First, communication on a corporate level is explained. After this short introduction the most important communication instruments for creating awareness are explained. One of the instruments to create awareness is event marketing, this is also discussed in this paragraph. This report will cover mostly information how to create awareness with online marketing communication because it has proven to be an effective and low-cost method for creating awareness (Darryn, 2016). It is important for this research to show what is meant with corporate communication and what instruments work best for creating awareness.

According to Floor and Van Raaij (2011), corporate communication is about the total message a business conveys. Opinions and behaviour about an organisation can be influenced and crafted with corporate communication. Corporate communication works best if there is a good coordination between all communication activities. A difference in what a business says and what it does should be avoided.

Communication instruments are: (corporate) advertising, public relations, sponsoring, promotions, direct marketing, store communication, personal sales and events. Within these communication instruments different media are used, like newspapers, television, telephone, internet, intranet and personal contact. According to De Pelsmacker et al. (2013), B2B marketing works different than B2C marketing. B2B marketers aim for groups of potential clients instead of one single client. They tend to use a profile of a client – for example – brand managers, however they do not target a detailed persona. This means that B2B marketing and communication needs to involve multiple characteristics and interfaces in the businesses' strategy.

Verhaar (2009) states, ‘'a business event is a special time and place event, which is planned deliberately by a promoter (business individual, group or organization).''

The main reason for organizing a business event is that more brand awareness can be created among specifically invited guests (Wien, 2016). Verhaar (2009) distinguishes event sizes. Small scale events have 500 or less visitors, medium sized up to 5000 and large scale events have over 5000 visitors. There are different kind of events, the most common business events are private and only accessible to invited guests, like – for example - private screenings in theatres. Below the event size categories, the events can be divided into different categories according to Wien (2016). There are internal and external events. Examples of internal events are company anniversaries or corporate parties. Examples of external events are workshops, trainings, conferences, networking events, seminars, courses or symposium programs. The objectives of these events can be marketing, promotion, communication, meetings, education or motivation (Verhaar, 2009). By creating business events, companies can increase their brand awareness. A result of events, can be a growth in customer base. The organisation of a corporate event quickly offers products or services of a business to its potential clients.

According to De Pelsmacker et al. (2013), communication plays a major role in creating good brand awareness. Without any form of communication, the potential consumers are not able to hear or read about the brand. All the above communication instruments bring across brand awareness of a business.

According to Maps of World (2013), there are four important ways for creating good brand awareness amongst potential clients. These ways are advertisement, product placement, guerrilla marketing and online marketing.


Maps of World (2013) defines advertising as information given through media about products, services and organizations with the goal to create a good image for the intended audience. Advertisement through media occurs the most when looking at a way to create awareness. This type of advertisement is communicated through magazines, television, internet and newspapers.

Product Placement

““Product placement is the paid inclusion of branded products or brand identifiers through

audio and/or visual means within mass media programs” (Karrh, 1998, p. 33). The brand is promoted in a good way through various media such as films, books, videos and television serials which have high amounts of viewers. By placing product advertisement within the cultural production, this can reach the business with its wished brand awareness.

Guerrilla Marketing

According to Maps of World (2013), guerrilla marketing is about investing time, energy, and in particular imagination into a campaign, instead of primarily money.

‘'Guerrilla tactics use unconventional communications, often in unexpected places, and focus on low-cost strategies that make a high-impact impression''. Guerrilla marketing can be seen as a different method of marketing, where low-cost channels are used to create awareness among the potential consumers.

Online marketing communication

The internet is now used to convey information. Businesses increasingly use email marketing, internet marketing and digital marketing, this is seen as online marketing (Tadema, 2012). All these methods are used to increase awareness. Various objectives can be achieved more easily with online marketing than with traditional marketing. The internet has simplified the connection between companies and their clients. The middleman or shop servant will be less necessary. This will make the process of marketing a cheaper and a more efficient method than traditional marketing (Darryn, 2016). Therefore, online marketing communication will be described in more detail compared to other ways of creating awareness.  

Social media is part of online marketing and has grown immensely into one of the most popular communication methods for businesses. According to CBS (2015), 63% of the businesses use at least one source of social media in their communication. In appendix 10.3 a graph of the outcome of the research of Davey (2014) can be found. It shows that 91% of the businesses in the sector Consumer Goods & Retail use social media as a way to raise brand awareness.

Social media takes care of social engagement; it is the interaction between people and brands on social networks (York, 2015). Davey (2014) has indicated that social media is a very effective marketing channel for B2B marketers. His research is based on a survey of 115 marketing specialists in B2B roles. Davey found that in communication there are four different priorities. Namely, strengthen thought leadership, deepen customer relationship (engagement), raising brand awareness and developing a brand position.

