Have you ever felt that you have been marketing your product correctly and still not getting the desired results? Have you thought about what is wrong with your strategy? You might be comfortable in using a couple of conventional channels for promotional purposes. However, what you might not know is that you need to have a 360-degree marketing approach with a consistent messaging idea to strengthen your brand image and effectively ensure utilization of all channels. This concept of carefully integrating your brand’s message in all the channels through a consistent messaging style is the power of integrated marketing communications that brands are leveraging today. Intrigued? Find out more about Integrated Marketing Communication in this guide.
|In this article:
– What is integrated marketing communication?
What is Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)?
It is the process that unites all the marketing channels and interactions into one consistent line of communication across all media channels for an organization or brand. Thus, whether it is advertising, marketing, public relations or business development, the marketing strategy of an organization is seamlessly incorporated within a holistic framework of an organization’s goals and company development.
What are some benefits of IMC?
It unites all the marketing processes, strategies and theories with a concentrated approach for one end goal: to influence the specific target audience of a brand.
Some of the benefits of Integrated Marketing Communication are as follows:
1. Exposure to a larger audience :
Any business wants to convey its brand message through channels where its target group is present. But what if a company has more than one target group or customer persona? Then it needs to convey the same message through different channels. For example, a company’s target audience is both millennials and Gen-X. So, being just on Instagram and promoting its product through the same is not enough. It must reach out to its other target group (gen-x) through newspapers, television ads and radio. While doing so, it exposes itself to a wider group of audience.
2. Better results :
In a conventional marketing framework, different departments maintain separate working, which causes disharmony and inconsistency between the marketing messages sent to the customers at times. However, IMC brings all the departments on one platform and acts as four wheels of a car, working together to go in one direction. For example, if a company announces a new product line through its press, all the social media posts, newsletters, emails, and even the sales team will back this up with one harmonious message.
3. Cost-effective :
All businesses operate to maximize their profits and minimize their costs. Hence, IMC is one strategy that every company should deploy to bring down marketing costs exponentially. No separate photographers, content writers, copywriters, or editors for different media; produce the same message and edit it accordingly to have one unified promotional message with minimum effort and cost. Uncoordinated advertising is a prominent problem that adds to a company’s cost, one thing that can be taken care of by implementing IMC.Better results: In a conventional marketing framework, different departments maintain separate working, which causes disharmony and inconsistency between the marketing messages sent to the customers at times. However, IMC brings all the departments on one platform and acts as four wheels of a car, working together to go in one direction. For example, if a company announces a new product line through its press, all the social media posts, newsletters, emails, and even the sales team will back this up with one harmonious message.
- Set your budget:
It is critical to have a realistic sense of how much you have to spend on your marketing campaigns. After determining your financial plan, you will want to return to it after finishingrest of the steps to fine-tune your budget allocations.
- Strategies and evaluation:
Post allocating the budget, you need to finalize the combination of strategies that will suit your business. However, the process does not end here. Even after deploying the promotional strategy, one must constantly evaluate them to measure the deviations in the desired and actual results. This will help the company effectively assess what steps they can take to minimize the deviations as much as possible.
Expected future trends of IMC
As more companies adopt IMC, innovators constantly make advancements in this field. Some future trends that we can expect to see are:
- Internet of Things (IoT) is described as a network of things, i.e. devices embedded with sensors and software and connected via the internet. Companies have started capitalizing on this technology to opt for more omni-channel strategies. Consumers now communicate with your brand via smartphones, watches, fridges, and more!
- Set your budget:
- Augmented Reality:
It is a blessing for any company and retail companies have made the most out of it. Augmented reality is an interactive way for users to see the product (visualize) in real dimensions online. Companies like Ikea have used it in dire times like Covid when people could not visit its stores to check out the furniture face-to-face. Ikea allowed users to test its products in real-time through Apple iOS 11’s ARKit technology. The free compatible application feature helped users scale products on a 3D level and render them realistically. The app could achieve an accuracy of 98% based on room dimensions, as declared by the company’s official press release. A similar trend will follow in integrated marketing communication in 2022.
In Gladly’s report, more than 86% of customers expressed that they expect conversations with agents to move between different channels smoothly. This is proofof the fact that IMC is no longer important but is essential for companies to establish their brands in the market. Giants like Coca-Cola and Red Bull are currently using it, but times are not far when even small business owners will make the best use of it.
- Augmented Reality: