The second PBL trigger was about IMC. IMC as a concept was quite new to me, and the case seemed interesting. The learning objectives that we decided last time were:
- What is IMC and what is its purpose?
- What are the elements of a successful IMC?
- Search an example of a good/bad IMC. Why do you (dis)like them?
I started my studies by looking for good definitions for IMC.
- IMC stands for integrated marketing communications, and it is a process for planning, executing & monitoring the brand messages that create customer relationships. IMC is basically communication process with stakeholders where all different marketing channels are connected and used together in marketing and campaigns. The purpose of IMC is that it creates brand value and long term relationships with customers. IMC is the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, and sources within a company into seamless program that maximizes the impact on consumers and other end users at a minimal cost.
Sources: http://www.slideshare.net/nbairstow/the-role-of-integrated-marketing-communications & http://teamkuhner.com/2011/09/20/integrated-marketing-communication-imc/
The goal of IMC is to build brands that are well known and liked (and more likely to purchased) -> which leads to greater profit margins. IMC provides a greater brand differentiation, accountability within a firm, trust among consumers and levels of effectiveness in cutting through message clutter than single strategies. 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 organisation simultaneously consolidates its image, develops a dialogue and nurtures its relationship with customers.Currently in a highly competitive and fragmented market, where information technology and electronic commerce are in continuous development, a business cannot fail to have good strategies Integrated Marketing Communication. It is one of the keys to success of a company, whether multinational or SMEs.
Sources: http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/intro_Promotion.html & http://multimediamarketing.com/mkc/marketingcommunications/ & https://sitesmatrix.com/blog/imc-integrated-marketing-communication/
The IMC Circle picture below describes the key elements of IMC. Source: https://sitesmatrix.com/blog/imc-integrated-marketing-communication/
2. One of the most important elements of successful IMC is advertising in different channels like media, website, email, social medai etc. Knowing your target audience is important and understanding your customers (demographics, attitudes, behaviour, decision process).
One of the most important element of IMC is consistency in the different forms of communications. The copy style and content should be consistent across all media. When prospects read an advertisement, visit a website, pick up a leaflet or take a call from a telemarketing specialist, they should perceive the same product descriptions and benefit statements in each communication. You can design the consistency by using the same colors, photographs and other visual elements helps to reinforce the important campaign messages and links the various campaign elements together. As an added bonus, design consistency can help reduce campaign costs by specifying standard elements and reusing visual material across all media.
Reinforcement is another key element. Integrated marketing communication ensures that all the elements of a marketing campaign work together to achieve objectives and deliver results. A campaign to improve sales through a retail network, for example, would include retailer training guides, templates for local advertising and direct marketing, sales incentives for the retailer sales force, and advertising that drives business to the retail network.
Another important element is sales alignment. In business-to-business marketing, the purchasing process can be lengthy and complex, involving many different decision-makers and influencers. Integrated marketing communication helps sales teams to provide the information that decision-makers need at each stage of the purchasing process. In a typical scenario, the buying team establishes its requirements, prepares a specification and short list of potential suppliers, evaluates proposals, and makes a final assessment of the most suitable suppliers. An integrated campaign aligns the communication program with the purchasing process at each stage to ensure success.
Sources: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/elements-integrated-marketing-communication-56352.html & https://sitesmatrix.com/blog/imc-integrated-marketing-communication/
In good IMC, target audience is defined and best channels to reach them as well. Basic communication channels in IMC include:
- Above the Line: Radio, Film, Magazines, Press, Outdoor and Internet (Mass Media)
- Below the Line: Groups actions of Direct Marketing, Public Relations, Sponsorship, Promotions, POS, Product Placement
3. The best IMC example was Absolute Vodka’s Unique Access campaign. Absolut Vodka is the most recognizable bottle in the world, and they have made 1500 different adds of one bottle, which makes the brand and their IMC very interesting.
What made this IMC campaig good was that it is a case of the first WhatsApp campaign to communicate the exclusive Absolut Unique launch party in Argentina. The campaign has combined advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion and modern marketing in social media besides the actual event in very inventive way and directly connecting with their target audience.
Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozFLRwzyO6Q