The use of marketing communication or MarCom is essential to expanding any business. Companies use different marketing communication methods to expand their reach among targeted customers. The main idea behind this is to convey the usefulness of the products or services offered to the company’s customer base.
Taking this idea a step forward, we come to integrated marketing communication. Integrated MarCom or IMC attempts to unify all the techniques that a company uses to reach a target audience. This is done to ensure a seamless and engaging experience for the customers.
But what are the actual techniques used by a company, and how are they implemented? Learn all about that in detail in this article on MarCom and IMC.
Definition of Marketing Communication?
Marketing communication is the application of different tools and techniques by a company to increase its user base by conveying messages about its products and services to targeted customers.
Different Tools of Marketing Communication
Marketing communication includes different tools to target a specific audience to increase the knowledge about the products or services offered by a company.
Advertisements are one of the biggest tools companies use to connect effectively with their target audience. Not only does it have a broad reach, but it can be either paid or unpaid.
Advertising is beneficial for small-scale companies or start-ups with limited budgets. They can range from the giant billboards on the streets to small pop-up windows on your laptop.
A company uses sales promotion techniques to promote its product directly to the customer in the form of free samples, gift vouchers, deals, and discounts. Not only is this technique highly effective, but it also helps build brand loyalty.
Personal selling refers to the technique where a salesperson approaches potential customers directly.
The main aim of public relations is to improve the brand image of a particular company in the market. In addition, this team helps the company grow by maintaining relationships with influential people.
Companies have started using social media to promote their products and services due to the millions of users present there. Social media allows the company to reach a wide target audience through videos, photos, and other forms of posts.
Sponsorship is an excellent way for companies to spread awareness among a large audience. Sponsorship is usually done using banners and standees. Sometimes companies sponsor events where their names are mentioned before the event.
Importance of Marketing Communication
The tools used in marketing communication helps in bridging the gap between manufacturers and potential customers. It helps increase the revenue of a company by increasing the sales of products and services offered. It also helps a brand build a secure and loyal customer base by maintaining strong connections with the end-users.
Definition of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)
The major objective of an organization is profit-making. Integrated marketing communication plays a key role here by systematically evaluating the communication requirements and demands of the consumer. Based on the evaluation, it is used to design communication that will provide answers to the primary questions of a target audience, facilitate their ability to make a decision, and increase the probability that the choice made by the consumer benefits the organization.
Integrated Marketing Communication or IMC is defined as a customer-centric, data-driven method of communicating with customers. It is a tool under which all the different marketing communication techniques are unified.
It is used to maintain a seamless brand image across various marketing platforms like public relations, social media, advertising, business development principles, and audience analytics.
Steps to Make Integrated Marketing Communication
The steps involved in the development of an IMC program are:
1) Opportunity Analysis
The most essential step of IMC is opportunity analysis. By carefully analyzing the marketplace, the company can find alternative market opportunities for its existing product lines or new products.
For example, mobile phone companies like Apple and Samsung view the smartphone market as an opportunity to broaden their customer base both domestically and internationally.
2) Competitive Analysis
A careful analysis of the competing companies helps develop different forms of marketing strategies and plans for new products and services. This also allows the company to innovate pioneering products/services that aren’t present in the market, thus, making it more appealing to customers.
3) Target Marketing
Identifying the target market for a product helps the company isolate the consumers with similar lifestyles and increases its knowledge of their specific requirements, so that common ground to address their needs more effectively.
Dividing the market into distinct groups with common needs increases the efficiency of marketing communication. The segments are usually made based on geography, demography, and psychography. Behaviouristic and beneficial factors also play a role in market segmentation.
Selecting a target market
A company will move specific products to specific markets on the basis of the market needs. Companies target markets where their product is in high demand rather than markets with low demand.
A positioning strategy refers to how a brand wants to be perceived by its prospective customers and the competition. A distinguished positioning strategy helps build a solid brand reputation and a loyal customer base.
The development and implementation of a successful IMC program are highly dependent on the foundation’s strength. This includes market analysis, target marketing, and positioning, and well-planned coordination between the other market communication tools.
Importance of Integrated Marketing Communication
IMC is responsible for the whole marketing process of a brand. A successful IMC plan helps a company become a brand. It also forges a loyal customer base for the brand. Companies that use IMC can reach a wider audience which in turn increases the revenue earned.
Marketing communication is a set of tools used to widen a company’s reach to increase revenue. It consists of different techniques like advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, social media, etc. All these tools are unified under the concept of integrated marketing communication. Companies employ IMC to maintain a seamless image across all platforms of marketing.
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What is cause-related marketing?
An association between a for-profit company and a non-profit company that benefits both is known as cause-related marketing. A sense of goodwill is associated with a non-profit company, and a for-profit company has high revenue earnings. The association between these helps a for-profit company maintain a goodwill image and allows a non-profit company to earn revenues.
What is the difference between advertising and marketing?
Advertising is the process of providing or spreading awareness and information about a product or service to attract potential customers. Marketing, on the other hand, includes a wide range of activities that make sure a company meets its customers’ needs and generates revenue in return. It also includes a comprehensive analysis of the competing companies, market positioning of a new product or service, pricing the new and existing products and services, and continuous promotion through advertising, social media, public relations, promotions, and sales. Advertising falls under the umbrella of marketing.
What is market research?
A company undertakes activities and uses several tools to gain information about consumers to build a marketing plan to run successfully. This whole process of analyzing the market for better promotion of products and services is known as market research. It mainly focuses on understanding the knowledge, behavioral attributes, and actions of the consumers, both existing and new. Market research also includes measuring the demand for new products, studying the competition, demography, and other trends that directly affect the company’s future.