Nowadays, there is an endless list of channels and sub-channels marketers can use to deliver messages to their target audience. In fact, the list is continually growing as new channels evolve.
Here are just ten channels that may be used in a marketing campaign:
- Sponsorship Opportunities
- Social Media
- E-mail newsletters
- Pay-per-click advertising
It is imperative that all of this messaging be:
- Aligned to the established goals
- Within the guidelines of the company’s brand
- Integrated to form one cohesive message
Integrated marketing communication refers to integrating all the methods of brand promotion to promote a particular product or service among target customers. In integrated marketing communication, all aspects of marketing communication (packaging, sales promotion, personal selling, point-of-purchase, direct marketing, public relations, advertising, special events, interactive marketing, etc.) work together for increased sales and maximum cost effectiveness.
“One message, one voice, across all contact points“
More precisely, IMC is a strategic business process used to plan, develop, execute and evaluate coordinated, measurable, persuasive brand communication programs with consumers, customers,, employees and other relevant external and internal audiences.
The GOAL of IMC is to generate short-term financial returns and bould long-term brand value through influencing or directly affecting the behavior of the targeted audiences.
In the past lack of integration was more prevalent than today. Many companies treated the various communication elements as virtually separate activities rather than integrated tools that work together to achieve a common goal.
Although Integrated Marketing Communications requires a lot of effort it delivers many benefits. It can create competitive advantage, boost sales and profits, while saving money, time and stress. Using multiple communication tools in conjuction with one another can produce greater results (synergistic effects) than tools used individually and in an uncoordinated fashion. Consistent images and relevant, useful, messages help nurture long term relationships with customers. IMC also makes messages more consistent and therefore more credible. This reduces risk in the mind of the buyer which, in turn, shortens the search process and helps to dictate the outcome of brand comparisons.
THE ROLE OF IMC IN BRANDING
MarCom affects brand development and management in five important ways:
- Information and persuasion
- Introduction of new brands and extensions
- Building and maintaining brand loyalty/brand equity
- Creating an image for tha brand
- Building brand loyalty in the trade channel
IMC PLANNING PROCESS
Developing an integrated marketing communications plan requires: