Integrated Marketing Communications Imc and Its Effectiveness in Organizations

Table of contents

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is defined as: “A management concept that is designed to make all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing work together as a unified force, rather than permitting each to work in isolation.” (about.com, 2006)

When a company selects and implements an IMC campaign, that company can focus all of its advertising and promotional efforts towards delivering the same united message and reaching their specific objective. All of the marketing tools utilized by the company can be focused and synergized with each other and their effectiveness can increase significantly.

The marketing message relayed by the company is clear and consistent and is able to reach the target audience without confusion while ensuring that all of the segments of the campaign have been reached. The Integrated Marketing Communications of a company can differ from profit to not-for-profit organizations. As IMC has previously been defined, its definition will be shown in the differences of the two types of organizations as well as providing a current real world example for review.

“IMC as the promotional mix – managing the P (of the 4 P’s) that is promotion – but blending it with the communications efforts of other departments such as public relations and corporate communications, so the company speaks with one voice and its messages are consistent.

Managing the promotional mix used to be fairly easy – there were only mass communications options of direct mail, advertising, public relations, etc. – then technology changed all of that.

The Internet, wireless, MP3 players, Bluetooth – technologies that changed the way we communicate with everyone, including employees and customers.” (Gray. March 7, 2006) Managing the four P’s of Marketing are important for both profit and not-for-profit companies; however, each approach the IMC process in different ways.
Profits versus Non-Profits

“Major differences in how organizations carry out the various steps and associated activities in the strategic planning process are more a matter of the size of the organization — than its for-profit/nonprofit status. Small nonprofits and small for-profits tend to conduct somewhat similar planning activities that are different from those conducted in large organizations.

On the other hand, large nonprofits and large for-profits tend to conduct somewhat similar planning activities that are different from those conducted in small organizations. (The focus of the planning activities is often different between for-profits and nonprofits. Non-profits tend to focus more on matters of board development, fundraising and volunteer management. For-profits tend to focus more on activities to maximize profit.)

Also, in addition to the size of the organization, differences in how organizations carry out the planning activities are more a matter of the nature of the participants in the organization — than its for-profit/nonprofit status. For example, detail-oriented people may prefer a linear, top-down, general-to-specific approach to planning. On the other hand, rather artistic and highly reflective people may favor of a highly divergent and “organic” approach to planning. Strategic planning serves a variety of purposes in organization, including to:

  1. Clearly define the purpose of the organization and to establish realistic goals and objectives consistent with that mission in a defined time frame within the organization’s capacity for implementation.
  2. Communicate those goals and objectives to the organization’s constituents.
  3. Develop a sense of ownership of the plan.
  4. Ensure the most effective use is made of the organization’s resources by focusing the resources on the key priorities.
  5. Provide a base from which progress can be measured and establish a mechanism for informed change when needed.
  6. Bring together of everyone’s best and most reasoned efforts have important value in building a consensus about where an organization is going.
  7. Provides clearer focus of organization, producing more efficiency and effectiveness
  8. Bridges staff and board of directors (in the case of corporations)
  9. Builds strong teams in the board and the staff (in the case of corporations)
  10. Provides the glue that keeps the board together (in the case of corporations)
  11. Produces great satisfaction among planners around a common vision
  12. Increases productivity from increased efficiency and effectiveness
  13. Solves major problems” (McNamara, 1999)

Real Life Example of IMC

Brand Imaging is important in everything you do as a company. A real-life example of a successful IMC campaign can be clearly illustrated when evaluating McDonald’s. There are simple methods in which to continually brand a company like McDonald’s has with their Golden Arches. The Chief Global Marketing Officer for McDonald’s has taken the IMC campaign globally as well.

“Have you heard the buzz about “brand journalism”? The term was coined by McDonald’s chief Global marketing officer, Larry Light. Light recently announced Mickey D’s would no longer pursue a singular brand message. Instead, the global giant will tailor its brand communications to niche markets and adapt them to media in which they appear.

“Identifying one brand position, communicating it in a repetitive manner is old-fashioned, out of date, out of touch,” Light says. “Simplistic marketing is marketing suicide.” (Solomon, 2004) Within the local Southern California market, the different local McDonald’s chains vary based on the neighborhood in which they reside.

In Newport Beach, for example, the McDonald’s is very upscale and has flat screen 70+” plasma televisions playing Nickelodeon, plush booths and table service. In the neighboring Costa Mesa, the establishment is a generic restaurant. Their IMC campaign is uniform across their chain yet personalized based on location. It shows that the marketing efforts are focused on winning the patronage of the target market in that particular location.

Conclusion

IMC is the conglomeration of all of the marketing tools utilized by a company that focuses on the 4P’s and reaches the intended audience without the confusion of different groups working in isolation. The IMC strategies for profit and non-profit companies differ yet still have unity of the marketing communications with a common goal. Unifying the marketing efforts of a company has long term success and works for some of America’s most recognized brands and companies.

References:

  • The Foundation Center. “What is cause-related marketing?”. 2006.
    http://fdncenter.org/learn/faqs/html/cause_marketing.html
  • Dana Gray, MS, APR. University of Phoenix, Tulsa Campus.March 7, 2006. DQ response.
  • Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Copyright 1999, Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Strategic
  • Planning (in nonprofit or for-profit organizations)
    http://www.managementhelp.org/plan_dec/str_plan/str_plan.htm
  • Susan Solomon | July 28, 2004. Brand Journalism: A Field Day for Web Marketers

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