One of the foremost important aspects of advertising and promoting a product or service is consistency. Companies make sure the consistency of their message by coordinating all of their promotional activities.
This coordination of activities into a system or strategic plan is referred to as integrated marketing communications (IMC). IMC creates a unified message and enhances the effectiveness of reaching the target consumer. Firms will create one message which will be used consistently throughout a marketing campaign. it’s important that the promotional strategy even be in alignment with the organizational goals.
There are three major aspects of an IMC plan: research, creative aspects, and therefore the implementation. Research and analysis are accustomed find the simplest thanks to design the merchandise or service, the foremost effective message and media to use, and therefore the best means to distribute the merchandise or service at the optimal price. The creative aspect is that the actual advertising, copywriting, and designing of promotional materials.
Implementation is that the act of putting the plan together, creating a method, and seeing it through.
Planning an integrated marketing communications plan also means finding your target market; determining what’s unique about the product offering or service you’re providing; constructing a positioning strategy for your product or service (building a mental niche in relation to competitor products or services); deciding what the most effective message would be for your product; and selecting the optimal marketing mix in relevance your allowed marketing budget.
As an example of IMC, suppose Nike comes up with a promotional “Just do it” campaign targeting female athletes for its printing operation of women’s athletic shoes. Marketers will do their research to seek out what media female athletes use, what time they watch television, what programs they watch, and what varieties of advertising messages they respond to. Then Nike will create the promotional materials and ads.
They learn what’s important about the athletic shoes women wear. Nike may have TV and magazine ads featuring women athletes doing extraordinary things. they’ll also sponsor a women’s sporting event such as women’s NCAA basketball or hold a contest for a follower to spend a day training with the U.S. women’s soccer team. The message would be clear and consistent: Nike cares about female athletes and supports women’s athletics.
Ideally, an efficient IMC campaign will differentiate the merchandise or service from a competitor’s; generate a flow of leads (which are the predecessors to sales); be in step with and support the general branding strategy; cause the corporate to possess a more prominent place in the market; communicate the company’s experience and knowledge; and help to retain existing customers.