Integrated Marketing Communications
What is the definition of integrated marketing communications?
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) involves incorporating all promotional tools to enable them work together in harmony. Seric and Gil-Saura (2012) define IMC as the concept under which a firm cautiously integrates and synchronizes its numerous communication channels to relay a clear, consistent, and convincing message about the firm and its products. IMC center communications around customers with the intention of assisting them to go through the various stages of the buying process. Organizations endeavour to consolidate their brand images through IMC, whereby they can gain trust from consumers.
Explain five benefits of integrated marketing communications?
To begin with, IMC facilitates firms to earn more profits through improving effectiveness. A clear, consistent, and powerful message can override numerous commercial messages that are thrusted on customers every day through the media. Unified messages enable firms to develop long-term relationships with their customers through collecting feedback, which firms can also utilize to categorize customers in terms of their needs.
Second, IMC can boost sales: the joint message being sent cuts across numerous communication tools to establish more avenues for creating customers awareness, and consequently, making a purchase. Third, IMC contributes toward brand equity by building brand awareness, shaping a consistent brand image in the memory of consumers, and stimulating positive brand judgments (Seric & Gil-Saura, 2012).
Notably, IMC is a cost efficient approach, as it eliminates replication of elements, such as graphics and photography, which can be utilized in advertising, sales literature, and exhibitions. Moreover, agency fees can be avoided, as a single agency is given the mandate to carry out all forms of communications. Even in cases where agencies are many, IMC helps in saving time when making choices of what to buy and provides more opportunities for figuring out the most appropriate marketing tool.
Next, firms can ensure that all their marketing strategies are delivering the same message through the IMC. This would enhance the brand recognition, thus, helping the consumers to remember the brand. By making one’s brand more recognizable, such brands come first in the mind of the consumer whenever they feel the need for such items. This way, IMC creates a competitive advantage by enabling a firm’s products to gain more popularity than the products of the rival firms, and, as a result, expands their customer base. Importantly, integrated marketing helps in developing trust for products and services, as consumers are sceptical of advertising claims. When consumers encounter consistent messages, they tend to believe that what they are being offered is genuine.
What are two important integrated marketing communication initiatives for this year? Explain why you think these are important for marketers.
IMC is grounded in advertising and offers the best way for businesses to manage customer experiences using the latest digital inventions. The two important IMC initiatives for 2017 include the use of social media to enhance branding as well as targeting smartphone users with ads. Social media is an integral part in the brand identity, as it drives audience awareness through engagement. Firms can engage their customers by communicating with them. Customers can reply through likes, comments, re-tweets, as well as sharing the brand through URL clicks (Baasiri, 2016). If the firm has a high engagement rate on its pages, it is likely to increase its sales. In addition, firms can focus on advertising the brand through mobile apps, which can be accessed through smartphones and tablets. Since most customers own smartphones, firms can introduce new brands and be assured of high acceptance.
Baasiri, D. (2016, Dec. 16). How to boost your brand through an effective social media strategy. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2016/12/15/how-to-boost-your-brand-through-an-effective-social-media-strategy/#2000a4457334
Seric, M., & Gil-Saura, I. (2012). ICT, IMC, and brand equity in high-quality hotels of Dalmatia: An analysis from guest perceptions. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 21(8), 821-851. doi:10.1080/19368623.2012.633211