Nowadays, the development in marketing has gone far beyond the existing traditional marketing methods, such as interaction with consumers, consumer driven and social marketing that have begun to spread. This sort of thing is often referred to as Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). IMC has presented a new era in which marketers integrate communication messages from all available media channels so as to generate a continuous process of brand experience. As a part of a successful integrated marketing strategy, IMC integrates public relations, online advertising, social media, and other communications elements into one entity that has the same message and purpose.
Many companies have begun to apply the IMC concept. Instead of separating marketing communication disciplines into several groups, companies started to integrate all the disciplines under one umbrella that can deliver a consistent communications with one message and the same shared strategy. It also allows marketers to execute more efficient marketing campaigns to gain approval on creativity, content, messages, and so forth.
The key to IMC effectiveness is the synergy between various marketing messages and the awareness that marketing is essentially the communication between the company and prospective customers. IMC uses various media such as advertising, public relations, personal selling, sales promotion, direct & database marketing, sponsorship, event marketing, social media marketing and online marketing (banner advertising, affiliate and so forth). Since the ultimate goal of marketing is to generate revenue, increase market share, encourage buying interest, build brand awareness, marketers need to find ways to make things more effective using integrated marketing strategy as the first step.
Integrated Marketing Communication in Company
Nike is an example of success from a company that has fully embraced the concept of IMC. Their integrated approach includes the traditional advertising (billboard, magazine, and television); sponsoring sporting events and players to getting engaged in online marketing initiatives by allowing consumers to customize their Nike shoes. They also do a search marketing to maximize sales results. Nike’s approach allows them to communicate their message consistently in all media; and at the same time share the message to all customers; i.e. with Nike products, you will increase your performance in whatever sports you’re doing.
In conclusion, today the application of IMC method is crucial in marketing. As consumers, we are bombarded with thousands of messages from thousands of different advertisers every day. This has made us accustomed to filter messages that do not fit our needs or interests. On the other hand, as marketers, we need to make sure that we do everything to make consumers interested in the products we offer. This means that our messages must always reach the target market and meet their needs.