Discuss factors that have prompted the shift from mass communications to integrated marketing communications
Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is an approach used by organizations to brand and coordinate their communication efforts. The American Association of Advertising Agencies defines IMC as "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. " TheÂ primaryÂ idea behind an IMCÂ strategyÂ is to create a seamless experience for consumers across different aspects of theÂ marketing mix. ...view middle of the document...
Advertising agencies were also expected to understand and provide all marketing functions, not just advertising, for their clients.
Today, corporate marketingÂ budgetsÂ are allocated towardÂ tradeÂ promotions, consumer promotions,Â branding,Â publicÂ relations, and advertising. The allocation of communication budgets away from mass media and traditional advertising has raised the importance of IMC importance for effective marketing. Now, marketing is viewed more as a two-way conversation between marketers and consumers. This transition in the advertising and media industries can be summarized by the followingÂ marketÂ trends:
* a shift from mass media advertising to multiple forms of communication
* the growing popularity of more specialized (niche) media, which considers individualized patterns of consumption and increasedÂ segmentationÂ of consumer tastes and preferences
* the move from a manufacturer-dominated market to a retailer-dominated, consumer-controlled market
* the growing use of data-based marketing as opposed to general-focus advertising and marketing
* greater businessÂ accountability, particularly in advertising
* performance-based compensation within organizations, which helps increase sales andÂ benefitsÂ in companies
* unlimited Internet access and greater online availability of goods andÂ services
* a larger focus on developing marketing communications activities that produce value forÂ targetÂ audiences while increasing benefits and reducing costs
The Tools of Integrated Marketing Communications
The IMCÂ processÂ generally begins with an integrated marketing communications plan that describes the different types of marketing, advertising, and sales tools that will be used during campaigns. These are largely promotional tools, which include everything from search engine optimization (SEO)Â tacticsÂ and bannerÂ advertisementsÂ to webinars and blogs. Traditional marketing communication elements such as newspapers, billboards, and magazines may also be used to inform and persuade consumers. Marketers must also decide on the appropriateÂ combinationÂ of traditional and digital communications for their target audience to build a strong brand-consumer relationship. Regardless of the brand's promotional mix, it is important that marketers ensure their messaging is consistent and credible across all communication channels.
Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications
With so manyÂ productsÂ and services to choose from, consumers are often overwhelmed by the vast number of advertisements flooding both online and offline communication channels. Marketing messages run the risk of being overlooked and ignored if they are not relevant to consumers' needs and wants.
One of the major benefits of integrated marketing communications is that marketers can clearly and effectively communicate their brand's story and messaging across several communication channels to createÂ brand awareness. IMC is also more...