Integrated Marketing Communications
It is essential for organizations to promote their brands well among the end-users not only to outshine competitors but also survive in the long run. Brand promotion increases awareness of products and services and eventually increases their sales, yielding high profits and revenue for the organization.
To understand integrated marketing communication, let us first understand what does brand communication mean?
Brand communication is an initiative taken by organizations to make their products and services popular among the end-users. Brand communication goes a long way in promoting products and services among target consumers. The process involves identifying individuals who are best suited to the purchase of products or services (also called target consumers) and promoting the brand among them through any one of the following means:
- Sales Promotion
- Public Relation
- Direct Marketing
- Personal Selling
- Social media, and so on
Integrated Marketing Communication - Let us now understand what does integrated marketing communication mean?
Integrated marketing communication refers to integrating all the methods of brand promotion to promote a particular product or service among target customers. In integrated marketing communication, all aspects of marketing communication work together for increased sales and maximum cost effectiveness.
Let us go through various components of Integrated Marketing Communication:
- The Foundation - As the name suggests, foundation stage involves detailed analysis of both the product as well as target market. It is essential for marketers to understand the brand, its offerings and end-users. You need to know the needs, attitudes and expectations of the target customers. Keep a close watch on competitors activities.
- The Corporate Culture - The features of products and services ought to be in line with the work culture of the organization. Every organization has a vision and its important for the marketers to keep in mind the same before designing products and services. Let us understand it with the help of an example.
Organization As vision is to promote green and clean world. Naturally its products need to be eco friendly and biodegradable, in lines with the vision of the organization.
- Brand Focus - Brand Focus represents the corporate identity of the brand.
- Consumer Experience - Marketers need to focus on consumer experience which refers to what the customers feel about the product. A consumer is likely to pick up a product which has good packaging and looks attractive. Products need to meet and exceed customer expectations.
- Communication Tools - Communication tools include various modes of promoting a particular brand such as advertising, direct selling, promoting through social media such as facebook, twitter, orkut and so on.
- Promotional Tools - Brands are promoted through various promotional tools such as trade promotions, personal selling and so on. Organizations need to strengthen their relationship with customers and external clients.
- Integration Tools - Organizations need to keep a regular track on customer feedbacks and reviews. You need to have specific software like customer relationship management (CRM) which helps in measuring the effectiveness of various integrated marketing communications tools.
Integrated marketing communication enables all aspects of marketing mix to work together in harmony to promote a particular product or service effectively among end-users.