Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy
Communication is always one of the vital and most important strategic areas of any company's success. A company can have the best and most innovative products or services, but if company’s internal as well as external communications are weak, then the demand for that company’s products or services diminishes as well as raises a personal flag of concern. Before communicating the value of company’s products or services, company must focus on the question that how their products or services will benefit customers?
When planning your strategy for Integrated Marketing Communication a company should have dialogue with customers by inviting interaction through the coordinated efforts of timing and delivery of company’s products or services. A company must needs to ensure direction, consistency, clarity, timing and appearance of messages, conveyed to company’s targeted customers, these factors will assist company’s customers to avoid any confusion about the benefits of company’s brand, product or service, through the connection of instant product recognition. Marketer should also look at company’s marketing mix, they must examining price, advertising and promotion, distribution, along with customer service. Integrated marketing communication is actually the part of that marketing mix included in a particular company’s marketing plan.
IMC strategies define a company’s target customers or audience, establishes objectives, goals and budgets, analyzes all competitive, social, cultural or technological issues, and also conducts research to evaluate the effectiveness of company’s promotional strategies. If a particular company is ethically planning, communicating their message and product well, and following industry guidelines, that company will most likely to earn the trust of their customers and other target audience.
Five IMC Tools
There are five basic integrated marketing communication tools which should be followed by companies:
Advertising can get company’s messages to their customer and other large audiences efficiently through such avenues as TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers (ROP), Billboards, Internet, and other mobile technological communication devices. By advertising tool a company can easily and efficiently reach a large number of customers, although the costs of this communication marketing strategy may be somewhat expensive.
Sales Promotion can be done through coupons, contests, premiums, samples, displays or incentives and demonstrations. This tool is used to accelerate short-term sales, by building product/service/brand awareness and encouraging repeat buying by customers.
This is very important integrated marketing communications tool. This is initiated through public appearances, event sponsorships or news/press releases, to build trust and goodwill of company by presenting the company’s products and services in a positive light.
Direct Marketing tool utilizes email, catalogs, encourage direct responses to TV and radio, in order to reach targeted customers to increase sales of companies or to test new products and alternate marketing tactics of a particular company.
Personal Selling tool include setting sales appointments and meetings, making presentations and any type of one-to-one communication and home parties to reach targeted customers and strengthen company’s relationship with customers. This is also an important IMC tool.
Summing up all together we can say that integrated marketing communication strategies (IMC) links the company’s to its overall objectives and strategies. This also helps to evaluate and fine-tune the company’s specific activities. So before selecting an IMC tool, marketing managers should look at competitive, legal, regulatory, ethics, social, cultural and technological considerations.