Where integrated marketing communications focuses on the communication and promotions aspects, integrated marketing in turn focuses on the marketing mix of products viz – product, price, place and promotions. The idea behind integrated marketing is that you can customize the offering to a customer based on the segment you are targeting and thereby target various segments individually by making a change in the marketing mix.
The integrated marketing concept can be explained best with reference to the marketing mix. According to integrated marketing concept, all the variables of Marketing mix are dynamic in nature. If you change the product and the price, place and promotions will change. Thus, if you change one variable, the other 3 will change automatically.
Let’s assume that you have a product named X. Now the segment for Product X can be the Sec A segment or Sec C segment. Depending on the segment you are targeting, the product and pricing will vary, the promotions will vary and the place will vary. Thus your offering is not only made of a product or price alone. It is made in an integrated manner and that is why you need integrated marketing activities.
Integrated marketing activities may involve a bunch of individual decisions which change the market offering. These decisions may include increasing the sales force and concentrating more on push than pull, increasing the marketing budget thereby applying a pull force to your products, changing the supply chain to bring out better cost effectiveness and thereby give better pricing to the product or finally to penetrate the market with low pricing and gain a high market share.
Thus there are tons of integrated marketing activities which can be used by a smart marketer and by altering one activity or other, the company can reap benefits.
There are two main factors associated with Integrated marketing.
- Carrying out different marketing activities to communicate and deliver value
- When these marketing activities are co-ordinated, they give the maximum effect.
Integrated marketing is mainly used by a company to fill up a gap presented in the market. Have a look at the introduction of the small car segment. The primary reason for the introduction of small cars is to target the middle class.
If you look at the different components of the marketing mix of small cars, you will find that the product description is different from a Sedan, the pricing is less, because of the amazing response from customers the promotions and marketing budget is high, and the distribution is present even in rural towns and cities.
By altering the marketing mix and targeting integrated marketing, a marketer can touch each and every segment from a population. The same company HUL has shampoos for the low range as well as high range segment. Automobile brands like Honda are known to give products which appeal to the Sec A as well as the Sec B class.
Even Volkswagen, which has entered India is now altering its products so as to match the Indian environment. The way it is doing so is by changing the product and price. The way of distribution and promotions remains similar for Volkswagen.
Thus, a lesson to all marketers. Run your creative juices and think of all the ways you can alter your offering to your customers. Identify a need of the customer and try to fulfill that need. And finally make an integrated offering which gives a customer everything that he wants.