Sunday, 7 October 2012

IMC Introduction

Growing need and importance of advertising for companies: The world is changing, the environment around the consumer is changing so does the consumer is changing and this change is what forces marketers to change its communication tool to elicit the desired response from consumer. The marketers are more focused on choosing multi-channel marketing and promotion to target customer. The U.S. Army and thousands of other companies and organizations recognize that the way they must communicate with consumers and promote their products and services is changing rapidly .The fragmentation of mass markets, the explosion of new technologies that are giving consumers greater control over the communications process, the rapid growth of the Internet and electronic commerce, the emergence of global markets, and economic uncertainties are all changing the way companies approach marketing as well as advertising and promotion. Developing marketing communications programs that are responsive to these changes is critical to the success of every organization. However, advertising and other forms of promotion will continue to play an important role in the integrated marketing programs of most companies. 

Definition of marketing (AMA): The process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.
There is a greater focus on the exchange that occurs between two parties with something valuable to exchange. Advertising and promotion play an important role in the exchange process by informing consumers of an organization’s product or service and convincing them of its ability to satisfy their needs or wants. Marketers seeks more than one time exchange with the customer and that is why they adopt relationship marketing where Marketers want a long term sustainable relationship with the customer as well as with other stakeholder for mutual benefits. Customer are increasingly becoming more demanding they want a customized product ,with ease of purchase and after purchase services. 
Marketers are focused on Life time value of the customer because they have recognized that it is cost effective to maintain old customer than acquiring new customer Marketing Mix: Marketing facilitates the exchange process and the long term relationship by carefully examine the needs and want of the customer, developing the product to satisfy those needs and want ,offering at a certain price , making it available at place and developing a program of promotion or communication to create awareness and interest.These four Ps—Product, Price, Place (distribution), and Promotion—are elements of the marketing mix. The basic task of marketing is combining these four elements into a marketing program to facilitate the potential for exchange with consumers in the marketplace. 
Integrated Marketing Communications: Evolution of IMC:

• Integrated marketing communications (IMC) 
• new advertising 
• orchestration 
• seamless communication 
• all sources of brands or company contact

Reasons for the Growing Importance of IMC: 

  • A shifting of marketing dollars from media advertising to other forms of promotion, particularly consumer and trade-oriented sales promotions. 
  • A movement away from relaying on advertising-focused approaches, which emphasize mass media such as network television and national magazines, to solve communication problems.
  • A shift in marketplace power from manufacturers to retailers
  • The rapid growth and development of database marketing
  • Demands for greater accountability from advertising agencies and changes in the way agencies are compensated.
  • The rapid growth of the Internet, which is changing the very nature of how companies do business and the ways they communicate and interact with consumers. 

The Role of IMC in Branding 

One of the major reasons for the growing importance of integrated marketing communications over the past decade is that it plays a major role in the process of developing and sustaining brand identity and equity. As branding expert Kevin Keller notes, Building and properly managing brand equity has become a priority for companies of all sizes, in all types of industries, in all types of markets.´ With more and more products and services competing for consideration by customers who have less and less time to make choices, well-known brands have a major competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. Building and maintaining brand identity and equity require the creation of well-known brands that have favorable, strong, and unique associations in the mind of the consumer.
Brand identity is a combination of many factors, including the:
• Name 
• Logo 
• Symbols 
• Design 
• Packaging 
• Performance of a product or service 
• Image or type of associations that comes to mind when consumers think about a brand 
It encompasses the entire spectrum of consumer’s awareness, knowledge, and image of the brand as well as the company behind it. It is the sum of all points of encounters or contact that consumer shave with the brand, and it extends beyond the experience or outcome of using it. These contacts can also result from various forms of integrated marketing communications activities used by a company, including mass-media advertising, sales promotion offers, sponsorship activities at sporting or entertainment events, websites on the Internet, and direct-mail pieces such as letters, brochures, catalogs, or videos. Consumers can also have contact with or receive information about a brand in stores at the point of sale; through articles or stories they see, hear, or read in the media; or through interactions with a company representative, such as a salesperson. Marketers recognize that in the modern world of marketing there are many different opportunities and methods for contacting current and prospective customers to provide them with information about a company and/or brands. The challenge is to understand how to use the various IMC tools to make such contacts and deliver the branding message effectively and efficiently. 
A successful IMC program requires that marketers find the right combination of communication tools and techniques, define their role and the extent to which they can or should be used, and coordinate their use. To accomplish this, the persons responsible for the company’s communication efforts must have an understanding of the IMC tools that are available and the ways they can be used.

The Promotional Mix: The Tools for IMC Advertising: 

Advertising is a message designed to promote a product, a service, or an idea. The purpose of advertising is to sell products or services. Advertising reaches people through various forms of mass communication. These media include newspapers, magazines, television, radio, the Internet, direct mail, outdoor signs, transit signs, window displays, point-of-purchase displays, telephone directories, novelties. Advertising is designed to inform, influence, or persuade people. To be effective, an advertisement must first Attract attention and gain a person’s Interest. It may then build Desire for a product and provide a method for them to take Action. Advertisers research the unique features of the product to determine the USP (unique selling proposition) and the big idea—the simple message that will be used to communicate the USP to the target audience. 

Direct marketing:

Direct marketing is the use of consumer-direct channels to reach and deliver goods and services to customers without using market middlemen. It is a One-on-one communication in which offers are tailored to the needs of narrowly defined segments. It seeks a direct, immediate, and measurable consumer response. There are various advantages of Direct Marketing like it is a Powerful tool for building customer long-term customer relationships, it enables “true micromarketing” efforts, it can can reach prospects at just the right moment and it can Provides access to buyers unreachable through other channels. Interactive marketing: Interactive marketing is a one to one marketing process that reacts and changes based on the actions of individual customers and prospects. This ability to react to the actions of customers and prospects means that trigger based marketing is dramatically more effective than normal direct marketing. Interactive marketing is typically 2-12 times more effective than traditional direct marketing. 

Sales Promotion:

Whereas advertising gives a reason to buy, SP gives an incentive to buy’. It is at the last point where the consumer is often at the point of buying, the additional incentive makes a last ditch effort to convert the customer on to the incentivize brand. It is of two types Trade and Consumer. Trade promotion helps in liquidating heavy inventories and persuades retailers to carry stock, carry more than usual stock. Consumer promotion stimulates purchase, Induces trials, create new users, increase repurchase from occasional customers and Reward loyal customers.

Publicity/ public relations: 

A public relations is defined as “the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or organization with the public interest, and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.” Public relations generally have a broader objective than publicity, as its purpose is to establish and maintain a positive image of the company among its various public  Public relations uses publicity and a variety of other tools—including special publications, participation in community activities, fund-raising, sponsorship of special events, and various public affairs activities—to enhance an organization’s image. Organizations also use advertising as a public relations tool.

Personal selling: 

Personal selling refers to personal communication with a an audience through paid personnel of an organization or its agents in such a way that the audience perceives the communicator’s organization as being the source of the message. Personal selling helps employing firm to generate revenue and market research and customer feedback about the product and services.

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