Integrated Marketing Communications: Benefits And Pitfalls

4870 words - 19 pages

IntroductionThe notion of integrated marketing communications (IMC) is not new although it has become popular in recent times (Pickton D., and Broderick A. 2005). While the marketing concept, more often than not, has always focused on consumer needs, the practice of IMC has truly provided the first major effort to really put the customer in the centre of firm's marketing activities ; and even (some marketing authors would agree) to a large extent, has defined successful businesses. That being the case, the need for Integrated Marketing Communication is not only needed, but critical to marketing success (Wirth, R. 2005). No doubt, it is viewed as a response tool to communication challenges facing today's organizations. More encompassing than advertising, IMC weaves together a broad array of traditional and innovative communication tools and techniques in highly coordinated customer-focused programs . But then, with all the accolade given to IMC, organisations world wide have not had it easy to embrace (Pettegrew 2000); an issue also explore in this report.DefinitionThe dawn of the 21st century has seen the definition of IMC changed (Schultz and Kitchen 2000) . Previously, IMC was thought as a concept of marketing communication planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic role of a number of communication disciplines (for example, general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations) and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency and maximum communication impact. Today, IMC is considered as a strategic business process used to plan, develop, execute and evaluate coordinated measurable, persuasive brand communication programs over time with consumers, prospects, and other targeted, relevant external and internal audiences (Schultz and Kitchen 2000).The management process associated with the strategic development and dialogue of consistent, coordinated messages, would seek to reinforce core brand propositions that able to be perceived by stakeholders (Chris Fill 2002, p. 465). It means that your PR materials say the same things as your direct mail campaign and your advertising has the same 'look and feel' as your website (Kotler et al 2002).That is to say getting all the horses pulling in the same direction; everything you do publicly should look, feel, and sound as though it is spoken by the same unmistakable organization. Your ads and brochures, your logo and TV commercials, your packaging and point-of-purchase materials, your store front, should share a singular look, feel, and tone of voice .More so, it is not just a matter of transmitting uniform marketing communications, it is about blending internal and external messages so that there is a clarity, consistency and reinforcement of the organisation's or brand's 'core position'(Chris Fill 2002).All elements of the promotion mix should be coordinated and systematically planned to complement each other (Pickton...

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