Integrated Brand Marketing and Measuring Returns
Part of this thesis' empirical phase will be allocated to both reviewing the model proposed by Kitchen and Schultz and by analyzing feedback from respondents and also locating specific companies within the model. Their findings correspond with the stages outlined by Kitchen and Schultz : conduct market research with the aim to better understand the customers;.
The four stage model see Figure 3 reveals that an IMC plan should derive from the contact points each company has with its customers. Typically, tracking studies are used to measure all the contacts a customer has on a daily basis, for example, different media channels with a particular firm. This should give the company a general overview of who sees what kind of advertisements in the course of a given day. These segments of consumers can then be presented with targeted messages.
This can be achieved with the help of sales representatives' knowledge as well as through the utilization of a fully functional database. Recently, however, the climate of changing demographics and sociographics and rapidly expanding media choices have meant that traditional forms of segmentation, which have usually been based on consumer demographics, have been called into question. After grouping the customers into segments, promotional activities should be integrated such that they work according to the overall strategic IMC plan in order to accomplish the set marketing communication objectives.
Each communication constituent may have specific aims but the end result should be an integrated approach to the company's marketing communication activities Pickton and Broderick, After the objectives have or have not been realized, tests should be carried out in order to understand what has occurred in terms of the awareness, attitude, and behavior of customers.
From such tests, areas for improvement can be identified. However, if the customers' behavior or attitude did not positively change toward the brand despite the implementation of an IMC approach, the organization should review its communication activities, such as its promotional tools, and examine its existing consumer groups. Thus, market research can again help in discovering and correcting errors Duncan and Mulhern, ; Johnson and Schultz, ; Caywood, Schultz, and Wang, b.
Nowak and Phelps developed a model see Figure 4 which provides guidance for the correct employment of IMC at the strategic and tactical level. The integrated communications setting. Source: Nowak and Phelps : The model depicts changes in image perception and consumer behavior following a company's adoption of the IMC concept. Although advertising researchers have long recognized the merits and shortcomings of individual promotional tools, researchers Nowak and Phelps, propose that when different promotional activities are used in an integrated manner, IMC can take place at the communication campaign strategic level and advertising tactical level.
IMC, as shown in Figure 4 , also encourages the employment of multiple messages within one campaign or advertisement in order to reach various target audiences Schultz, ; Calder and Malthouse, ; Schultz, Tannenbaum, and Lauterborn, — this is also known in the early IMC literature as the one voice approach Nowak and Phelps, The significance of this model Figure 4 in the IMC literature is apparent in its durability, having been adopted by researchers more than a decade after its emergence.
Figure 4 aims to facilitate the implementation of an IMC approach in which individual steps show the reach of IMC implementation within a company. However, as shown in the previous sections, very little is known about IMC implementation or the strategic and tactical utilization of multiple communication tools. Thus, it is not known if an IMC approach should be adopted at a global level or if respective countries can still implement and apply their own IMC approach.
As such, this research addresses the above discussed issues in the empirical phase. The next section aims to provide an overview of IMC research by reviewing some of the most profound studies in the field. Following up on past IMC studies, researchers were able to identify perceived barriers to IMC implementation and application.
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The following points represent a summary of the most important barriers to integration. These barriers are discussed in the subsequent paragraphs highlighted in italic Ratnatunga and Ewing, ; Kitchen et al. IMC must continually demonstrate how their mix on nontraditional media creates more impact at less cost;. Ideally, the corporate objectives should support the marketing objectives and vice versa. However, even though IMC should start at the senior level, research has indicated that this occurs only very rarely Swain, Senior managers ought to be highly engaged in the application of IMC procedures throughout the organization, and this research further explores this idea.
IMC utilizes traditional promotional elements but it is also forced to go beyond them due to the fragmentation of media and rise of new technologies. This leads to a recognition of the import of nontraditional forms of marketing communication activities, including the interactive media such as short message services and the Internet e. Thus, owing to increasing pressure from clients and decreasing marketing budgets , advertising agencies may exploit the concept of IMC to include more promotional mix elements in their functions, possibly resulting in greater profits for the agency.
Therefore, practitioners need to recognize that IMC can work in favor of the organization and not just the agency. Indeed, the agency should not be seen as the final solution to the company's problems, but rather as a mixture of consultant and communication expert, working toward the company's and the agency's aims and objectives Beard, ; Bill, It is noticeable that many specific agencies have been developed, such as advertising, PR, and promotion agencies, but what clients really need is integration.
This requires a much broader vision where aims and purposes are refocused Naik and Raman, ; Schultz, b. Furthermore, such specialization may also exist within the client organization, that is, the different marketing communication functions are separated from each other. Moreover, the individual tasks within one department are again divided into small fragments, which may limit the success of an IMC program Hartley and Pickton, Therefore, division of departments may not only present a physical barrier but may also fragment the tasks of employees such that an IMC approach is thwarted.
The problem is how to successfully link the different functions and departments with each other in order to start communicating and become integrated. It is likely that most organizations' structures do not suit IMC programs. Integration necessitates not only vertical communication but also horizontal communication, a state of affairs which often causes conflicts among the employees and their functions and tasks Gould, Lerman, and Grein, ; Grein and Gould, ; Schultz, a.
IMC may lead employees to a sacrifice of power , which could cause disputes among them because of fears arising over loss of control and authority Eagle and Kitchen, ; Gonring, Thus, employees may fear that their status will be reduced or, worse still, their positions lost. The coordination and combination of various tasks, duties, and arrangements often represents the stiffest challenge to the implementation of an IMC program Cornelissen and Harris, ; Schultz, b.
What your integrated marketing strategy should do for you
The history or background of an organization , as well as its traditions and experience , can lead to difficulties when implementing an IMC program. Firstly, its structure may often be considered satisfactory, leading to a feeling that there is no real need for a change Schultz, b. However, if this situation persists and change is not being welcomed, it may result in a loss of the company's market position.
Schultz d pointed out that openness to reorganization or adaptation to new organizational structures can be the key to greater integration or an obstacle to the successful implementation of IMC, depending on the company's culture. Schultz came up with the post of a communication czar who is responsible for the complete implementation and application of an IMC program within the company. McArthur and Griffin also noted that it was common practice within consumer organizations to have a single person coordinating all major communication activities. But no direct reference to Schultz's concept of a communication czar was made.
In addition, Schultz e also suggested that in drastic circumstances, it may be worth restructuring the whole organization with new departments in order to reach effective outcomes and achieve appropriate changes Schultz, e. More than a decade has passed since the first conceptual papers on IMC have emerged, but still very little is known about how IMC can help to overcome communication barriers and how IMC is implemented in firms. After the discussion of past research papers and barriers to IMC, it may be necessary to draw attention to the criticisms surrounding IMC.
Firstly, Cornelissen and Lock argue that practitioners are only acknowledging and perceiving the concept of IMC as important owing to its rhetorical appeal and that there is little evidence of how an IMC approach can be implemented or how the concept is being used within organizations. There is also widespread acceptance that IMC advocates have tended to overemphasize on the language being used to describe IMC, rather than grounding IMC on the basis of empirical data Cornelissen, ; Cornelissen and Lock, ; Schultz and Kitchen, b. To overcome this validity problem, Schultz b proposed a new and revised version of IMC, adopted by the American Marketing Association In addition, it seems that most researchers have recognized the strategic importance of IMC even if evidence in relation to the realization of the strategic employment of IMC within companies is scarce.
Despite this, in the past two decades many marketing communication investigations on IMC have proven that IMC is widely accepted among marketing and PR practitioners Kitchen and Eagle, ; Reid et al. In an article by Miller and Rose , the two authors reported on the debate at the conference for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in These researchers view PR as a subject on its own, serving various stakeholder groups in a different manner than marketing does.
Thus, in the eyes of these practitioners and researchers, PR should not be seen as a mere function of marketing. However, IMC was and still is perceived as reality and an important subject area to both marketing and PR practitioners, albeit for sometimes different reasons Miller and Rose, ; Nakra, ; Niederquell, To date, more than articles and papers have been published about IMC, and although it is an emerging discipline, the fundamentals of IMC are becoming established Patti, Schultz and Kitchen b note that the validity of a concept or theory does not only consist solely in a universally accepted definition.
Although one cannot come up with a definite figure for the number of investigations needed before a specific concept can be called a theory, different concepts and frameworks are needed and ought to be interrelated and linked before an actual theory emerges Carroll and Swatman, ; Walsham, As such, it is not yet known if IMC will ever emerge as a theory or if it is a concept which needs to be linked to other communication concepts to produce a different theory.
Hypothesis testing in relation to the tactical integration of marketing communication tools has begun to emerge McGrath, b ; Stammerjohan et al. On the other hand, different theoretical constructs and concepts are still needed to lift IMC to the theoretical level. With the apparent research focus on advertising agencies, too little research has been carried out on client organizations for there to be a demonstrable link between theoretical constructs and the experience of actual firms.
As such, IMC theory building as seen from the point of view of a strategic business process has only recently begun to emerge. In the past, researchers have argued Cornelissen and Lock, ; Pickton and Hartley, ; Hutton, ; van Riel, that the historical framework and the origins of IMC can be traced back to the s and s, with the term IMC simply becoming more popular during the last decade.
Caywood and Ewing also acknowledged that some ambitious practitioners of the s tried to implement integrated programs and failed only because of their lack of knowledge and technology. However, it is undeniable that the nature of communication has changed dramatically during the last 20 years.
Today, marketing communication practitioners must utilize these new kinds of communication, for example, the Internet, networks, value chains, direct marketing campaigns, and databases, all of which have had a significant impact on companies. With the aforementioned changes occurring in an increasingly global context of commercial competition, the adoption of an IMC approach throughout the company appears to be valuable, if not necessary, to sustained success.
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IMC is often seen as a technique that belongs to marketing practitioners rather than to the organization, whereas PR practitioners may view it as a limiting approach given that marketing does not incorporate all functions of PR Wightman, ; Miller and Rose, ; Wolter, Most advertising or marketing practitioners are in favor of IMC, whereas public relations practitioners are often against it. Wightman also suggests that many advertising agencies use IMC to incorporate PR due to decreasing client budgets.
The central argument put forward by Miller and Rose is that marketing is often viewed primarily as a function which serves the customer as a stakeholder, while PR directs messages to different stakeholders. Furthermore, Cornelissen and Harris , in exploring the working relationship between marketing and PR, discovered that the majority of firms have not integrated these functions and that they rarely work in unison.
Ideally, these two communication functions should be combined. Then again, neither marketing nor PR practitioners should make final conclusions because despite a vast amount of theorizing, little detailed empirical work on IMC within organizations exists to support the conceptual perspectives already advanced. Technology makes integration possible and IMC programs have already been adopted by various organizations, such as FedEx and Dell.
Other benefits of an IMC approach are greater consistency among the various communication messages and functions, cost savings, easier working relations between different departments and a better utilization of media and promotional mix elements Pickton and Broderick, This article has focused on the concept of IMC, past research studies on IMC, barriers to its implementation, and critiques of the concept. Thus, the progress of IMC is not yet over. In fact, it has just begun. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account.
If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Free Access. Philip J. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Stores may also provide coupons for customers with a loyalty card. Consumers can download coupons on many mobile phones. In India, the majority of coupons used are digital, while paper coupons still have the largest share in the United States. These displays draw attention to a product by giving it special placement and signage.
5 Lethal (But Common) Mistakes in Integrated Marketing Campaigns
When a consumer sees a special display or can get a coupon instantly, manufacturers hope the easy availability or the discount will convince them to buy, increasing overall sales in the process. A variety of different sales promotions are conducted online. Common online consumer sales promotions include incentives such as free items, special pricing for product bundles buying multiple products together , free shipping, coupons, and sweepstakes. Another very popular sales promotion for consumers is a premium. Remember wanting your favorite cereal because there was a toy in the box?
The toy is an example of a premium. You can read a transcript of the video here.
7 ways to create a successful integrated marketing campaign | CIO
Loyalty programs include things such as frequent flier programs, hotel programs, and shopping cards for grocery stores, drugstores, and restaurants. Sometimes point systems are used in conjunction with loyalty programs. After you accumulate so many miles or points, an organization might provide you with a special incentive such as a free flight, free hotel room, or free sandwich. Many loyalty programs, especially hotel and airline programs, have partners to give consumers more ways to accumulate and use miles and points.
