What Is Integrated Marketing Communications, And Why Is It Important?
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Communication in conventional workspaces has drastically changed over time. The reason behind that is constantly improving technology and the increasing number of workers on a team. What we already know is not enough for running a business effectively today. With larger workforces and bigger projects, businesses need enhanced communication channels while working on the same tasks.
To catch up with the pace of the global market and the ongoing trends of the industry, businesses need a holistic marketing and customer-centric approach with integrated marketing communication. The companies need to recognize that the teams need to be on the same page before launching their products or services with the given need.
The role of integrated marketing communication in delivering a brand message to a wider audience is important. Integrated brand coordination aids in integrating all critical marketing elements of the process. It is essential to convey a consistent message to the future and current workforce as well as your clientele.
What is Integrated Marketing Communications?
An integrated marketing communications strategy is how a business or company ensures the methods used in a marketing campaign are clearly defined, consistent, and moving in the same direction. It also ensures that all forms of communication are linked together and working in harmony.
In a nutshell, IMC is a substitute for old marketing funnels and methods. The four Ps model (price, product, promotion, and place) never mentions the consumers, so it doesn't work effectively anymore. Furthermore, funnel-based methods overlook that consumer decision-making is seldom discrete and yet the most important thing to consider for a marketing funnel.
According to Belch, Integrated Marketing is used as the means to create a cohesive and consistent interface for customers. It is used to connect with brands/companies; it endeavors through its respective blends of strategies, approaches, platforms, media, and events. To pull together all marketing contact forms, including marketing magazines, sales ads, public relations, direct marketing, and social media.
IMC is a long-term ongoing process, not just a campaign; it entails strategic planning, refinement of communication, and proper channel analysis. The primary focus of integrated marketing communications is to accelerate the ROIs, resulting in faster revenue growth.
It is a customer-centric approach. Unlike the old days, marketing today focuses on what customers want rather than what we, as businesses want to sell. Therefore, it revolves around aligning the objective with the goals a company wants to achieve.
There are 5 steps of the Integrated Marketing Communications process, which are:
1. Identifying prospects and customer through behavioral data
Identifying the customer by their behavior, categorizing them, and targeting them with specific campaigns increases the marketing strategy's success rate. The method notes the behavior and preferences of the customers and curates their marketing strategy accordingly.
In simple words, IMC works with the basic insights from what people do, what they prefer, and what they need. However, marketers emphasize behavioral data as it yields better results when compared to demographic data.
In this situation, you can first aggregate the behavioral data from your customers and then enhance the strategy considering other types of data you have.
2. Determining the financial status of your prospects and customers
Marketing has long been thought of as an expenditure to promote business and sales. In other words, the cost of doing business. On the other hand, an IMC mentality needs one to view marketing as an expense, a strategic weapon for manipulating incoming dollars.
To figure out how much we will pay to recruit potential customers, we need to consider how much our existing students and opportunities are worth. Since consumers generate sales, this value becomes the base for marketing expenditure. Set priorities and decide what marketing steps to take based on this value.
3. Creating and delivering messages
With the modernized marketing system, businesses can set marketing goals and tie them to their financial goals and targets. Once things are analyzed and planned, companies can easily create and deliver meaningful and informational marketing messages to prospects and clients.
Where to deliver? Being a business, you should think with a customer-centric approach and be available for the clients where they are present. Personalization is the key to maximum effectiveness.
What to deliver? A business looking forward to creating content should focus on the demands of its consumers. A business needs to observe the customer insights through data to develop content that will help the brand connect with its audience.
4. Estimating the ROCI
Step four of the process entails estimating the return on customer investment (ROCI) based on your marketing and communications.
You can use these methods for estimation of the ROCI:
- Analytics: Predictive, descriptive
- Optimization: A/B tests, control groups
- Attribution: First, last and multi-touch
5. Budgeting, Evaluation, Allocation, and Recycling
A correct IMC approach necessitates that you plan your budget at the end of the marketing funnel, which is the opposite of how conventional budgeting processes unfold.
To make the process successful, you should know the important financial numbers – retention rate, customer acquisition cost, and the difference between your short and long-term returns.
To understand this fifth and final step, you need to remember these 3 Cs:
- Contribution: Revenue generated over time
- Commitment: How much revenue generate compared to the competitors
- Champions: Involvement, support, and advocacy of your brand
Why is integrated marketing communications important?
Integrated marketing blends conventional outbound marketing with inbound marketing and other marketing approaches to help companies achieve faster growth and greater ROIs.
There are several advantages to considering integrated marketing for your company at any phase. The most difficult aspect of marketing is obtaining quality leads, but it becomes very easy with IMC implementations.
Creates brand recognition, trust, loyalty
When a company can connect with its clientele across various platforms to hit prospects and customers many times, they start to interact and resonate with their audience. When these channels do a great job of reliably communicating the brand story and message, the target audience is more likely to understand and trust the brand.
This continuous execution of this process is achievable with an advanced integrated marketing communications approach. Without the said communication, the prospects are less likely to interact with the brand and get a disjointed brand experience. In this case, it can be difficult to convey the brand and its messaging.
Having an integrated marketing communications strategy will help you engage with your customers to build brand recognition, trust, and loyalty, ultimately resulting in greater profitability.
Connects the businesses to massive audiences
The number of customers an organization can meet by having more contact networks increases. If a company conducted a publicity campaign only on subway car posters, the public who travels to work listening to the radio or looking out for billboards would miss out.
That's why it is important to learn from integrated media communications examples that businesses have set today. This makes it possible for an organization to set up a multi-pronged marketing plan for a larger audience.
Businesses with a strong Omnichannel and IMC approach are 89% more likely to retain their customers with increased ROIs than those who don't connect and engage with their customers. This is why businesses must connect and engage actively through quality content to make their clients feel valued.
Moreover, in this advanced era, clients are widespread across numerous channels. Meanwhile, 98% of people switch between devices and platforms during the same day. Your business has to be present everywhere and flexible enough to reach its audience anywhere.
Provides higher Returns of Investments
After an organization delivers a consistent message to broad markets across different platforms, sales will inevitably and naturally improve.
Businesses are intensely competitive and invest in revenue-generating efforts to ensure continued success. They hire research staff, strategists, PR squad, internet, social media marketing team, the production team, and more to get them the results they need.
Focusing on one department no longer makes sense when all can work together for better results. When a company wishes to stay competitive in this constantly growing market, its versatile teams must communicate comfortably and alongside one another.
Integrated marketing communication incorporates a multi-channel approach and Omni-channel marketing to create a cohesive content and marketing strategy for any business. No matter what platform your customers use, IMC can help you reach your customers effectively.
With the given facts, you can get your company profile and profits to the next level by building an effective marketing plan. With Integrated marketing communications, you boost your external presence and enhance the effectiveness of your internal teams.
ROIs increase and costs decrease while customers report better satisfaction with your service and offerings. That's a win-win situation for everyone.
Whether you are just setting up your organization or intend to expand your current business, focus on connecting with your audience. The IMC solution can be applied to achieve this target in no time.
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