An Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications.
“In a world full of problems, be somebody’s solution provider”- Every marketer’s core value and effort is directed towards executing this statement, but why do some of them fail to deliver it?
Traditionally, marketing campaigns are preceded by a unique Branding idea which is pivoted into a multi-channel approach and succeeded by a Sales enablement plan. Today, with the digital world we live in, and the millennial generation that is just beginning to explore their likes and dislikes, integrated marketing, synchronised across platforms, most importantly with solid content strategy at its heart, is the best way forward in order to achieve your marketing goals.
Having a solid understanding of the customer, taking the responsibility that comes with creating viral content, and having historical data from previous experience is the base of how one chooses the right integrated marketing communications agency. For young and startup brands, employing an IMC would be much more effective both on performance and on cost factors. In a crowded marketplace, how do you stand out to your customer, what is the customer looking to experience? This is where successful Integrated Marketing Communication becomes essential for a brand’s success.
Marketing campaigns, across different organizational hierarchies, as a part of today’s tech-savvy generation, have surpassed the finite channel approach, resulting in a blend of traditional and modern approaches through a multi-campaign strategy.
What Is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated Marketing is all about conceptualizing a strategic marketing approach, offering a seamless, consistent, interactive and valuable brand experience delivered through multi-marketing channels.
Let’s have a look at one of the most iconic brands – Apple.
It’s a well known fact that Steve Jobs spent a considerable time in India before he went back to the United States and created the most famous company in our modern history. What’s so unique about Apple? What makes it one of the most enviable and followed brands in the world? They do this by thinking global and acting local. Apple has very carefully kept its community close, it is always evolving and changing, adding innovation and thinking through the eyes of the customer. The integrated marketing communication strategy originates from the very soul of the brand – its name and logo. Above all, Apple inspires you to do better, this is applied to all areas of the marketing mix.
Apple has an edgy and simplistic strategy to make products that are easy to use and understand backed by sophisticated technology. Their entire effort has been laid on making the user experience as seamless and futuristic as possible with a tinch of innovation introduced at every launch event! The Apple Keynote is one of the most awaited events
Why Integrated Marketing Communication?
Integrated marketing communications is a way of looking at the whole marketing process from the eyes of the customer – Philip Kotler
The core purpose of an integrated approach to marketing is to offer a blend of awareness, engagement, motivation/inspiration, and entertainment in order to convince buyers to make a connection with the personality, values, and offering of the company, brand product, or service.
In order to generate leads and conversions, your campaign goals need to be SMART ( simple, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). While building your brand image, in order to develop resonance and authenticity in the heart and mind of your customer, ensuring a unified, targeted, and 360-degree approach is desirable in the long run for optimal results.
An Effective Integrated Marketing Is Inclusive Of the:
- Revolves around a strong, focused brand image.
- Communicates through a clear, concise and consistent voice.
- Maintains a consistent look and feel across all media.
- Utilizes traditional and digital media to promote the brand.
- Result oriented and customer centric approach benefitted through data driven or performance marketing in the digital space.
Components Of Integrated Marketing Communications
Since IMC is an amalgamation of a variety of digital and traditional channels, these channels can be classified as-
In this form of media, the advertiser or marketer shall pay a certain sum of money for raising brand awareness across channels through advertising. It is inclusive of :
- Offline Advertising through radio, newspapers, billboards, pamphlets, magazines, journals, hoarding.
- Direct Marketing through face to face or door to door marketing for an interactive and engaging buyer experience.
- Online Display Ads and Programmatic Ads- is an automated, real-time bidding process that purchases an ad inventory for you, allowing you to advertise to specific users in specific contexts, which results in hyper-targeted, super-effective ads.
It refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts such as word of mouth, reviews, news coverage, likes, comments, shares and mentions.
- Content Marketing– Organic form of marketing is driven by content across website, social media, review sites, ecommerce sites for attracting audience naturally to increase viewership for effective leads and conversions.
- Public Relations- While building brand identity, Public Relations is crucial to foster a relationship between the audience and the brand which can be either positive or negative deliberately, to encourage widespread awareness and loyal customers.
- Influencer Outreach- Influencers as thought leaders, have taken over social media marketing for endorsements and product placements of brands across industries. They have an influential role to play on a micro and macro level for their loyal set of followings, fueled by their skills and knowledge driven through personal interests.
It is inclusive of the digital marketing channels such as website, social media, online and telephonic customer service, that the brand itself controls and maintains from a standpoint of individual brand identity.
- Email and Mobile Marketing- As users register or subscribe on a website through their email or contact details, they are bound to receive promotional content in the form of discounts, offers, and educational content in the form of newsletters, guides, ebooks, magazines to stay updated with the brand.
- Website and Social Media presence- Home for every brand to feature their product/services, upcoming innovations or events, promoting community building, discounts and offers, and much more for a valuable online store experience.
In conclusion, branding and marketing effort throughout is a cyclical processes of devising and withdrawing campaigns back and forth. However, their effectiveness lies in timely measurements of results for optimizing future campaigns with the right agenda and approach.