When you get a rebate, you are refunded part or all of the purchase price of a product after completing a form and sending it to the manufacturer with your proof of purchase. The trick is completing the paperwork on time. This is why rebates are also popular with manufacturers. The table, below, summarizes the different types of sales promotions designed for both consumers and businesses. Although different types of sales promotions work best for different organizations, rebates are very profitable for companies because, as you have learned, many consumers forget to send in their rebate forms.
In a weak economy, consumers tend to use more coupons, but they also buy more store brands. Coupons available online or at the point of purchase are being used more often by consumers. Trade shows can be very successful, although the companies that participate in them need to follow-up on the leads generated at the shows. In addition to their primary purpose of boosting sales in the near term, companies can use consumer sales promotions to help them understand price sensitivity. Sales promotions can also be a valuable—and sometimes sneaky—way to acquire contact information for current and prospective customers.
Electronically-scanned coupons can be linked to other purchasing data, to inform organizations about buying habits. All this information can be used for future marketing research, campaigns and outreach. Consumer sales promotions can generate loyalty and enthusiasm for a brand, product, or service. Frequent flyer programs, for example, motivate travelers to fly on a preferred airline even if the ticket prices are somewhat higher.
Sales promotions are a good way of energizing and inspiring customer action. Another risk with too-frequent promotions is that savvy customers will hold off purchasing until the next promotion, thus depressing sales.
Often businesses rush to grow quickly by offering sales promotions, only to see these promotions fail to reach their sales goals and target customers. The temporary boost in short term sales may be attributed to highly price-sensitive consumers looking for a deal, rather than the long-term loyal customers a company wants to cultivate. Sales promotions need to be thought through, designed and promoted carefully. Failure to do so can be costly in terms of dollars, profitability and reputation.
In addition to enhancing customer relationships, this type of marketing communications tool can be a powerful source of customer feedback, as well. Attending to these aspects of personal selling contributes to a strong, trusting relationship between buyer and seller. Personal selling minimizes wasted effort, promotes sales, and boosts word-of-mouth marketing.
Not every product or service is a good fit for personal selling. Whether or not a company uses personal selling as part of its marketing mix depends on its business model. In addition, there are certain conditions that favor personal selling: . Recruitment, selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of the sales force also obviously play an important role in the effectiveness of this marketing communication method.
The most significant strength of personal selling is its flexibility. Salespeople can tailor their presentations to fit the needs, motives, and behavior of individual customers. Personal selling also minimizes wasted effort. The one-on-one interaction of personal selling means that a salesperson can effectively respond to and overcome objections—e.
A final strength of personal selling is the multiple tasks that the sales force can perform. High cost is the primary disadvantage of personal selling. With increased competition, higher travel and lodging costs, and higher salaries, the cost per sales contract continues to rise. However, commission-only salespeople may become risk averse and only call on clients who have the highest potential return.
These salespeople, then, may miss opportunities to develop a broad base of potential customers that could generate higher sales revenues in the long run. Telemarketing and online communication can further reduce costs by serving as an actual selling vehicle. Both technologies can deliver sales messages, respond to questions, take payment, and follow up. Experienced salespeople sometimes realize that the only way their income can outpace their cost-of-living increase is to change jobs.
These two staffing issues have caused high turnover in many sales forces. Another weakness of personal selling is message inconsistency. Direct marketing activities bypass any intermediaries and communicate directly with the individual consumer. Traditional direct marketing activities include mail, catalogs, and telemarketing. Telemarketing contacts prospective customers via the telephone to pitch offers and collect information.
Today, direct marketing overlaps heavily with digital marketing, as marketers rely on email and, increasingly, mobile communications to reach and interact with consumers. The purpose of direct marketing is to reach and appeal directly to individual consumers and to use information about them to offer products, services and offers that are most relevant to them and their needs.
Direct marketing can be designed to support any stage of the AIDA model, from building awareness to generating interest, desire, and action. Direct marketing, particularly email, also plays a strong role in post-purchase interaction. Email is commonly used to confirm orders, send receipts or warrantees, solicit feedback through surveys, ask customers to post a social media recommendation, and propose new offers. When a person moves or makes a significant purchase like a car or a home, these details become part of the criteria marketers use to identify who will be a good target for their products or services.
