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What is Integrated Marketing Communication?

COMMUNICATING WITH THE CUSTOMER

1.0 What is Integrated Marketing Communication?

"Integrated marketing communication simply recognises the need to plan and build-up all relevant marketing communications so that they work together in harmony to greatest effect with greatest efficiency"
Pickton and Broderick (2001)

In its simplest form, it is the "process of integrating all elements of marketing communications mix across all customer contact points to achieve greater brand coherence"
Pickton and Broderick (2001)

1.1 The importance of IMC

Major corporations and their partners have adopted IMC, and according to the Advertising Age, a recent survey called it the single most important influence on strategic decision-making today.

1.2 The benefits of IMC

"The principal benefit derived from the integration of marketing communication is the synergy. Synergy has been described as the 2+2=5 phenomenon. By bringing together the various facets of marketing communications in a mutually supportive and enhancing way then the resulting 'whole' is more then the simple sum of its parts." (Pickton and Broderick 2001). This can be seen when looking at a television advertisement and the images and messages carried through it. "Each element enhances and supports the other."

"Linton and Morley (1995) list ten potential benefits of integrated marketing communications." The benefits are not always easy to achieve because of "difficulties in implementation"
· Creative Integrity
· Consistent Messages
· Unbiased Marketing Recommendations
· Better Use of Media
· Greater Marketing Precision
· Operational Efficiency
· Cost Savings
· High-calibre consistent service
· Easier working relations
· Greater agency accountability
Pickton and Broderick (2001)

1.3 IMC's role in the Market place

IMC has an increasingly central role to play in today's market place, because if offers companies a way to strategically coordinate messages and establish a meaningful dialogue with customers. In short, IMC provides organisations with a strategic method for both establishing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders. And this is essential for marketing success in the twenty-first century.

1.4 The Drivers of IMC

The marketplace is changing. What was once a single audience has fragmented and companies have to establish and maintain brand relationships with a variety of groups of people-customers, as well as other stakeholders, such as employees, investors, suppliers and distributors, local communities, and the media.

Organisations now have to communicate with these groups using a wide variety of media. Consequently there are more kinds of messages than ever before and inconsistency can become a company-wide problem. That is why IMC is also needed to coordinate communication consistency

Because the mass media now have considerably less importance than they have had...

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