Integrated Marketing Communications encompasses general advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion, and public relations of which none is inherently superior or inferior; they all have essential functions in an integrated campaign.
The creative strategy of any campaign should focus on a "big idea," and a encompass a visual theme that threads through all four elements. Implementing a consistently harmonised campaign maximises the chances that consumers will get the message and then have the message reinforced and layered in their memories without the cognitive dissonance that arises from mixed messages or ill-matched graphic elements. The primary objectives of IMC campaigns are brand awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction, and purchase.
The primary functions of advertising and integrated marketing communications are to identify brands, provide information to consumers, persuade consumers to purchase, generate product demand, build a customer base and display a brand's unique selling point.
In this post, I’ll explain the importance of Integrated Marketing by showcasing the IMC advantage in advertising and promotion through an example HERO campaign as shown in this blog post which aims to provide incentives for consumers to take action as well as reinforce brand purchases and experiences.
The overarching objective of the sample campaign is to solve the problem of moving prospective donors to actual donors and achieving supply in accordance with demand.
The sample HERO campaign endeavours to say thank you, listen to feedback and encourage donors to share their experiences, in an attempt to influence their network to donate thereby expanding brand awareness and improving market coverage giving the brand a competitive advantage.
The target audience for the sample HERO campaign would be impressionable, cause driven, charitable, globally aware and believe they can make the world a better place through giving.
There are indications that society is evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in its quest to survive and thrive, and giving freely to charitable causes promotes a feeling of self worth and self respect. The underlying message in the HERO campaign will appeal to this quest in arousing a desire to make a difference in someone’s life which, in some small way, will make for a better humanity. This is justified in the underpinning message of the campaign, ‘Find the HERO in you’, which when in conjunction with the current proposition, is that that it feels good to help someone in need.
Benefits of an Integrated Marketing Campaign
An IMC approach provides benefits at every level of the organisation including:
- Operational level – reduces interdepartmental conflict and duplication of effort
- Campaign level – creates harmony with the communications mix and provides a higher return on campaign investment
- Brand level – provides clarity and consistency to brand messages to create brand loyal customers
- Customer level – positively impacts consumer awareness, customer attitudes, and customer experiences at every touch point
- Market level – decreases the rate of defection, increases market position, sales, and sales growth
- Financial level – increases the ability to achieve higher sales, sales growth, profitability, return on investment (ROI), and return on brand investment (ROBI)
In conclusion, An Integrated Marketing Communications campaign enhances the effectiveness of a company’s brand strategy by using the right message and the right platform to achieve your marketing goals. IMC aligns every group and department to deliver results and provides the ability to achieve a consistent corporate brand that offers significant advantages and a distinct competitive advantage for a company in the form of financial results.