Integrated Marketing Communication
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is a strategic approach to promoting a product, service, or brand through the coordinated use of various communication channels. These channels may include advertising, public relations, direct marketing, sales promotions, and personal selling.
The goal of marketing integration is to achieve consistency in messaging and branding across all channels in order to create a cohesive and effective marketing campaign. By using IMC, companies can better reach and engage their target audiences, ultimately leading to increased brand awareness and sales. It is important for companies to have a clear understanding of their target market and to develop strategies that will effectively communicate with them. IMC allows companies to do this in a cohesive and integrated way.
The Goal of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)
The goal of Integrated Marketing Communication is to effectively coordinate and manage all marketing communication tools, channels, and sources to deliver a clear, consistent, and compelling message to target audiences, with the aim of maximizing the impact and effectiveness of the marketing efforts.
IMC helps to ensure that all marketing communication activities support and reinforce each other, leading to more efficient and effective use of resources, and ultimately, improved business performance.
For example, if a customer sees the advertisement of your product on TV and hears about this advertisement on the radio, and then goes to the website, then he should have a similar experience.
Why Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is Important?
Every organization uses many channels to communicate with its audience. We have come a long way from a small number of “traditional” channels such as TV, radio, newspaper, out-of-home advertising, and mailboxes.
In today’s digital world, it is difficult to keep track of all the media through which you can reach your customers. Focusing on many marketing channels simultaneously is a necessity for companies. Marketing needs a strategic approach so that all these marketing objectives work together. And this is when IMC comes into play.
There are some reasons why marketing integration is important:
- There is a need for consistency in the customer journey.
- IMC helps to create a consistent brand image and message across all marketing channels, which can increase brand recognition and customer trust.
- IMC can help to optimize the effectiveness of marketing efforts by ensuring that all messages and campaigns are aligned and complementary.
- IMC allows for better measurement and tracking of marketing performance, as all efforts can be tied back to a unified strategy.
- IMC can lead to cost savings by allowing for more efficient use of resources and avoiding duplication of efforts across different channels.
- IMC also leads to increased sales and revenue.
Tools of Integrated Marketing Communication
The eight major integrated marketing communication (IMC) tools are as follows:
- Sales Promotion
- Public Relations
- Direct Marketing
- Personal Selling
- Event Marketing
- Online/Digital Marketing
The details of these tools are as follows:
Advertising: Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to purchase or take action on products, services, or ideas. It is a marketing tool that helps companies increase brand awareness and drive sales. Effective advertising campaigns can generate significant returns on investment for businesses. The main advantage of advertising is that it reaches geographically dispersed consumers.
The different media used are print, broadcast, network, electronic, and display.
Sales promotion: Sales promotion is a short-term marketing tactic used to increase consumer demand, boost sales, and encourage the trial of a product or service. It can include discounts, coupons, contests, free samples, and other incentives. Sales promotions are often used as a complement to advertising and personal selling efforts, to provide an added boost during a specific time period. They can be targeted to specific audiences, such as new or lapsed customers, to drive immediate sales.
Sales promotion also helps to attract the attention of consumers and invites them to engage in transactions by giving various incentives.
Public relations: Public relations is the practice of managing the spread of information between an organization and its public. It helps to build and maintain a positive reputation and mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders. Effective public relations can help organizations achieve their goals and objectives, and can help to mitigate negative impacts.
Public relation is two-way communication that monitors feedback and adjusts its message to provide greater benefit. The tool used here is publicity which takes advantage of the news value of the product or service so that the information can be conveyed to the news media.
Direct marketing: Direct marketing is a form of advertising that allows businesses to communicate directly with customers through various channels, including mail, email, and telemarketing. It allows for targeted messaging and measurable results. It’s a cost-effective efficient way to reach specific audiences and increase sales.
Buyers have started relying more on credit cards and online shopping. Due to this, it has become necessary for marketers to contact consumers directly.
Personal selling: Personal selling is a direct form of communication between a salesperson and a potential customer. It involves building relationships, identifying needs, and presenting products or services to meet those needs. It is an effective way to increase sales and boost revenue for a business.
One of its advantages is that the message can be tailored to the buyer’s needs and focuses on building a long-term relationship with the buyer.
Event marketing: Event marketing integration is a promotional strategy that involves creating and hosting events to increase brand awareness and drive sales. This can include trade shows, product launches, and sponsorships. Event marketing allows businesses to connect with customers and prospects in a unique and engaging way, creating a memorable brand experience.
Sponsorship: Sponsorship is a mutually beneficial agreement between a company and an event organization. The company provides financial support in exchange for visibility and exposure to the event’s audience. This can include branding, advertising, and promotions. A successful sponsorship can help a company increase brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Online/ digital marketing: Online marketing refers to the strategies and tactics business use to promote their products or services through the internet. This can include social media, email, and search engine marketing, as well as content marketing and influencer marketing. Effective online marketing can help businesses reach a wider audience and increase their revenue.
