UNDERSTANDING INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION (IMC) Prior research has revealed numerous topics relevant in the study of integrated marketing communications and how marketer should best handle the IMC process in order to develop truly integrated communication programs (Cook 1997; Kitchen and Schultz 1999; Schultz and Kitchen 1997). Schultz and Schultz (1998) defines IMC as a “strategic business process used to plan, develop, execute and evaluate coordinated, measurable, persuasive brand communication programmes over time with consumers, customers, prospects and other targeted, relevant external and internal audiences. The IMC can be represented as what Jenkins calls the “Theorists Tetrahedron” or “Problem Pyramid” as shown below: The four variables form the pyramid and each variable has certain factors. Each edge of the pyramid represents two-way interactions between factors and the whole of tetrahedron represents a four way interaction of all variables. Figure 1: Marketing Communication Tetrahedron Source: http://www. informaworld. com/smpp/title~content=t914689377 The “Marketing Communication Tetrahedron” (MCT) considers four factors which constitute to marketing communication effectiveness (Figure 1).
Consumers Consumers vary obviously based on different characteristics such as demographic (e. g. age, gender, race, etc. ), psychographic (e. g. attitude towards self and others, etc. ), behavioural (e. g. loyalty, brand choice, usage, etc. ) which forms foundation for market segmentation and leads to growth of distinct marketing programs. Communication Fundamentally, marketing communications differ on various aspects of modality – e. g. the number (sight, sound, motion, spoken or written words, etc. ) and nature (static, dynamic, interactive, customized, etc. of modalities involved (Wright 1981; Edell 1988). These basic characteristics of marketing communication are quintessential in how they interact with the consumer characteristics and other surrounding aspects to create distinct responses. In other words, the variation in marketing communication can also be seen in their message about their brand (e. g. what is said) and creative execution (e. g. how it is said). A communication can also be of brand related information (e. g. mail or print ad) or none at all (e. g. sponsorship without marketing support). Response
Consumer response depending on the marketing communication reflects on their perception towards particular brand either temporarily or permanently. For example, while watching an ad, a consumer might experience different emotions (e. g. warmth, pride, anger, etc. ) resulting in general judgement about the brand. Situation Situational factors refer to the other external factors that may affect and create an impact on the consumer’s effectiveness. Widely, place and time are the two factors which relates to situation which can play a vital role in consumers effectiveness in one or the other way.
INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION REQUIREMENTS Schultz, D (1992) stated the following requirements: 1. Organizations which market multiple products under one brand name or market just one brand. For example, Nutrasweet, the Donnelley Yellow Pages, etc. 2. Organizations which maintain database of the customers and their purchase histories. For Example, American Express Company and American Airlines. 3. Organizations with less formalized structure of marketing with little bit customer history. For Example, the U. S Postal Service. 4. Business-to-Business organizations which rely on marketing communications as primary support technique.
For Example, Dow Chemicals, IBM. 5. Organizations which has strong top-down management or where integration is done between the marketing group and the top level management. INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION SUCCESS FACTORS Figure 2: The Promotional Mix Source: http://highered. mcgraw-hill. com/sites/dl/free/0073101265/283877/Sample_Chapter_1. pdf IMC has been adopted by both large and small scale organizations in the marketing communications strategies and planning and has become popular among firms B-to-B marketers and consumers products and services. REASONS FOR ADOPTING IMC According to Belch, M & Belch, G (2007): . Strategic value of integrating communication functions rather than having them operate autonomously is clearly understood by the marketers 2. Duplication can be avoided by coordinating the marketing communications. 3. Taking advantage of synergy among promotional tools, helps to develop more efficient and effective marketing communications programs. 4. Easiest way for a company to maximize their return on investment in marketing and promotion. CONCLUSION Enormous challenges arise against achieving integrated marketing communication, but there are electrifying opportunities as well!
Summing up to the channels known by us, plenty of new marketing channels break open onto the scene on what seems to be a daily basis. The whys? In marketing won’t change that much across marketing channels, but questions like how, what and which will do. Say, how much (budget), what specific channel strategy, as well as which supporting tactics and functioning. The catch is one should always remain open to new ideas while staying focused on the core driving forces of the marketing programs then — you just might find a way, for an example, integrating blog with the company’s annual report. REFERENCES 1.
Belch, M & Belch, G (2007) Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. 7th ed. San Diego: McGraw-Hill. 11-21. 2. Cook & William, A (1997) Integrated Marketing Communications: Performing Together. Journal of Advertising Research. 37 (5) 5-6 3. Edell, J & Keller, K (1999) Analyzing Media Interactions: The Effects of Coordinated TV-Print Advertising. Journal of Marketing Management. 99-120 4. Keller, K (2001) Mastering the Marketing Communications Mix: Micro and Macro Perspectives on Integrated Marketing Communication Programs. Journal of Marketing Management. 17 (7) 819-847 5. Kitchen & Schultz, D (1999) A
Multi-Country Comparison of the Drive for IMC. Journal of Advertising Research. 39 (1) 21-38. 6. Schultz, D & Kitchen, P (1997) Integrated Marketing Communications in U. S. Advertising Agencies. Journal of Advertising Research. 37 (5) 7-18. 7. Schultz, D (1992) Integrated Marketing Communications. Journal of Promotion Management. 1 (1) 99-104 8. Smith, P & Taylor, J (2004) Marketing Communications: An Integrated Approach. 4th ed. New York: Kogan Page Publishers. 9. Wright & Peter, L (1981) Cognitive Responses to Mass Media Advocacy: In Cognitive Responses to Persuasion. Journal of Marketing Research, 10, 53-62.