What is Integrated Marketing Channels (IMC)?
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) refers to integrating and coordinating the company’s many communications channels (Promotional Mix) to deliver a clear, consistent, and compelling message about the organization and its products.
What is the role of the Promotional Mix?
Promotion Mix, or marketing communications mix, refers to the precise blend of promotion tools that the company uses to engage consumers, persuasively communicate customer value, and build customer relationships. There are five major promotion tools:
- Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor.
- Sales promotion involves short-term incentives to encourage the purchase or sale of a product or service.
- Personal selling is personal customer interactions with the firm’s sales force for the purpose of making sales and building customer relationships.
- Public relations refers to building good relationships with the company’s various publics by obtaining favorable publicity, building up a good corporate image, and handling or heading off unfavorable rumors, stories, and events.
- Direct and digital marketing involves engaging directly with carefully targeted individual consumers and customer communities to both obtain an immediate response and build lasting customer relationships.
IMC is Evolving, Why?
- In this digital, wireless world, consumers are better informed and more Communications empowered. Rather than relying on marketer-supplied information, they can use the Internet, social media, and other technologies to find information on their own.
- Marketers are developing focused marketing strategies designed to build closer relationships with customers in more narrowly defined “target markets.”
- Advances in digital technology are causing remarkable changes in the ways companies and customers communicate with each other.
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Explain the development of an advertising campaign
- Apply advertising strategies to real-world examples
- Analyze when and how advertising and PR should be a part of a marketing campaign
- Create a marketing strategy to address the needs and wants of a target market
Module Reading and Resources
Textbook: Marketing: An Introduction, Chapter 12
This chapter will provide an overview on how companies use advertising and PR as part of their larger marketing strategy
Access this resource by going to the MyMarketingLab area under the course Table of Contents menu.
Presentation: Marketing Concept Glossary V
Module-related marketing concepts and terms are presented. Visit the glossary for a quick review of the key terms from this week. You can also look up words in the glossary found along the left-hand navigation bar.
Integrated marketing communication is a key phrase used in the marketing field. It describes a strategy that incorporates many promotional elements into a larger communication strategy. It may include advertising, personal selling, digital and social media marketing, sales promotions, and public relations. One characteristic of a promotion that is part of an integrated marketing campaign is that the message in that promotion is aligned with other promotions across other platforms. Regardless of how someone encounters the brand, the look, feel, and message will be consistent. It is important for marketing communications to be integrated, because consumers are inundated with many messages or “noise” from so many different media, and different consumers respond to different media types. The noise that an ad has to overcome can be substantial. Noise can be other promotions or other distractions in a customer’s life that prevents the customer from receiving the intended message.
Figure 5.1: Diagram of Marketing Communication (Stafford, 2013)
The first element that companies need to consider when developing a promotional objective is the overall objective of the campaign. This will help to determine whether advertising, PR, or another promotional strategy is the best fit for a given campaign. If advertising is a good fit for the campaign objectives, the company then goes through a series of steps to develop and launch the advertising campaign.
The video Ad Campaign goes through the main steps in developing an advertising campaign:
- Setting the objective
- Determining the budget
- Identifying the messaging
- Choosing the media
When choosing media, there is much to consider. Table 5.2 from the text (Armstrong & Kotler, 2015, p. 388), presented below, outlines the advantages and limitations of the major media types. Each media type has very clear pros and cons, and one of the important challenges for marketers is to sort through all of the information available and make the best possible decision based on the product and the budget.
Table 5.2: Profiles of Major Media Types (Table 12.2 from Marketing: An Introduction)
Advertising and public relations (PR), that is, the management of information about an organization and the public, are two important components of a promotional strategy. There was a period in marketing history when PR was viewed as a separate marketing activity. For example, advertising agencies created Super Bowl ads and marketing campaigns, whereas PR agencies dealt with company disasters and communication failures and helped CEOs access important publications. As integrated marketing communication has become the more common way to approach marketing, PR is back into the marketing fold. A strong PR strategy can help a company build its brand, position its leaders as trusted experts in the field, and go a long way to minimize the damage when there is a corporate crisis. In addition, with the rise of social media, PR has become even more important as a “customer-facing” function responding in real time to customer comments and concerns.
PR is a discipline focused on communication. PR professionals send out press releases to announce a new product or initiative by a company, work with journalists to ensure that company leaders are quoted in articles, and organize events that are centered on a cause. When a company successfully integrates PR into its marketing campaign, this communication is elevated with an increased focus on brand-building and promotion, rather than straight communication. The rise of content marketing has also put PR back into the spotlight. Content marketing is the section of marketing focused on creating unique content that the company can then distribute through its blogs, social media channels, email lists, and more. As this falls in the “communication” piece of marketing, it often falls to the PR department. A strong PR campaign is focused on customer and prospect engagement. When used strategically, PR is an important and powerful piece of an integrated marketing campaign.
Now, take a minute to review this week’s glossary.
Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2015). Marketing: An introduction (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Stafford, A. (2013, March 5). Diagram 1: A basic communication model showing the sender, message, and receiver [Image]. Marketing Communications Blog. Retrieved from http://www.marketingcommunicationsblog.com/communication-model/
Complete the assignment as follows:
5-1 Discussion: Super Bowl Ads – Past, Present, and Future
For your discussion post this week, visit YouTube to search for and view several past Super Bowl ads. Compare Super Bowl ads over the last few years. Discuss what types of strategies were used. Have the strategies changed over time? If so, why do you think they have? If not, why not? Which strategies do you think are the most successful?
