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Integrated Marketing Communication Boosts Marketing Cost-effectiveness
Mary Lou Denny / BUILDER / February 5, 2013
In this era of media fragmentation, the old ways of marketing your product don’t make the grade. Today, you must be able to reach your customer in different ways, weaving them together into a cohesive whole. This is where integrated marketing communications (IMC) comes in. In an IMC plan, various marketing efforts come together in seamless fashion, presenting customers with a tone and style that reinforces your brand message. Here’s how to do it correctly.
IT’S ALL ABOUT CONSISTENCY
The success of IMC hinges on the consistency of your marketing communication across a variety of channels, including advertising, public relations, marketing, sales promotions, events, online communication and social media like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Each should have the same look, feel, tone and visual cues as all other components in the mix. A customer should be able to recognize it’s your company with just a glimpse of an online ad or LinkedIn Company page. Share this>
SUCCESS WITH IMC ISN’T AS EASY AS A-B-C
Because IMC plans tend to have many moving parts, creating an integrated marketing communication plan that meets your brand strategy is not easy. Still, some companies have done a great job with their IMC endeavors. QuickTax is a software program that touts customers “Get Every Penny They Deserve” on every form of communication. An IMC plan works well for Forrester Research, whose CMO Dwight Griesman is on record asserting customers seek and expect consistent experiences across all their touch points with a company.
These steps can help you produce a results-driven IMC plan:
* Based on your overall corporate marketing goals, determine your target markets, emphasizing benefits you believe your product or service offers to each market.
* Next, outline your IMC plan and the channels it will employ from start to finish. Then flesh out each step in the plan as thoroughly as possible.
* Note the marketing channels you will use, including your website, advertising, marketing collateral, online marketing, trade shows, sales promotion and more. Decide how you can give them a consistent tone and feel.
* Identify the target budget for your IMC plan in its entirety, and how much of that budget you propose allocating to each marketing channel.
* Establish the goals you intend the IMC plan to achieve, and how you will measure its success. Measurement may include monitoring such metrics as website visits and public relations impressions.
A total integrated marketing communication plan should be more effective than the sum of its parts, executed individually.
Read “Integrated Marketing Communications: Then and Now” by Steve Olenski, in Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/marketshare/2012/05/31/integrated-marketing-communications-then-now/2/
Make sure you have the plan that gives you the edge over your competition. You will be ahead of the game.