Gone are the days when there existed only a few brands of every product in the market and consumers had limited choice. Today thousands of brands both local and international compete together in the market to remind and persuade consumers on how to buy their brand.
Due to immense growth of media, the consumers are aware of advantages of different products and convincing them is not easy. Marketing communication is a means to send intended message about products and services to the target customers. Over time, marketing communication has been replaced by Integrated Marketing Communication. Companies have now started coordinating various promotional efforts to meet the various challenges.
Understanding integrated marketing communication
Shah and D’Souza explain integrated marketing communication as “a management concept that brings together all tools of marketing communication to send consistent messages to target audiences” (Shah and D’Souza, 2009, p.38). Integrated marketing communication is a way of looking the whole marketing process instead of focusing on individual parts of it. The basic idea behind integrated marketing communication is ‘one message with one voice.’ Deciding on integrated marketing communication involves deciding a perfect marketing communications mix consisting of 5 major modes of communications: advertising, sales promotion, publicity, personal selling and direct marketing (Kotler, 2003, p.p. 563-585).
One strategy for all marketing communications
Instead of isolating these different tools of marketing communication and making individual strategies for each of them, integrated marketing communication involves communicating a single message to target customers by looking at these marketing communication tools as inter-related parts of an integrated plan. A single strategy is designed for all tools of marketing communication as it is believed to create greater impact on target audience and generate synergy. Integrated marketing communication is an ongoing process intended to build long-lasting relationships with customers (Duncan, 2006, p.18). It is a cost-effective means of communication because it avoids any duplication and hence an increasing number of companies are adopting it (Shah and D’Souza, p.p. 38-41).
- Duncan T., Principles of Advertising & IMC. Second Edition. 2006. The McGraw-Hill Companies.
- Shah K. and D’Souza A., Advertising and Promotions: an IMC perspective. 2009. The McGraw-Hill Companies.
- Kotler P., Marketing Management. Eleventh Edition. 2003. Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited.