The purpose of the essay is to explore integrated marketing communications (IMC), its definitions and issues, and the importance of a target audience within IMC. It also demonstrates the perspectives of integrated brand promotion and the comparison between integrated marketing communications and integrated brand promotion (IBP). All these elements are supported by a number of organizations that are well- known in their industry. this essay provides and discuss some examples Communications Theory helps to understand the audience’s needs, emotions, interests and activities which are necessary to ensure the accuracy and relevance of any message. Simple communications theory shows a sender sending a message to the receiver, who receives and understands it. However, in real life, many messages are simply ignored, misunderstood or fail loss (Multimediamarketing, 2014)
2. Integrated marketing communications (IMC).
IMC is a developing method shown to demonstrate the benefits of marketing communication across all functions of a company that affects customer needs. One of the definitions of IMC is ‘’ the process of managing all sources of information about a product, service to which a customer or prospect is exposed, which behaviorally moves the consumer toward a sale, maintains customer loyalty’’ (Thorson,1996). According to the above definition, integrated marketing communication focuses on behavioral responses from the customer and builds relationships between customer and brand.
Another definition of IMC is “a concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines-for example, general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations-and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communications impact” (Marketing Executives, 2014). This definition mentions some of the components of integrated marketing communications such as advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations.by brining together all these tools, one can achieve an effective campaign. IMC is directed by its use of different medias to send out the message about one product.
2.1 IMC and organizations
The organization can benefit from IMC by consolidating its image, developing a discussion and supporting its relationship with customers. There are many organizations that have been extremely successful and doing excellent jobs of integrating their communication efforts such as Ben & Jerry’s, Nike, The Body Shop, Banana Republic and Apple. These companies established strong brand images by their communication plans which have been an honest outgrowth of their corporate culture (Thorson, 1996). For instance, Guinness is the well-known Irish beer maker that applies the integrated marketing communications strategy. In 2007, it introduced with a campaign that used various media to develop messages and advertisements. Guinness developed ‘Its Alive; this idea extended across all of the communication’s channels.
Also, instead of developing separate messages, communications and marketing campaigns for each type of mass media, it chose to improve one main message to interact with its target demographic, which savs time, money and resources (Marketing Executives, 2014) Another example for a company that uses an integrated marketing communication strategy is The Body Shop which has various values such as being against animal testing, protecting human rights and the environment. However, these values have not been communicated clearly to the target market. As a result, The Body Shop launched a campaigns focused on re-communicating those values more clearly and effectively, such as Love Your Body, Love Your Community (LYBLTC).
2.2 Target audience
Successful business organizations that use integrated marketing communications have their style of reaching target audiences. They can develop and send messages that are valuable and well-presented, which may cause target audiences to express behavioral, attitudinal and emotional responses. For example, in the United Kingdom, O2, a mobile telecommunications company, developed a new campaign called ‘A world that revolves around you.’ The main reason to create this campaign was prepay customers felt neglected.
Approximately 50 per cent of O2’s customers took advantage of the campaign to benefit from the offer of a 10 percent refund of their quarterly top-ups. The target audience could understand the social media mix that was oriented around them. As a result, it created a successful media plan that involved email, SMS, MMS, online chat rooms and brand street events (Thorson, 1996).
3. Integrated brand promotion (IBP)
Recently, more firms try to adopt an integrated brand promotion and avoid focusing on traditional mass media advertising. Integrated brand promotion is ‘’ the use of various promotional tools, including advertising in a coordinated manner to build and maintain brand awareness, identity, and preference’’(O’Guinn, Allen and Semenik, 2003) they mention different promotional tools that have been used instead of advertising, such as event sponsorship, direct marketing, sales promotion, and public relations. However, even though these new methods exist, we still require coordination with the advertising that remains.
For example, Procter & Gamble, the company that started selling soap on the radio successfully shifted to selling soap on television. Today P&G sells many products besides soap. However, P&G’s customers have changed, and new IBP techniques are necessary for its brands. NBC Digital Networks and Starcom Media Vest Group are the partners P&G decided to work with to ensure that its brands are entrenched in the entertainment preferred by its targeted consumers. Additionally, P&G product promotions have moved to the Web like many other marketers by creating an online documentary series for its Pampers brand. P&G’s target audience is the couples who are expected to be prime prospects for P&G’s Pampers brand in the future. Integrated brand promotion tools are always preferred by marketers who directed at their target audiences (O’Guinn, Allen and Semenik, 2003)
4. Integrated marketing communication and integrated brand promotion Integrated marketing communications are often perceived as messages present in different mass media, and integrated brand promotion focuses on building a brand by looking at the purpose of that brand. These is All about identifying how the brand can improve consumer’s lives with its benefits, and create an experience for them that includes services, information, education and entertainment. It can build an entire brand experience. IBP expresses the company vision and its personality by focusing on the brand that is the foundation for integrated marketing communications. Furthermore, IMC and IBP help companies generate more revenue because IMC achieves companies’s objective in increasing the return on marketing spending and IBP can make the brand more appeal and trustworthy (Thorson, 1996).
This essay has examined IMC and IBP definitions, events and issues related to both strategies. Also, it describes the importance of audiences within IMC compared to IBP, and presented some successful industry examples, such as Guinness, The Body Shop, P&G and O2. 1089 words
Thorson, E. 1996. Integrated communication. Mahwah, N. J.: Erlbaum.
Marketing Executives. 2014. Integrated Marketing: What It Is and Why You Should Embrace It – Part 1. [online] Available at: http://www.marketingexecutives.biz/integrated-marketing-what-it-and-why-you-should-embrace-it-part-1 [Accessed: 11 May 2014].
Multimediamarketing.com, (2014). Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). [online] Available at: http://www.multimediamarketing.com/mkc/marketingcommunications/ [Accessed 12 May. 2014].
O’Guinn, T., Allen, C. and Semenik, R. (2003). Advertising and integrated brand promotion. 1st ed. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western.