What Is Integrated Marketing Communications
What is integrated marketing communications - Professional communication has grown increasingly difficult, not only as a result of advances in technology, social media, and the necessity to engage with a worldwide audience, but also as a result of the fact that "communication" means different things to different people.
Furthermore, because there is so much overlap between the various aspects of communication, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to the tasks and responsibilities of today's communicators. As a result, gaining a clear knowledge of communication roles and how they work can be difficult for communicators, clients, and audiences.
Integrated marketing communication (IMC) was first introduced in the 1980s and has since revolutionized the way communicators and marketers engage and conduct business (Schultz and Schultz, p. 19). "A planning process meant to ensure that all brand contacts received by a consumer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent across time," according to the American Marketing Association.
The practice of delivering information to wide sectors of the population through television, radio, and other media dominated marketing prior to the advent of integrated marketing communications in the 1990s. It was a one-way street for marketing. Consumers' needs, tastes, and values were ignored as advertisers broadcasted their offerings and value propositions.
In many cases, because there were no means for measuring sales performance, this "one size fits all" approach was expensive and uninformative. However, when single-source technologies such as store scanners advanced in terms of gathering and analyzing consumer data, marketers were able to better link promotional activities to customer buying habits. In addition, businesses began to reduce their operations and increase the amount of marketing work they did within their organizations. All marketing functions, not just advertising, were expected of advertising agencies, and they were expected to comprehend and provide all marketing functions for their clients as well.
Typically, the IMC process begins with a marketing communications plan that outlines the many marketing, advertising, and sales tools that will be employed during the campaign. These are mostly promotional methods, ranging from banner adverts and search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to webinars and blogs. Newspapers, billboards, and magazines are all examples of traditional marketing communication tools that can be used to educate and persuade customers. To develop a strong brand-consumer relationship, marketers must also decide on the best combination of traditional and digital communications for their target audience. Marketers must ensure that their messaging is consistent and trustworthy across all platforms, regardless of the brand's promotional mix.
Consumers are sometimes overwhelmed by the large amount of advertisements flooding both online and offline communication platforms, as there are so many items and services to select from. If marketing messages aren't relevant to the needs and wants of consumers, they're more likely to be neglected.
One of the most significant advantages of integrated marketing communications is that it allows marketers to successfully and clearly express their company's story and messaging across a variety of channels in order to raise brand awareness. Consumers are more inclined to connect with businesses through numerous forums and digital interfaces, making IMC more cost-effective than mass media. Marketers are attempting to combine several exposures to their brands through different touch points as consumers spend more time on computers and mobile devices. Companies will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of their communication strategies as a whole, rather than as individual pieces.
Another advantage of integrated marketing communications is that it gives businesses a competitive advantage when it comes to increasing sales and profits. This is especially effective for businesses with a restricted marketing budget and a small or mid-sized team. IMC immerses customers in the process of buying and guides them through the many stages of the transaction. Throughout the exchange, the company consolidates its image, establishes a discourse, and nurtures its relationship with customers at the same time. Creating a frictionless shopping experience that encourages clients to stay loyal for the rest of their lives is something IMC can help with.
Integrated marketing communications, as previously stated, can be utilized in conjunction with five main forms of communication. Advertising, direct marketing, online marketing, sales promotion, and public relations are examples of these.
The goal of integrated marketing communication is to guarantee that the brand positioning and values are in sync, resulting in a consistent message across all communication channels, delivered in a unique tone that distinguishes products.
The Coca-Cola Company is a good example of how to use the IMC strategy. Print advertising, banner ads, and television advertising are the most common tactics used. It's as a result of their blatant marketing. What's more, Coca-Cola is the first soft drink company to enter this market (Hartlaub, 2015).