Integrated Marketing Communication is defined as the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tool, avenues and sources within a company into seamless program that maximize the impact on customer and other end users at a minimal cost. This integration affects all firm business-to-business, marketing channel, customer-focused, and internally directed communications. It is a management concept that is designed so that all the marketing communication which consists of advertising, sales promotion, public relation, and direct marketing work together as a unified force rather than each of those marketing communication work in isolation. Besides, it acts as an aggressive marketing plan because it sets and tracks marketing strategy that captures and uses extensive amount of customer information. It also ensures that all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked together to achieve specific objective.
Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communication
Integrated Marketing Communication ensures that all forms of communications tools and messages are carefully linked together to tell, to persuade, and to influence buyers to buy a product. It also helps buyers move comfily through the every stages of the buying process include recognizing problem which is awareness of need, searching information about a product, evaluating of alternatives, making purchase decision, purchasing and post-purchasing.
Can consolidate image of company, develop a dialogue and nurture its relationship with customer
Integrated Marketing Communications focuses on using all the organizations advertising and promotional efforts towards delivering the same united message. It can make the intended information and messages including slogans, quotes, facts, and figures more consistent in the process of transmitting messages from producers to buyers. It can be used in consolidating the image of company, develop a dialogue and nurture its relationship with customer. Clear and consistent marketing message are able to reach the target audience in the shortest time without confusing them and ensure that all the segment of the campaign can be reached. Hence, it creates a long term relationships with our target customer. These customers could be present or future, internal or external. This will help company to keep the profitable customer for life. Adversely, if different division handling their own marketing activities in the company, it may result in the situation in which sales people giving out different marketing message while corporate department giving out another inconsistent message that lead to confusion. Lack of consistent of messages just may confuse or distract the buyers. In addition, it also helps buyers to shorten their buying process, especially stage of search information about each alternative of products with different brand. In conclusion, IMC is very important in deliver the consistent image and message.
Reduce confusion about the product
Through IMC, buyer can reduce their confusion when choosing a product which can deliver superior value and satisfactions to them by presented in a planed sequence with communication tools. IMC also help buyers by update new information about a product or special offers; give reminders about existing product timely and others. Therefore, buyers and consumers can afford a new product within fastest time and repurchase a product when they are always persuaded by the communication tools such as advertising or buy additional services and products from the same sellers.
Increase the profit through increase effectiveness
Besides, Integrated Marketing Communication also can increase the profit by increase its effectiveness. This is because impact of unified message on the customer’s mind is bigger than impact of disjointed myriad of messages. By using Integrated Marketing Communication, message transmitted has a better chance of cutting through the barriers of commercial message that bombard customer each day. When customer received a crystal clear message about the product and service, they will tend to build a long term relationship with the company and hence the market share will increase gradually. It will be profitable for the company for long term. By providing clearer message and develop a strong strategy positioning company product in the market, competitive advantage can be delivered to differentiate themselves from other competitor. Thus it will increase the customer satisfaction and promote increasing profit in the long run. It can be proved by research from Center for Integrated Marketing which shown that by adopting integrated marketing communication, it can enhance business performance by 10% to 25%.
Integrated Marketing Communication can boost sales by stretching message across several communication tools
It is profitable when customer practice Integrated Marketing Communication which will deliver superior value more effectively by using a combination of variety communication channel like sales promotion and direct marketing. By stretching messages across several communication tools, purchase can be increased gradually because it create more avenues for customer to become aware about the product itself and its benefit. It will definitely boost sales by gradually increase in customer purchase. This is because by using the integrated marketing communication, we can deliver our information toward more specific target audiences. It is like a more specialized media compare to other mass media. So, it can reach the potential target customer with the high accuracy and the probability of those customers to purchase product offer is higher. It can maximize the effect on customer with lower cost if integrated marketing communication is used wisely.
Integrated marketing communication can help the company to save money
Any communication tool should integrate with and draw on as many other communication tools as possible in order to maximize cost effectiveness. Integrated marketing communication can saves a lot of money in the promotional effort as compared to other who does not adopt it. This is because it enables the company to reduce unnecessary cost by cutting down number of agencies. By choosing the same service supplier, it can coordinate photography, design and printing of advertisement and also sales literature. Hence it will save a lot of money and work effort because it avoids duplication in areas such as graphics and photography. Moreover, it also can save a lot of time. Times can be saved when we organized meeting that bring all the agencies together for briefing, creative session, tactical or strategy planning. Hence, workload and subsequently stress level can be reduced when company practice integrated marketing communication.
Reliability of the messages
In the un-integrated communication marketing, sellers or marketers always send out of disjointed of messages and information to buyers. As a result, it directly dilutes the impact of messages and many messages will fail to arrive, misunderstood, simply ignored by buyers because of its reliability. Moreover, without using IMC method, it may bring anxiety frustrate and confuse to buyers, and then buyers will not have confidence and trust in this brand and their product. This also gives bad effect such as transactions in market which cannot carry out smoothly, and sometimes buyers are unlikely to buy the product again because the performance of the product cannot meet their expectations and cannot provide them satisfactions. Then it affects the volume of product sales, which also give bad impact to the business objectives and normally sellers were blamed as they did not achieve the target given to them. The problem of un-integrated communication marketing can be solving by using IMC method. Ability of sellers to use several communication tools for creates the messages and information in a form that can be easily understood by the buyers which give reliable, inspire, reassure of sense to buyers in the buying process.
Moreover, IMC also provides customer databases to sellers and marketers to identify information about buyers precisely and accurately. Sellers can know detail information such as which buyers need what information throughout their buying life, name and email address of every customers the sellers have sold to and also include what the customers purchase and when they purchase the product. Based on all information inside the customer databases, sellers and marketers can decide which promotional strategy should used to create effectiveness in targeting their market. In other meaning, customer databases can be say is the best marketing tool in the IMC for to track buyer’s interest precisely.
In the IMC method also include “relationship marketing” which is a form of marketing strategy emphasizes customer satisfaction and retention, rather than focus on sales transactions for obtain short-term profits only. “Relationship marketing” different from other types of marketing strategy in that it can recognizes value of customer relationships in long term and protect customers from intrusive sale promotional messages and advertising. Besides that, it also builds a bond of loyalty with buyers which can provide them protection from the unavoidable onslaught of competition in market. Sellers and marketers can gain competitive advantages when they can to keep a long-term customer for lifetime, offering greater customer value within IMC method.