Sunday, 7 October 2012

Understanding IMC

Understanding Why we do What we do in IMC

Sometimes, companies miss out a very basic part of a business – Setting objectives. Without a proper direction, no task can be performed successfully, forget about running a company. It is specifically true for advertising and promotional functions as these cannot their function without knowing their objectives. Let us look at some of the important objectives of advertising and promotion: 

  • Communication – Ads are mainly designed to communicate product features or a message about the brand. While designing advertisements or defining the activities of the department, this particular objective should be kept in mind 
  • Planning and Decision making – This also assists in the process of decision making as the planning will be done on the basis of alignment of the firm’s objectives and advertising objectives     
  • Measurement and Evaluation of benefits – The objectives are measurable and hence, provide benchmark for measuring the actual performance against the desired levels
The objectives of IMC are decided on the basis of a complete analysis of promotion and advertising objectives. The marketing objectives are determined as per the situation analysis and the promotion objectives are determined as per the marketing plan.

DAGMAR – An approach for setting specific and measurable objectives

Rusell Colley developed a model in 1961 that helps in setting advertising objectives and measuring the results. DAGMAR model suggests that the ultimate objective of advertising must carry a consumer through four levels of understanding:   

  1. Awareness - the consumer must first be aware of the brand or company. The awareness is created, developed, refined or sustained, as the characteristics of the market      
  2. Comprehension - the customer must be able to comprehend as to what the product is all about. This can be done by providing information about key brand attributes differentiating it from its competitors
  3. Conviction - the customer must be mentally prepares to buy the product. To do this, target customer’s notions about the product can be moulded with the help of messages to demonstrate the product’s superiority or doing more publicity     
  4. Action - finally, the customer actually buys the product. Communication must finally encourage buyers to engage in the purchase activity

The model also focuses on setting up good objectives, which have the following characteristics: 

  • Concrete and measurable - the communications objective should tell what is the core message that the advertiser wants to communicate to the target audience 
  • Target audience - a key tenet to this model is that the target audience should be well defined. For example –if the goal was to increase awareness, it is essential to know who all should know about the product or brand 
  • Benchmark and degree of change sought - A benchmark should be set which measure as to where is the target audience currently i.e. at the beginning of the campaign as against various communication response variables such as awareness, attitudes, knowledge, image, etc. 
  • Specified time period - With a specific time period, a survey is likely to generate a set of measures that can be properly planned and anticipated


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