What is the final purpose of the marketing endeavors of a company? For sure, it is driving up revenues, building brand awareness, and optimizing market share. Integrating Marketing Communications do this effectively by offering a holistic approach to all your marketing communication. In IMC or Integrated Marketing Communications, all the traditional and digital marketing efforts get channelized in an integrated fashion to convey a consistent message to get more favorable outcomes at lesser investments in comparison to the isolated marketing efforts.
Incorporating Integrated Marketing Programs in your organization’s strategy will empower you to consolidate all your business and marketing communication with your audiences and stakeholders under a single branding theme. In this way, all your ads, PRs, promotions, online ads, etc. will be part of a holistic branding message.
The cohesiveness of all the branding communications lets your clients and audiences feel that your brand is a trustworthy one. So, if you also want to incorporate IMCs in your branding and marketing strategies, then this post will help you understand what Integrated Marketing Communications are and their adept implementation in a detailed manner. So, let us get started right away-
What are Integrated Marketing Communications?
Suppose you are trying to figure out a company’s motto or a brand’s message.
You receive different signals/messages from various departments/team members, say the sales department says one thing and the marketing department says another.
What would you do?
Don’t worry, because most of the company works on IMC, integrated marketing communications.
Integrated marketing communications ensure that the people receive the same messages/signals from every department/team of the company.
Integrated marketing communications incorporate a strategy meant to ensure an interconnected approach to the marketing department’s different functions.
It enables companies or organizations to identify the most befitting and impactful ways for communicating and developing relationships with their customers and clients along with their different stakeholders like employees, investors, suppliers, interest groups, the general public, etc.
Why are Integrated Marketing Communications important?
IMC is an approach to create a seamless and unified experience for consumers to interact with the enterprise. It is meant to ensure that various departments, such as sales promotion, social media, public relations, direct marketing, etc., work together as a united force.
It integrates all these departments using various methods and tactics to influence the buyer’s decision-making.
This integrated marketing communication concept was introduced in the 1980s and has since dramatically changed how marketers communicate and conduct business. It helps the enterprises ensure that their various teams approach the buyers through all the necessary and best-suited channels with the same message.
Companies incorporating Integrated Marketing Communications send messages to customers and other stakeholders by using different channels of their marketing endeavors. Because of this cohesive and consistent marketing, target audiences make their inferences about a product on various grounds like appearance, pricing, design, performance, customer support, distribution, etc.
For instance, if a product is offered at a high price, it might symbolize its top-notch quality to customers in the same way as the packaging, designing, shape, brand name, logo, store interiors, and exteriors do.
The consistent messaging via all marketing communications empower a brand in having a more effective, credible, recognizable, and sustainable market presence.
Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications
A brand is very likely to resonate with its potential audience if it approaches them through best-suited channels, at proper intervals and duration, and with engaging content.
Without integrated marketing communication, the audience receives a disjointed brand experience, which is very off-putting. The following are some other reasons as to how integrated marketing is so important and beneficial:
1. It helps you reach a larger audience
Suppose you are advertising via posters on a cab, then you are most likely to miss out on the audience who travel by metros. So, it is crucial to reach out to the potential audience via all the suitable channels. Integrated marketing communication ensures this.
2. It increases revenue:
Integrated marketing communication as a strategy is meant to bring more audience to you, which naturally means more revenue generation.
How to Develop Integrated Marketing Communications
1. Choose the marketing communication method that best suits your interest
It is crucial to determine which method is best for you. Keep your target audience in mind and find out how they wish or prefer to receive information. Once you do this, you can quickly figure out which channels are best suited for your campaign.
- Content marketing: Make it online! Through blog posts, pop-up ads, video marketing, etc., you can connect with potential buyers and help them learn more about your enterprise even before the beginning actual decision-making process.
- Email marketing: Re-engaging with your old audience/customers is as important as gaining a new one. A loyal customer is likely to recommend you to others, and a personal invitation by a trustworthy friend is way more effective than any advertisement. You can re-engage with your existing customers/audience via email. Tell them about any new offer, or greet them, reminding your right service/product.
- Social media marketing: In today’s era, it is one of the best places for marketing for undeniable reasons. Of you combine the above two with this, you are very likely to get excellent results.
2. Develop a plan
Once you have chosen the channel that is best suited for you, lay down a proper plan as to how exactly you are going to resonate with your audience/buyers.
This should be based on not only the type of audience but also on the frequency at which you approach your potential audience/customers, creating content/advertisements that the audience is most likely to engage with, etc.
3. Understand and utilize the decision-making process
Most of the customers follow a simple three-step decision-making process: identify a problem, consider the services/products that can be used to overcome it, avail of the best-suited service/product.
You can accompany your target audience in this journey by introducing them to the problem (suppose by a blog upon it) and then making sure that they use your service/product to overcome it by involving effective integrated marketing communications.
4. Time to implement
Now you are ready to go. But make sure you keep a record on the dates your product/service is being advertised and by what means. It is more convenient and better to use some marketing automation software for this purpose.
Lessons of an Integrated Marketing Communications Program
The business has become highly competitive today. Without the efforts of various departments, it is quite impossible to generate good revenue. It is not wise to focus on any single department. If a company wants to maintain a good position in its given industry, it needs to have seamless, effective communication between its departments. It ensures growth in not only the number of audiences but also customer loyalty.
For this growing demand in the field of marketing, many colleges are offering a Masters of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications program. In these courses, graduates are taught how to use their strategic and analytical skills to conduct research and plan strategies to resonate with the audience to produce profit for the company they are working for.
This field of study has a bright future because the competition in the market is increasing day by day. So the brands/companies prefer trained people to execute integrated marketing communications.
It is crucial here to understand that no one channel can ensure victory for a brand. In today’s time, for the brands, it is vital to be at the places where their customers and targets are with a relevant and useful branding message, so each of the interactions becomes pivotal in optimizing favorable outcomes.
Integrated Marketing Communications programs will help you learn how to deliver a productive customer experience via integrated marketing across different marketing channels like online, mobile, social, in-store, outdoor, email, and so forth.
In today’s world of competitiveness, an integrated marketing strategy is what makes a massive difference in marketing. Well planned and well-executed integrated marketing communications can increase your revenues significantly.
This strategy of establishing effective and comfortable communication among various departments of a brand/company ensures that the target audience is approached via suitable channels and at proper timing.
Integrated marketing communications have become so important nowadays that many colleges offer post-graduation courses for the same. Students opting for these courses are very likely to have a bright chance at a job because of this field’s growing demand.
On the concluding note, we would like to hear from you; how would you define Integrated Marketing Communications?