INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION (IMC)
Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) also referred to as “The New Marketing Communications Paradigm”, which is an emerging concept in the business world today. It's important to recognize that most companies do not utilize these tools effectively. They certainly don't use all the tools in an integrated fashion to maximize synergy. This is of course what IMC is all about, using the best possible mixture of the tools in an integrated fashion where the synergistic effects of the chosen mix are far greater than any of the tools used "stand alone", consequently delivering promotional messages with more intensity and/or more cost-efficient.
According to Schultz, Tannenbaum, and Lauterborn who introduced the new concept in 1993 called Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) they define IMC as “a concept of marketing communication planning that recognizes the added value of the comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a verity of communication disciplines (for example, general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations)…and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.” IMC is today widely acknowledged as the key to superior brand communication.
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.
IMC wraps communications around customers and helps them move through the various stages of the buying process. The organization simultaneously consolidates its image, develops a dialogue and nurtures its relationship with customers.
This “Relationship Marketing” cements a bond of loyalty with customers which can protect them from the inevitable onslaught of competition. The ability to keep a customer for life is a powerful competitive advantage.
IMC also increases profits through increased effectiveness. At its most basic level, a unified message has more impact than a disjointed myriad of messages. In a busy world, a consistent, consolidated and crystal clear message has a better chance of cutting through the 'noise' of over five hundred commercial messages which bombard customers each and every day.
INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLS
Mass media advertising, or the awareness builder, consists of “nonpersonal, one-way, planned messages paid for by an identified sponsor and disseminated to a broad audience in order to influence their attitudes and behaviour.” (Duncan, 2002, p. 506) Advertising is the most common of all the IMC tools and is equal to marketing for many people. It is a very broad tool and the primary objective is to create awareness.
It is most often effective to use advertising (broadcast media) on the front end of an IMC strategy when image and awareness is needed (such as when introducing a new product or service). In some cases, the medium can be used on the back end of an IMC strategy such as when the marketers brand is already highly recognizable and is in fact the cornerstone of the marketing strategy (i.e. Coke or Nike). There are very few companies in the world however that can use broadcast media effectively as a back end brand building strategy (it's just simply cost prohibitive).
Advertising adds value to a brand or company by creating awareness. Creative ideas, information and brand positioning are all ways to create awareness and add value. Advertising is also very cost-effective, it can reach many people per ad making the cost per person relatively low. The company can also decide exactly where and when the advertising will be done, thus having complete control over it.
When utilizing advertising it is hard to pinpoint the target audience making some of it go to waste. It is also a one-way communication; the company sends...
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