IMC Process Frameworks
IMC has been proven to be reliable because it utilizes both modern and traditional communication and advertising methods to effectively communicate one key message. There are four primary types of IMC:
1. External: Utilizing marketing firms or public relation firms for marketing tasks.
2. Internal: Top-level management informs employees about new products and developments to generate excitement. The employees then "leak" information about the new product to the public before it's released to the market, creating "buzz" around the new product.
3. Horizontal: Demands crucial efficiency between development, distribution, and finance teams, the open communication and share of information supports the collaboration among the teams necessary to make the strategy a success.
4. Vertical: The product being developed must fit within the company's corporate policies or structure, has to clearly support the company's primary message.
Step 1: Define
* Identify characteristics of target audience, including but not limited to: "age, education, gender, income, and geographic location."
Strengths: Does the company have any advantages in the industry?
Weaknesses: Does the company face any disadvantages?
Opportunities: Locate gaps not being filled by industry rivals
Threats: Local regulations or any restrictions that can harm the business
* Develop a "Tripwire Offering," a low-cost product that will appeal to the specific needs of a target audience.
Step 2: Assign and set SMART Goals
*Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Time-Based
*Everyone involved in the campaign should know their roles and responsibilities. Channel managers and campaign directors can oversee day-to-day activity and monitor campaign milestones.
*All departments and team members need to communicate and share information to effectively create one clear and creative message conveyed through all marketing platforms.
Step 3: Integrate Marketing Channels
*Make changes to the campaign itself to focus on only the top-performing channels. Remove any channels that are under performing and add new channels.
Step 4: Track
*Analyze and evaluate the campaign results using defined success metrics and cadence at both the channel and campaign level.
*Continuously test and measure to ensure the campaign is moving in the right direction.
case studies of companies with successful imc framework
"The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" was launched through a TV commercial aired during the Superbowl, and continued to be promoted in print and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The campaign utilizes an emotional message to improve buyer reception of the message, and the video went viral, with six million views within the first 24 hours.
A brand with success proven by repeatedly achieving the rank of No. 1 soft drink in the world. This is largely due to their aggressive advertising strategies, that include mobile marketing through text messages, web, and social media marketing. They also implemented an exclusive strategy, making it so some restaurants and cinemas can only sell their products.
An example of one of their many successful campaigns is their "Open Happiness" campaign which first launched in 2009 when the world economy was suffering and people around the globe generally felt "down." Coca-Cola hired Starlight Runner Entertainment to consult with them and help build a franchise that used a wide variety of marketing strategies including print ads, television and radio commercials, video games, and social network to promote their new message and begin associating their soft drinks with happiness. Transmedia storytelling created a world within the vending machines, and included the places you could visit and in-depth details of characters living in this world.
Nike has proven their success around the world, and especially in the US with $100 billion in US market capitalization. Advertisements are designed to "capitalize on emotions and emphasize individual feelings such as pride, achievement, ambition and actualization." Multiple accounts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter helps them focus on specific interests in their target audience, and they have an amazing relationship with their consumers, with 96% of all inquiries submitted on Twitter getting an instant response. Nike also recruits athletes who excel in sports such as football, basketball, tennis, soccer, etc. and have strong personalities that are consistent with the brand's values to spread their motivational messages even further.
With 590 million units sold between 2007-2014, it's not hard to argue that Apple's marketing strategy is effective. Apple gained an edge when they released the first edition of their cell phones, revolutionizing the way the world sees phones and creating the device we now know as the smartphone. They maintain interest by releasing a new model of phone with new features every 12-18 months, and utilize advertisements on TV, print, and online platforms to spread the word when they are working on a new model. Maintaining the edge in a world where technology is constantly advancing is difficult, but Apple manages this feat by having their own magazine that informs readers of the newest updates and features, as well as a customer service and tech support team dubbed "Geniuses" in every Apple store.
Effective IMC can boost sales and turn a brand into a house-hold name, but it all starts with one clear, effective message advertised in multiple ways. The most important part of Integrative Marketing Communications is complete and effective communication among team members, and ensuring that all marketing strategies promote the same, clear message, instead of a muddled collection ideas.