Integrated marketing communications is a requirement for long-term marketing success. The effectiveness of all your marketing campaigns largely depends on it.
One can easily get lost in what it entails, though. Some universities even offer degrees in marketing communications. On top of that, there are now more media and marketing channels than ever before.
But don’t worry, we’ll only focus on the most important aspects of integrated marketing communications. In this article, we’ll go through the following:
Let’s start with a proper definition.
What is integrated marketing communications?
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is the process of unifying a brand’s messaging to make it consistent across all media that the brand uses to reach its target audience. It’s a strategic approach that guides communication and tactics used across all marketing channels.
Why is integrated marketing communications important?
Every organization uses multiple channels to communicate with its audiences. We’ve come a long way from having a relatively small number of “traditional” channels like TV, radio, newspapers, out-of-home advertising, and mailboxes. In today’s digital world, it can get difficult to keep track of all the media you can reach your potential customers with.
Focusing on multiple marketing channels at once is a necessity for many companies. This omnichannel marketing requires a strategic approach to make it all work together toward achieving marketing objectives. This is when IMC comes into play.
There are four main reasons why IMC is important:
- Need for consistency throughout the whole customer journey
- IMC helps with brand-building
- Properly using right mix of marketing channels helps boost campaign effectiveness
- IMC contributes to marketing channels reinforcing each other
Let’s expand on each point a bit more. Some of the research findings included may even change the way you look at marketing.
1. Need for consistency throughout the whole customer journey
The next time you buy something, think about when you first heard of the brand of the product, the product itself, and how you arrived at the decision to make the purchase.
Besides commodities, chances are that you’ll not buy a product the first time you see it. You usually go through a whole buying journey that may be done from start to finish on the same day (clothes) but can also span several years (cars):