Furthermore, research indicated the most important channel for raising brand awareness is social media, as explained above. Secondly, website development, 79% of all marketing specialists' participants claim website development is an effective marketing channel. Thirdly, search engine optimization, SEO is considered to be an important factor in raising brand awareness. On the fourth and fifth place all participants indicated that they find e-mail marketing and online videos important in raising brand awareness for their business. (Davey, 2014)

The research of Ahmad (2015) shows that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are mostly adopted by B2B in 2014. The graph of Ahmad's research is shown in appendix 10.3. Appendix 10.4 shows that one of the biggest benefits of social media according to Ahmad is creating exposure for a particular brand. Secondly, the increase of online traffic is a big benefit of social media. Both benefits increase awareness of a brand. 'Social media is effective in meeting their objectives, from building thought leadership to deepening customer relationships.'' (Davey, 2014, p1). Davey (2014) claims that LinkedIn and Twitter are both highly effective for creating brand awareness. 89% of the LinkedIn users say they use their platform to expand their network and develop their business. The discussed literature indicates digital marketing and therefore also social media are effective for raising brand awareness. However, opinions differ on the level of effectiveness.

In 2015, the Content Marketing Institute surveyed 3,714 marketers from around the world about content and other digital marketing successes (Delzio, 2016). The results of this survey indicate the recent insights on the effectiveness of social media marketing. 93% of the B2B marketers and business owners participated in this research claimed to use paid social media. 52% use promoted posts and 51% use sponsored ads. B2B marketers claim search engine marketing tactics like pay per click or paid search advertising are the most effective paid marketing tactics (Delzio, 2016).

Appendix 10.6 shows a graph of the most effective approaches in marketing. This graph indicates the percentage of effective approaches of 2014 and 2015. What is remarkable is that content marketing has increased to be the most effective approach in 2015.

However, content marketing was not in the effectiveness rating in 2014, so the effectiveness of content marketing has increased enormously. The second most effective marketing approach is experiential marketing. On the third place, before any of the traditional marketing strategies comes sponsored social posts. Social media management and content enjoyed the biggest spending growth and performance change in 2015 (Delzio, 2016).

The literature research above shows that in raising brand awareness, online marketing and social media is important. In the B2B market in 2015, the above research indicates Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are important. To maximise the effect of marketing, content marketing must be put in to practice according to the above literature research.

2.6 Measurement of awareness

‘'Increasing awareness is important, this means measuring brand awareness to see what works for your brand and what doesn't. However, brand awareness has always been one of the hardest things to measure'' (Smith, 2015). Smith also indicates that there are different techniques to measure a business and its awareness.

The first one is survey research. Businesses can conduct surveys through e-mail, their website or by phone.  In some occasions, existing consumers are asked how they have heard of the brand.

For example, Pathé Business can create a survey via internet where existing clients can fill in their opinion of their previous experiences with Pathé Business. There is also the possibility to ask a random selected group of people if they are familiar with the brand. The first approach will give you an understanding of how people have heard about you, the second will give you an insight into the number of people that can recall your brand (Smith, 2015).

The second technique to measure brand awareness is to look at website traffic. Website traffic reveals a lot about the search methods of the potential consumers. It is important though, to look at the right places. The direct channels in Analytics track the number of people that actually typed in the URL of the businesses' website or it indicates if one has clicked on a link via an e-mail. It is important to see where these people come from and with what purpose they visited the website. If they type in the URL directly, then they are aware of Pathé Business. Monitoring this over time can give a business an indication of changes in brand awareness.

According to Smith (2015), the third technique is looking at the volume of the data. Google AdWords businesses' can see the volume of searches for the brand name of the business. They can also see where the visitors come from, what they look for, what their language is and how long they spend time on the website. For example, Google AdWords, also indicates if the search volume of website visitors increases when the amount of advertising is increased.  

The final technique is social listening. According to Smith (2015), this is considered to be the most effective technique. This type of measurement shows where potential clients already are talking about the particular brand on social media and other websites. It allows the business to listen to these opinions or statements online. This allows the business to hear the potential consumers' thoughts when they are normally expressed. This prevents one of the problems with surveys, namely the response bias. In surveys there is a possibility that people do not answer unbiased. With social listening, they give their true opinion in most cases.

2.7 Decisional process

This paragraph will explain the decisional process of humans. ‘'A marketer should know that consumer behaviour consists of deciding and making choices. Deciding is a mental behaviour (reflection, deliberation) resulting in observable behaviour: for example, if they should buy something or not.'' (Weber, 2010, p14).

The decisional process of humans according to Robbins and Coulter (2014) is, that the first step is to identify the problem, comparing the current with the intended situation. Step two is the identification of the decisional criteria, which defines what is relevant for a decision.

The third step is to balance the criteria. The fourth step is to enumerate alternatives, the fifth to analyse the alternatives, the sixth sept is to choose an alternative. The seventh step is to implement the decision and transfer it to those who are dealing with the consequences. The final step is to evaluate the decision that is made.

Ultimately, it is important to define what the decisional process so that a business can respond to that in their communication towards clients.

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