With electronic media, the information flow about consumers opens the floodgates: marketing databases capture when a consumer opens an email message and clicks on a link. Mobile marketing adds another dimension of personalization in direct-to-consumer communications. It allows marketers to incorporate location-sensitive and even activity-specific information into marketing communications and offers. When marketers know you are playing a video game at a mall, thanks to your helpful smart phone, they can send you timing-, location- and activity-specific offers and messages.
How does this work in practice? Moving into the digital world, virtually any time you share an email address with an organization, it becomes part of a database to be used for future marketing. All this data-driven direct marketing might seem a little creepy or even nefarious, and certainly it can be when marketers are insensitive or unethical in their use of consumer data.
However, direct marketing also offers significant value to consumers by tailoring their experience in the market to things that most align with their needs and interests. Direct marketing can be a powerful tool for anticipating and predicting customer needs and behaviors.
Over time, as companies use consumer data to understand their target audiences and market dynamics, they can develop more effective campaigns and offers. Organizations can create offers that are more personalized to consumer needs and preferences, and they can reach these consumers more efficiently through direct contact. Because it is so data intensive, it is relatively easy to measure the effectiveness of direct marketing by linking it to outcomes: did a customer request additional information or use the coupons sent?
Did he open the email message containing the discount offer?
Integrated Marketing Communications: Evolution, Current Status, Future Developments
How many items were purchased and when? And so forth. Although the cost of database and information infrastructure is not insignificant, mobile and email marketing tend to be inexpensive to produce once the underlying infrastructure is in place. As a rule, direct marketing tactics can be designed to fit marketing budgets. Among the leading disadvantages of direct marketing are, not surprisingly, concerns about privacy and information security. Direct marketing also takes place in a crowded, saturated market in which people are only too willing to toss junk mail and unsolicited email into trash bins without a second glance.
Electronic spam filters screen out many email messages, so people may never even see email messages from many of the organizations that send them. Heavy reliance on data also leads to the challenge of keeping databases and contact information up to date and complete, a perennial problem for many organizations. Finally, direct marketing implies a direct-to-customer business model that inevitably requires companies to provide an acceptable level of customer service and interaction to win new customers and retain their business.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term for using a digital tools to promote and market products, services, organizations and brands. As consumers and businesses become more reliant on digital communications, the power and importance of digital marketing have increased. The direct marketing section of this module already discussed two digital tools: email and mobile marketing, which fit into both categories.
This section will discuss other essential tools in the digital marketing tool kit: Web sites, content marketing and search-engine optimization SEO , and social media marketing. In part, digital marketing is critically important because people use digital technologies frequently, and marketing needs to happen where people are. But digital marketing tools also have other unique capabilities that set them apart from traditional predigital marketing communication tools.
These capabilities make them uniquely suited to the goals of marketing. Digital marketing tools are:. As an example of the incredibly potency of sharable digital marketing media, at the time the following Android video was embedded in this course education benefits from sharing, too!
Web sites represent an all-in-one storefront, a display counter, and a megaphone for organizations to communicate in the digital world. A good Web site provides evidence that an organization is real, credible, and legitimate. Once the Web site is established, it can continue to be fairly easy and inexpensive to maintain if the organization uses cost-effective and user-friendly tools. On the other hand, sophisticated Web sites can be massively expensive to build and maintain, and populating them with fresh, compelling content can devour time and money.
Common marketing objectives and Web-site functions include the following:. Before starting to build a Web site, the marketing manager should meet with other company leaders to lay out a common vision for what the Web site should accomplish and the business functions it should provide. Web sites have so many advantages that there is almost no excuse for a business not to have one.
Effective Web-site marketing declares to the world that an organization exists, what value it offers, and how to do business. Consequently, it can be challenging for communicators, clients and audiences to glean a clear understanding of communication roles and how they function. The concept of integrated marketing communication IMC was introduced in the s Schultz and Schultz, p.
That analysis permeates content strategy. Also, now that content is used in so many different ways, such as social media, blog posts and contributed content, the more PR and IMC strategy are interlocked. Just as media buying is a specialized skill set, or digital media management.