MarCom Objectives

It is not magic that creates great business results through a marketing campaign. One needs to understand that the brands live in the connections they build with all, who matter to them, and that they must seize the opportunity to connect and re-connect by creating an integrated communications strategy and plan. The objective of marketing communications is to enhance brand equity by moving customers along a customer experience path to purchase, and then repeat purchases, that lead to advocacy for the brand.

As marketers, one’s role is to inform and educate customers and prospects about your brands, new products and their benefits and at the same time enhance brand image. The goal is to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time in the right place. To achieve this goal, it is critical for marketers to architect an effective integrated marketing communications (IMC) plan that delivers clear, consistent and compelling messages. Marketers must always experiment with new methods to leverage all elements of the communication mix which will include a blend of traditional media, public relations activities, sales promotion ideas, above the line multi-media advertising, below the line experiential marketing or consumer engagement activities incorporating new-age digital and social media: all into a single, cohesive, holistic approach to give effective business results.

Managing Higher Share of Noise amid Ad-clutter

Modern marketing calls for more than developing a good product, or pricing it attractively, or just making it accessible. Companies must also communicate their offerings to both present and potential stakeholders. Therefore, the question is not whether to communicate, but what to say, how to say, when to say, to whom to say and how often to say. At the same time, communications are getting tougher as more and more companies demand to grab an increasingly empowered consumer’s divided attention. There is a clutter out there or information overload in the minds of the consumers leading to splitting share of noise in the market-place.

In today’s market, consumers have started to take an active role in the communication process itself, making the process more dynamic by deciding what communications they want to receive and how they further communicate to others about our products and services after they experience our product. In these circumstances, marketers have to creatively employ multiple forms of communications to effectively reach and influence their respective target markets. And it is equally challenging to strategically integrate and leverage all elements of communication to give a consistent voice across all brand touchpoints.

It is, hence, becoming more important for marketers to learn how to create an effective, well-integrated plan blending offline and online connect to maximize customer value. At the same time, it is also becoming important to evaluate the contribution of each marketing communication element – including advertising, sales promotion, event & consumer experience programs, public relation activities, Facebook, Twitter and blogs, virtually 360-degree communication — to maximize communication impact.

Strategic IMC

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is a strategic management process that encourages the blending of all aspects of these communication elements which include advertising, sales promotion, PR, events, direct marketing

etc, and more increasingly, digital media in the current internet age. The American Association of Advertising Agencies defines IMC as “a concept that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines, and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency and maximum communication impact.” An IMC strategy’s primary idea is to create a seamless experience for consumers across different channels in the marketing mix. The brand’s core image and messaging are reinforced as each marketing communication channel works together with the others in unity, rather than in isolation.

One Size Fits All to Differentiated Communication

Till the 1990s, mass communication media like television, radio and other media dominated the marketing strategy planning of most companies. During that time, advertisers broadcasted their value propositions on the basis of the “one size fits all” approach. The practice was based on relaying information to large segments of the population using these mass communication mediums and build awareness with the hope that it will directly help to increase sales.

Today, marketing communication budgets are allocated towards many heads besides traditional advertising of using mass media and it generally includes trade promotions, consumer promotions, branding, public relations and consumer engagements through both online and offline connections. The allocation of communication budgets away from a stand-alone mass media approach to integrated marketing communication for a more collaborative approach is finally bringing in good business results. Marketing is now becoming more regarded as a two-way conversation between marketers and consumers. This transition in the advertising industry can be summarized as follows:

  • The move from a manufacturer-dominated market to a consumer-oriented market.
  • Trends towards using multiple’ platforms of communication to reach specific target audiences.
  • The growing popularity of more specialized media, which values increasing trends of segmentation in terms of consumer tastes and preferences.
  • A larger focus on developing marketing communications activities that produce value for target audiences, while raising benefits and reducing costs.
  • The growing use of data-based marketing versus general focus advertising and marketing.
  • Greater business accountability, particularly in advertising.
  • Increasing Internet penetration and high consumer involvement in social media platforms to voice their comments

The major benefit of integrated marketing communications is that marketers can clearly and effectively communicate their brand story across several communication channels with a higher synergy now.

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