Integrated marketing communication appeared following the development of the internet in the world of communication. This media has completely challenged the traditional boundaries of the various fields of marketing and companies have had to adapt, especially in the face of the rise of social networks as well as all the platforms present on the web.
But what is integrated marketing communication?
The goal of the IMC is to generate a better return on investment regarding communication expenses. This requires a strategy that aims to ensure the brand’s presence on several channels by adapting the message to the characteristics of each. These messages are chosen according to the consumer’s perception and his behavior vis-à-vis the brand. Thus, the IMC encourages companies to know perfectly the consumers of the brand they market.
We have moved from unilateral and institutional communication to communication based on customer relations. This evolution and the emergence of web 2.0 have redistributed the cards and made the customer a full-fledged player, since he can now interact with the brand without any difficulty. The latter also expects to receive a different speech depending on the platforms where it is located. Thus, it will not have the same requirements on a social network like Facebook as on an official site.
This change has therefore pushed companies to adapt and to question their functioning; but how build an integrated marketing campaign is the question.
All the work begins with the segmentation of consumers who will determine the most appropriate channel to reach them. The issues will then have to be defined, then a strong theme, which can be adapted to all the communication channels used and which will have to be followed throughout the communication campaign.
Integrated marketing communication therefore requires the company to establish a good strategy in the sense that it must be clear and structured. This is the key to achieving smooth communication that can save time and money.
The tactical part of marketing takes place in what is called integrated marketing communication. Integrated marketing communication is the second part of the marketing mix, alongside product, distribution and price.
Ways to construct an Integrated Marketing Campaign
- Specify the goal of the campaign and bring into line with holistic marketing objectives
- Choose the channels of marketing means that ameliorate to the goal used for campaign
- Generate specific personas for buyers in each channel
- Pick up defined goals and describe the KPI ( Key Performance Indicators ) for each
- Define the coherent messaging and craft adaptable assets
- Ensure hassle-free implementations by assigning channel managers
- Analyze metrics, launch campaign and formulate improvements
Integrated Communication allows the following goals to be achieved:
- Inform consumers of the existence of the product or service
- Remind consumers to continue using the product
- Persuade consumers to use one product over another
- Establish a relationship with consumers
- Communication is not meant to reach consumers only. It can target shareholders, employees, members of distribution channels, suppliers, etc.
What are the IMC strategies and Best Practices
The “external” strategy is to outsource and outsource your marketing plan to another marketing company instead of managing it internally. The “internal” strategy requires internal marketing to involve all staff of any new development, new service standards, etc. In horizontal mode, the IMC brings together different departments that can work on the same initiative, but in different ways. The “vertical” MIF, on the other hand, requires that a product under development conforms to company policy and company structure. This means that the product must be in line with company goals.
The different advantages of IMC
Although IMC requires a lot of effort, it offers many advantages: competitive advantage, increased sales and profits, saved time and money. All of this is achieved through a unified, cohesive message that has more impact than a myriad of disjointed messages. Customers are not bombarded with hundreds of messages every day. You can also distribute the messages over several communication tools to reach more targets and generate interest.
The economy is in constant movement and all the more so since online commerce, which never closes, is increasingly dynamic. At a time when everyone has to prepare for the end of the year celebrations, and buy the last gifts for the children, nieces and nephews, but also think a little about the adults in the family, communication is in full swing. We all receive requests of all kinds: by email, via social networks, by phone, in the form of SMS, or even postal letters.
Communication strategies and dissemination channels
Each company has its preferred communication tools, which are adapted to its commercial targets. Upstream, it is necessary that studies have been carried out to ensure that the mode of advertising chosen would be the most appropriate according to the people targeted, their age, their consumption habits, their use or not of social networks and if so, which ones… For some, everything will be based on emailing and for that they will choose specialized communication agencies. For others it will be more the postal mail and therefore they will need the help of mail routing providers who will manage the marketing operation from end to end.
Some of the Live Examples where IMC has been implemented and been Successful
- Southwest Airline – the objective of IMC was very lucid and specific –promoting the company as a successful airlines provider with no hidden cost and straightforward pricing for the customers. New themes, elements and stories were included since its launch to bolster the campaign and brand message. Some of the IMC strategies include sole landing page, video spots, airport walls doused with billboards etc.
- Old Spice – With an objective to grab attention of youngsters, the campaign switched to rebranding and changed the tagline to “Smell Like a Man, Man”. As a part of the IMC strategy, social media and websites like YouTube, Instagram etc. were targeted and this improved the overall experience over time.