Integrated marketing communications (IMC) means coupling various methods of communications together to deliver a single message. It harnesses the benefits of the individual media channels with a single coherence message which optimizes the organic reach. Major brands have presence on various media channels. It becomes necessary to impart the same message throughout the media channels for accuracy and coherency. IMC is not a new concept but its application in businesses is a bit new. It seems that in the ears to come every marketer will have to learn the art of IMC in order to effectively market their business. IMC ensures that all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked together.
Breaking down IMC
Taking apart IMC to its basic level, it means that all promotional tools are integrated so that they work better in harmony. Isolation of promotional mediums can lead to incoherent messages and distortion. The sum of the media voices is greater and louder than using it in isolation. Let us break down the importance of IMC for businesses. Suppose your present on Facebook, which is a popular social media platform. You’re running an advertisement on it. Then you give out an advertisement in the daily Sunday paper as well. Now, it is necessary that the promotions running on Facebook and the one Sunday paper have a coherent message. If the message is not the same then it can give a bad communication vibe at your end. People will be less likely to interact with your brand because they would be unsure about which message to believe.
Integrated marketing is a part of the marketing mix that helps make sure that the audiences get the same information from every channel. It also limits the impact of miscommunication that may arise at the end of the seller for the consumer.
Coherent media channels bring out good retainment
In the example given above, we see that the message strategy on social media if not aligned with the communication efforts of the brand spreads the essence of diluting the brand message. A diluted brand message results in wastage of time and poor management of resources. The biggest disaster for the brand will be spending more money on message which is not integrated properly resulting in no or poor audience feedback. It can also cause misconception about the brand and lose potential audience.
Importance of integration
The importance of message integration is necessary for online businesses. If you’re using social media to promote your business it is necessary that every outlet broadcasts the same message. So what you say on Twitter should be coherent to the message on Instagram and Facebook. Integrated marketing communication focuses on the big picture for the brand. It is not limited to social media these days but to the entire media outlets. What you say to the audience and consumers is important and how you say it through social media, radio, press-releases, on the phone or even emails everyday is highly necessary. There is a lot of noise in the market and people will be selling the same thing that you do so trying to make your brand stick out is hard.
For example, your customer is driving to work and sees the billboard of your brand up. Chances are that they have also seen your advertisements on Facebook or heard about it on the Radio. Other competing brands in the market are using the same strategy so the question is that what will make you stick out? Consistency. If you’re consistent in your message through various communication channels then you’re increasing the odds that the message will reach the intended audience through all the noise. All of this is to be a part of the media mix.
Be consistent and be persistent
Persistence about the brand will make the consumer listen to your call eventually and they might be able to retain the message as well. Another importance of consistent messages is that it increases the audience retaining value. If the audience retains the message then it will purchase your product. Possibly think about purchasing it the next time they shop.
Consistent message propagation will also increase the brand reputation. Now, marketers know that developing a reputation of the brand takes time. No publicity is bad publicity if one knows how to manage it with the brand image. If a good brand message is repeated through every communication channel over a significant period of time then it will add more to the positive reputation development. Nobody said that they do not want to a “good reputation” ever. The benefit of IMC is that it uses a single message in every marketing communication channel which helps save the resources. Once your message structure is in coherency then the entire approach to the IMC will be guided on its own.
Use media channels effectively for your IMC
Social media is terrific advancement in reaching the audience. It can be categorized as a marketers dream providing how one is able to get analytics easily and see he behavior of their audience. Google analytics and other business cloud platforms note down the purchasing habits and offer advice on how to tailor your campaign to get maximum conversions. We are transitioning in a very digital environment. Applications like Cyfe and Hootsuite give out tips on how to deal with the present audience base. The younger generation is more digitally oriented and businesses need to be online in order to flourish. Having an organized marketing strategy can bring about a wonderful improvement in your business. Being more through about message structure is also helpful in building the coherent dynamics of your brand.
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Coordinated communication is the new way of running your marketing campaign. A coordinated message can amplify the reach of your message than a single channel broadcasting the same message. It is like a choir where the more people there will be more harmony. A single singer might be able to touch a chord or two but only the choir will reach the end of the hall with their melody.
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