What is Integrated Marketing Communications?
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) encompasses a wide variety of online and offline advertising techniques. Marketing communications therefore includes any means by which a company communicates a message directly to the marketplace, or the targeted market in general. In simple terms, marketing communications encompasses direct mail, telemarketing, advertisements in newspapers and magazines, and the distribution of catalogs. Marketing communications involves the process that integrates these messages into the overall marketing mix.
With the aid of well-crafted marketing communications, a brand can create a powerful image in the minds of customers. A number of research studies have indicated that consumers tend to remember brands for a period of time. Therefore, a firm that launches a new product that evokes a pleasant memory for the user will be able to enjoy a longer, promotional run than one that fails to elicit such a positive association. Research has also indicated that advertising is more effective as it tends to build brand loyalty.
The importance of marketing communications in promoting a brand can never be underestimated. Such communications help to shape the perception of a consumer regarding a particular brand. Thus, a firm that adopts an aggressive stance when launching new products will likely suffer a loss of revenue if its campaign is perceived to be arrogant or impatient. Similarly, a firm that launches multiple television commercials in a short period of time may fail to realise the impact it has on customers if the messages are construed to be too cackling or overbearing.
An innovative way of carrying out marketing communications is through the establishment of communication channels that co-relate with each other. This co-relation helps to provide an easy reference point for all users of the same brand. For instance, a single webpage can be used to advertise a range of products, whereas separate web pages can be used for each different product category. Such a system will allow a firm to build up a strong foundation for building up brand loyalty through the frequenting of its website by potential consumers.
What is also important is the timeliness with which information and details of a campaign are released. The frequency with which certain pieces of information are released must be carefully monitored so as to ensure that consumers are not left in the dark on important updates. In addition, the timing of each piece of information must also be sensitive enough to not overshadow previous and current pieces of information. For example, a company that is about to launch a television commercial might want to wait until it is just as the ad is being aired so that a barrage of negative comments can be focused on the new product launch. Similarly, a firm that is about to launch a new range of consumer goods may want to release the details of the campaign just before the launch date so that a barrage of articles can be written to answer any questions that consumers may have.
In conclusion, what is integrated marketing communications is a concept that allows companies to create communication channels that are built on past successes and current trends. These communication channels should be designed to highlight the uniqueness of your brand while building upon past branding successes and performance. Additionally, they must be designed to ensure a consistent level of messaging across all communication channels. This ensures that consumers will receive consistency when it comes to the messages that they are exposed to regarding the products and services that a firm wishes to promote. It also allows them to understand how to interpret the messages that are being broadcasted by their competitors.