Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications
Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications to Organizations
Integration of PR and Marketing The main benefits to using integrated marketing communications or IMC is that it is essential and cost effective to an organization. In addition, IMC addresses the issue of the four different messages that an organization needs to be aware of so it can control or at least influence. Also, there are six steps that if followed will effectively integrate public relations and marketing in order to meet an organizations goals.
Public relations practitioners are often asked to do many other duties in coordination with marketing and advertising in order to achieve the organizations goals. If public relations is integrated with the total communication program, it will save time and money, but also improve the organization's ability to protect the integrity of the product or service (Miller & Rose, 1994).
Everyday, public relations practitioners are asked to develop programs that support marketing and advertising strategies precisely and cost effectively. Public relations can play a strategic role in achieving marketing objectives, most importantly raising awareness (Miller & Rose, 1994). Also, public relations is expected to inform and/or influence behavior, build trust and create a climate for customer acceptance. These activities can best be done by working with marketing and advertising functions in the organization (Miller & Rose, 1994). In order for public relations, advertising and marketing to work more efficiently the three functions need to be more closely aligned.
One approach to IMC was developed by program director, Tom Duncan and his faculty at the University of Colorado. Duncan's IMC Message Typology explains the four messages that an organization needs to be aware of so it can "control, or if not control, then perhaps influence." The four types of messages are; planned, inferred, maintenance and unplanned.
The first message is a planned message, which is a deliberate communication activity such as: advertising, public relations and sales promotion. A planned message is the primary tool used in an organizations communication program.
The second message is an inferred message, which are the "ones sent through the impressions the company or brand makes on the people." For example if a car is a Mercedes or a Ford, each brand has a different impression in the minds of consumers. These messages are controlled, but are often overlooked as being a part of the communication plan.
The third type of message is a maintenance message. These are "communicated primarily through service- how...