Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is an important concept that many businesses, especially smaller businesses, don’t know much about. This concept is also called multichannel attribution or omnichannel marketing. In this blog post, we will explain the importance of and benefits of implementing integrated marketing communication.
What is IMC?
Picture this; you set up a small business and you’re solely responsible for most of the marketing efforts. In this case, the message, language, and the public image will remain the same across all channels.
As your business expands to become a larger company, it’s apparent that you’ll rope in more people to help out with the marketing work. For example, you might decide to employ several sales teams, offline and online marketing teams, external marketing agencies and so on. Due to the vast number of people involved, your message becomes watered down with very little consistency in place.
To stay effective in your marketing, you should try to bring things together to work as a unit as much as possible rather than as separate entities. This way, you’ll avoid confusion and improve your target audience’s confidence. In simple terms, this is what we refer to as integrated marketing communications.
Roles of Integrated Marketing Communications
The roles of integrated marketing communications are to increase brand awareness and reach a larger audience. When you just use one form of marketing communications, increasing brand awareness will be much more challenging. Through one method of communication, you will be limited to a particular group of people. Whereas with integrated marketing communications, you will easily reach a larger audience. Not to mention, integrated communications make your business look much more professional and reputable.
Benefits of Using Integrated Marketing Communications
Here are just a few, among many benefits, that come with taking up a more integrated marketing approach:
1. Improved Results
With the traditional marketing, you’ll find businesses setting up different campaigns for separate marketing streams. You’ll get press releases, advertising, direct marketing and sales promotions. Each of these marketing teams will have their stomping ground, and never shall they meet while carrying out their duties.
However, an integrated approach ensures that all these units come together to form one big and beautiful marketing machine. The information released by the press is backed up by blog posts and articles, external marketing agencies, sales teams etc. This way, your communication becomes clear enough to your target audience, obviously leading to improved sales.
2. Improved Brand Image
Not only will the message stay consistent in all the platforms, but your brand’s elements will line up seamlessly as well. Always strive to ensure that your content, style guides, logos, voice, and headers work in tandem as this will ensure that you maximize your market impact and carve out your niche or industry.
3. Cost Effective
To run a successful business, you have to reduce unnecessary costs as much as possible, and this is precisely what integrated marketing campaigns bring to the table. In this case, you’ll be using the same images and copy for different media, which in return reduces design, copywriting, and photography costs.
For instance, video production for different marketing media such as television, YouTube, and other social media platforms can be very costly. One way to avoid this problem is to use an external communication supplier. This will help you reduce agency fees, because you’ll work with a single firm that offers integrated marketing communication services.
4. Increased Morale
IMC is great when it comes to building trust in your business/brand and increasing revenue. But on top of that, it also helps your business internally because your marketing team will have to pull together to run an integrated campaign effectively.
When your team works together, they’ll become one well-oiled machine that is capable of taking up any campaign challenge. In turn, they will undoubtedly achieve great results, which can also act as an excellent morale booster for your employees.
5. Improved Efficiency
Consistently delivering your messages will not only ensure that you have a stronger impact on the market but also make you more productive and save money too. You can create advertisement images once and then proceed to use them across several marketing channels. You can also decide to perfect a piece of content and use it on different media.
Alternatively, you can choose to work with a single marketing agency that specializes in providing an integrated marketing approach, rather than using a whole host of different agencies. This way, you’ll save money on agency fees as well as time cost compared to when you’re dealing with multiple providers.
Don’t fool yourself into believing all customers will see all of your advertising. In fact, experts claim that potential clients need to hear your message at least seven times before even considering your product. That aside, a customer who sees your billboard by the roadside might never see your TV commercials, hear your radio ads, or even see your digital ads.
Lucky for you, integrated marketing communications will ensure your message remains the same, no matter the type of medium your ads are using. If your message stays the same, it means none of your potential customers or clients will miss out on what you’re offering.
Also, don’t forget that through this kind of diversity, you’re able to send messages to your customers via their preferred platforms. For instance, different customers might prefer receiving their messages via email, text message, social media or via podcast. All in all, this type of marketing technique will reach out to a greater audience, thanks to its diversity.
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7. Reduced Confusion
With integrated marketing, buyer’s confusion can be significantly reduced when choosing a particular product or service, as opposed to advertising via different communication methods.
Additionally, IMC helps buyers get all the information about special offers and new product releases. Consumers can then purchase the products as quickly as possible, thereby avoiding competition from other brands who sell the same products.
8. Maintained Focus
As mentioned earlier, IMC is also another way of maintaining a good working relationship within your organization. Your employees will get the message clearly, as well as the goals, and work towards achieving them.
When you sync all the parties within your company, you’ll create an impactful campaign. What’s more, you’ll communicate the same message both internally and externally, which will enhance the chances of making good returns on your investment.
Setting up effective integrated marketing communications is definitely not an easy task. But with proper planning, you will reap the benefits discussed in this post and more.
So, if you’ve already set up your small business or you’re planning to make changes to your existing business, your focus should be on communicating effectively to your audience by adopting an IMC approach.
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