New and innovative ways of communication are coming on social media platforms and the future of promotions is proven.
The Examples of Integrated Marketing Communication
- Go Pro
- Domino’s ware campaign
- Spotify wrapped
Go Pro: The first integrated marketing communication example is Go Pro. Go Pro has used IMC components extensively and accurately.
GoPro is a brand of action cameras and accessories that are designed for use in extreme sports and other outdoor activities. The company was founded in 2002 by Nick Woodman, and the first GoPro camera was released in 2006.
Since then, GoPro has become one of the most popular and recognizable brands in the action camera market, known for its high-quality cameras and durable, rugged design.
GoPro cameras are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for capturing footage on the go. They are also waterproof and shockproof, making them suitable for use in a wide range of outdoor and action sports, such as surfing, snowboarding, and mountain biking.
The cameras come with a variety of mounting options, including helmet mounts, chest mounts, and handlebar mounts, which allow users to capture footage from different angles.
GoPro has a strong presence on social media, with millions of followers and fans on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. The company uses these platforms to share user-generated content, tutorials, and promotional material, which helps to promote the brand and build a sense of community among users.
GoPro also offers a range of accessories and mounts, such as tripods, grips, and cases. The company also offers a cloud-based video editing platform, GoPro Plus, which allows users to easily edit, share and access their footage from anywhere.
Domino’s: Domino’s Pizza, one of the world’s largest pizza delivery companies, launched its “Any Ware” campaign in 2015. The campaign aims to make it easier for customers to order pizza through various digital platforms, such as ordering through Facebook, and Twitter, and even through smartwatches and smart TVs.
When you are hungry and that hunger is for pizza, you should eat immediately. If you don’t want to go through endless topping options, enter your payment information, update your current address, and then wait for the delivery.
The campaign also includes the use of Domino’s GPS technology, which allows customers to track their delivery in real-time. The Any Ware campaign has been a success for the company, as it has helped to increase online sales and improve customer satisfaction.
It has also helped to set Domino’s apart from its competitors, as they were one of the first major pizza chains to offer such advanced ordering options. The campaign has been praised for its innovation and convenience and has helped to solidify Domino’s position as a leader in the pizza delivery industry.
This campaign has received more than 2 million impressions on social media. And it has also increased the number of pizza orders that were made through digital devices. As a result, the site received 500,000 visitors and grew by 10.5% every year. These two examples show that IMC components go a long way in benefiting a company’s proposition when used large and well.
Spotify-wrapped: The Spotify-wrapped campaign takes IMC to a new level. Spotify Wrapped is an annual feature launched by Spotify (which was first launched in 2015) Spotify is a popular music streaming platform. Which started with the name “Your Year in Music” and changed its name in 2017.
Spotify unveils listening data to individual users and the public through a brilliantly integrated campaign.
The campaign has two parts:
- Individual Montage: Individual Montage takes users on a journey through their streaming history.
- Funny Billboards & Ads: Funny billboards and ads make cities around the world happy.
The features allow users to see their top artists, songs, and genres, as well as how much time they spent listening to music on the platform.
It also provides a summary of the year’s biggest global trends and insights into the music world. It has become a highly anticipated annual event among music lovers and Spotify users.
How to Create an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) Plan?
If you want to create an Integrated Marketing Communication plan, you need to take these few steps.
- Identify target audience: Determine who you want to reach with your message.
- Define objectives: Clearly state what you hope to achieve with your IMC plan.
- Conduct market research: Gather data on your target audience and the market.
- Develop a unique value proposition: Create a clear and compelling message about what sets your brand apart.
- Determine budget and allocate resources: Decide how much money you want to spend and on what channels.
- Choose communication channels: Decide which channels (e.g. advertising, PR, events) to use to reach your target audience.
- Develop messages: Create consistent and relevant messages for each channel.
- Design promotional materials: Design materials (e.g. advertisements, brochures) that support your message.
- Execute the plan: Implement your IMC plan and use metrics to measure its success.
- Evaluate and adjust: Continuously evaluate and make adjustments to improve the effectiveness of your IMC plan.
The Bottom Line of IMC
The bottom line of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is to align all marketing efforts toward a common message and goal. This approach considers all touchpoints a customer has with a brand, including advertising, sales promotion, public relation, direct marketing, and personal selling.
IMC aims to create a consistent and cohesive brand experience, leading to improved customer relationships and ultimately driving business success. It is important for organizations to have a clear understanding of their target audience and their needs, to effectively communicate the right message through the right channels.
The bottom line of IMC is to increase brand recognition, and customer loyalty and ultimately generate revenue. By combining all marketing efforts, companies can maximize their impact, reducing waste and creating a more efficient use of resources.