What is Integrated Marketing Communication?
Integrated Marketing Communication or IMC is a marketing strategy that aligns and interconnects the various platforms and communication channels to create a singular branding message. Through the use of an IMC approach towards marketing, a brand can achieve a variety of competitive advantages.
The IMC approach is targeted towards achieving maximum brand awareness through marketing channels such as advertising and content creation. Larger brands use it to retain their business persona. While smaller businesses use it to create an impact in the market.
Importance of IMC
Let’s discuss the importance of an IMC approach towards marketing and its various tools and challenges as well.
It allows for tapping into a larger audience base by creating a singular brand message through various mediums. And, all marketing platforms can integrate this singular message in their own content.
IMC is the best way to increase brand awareness among target groups. Blending of multiple tools to create effective messages is an effective way to achieve this. Moreover, there is a huge range of IMC based campaign tools that a brand can use.
Integrated marketing messages can provide a long-term relationship between the customer psyche and the brand. So, this can be immensely helpful for beginner brands in creating a solid and loyal customer base.
Integrated Marketing Communication Tools
The following are the integrated marketing communication tools that can be integrated into any marketing campaign to give it a 360 degree approach.
Advertising makes use of multiple platforms and media channels to present the brand message. Thus, by using the IMC approach in advertising, you can advertise a singular brand message across different classes and social groups to achieve maximum reach. Since this is one of the most expensive forms of marketing, an IMC approach can provide the best ROI as well.
For any form of sales promotion, such as a giveaway or a contest run through an IMC approach, you can achieve a greater short term branding success. The sole purpose of sales promotions is to draw attention towards a particular product or brand. Thus, you can add this with a singular branding message that provides insight into the brand values.
With the help of personal selling, you can highly customize customer and salesperson interactions to provide maximum customer satisfaction. Later stages of marketing make heavy use of personal selling techniques. So, an IMC campaign can help plan these techniques as well.
A brand often conducts workshops, competitions, and other events to promote their presence. In such cases, the usage of a singular communication platform that incorporates all the aspects of the brand is the best means of reaching out to the target markets.
An IMC based email marketing campaign can generate brand awareness alongside leads. This holds true for other forms of direct marketing such as telecalling as well. So, with the help of an IMC based approach in targeted marketing, you will be able to generate brand awareness regardless of lead quality.
Social Media Marketing
Social media based communication is one of the primary ways through which a brand should reach out to its target markets. An IMC strategy will ensure that all social media based content carries the core branding message.
Smartphones and other smart devices are a perfect way to market a brand to the new generations. Thus, by creating an integrated approach you can present core brand values through mobile marketing.
Barriers to Integrated Marketing Communication
Lack of Resources
The primary reason businesses are unable to pull off an integrated marketing campaign is the lack of resources. We need marketing experts and managers to pull off such a process, which most businesses do not possess or are unlikely to train for. Moreover, the entire process needs to be based on a highly accurate calendar. And, a central communication will need to be managed by trained executives.
The upper management needs to ensure proper planning of all the resources and support based services for the marketing campaigns. An IMC based marketing approach is only possible when the brand has a strong upper management layer.
Many firms and businesses need to be in sync in order to run an integrated campaign. However, since the current corporate culture does not promote such efficient levels of communication, most campaigns are more than likely to fail.
Sometimes companies need to simplify their message and turn down the creativity levels in order to launch and integrated marketing campaign.
Examples of IMC
These two successful IMC campaign examples will surely boost up your decision:
The hashtag is perhaps one of the strongest modern tools of marketing. The Canadian clothing brand Leo Brunnet used it to its maximum effectivity through an IMC approach. The hashtag #LikeAGirl opposes the common sexist slur used towards women and they presented it primarily through a marketing video the brand made.
However, each piece of product they made henceforth carried the slogan in one way or another and it was also a part of all their marketing campaigns. And, this provided the brand with an awareness boost like no other. This integrated campaign not only also received generated 85 million views across the globe and won the D&D award under several categories.
Domino’s took the concept of fast food to another level with this integrated marketing campaign. This allowed people to order from their closest Domino’s outlet even via a text message or a tweet. They set up a webpage anyware.dominos.com that provided all details regarding the campaign. And, this served as their primary communication node. All of their products and campaigns were to lead people towards this website and it received over 500,000 hits. Various advertisements followed it, and the brand was able to digitalize almost 50% of its orders.