Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is the use of marketing strategies to optimize the communication of a consistent message of the company’s brands to stakeholders. Coupling methods together improves communication as it harnesses the benefits of each channel, which when combined together builds a clearer and vaster impact than if used individually. IMC requires marketers to identify the boundaries around the promotional mix elements and to consider the effectiveness of the campaign’s message.
Integrated marketing communications is a holistic planning process that focuses on integrating messages across communications disciplines, creative executions, media, timing and stakeholders. An integrated approach has emerged as the dominant approach used by companies to plan and execute their marketing communication programs and has been described as a paradigm shift.
IMC combines a variety of marketing and advertising concepts and theories and can be challenging because it has multiple working components.
IMC advantages include:
- Cost containment
- Increased communication between departments and agencies
- Customer satisfaction
- Increased sales of products and services
The Purpose of Integrated Marketing Communication
Integrated marketing communication leads to development and maintenance of a good company-customer relationship.
The strategies employed promote the company’s brands to potential clients convincing them to try out the new brands. The overall effect is that the company enjoys an increased profit margin which is the sole reason for engaging in any entrepreneurial activity.
The Different Types of Integrated Marketing Communication
- External: This is in the event where a company outsources the task of marketing to a marketing firm or a public relations firm. The firms are then tasked to design and develop the most effective strategies for the contracting firm.
- Internal: Internal marketing integration involves the top level management ensuring that the employees are happy and excited about developed new products. This ensures that the workers leak the details prematurely hence exciting prospective customers even before the product hits the target market.
- Horizontal: This contributes to a very crucial part in the development of a product or service. This demands a lot of efficiency between the team tasked to develop and the distribution team as well as the finance team. This open flow of information provides the requisite synergy required to make the strategy a success.
- Vertical: Under this, the strategy demands that the product developed to fit with the corporate policy as well as the structure of the company. This means that the product has to be within the breadth of the company’s mission and goals.
In conclusion, it is safe to employ integrated marketing communication since it has proven to be an ideal tool to reach out to potential customers.
Why Integrated Marketing Is Important?
We all know that integrated marketing is not new, but why is it important in today’s world? There are more marketing channels now than ever before, because of this market channels can be led and directed by different people, integrated marketing strategies help to pull the message together to ensure that the message is not disjointed and confusing. Integrated marketing requires us to pay attention to every marketing message and every marketing piece that is distributed to ensure consistency, regardless of the channel.