Briefly explain the concept of integrated marketing communication (IMC). How well has Unilever – (product brand selected) used the main elements of the promotion mix to create an IMC? Justify and support your answer with examples of the various elements used.
Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is quite a simple concept once you understand it. It makes sure that all forms of messages and communications get linked together. So what this actually means is that IMC is used to connect all the promotional tools, so that they can work together in harmony. One major goal of IMC is to send a consistent message to customers. Integrated marketing communications make sure to help an organization with coordination and management of its promotional efforts to make sure that the customers receive consistent messages (Pride, Elliot, Rundle-Thiele, Waller, Paladino, Ferrell, 2007, p.391). When this approach is used, long-term relationship with the customers is created as well the efficient use of promotional resources. The IMC concept has been adapted for many reasons. Mass audience advertising which was a popular promotional method in the past, is not used as much today. The cost is high and the size of the audience is unpredictable. Today marketers can use more precisely targeted promotional tools such as cable TV, mail, internet and special magazines. Database marketing make it allows marketers to target individual customers more precisely (Pride et al, 2007, p.391).
Unilever has created innovative websites for their familiar brands as; Dove, Persil and Vaseline, Lipton, Flora, Ben & Jerry’s and more. Unilever has been famous because of their marketing success in using TV, web and viral strategies. Dove for an example which is a soap brand won a big price at Cannes because of its viral video “Evolution” (Kotler, Brown, Burton, Deans & Armstrong, 2010).
Ben & Jerry’s
In the following section I will explain how Unilever has used the main elements of the promotion mix to create an IMC. The promotion mix consist; advertising, personal selling, public relations and sales promotion. The brand I chosen to use is Ben & Jerry’s, because it’s a popular brand in the world and in Singapore. Most people, young as old love to eat the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, the scoop shops that serve Ben & Jerry’s are always packed with people. In most of the department stores, you can find a separate freeze containing Ben & Jerry’s, so by own experience and research it’s a popular brand, not only because of its taste, but because of the marketing.
Unilever has been successful in doing attractive websites. By doing innovative websites, it’s a perfect medium that can be used to inform, entertain, and persuade the target market to accept an organization’s product or service (Pride et al, 2007, p.406). The Ben and Jerry’s website is one of the advertising strategies that are currently being used. The website is designed just for the target market in Singapore, so the promotions, services and products are only applied in Singapore. They also have an international website, but I put focus on the Singapore site. In the sense of effective advertising the website is a low-cost advertising. The only cost is to keep the website up on the internet comparing with having a TV commercial for Ben & Jerry’s which is expensive. To have a website makes it possible for customers to go back and look for promotions and news about Ben & Jerry’s and read about their products. Another quite common advertising for companies is to put their ads on buses, or at the bus stops. I saw this once for Ben & Jerry’s, I find it clever, because people always stay on a bus stop for several minutes, waiting for the bus. This gives them time to look and read the ads on the bus stop or when the buses stop in front of them.
This part involves direct...