In your responses to classmates, compare your findings to your classmates’ findings. How do you think advertising strategies may change in the future?
In your response posts to your classmates, discuss how the company’s threats or weaknesses could affect your classmates’ proposed marketing activities.
For more information, view the following documents:
For your response posts (2), you must do the following:
- Reply to at least two different classmates outside of your own initial post thread.
- Demonstrate more depth and thought than simply stating that “I agree” or “You are wrong.” Guidance is provided for you in each discussion prompt.
classmates Post #1:
This is a great discussion post question! I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials and half time show! I watched a compilation of “best Super Bowl Ads” of 2016 and then I watched a compilation of “best Super Bowl Ads” of 2019. After this I watched a few from years in between. After viewing, I noticed that the overall strategies used were pretty consistent within each year passing. Almost all of the ads involved some kind of joke and were very humorous. Many of them also have iconic music playing in the background (mostly rock; Welcome to the Jungle / Another One Bites the Dust, etc.) I get a very all American feel/ aesthetic from a majority of the ones I watched. Another component used is the use of a celebrity in the ads. My favorite one is the Hyundai commercial with Kevin Hart as the over-protective father figure. Lastly, all of the ads are promoting cars, food, and drink mainly. I noticed that the ones people talked about most were the funny ads and the ones with celebrities and upbeat feels.
I did some further research into the older super bowl ads to see if those contrasted with the newer more recent ones. I watched a video on the “1984” Apple commercial and how it was the first really “break-out” ad that took a lot of production and full cinematic view of advertising. This ad looked very intense and was based off a book called 1984. The message was that this new computer would empower the individual versus computers controlling us. People did not like it at first because it did not even show the product in it. This ad was the start of the correlation of Interesting Ads to the Super Bowl. Therefore, after THIS specific research I have noticed that the first years ads were very cookie-cutter ads that seemed to follow what the norms were in society. Ads following the 1984 Apple ad got more creative and unique, branching off of societal “norms”. Some things I have wondered as well were if the Super Bowl Ads have gotten somewhat less intricate? I feel that because of technological advances, the newer Ads were a lot easier to put together than the very first ads. Let me know what you think!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2c2mPpvcpw (2016 ads)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9weiTXQjns (2019 ads)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lM_ozHbQdo (1984 Apple Commercial)
classmates Post #2:
instead of comparing completely different ads meant for different people, I am going to compare ads from the same company throughout a series of super bowls. I will focus on a large company like Budweiser, A company that doesn’t really seem to have a limit on their spending. We start in 1995, in a swamp, with frogs. One says “BUD”, he says it a couple times, another chimes in “WIIISE” and they take it tandem for a couple of seconds. Finally the third comes in “EEERRRR”. They get it wrong a few times. Trying to make it work. But after they get the slogan correct, the camera pans out and the big red sign on the bar on the other side of the swamp is reflecting on the water. This goofy ad made it to t-shirts, and dinner tables for the rest of the year. it appealed to families, they weren’t selling skin or racy cut scenes. Families laughed watching a beer commercial together. They targeted whole households and made it goofy for all to enjoy.
In the year 2000 everyone is trying to leave the 90’s behind. as far as styles and slogans and music. Its the new millennium. So we find ourselves in a hip new apartment when the phone rings, one friend greats the other and they talk about what they are doing. Then another friend walks in the door, and hits us with a phrase that is still around today, “WASSUP?!?!?!” and here we go, buckle in because now were going for a ride, more friends within ear shot of now both apartments are picking up some cool hip cordless phones on their new computers that didn’t crash in 1999… and they all want to know one thing… SOME ONE PLEASE TELL THEM “WASSSSUUUPPPPP”. This ad directly appealed to the younger generation of drinkers just starting out, paying heir own bills and finding a decent yet less expensive beer to drink.
In 2002 with a classic Clydesdale commercial titled “bow” And it starts out in the rural country with a team of horses pulling a Budweiser coach. As they pass through small towns turning heads and people starring in awe at the massive horse team coming through as if Budweiser is saying, YOU MATTER, were coming through your town because small towns matter also. Finally the horse team stops outside of what looks like New York City and the horse team bows to the buildings. So what I deduce from this video is that Budweiser is focusing on the population as a whole. As a general audience of just “people” showing them all that they matter to them, Customers, potential customers, children that see this that will grow up and be customers. Every one matters.
in 2010 we have a long white wooden ranch fence. The video is called “fence”, We have a young Clydesdale horse on one side running, and a young Calf on the other side. Both running playfully and trying to beat each other to the end. A couple take of this pass on the screen as you see them get bigger and older. Finally a dark screen with the caption “3 years later” A coach driven by a team of Clydesdale horses is passing by a pasture with a full grown longhorn bull grazing. A horse looks at him, he loos at the horse and they start racing. The bull crashes through the fence and we see the two ranchers standing there drinking a couple of “Buds”, one looks at the other and says “nothing comes between friends” the other stares off to the damage and says “especially fences”.
So What I am seeing here is a general lackadaisical attitude and a relaxed demeanor mostly, this beer company evolved from including everyone who may feel left out to being the leading quote at family dinner tables. They worked themselves into households around the world even by families that do not consume alcohol. Non alcohol consuming households were at one point and still are repeating their catchphrases. Their slogans work, their massive bills for these numerous commercial spots seem to not be a problem. Over time the strategies have changed, well we see the same audience grab, the difference I see is the backgrounds and the relatability with the times. It seems like a good way to stay relatable in the future, by staying current with what’s hip!