Integrated marketing communications is a core strategic activity used to build and sustain profitable relationships with various stakeholders. Customers are a critical target but other audiences such as buyers, designers, retailers, sales assistants, suppliers, etc…. are also important if an organisation is to achieve its sales and marketing objectives.
Marketing communications is about the promotion of a company and the product offered to the customer. This is defined by (Fill, 2002), “This strategy refers to an organisation’s preferred orientation and emphasis of its communications with its customers and stakeholders, in the light of its business and marketing strategies. A marketing communication plan is concerned with the development and a managerial process involved in the articulation of an organisation’s marketing communications strategy”. Marketing communications is the combination of activities centred on the promotional mix, this is made up of the marketing tools such as; –
This helps to inform, remind, persuade, and change attitudes of the consumers. It can also reposition a brand and help to differentiate a product from the rivalling competitors. This is done through T.V., radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, internet, tele-text, pint-of-purchase, packaging, exhibitions and cinemas.
This seeks to offer buyers additional value to the product or service on induction, so as to generate immediate sales. Theses inductions could be coupons, store/loyalty cards, points for pennies, cut-price offers, buy one get one free (BOGOF), spend over a certain amount and get another free/ half price. All these offers are to make consumers act now, rather than later. Therefore it is used to accelerate sales immediately and usually for a short period of time.
This is communication of a company or brand through the use off media such as newspaper journalist. Companies do not have to pay for this publicity and it can generate interest as the journalist is giving a message good or bad (but all publicity is good publicity)to the readers about the organisation or its product.
This communication is face-to-face dialogue between two people or a group of people. A sales assistant will attempt to persuade a customer that their product is the best and most reliable.
This type of communications uses one or more advertising media to create and sustain a personal relationship with customers, potential customers and stakeholders. Technology today such as the internet, allows personal and direct communications with the consumer.
But also a huge part of the marketing communications strategy involves key decisions concerned with the overall direction of the programme and target audience, the desired position of the brand, the resources to be made available, the overall message and goals. Also involved is the investigation of buyer’s behaviour with target audiences. All these areas are dealt with separately within a company that is using a marketing communications strategy. This is where Integrated Marketing Communications comes in, this has been created to combine and coordinate all the marketing tools, avenues, and sources within a company. Thus minimising cost and maximising profit. A more in-depth explanation of this definition must start with the explanation of both integration and marketing communications.
Instead of traditional communication strategies based on mass communication, delivering generalised messages, to one based on personalised customer orientated and technology driven approaches, and this is referred to as integrated.
DEFINITION OF INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC)
Stated by (Fill, 2002) “This is the management process which is associated with the strategic development, delivery and dialogue of consistent messages that...