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Integrated marketing communication: advantages and applications

Today, Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) has become a household term in the marketing world. Because IMC is a popular marketing strategy among marketers. Not without reason, it is because IMC is considered the fastest marketing strategy to attract the interest of the target market.

In fact, IMC itself is nothing new. Indeed, this concept has existed since the mid-1980s through a book by Don Schultz entitled “Integrated Marketing Communication”. However, this concept has skyrocketed in the market for the past few years as it is considered capable of providing many benefits to maximize marketing strategies.

Moreover, BMI can be done online or offline depending on the needs of the business. With this flexible nature, it’s no surprise that IMC has more and more enthusiasts.

So, how to implement IMC as an effective marketing strategy?

What is Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)?

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is integrated marketing communication. It is an approach to ensure harmonized brand communication for consumers across marketing channels or marketing channels. Whether via omnichannel or multichannel.

The main concept of IMC is to create a better customer experience in various aspects of the marketing mix. Whether it is a 4p marketing mix strategy, a 5p marketing mix or even a 7p marketing mix. In addition, IMC also plays an important role in maximizing the communication process and spreading an effective brand voice to maximize the relationship between brands and customers.

IMC itself is the most effective strategy you can use to attract market interest with promotional items and strategies based on the AIDA model. Namely attention/consciousness (attention), interest (interest), desire (desire) and action (action).

This promotional element is divided into two, namely soft selling and hard selling. Examples of soft sell promotions can take the form of advertising, marketing campaigns or marketing campaigns, public relations, customer relations, interactive marketing which aims to influence consumers in terms of attention, interest and desire. Meanwhile, aggressive selling can take the form of personal selling, direct marketing, or sales promotions to influence consumers at the action level.

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The importance of implementing an integrated marketing communication strategy

Here are some of the reasons why you need an IMC strategy:

  1. Aims to convey a consistent brand voice and message. So that prospects can actually receive and understand the message your brand wants to convey. Prospects are a set of potential customers who are interested or have an interest in your brand
  2. Useful for building brand equity. With IMC, your brand elements will also be formed more easily. For example, logo, value proposition, marketing content and brand voice. So you can maximize brand value more easily.
  3. Can create an effective customer experience. In the digital world, customers are not just looking for their favorite product or service. But they want an experience that is truly theirs. Through the IMC strategy, customers will help determine how your company’s message is delivered, so it can produce a better customer experience.

Benefits of integrated marketing communication

Here are some of the benefits of implementing an integrated marketing communications strategy that you can achieve:

1. Increase brand awareness more effectively

In the age of digital marketing as it is today, there are of course many brands that take advantage of technological sophistication to carry out digital marketing campaign strategies through various marketing channels. It is therefore not surprising that sometimes customers feel bothered by the advertisements and offers offered to them by the brand. Thus, customers tend to ignore these messages.

Well, here IMC can reduce that risk. Because one of the main benefits of IMC is that companies can effectively increase brand awareness with a strong and consistent message. Thus, the risk of customers ignoring your message will be even lower.

Because a strong, coherent and clear message will be an important key in marketing. On the other hand, when you see a message that is unclear and difficult to understand, then the opportunity to win customers is lost.

2. Save money and time

Integrated marketing communication can also save time and money. By having a consistent and clear message, the company will of course save more resources. Companies also don’t need to empty their pockets to run various types of digital marketing and traditional marketing campaigns with unsatisfactory results.

3. Increase customer loyalty

For businesses that tend to be small, like startups, the IMC strategy will help pull customers into a faster marketing or marketing funnel stage. You also don’t have to waste too much time convincing potential buyers of the superiority of your product or service. Because you conveyed the message quite clearly and showed what advantages your product has over competitors.

So, you can also use this strategy to build trust in the brand and attract more loyal customers (customer retention).

How to Implement an Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy

how to set up an integrated marketing communication

To implement the IMC strategy, here are some steps to follow:

1. Analysis of the situation and conditions

The first step is to analyze the market situation and conditions (market research). That is, companies should analyze the strengths, weaknesses, competitor analysis, opportunities and risks of the market situation. However, you should do this initiative before planning the IMC strategy, so that you can find the point of the problem and then find a solution.

2. Target market analysis

The next step is to analyze the target market. Determine who your target market is by completing a detailed STP mapping and psychological profile. You can analyze consumer behavior, consumption habits, segment based on certain points. From there, you can see what problems customers are facing and how your product provides solutions for them.

3. Define the objectives of the IMC strategy

Then you need to pay attention to the communication process and the goals at each stage. What do you want to get out of each of these efforts to implement the IMC strategy? For example, to create value for the company, increase brand awareness or increase sales. Thus, the implementation of the strategy you do will be more focused.

4. Prepare a budget

The next step is determining the budget, that is, how to prepare a budget. Is it top-down (the capital is already available at the start) or bottom-up (seeing how much it costs to prepare a plan and how it is allocated).

To do this, you need to consider a lot of things. From the financial situation of the company, to the level of growth rate or growth of the company. So make sure that the budget you propose is effective and in line with the objectives you want to achieve.

5. Combine with the marketing mix

As the main concept of BMI, marketing mix is ​​a strategy that you need to optimize to implement this strategy. Therefore, use a combination of marketing mix strategies for maximum results.

6. Always Monitor and Evaluate

You are required to oversee and monitor the ongoing IMC strategy. Pay close attention to all the risks and opportunities that exist. After that, do an assessment. Whether the IMC policy provided optimal performance or not.

Find out what could still be improved and which areas have been most effective. This way you can make decisions to formulate an action plan and the right strategy for the future.

Example of integrated marketing communication

Here are some examples of IMC strategies:

1. Advertising promotion

Advertising is a type of soft sell promotion. Advertising is useful here to show the advantages of a product and know its position in relation to other products. Generally, you can use advertisements in a variety of mediums, both digital and traditional. For example television, radio or social networks.

In addition, advertising is also helpful in building brand awareness among consumers and creating brand awareness. With an optimal IMC strategy, the advertising promotions you do will create an impression and curiosity in the minds of consumers.

2. Promotion through sales promotion

Sales promotion is one of the best product sales promotions in integrated marketing communication. A simple example is discounts and bonuses, every businessman in general will run a buy one get one free or discount on the number of purchases with a predetermined minimum payout.

This method is able to increase consumer interest in purchasing, while increasing the number of recommendations (advocacy). Where usually customers will promote your product to other relatives or friends.

3. Promotion through event marketing

The next example is event marketing or experiential marketing. For example, your brand is hosting an event or entering into a sponsorship partnership by sponsoring certain events like concerts. Thus, your product will be highlighted during the concert, with guest stars who can serve as brand ambassadors.

4. Promotion through direct selling

This is an example of implementing aggressive selling, where you will market your product directly by showing the benefits of your product to consumers. For example, you can sell products by displaying them in supermarkets.

This is a review of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) with its benefits, how to implement it and examples. Basically, this marketing strategy is very effective in attracting customers if you take full advantage of it.