Benefits of IMC

Although Integrated Marketing Communications requires a lot of effort it delivers many benefits. It can create competitive advantage, boost sales and profits, while saving money, time and stress.

IMC wraps communications around customers and helps them move through the various stages of the buying process.
This ‘Relationship Marketing’ cements a bond of loyalty with customers which can protect them from the inevitable onslaught of competition. The ability to keep a customer for life is a powerful competitive advantage.

IMC also makes messages more consistent and therefore more credible. This reduces risk in the mind of the buyer which, in turn, shortens the search process and helps to dictate the outcome of brand comparisons.

Finally, IMC saves money as it eliminates duplication in areas such as graphics and photography since they can be shared and used in say, advertising, exhibitions and sales literature.

Agency fees are reduced by using a single agency for all communications and even if there are several agencies, time is saved when meetings bring all the agencies together – for briefings, creative sessions, tactical or strategic planning.Let us go through various components of Integrated Marketing Communication:

▪ The Foundation – As the name suggests, foundation stage involves detailed analysis of both the product as well as target market. It is essential for marketers to understand the brand, its offerings and end-users. You need to know the needs, attitudes and expectations of the target customers. Keep a close watch on competitor’s activities.

▪ The Corporate Culture – The features of products and services ought to be in line with the work culture of the organization. Every organization has a vision and it’s important for the marketers to keep in mind the same before designing products and services. Let us understand it with the help of an example.
Organization A‘s vision is to promote green and clean world. Naturally its products need to be eco friendly and biodegradable, in lines with the vision of the organization.

▪ Brand Focus – Brand Focus represents the corporate identity of the brand.

▪ Consumer Experience – Marketers need to focus on consumer experience which refers to what the customers feel about the product. A consumer is likely to pick up a product which has good packaging and looks attractive. Products need to meet and exceed customer expectations.

▪ Communication Tools – Communication tools include various modes of promoting a particular brand such as advertising, direct selling, promoting through social media such as facebook, twitter, orkut and so on.

▪ Promotional Tools – Brands are promoted through various promotional tools such as trade promotions, personal selling and so on. Organizations need to strengthen their relationship with customers and external clients.

▪ Integration Tools – Organizations need to keep a regular track on customer feedbacks and reviews. You need to have specific software like customer relationship management (CRM) which helps in measuring the effectiveness of various integrated marketing communications tools.

Integrated marketing communication enables all aspects of marketing mix to work together in harmony to promote a particular product or service effectively among end-users.

Stages of IMC

Product Development

▪ A commitment to IMC begins in the product development phase. Design your products to fit the image that you have conceived for them, and all you will have to do is be honest in your marketing communications in order to send a consistent message. If you plan to focus on cost-leadership in your marketing campaigns, for example, design your products to use low-cost, reusable components and try to reduce the amount of materials used for each unit.

• Create advertisements to be true to your products. If your products do not live up to the claims you wish to make of them, either go back to the product development drawing board or change your marketing messages. Do not let your customers be discouraged when products do not live up to advertising hype.


• Make sure that your sales promotions fit in line with the image of your company, products or brands. Do not offer coupons for products developed to high-quality standards with advertisements focused on luxury, for example, but make sure you always offer coupons for value-shopper brands.
Pricing and Packaging

• It can be easy to assume that pricing and packaging have nothing to do with communication, but these crucial elements convey a wealth of subconscious and nonverbal information to consumers. If you price your value brands too low, for example, you may run the risk of customers assuming your quality is lower than it really is. If you use too much nonbiodegradable packaging for eco-friendly brands, as another example, your actions may contradict your words.
Other Business Functions

• The marketing function is not the only component of a business that sends messages to the public. A commitment to IMC requires you to keep all other business functions in line with your marketing messages, as well. If you proudly display the fact that your company sponsors human-rights organizations on packaging and in advertisements, for example, you must have a commitment to fair human resources practices and strict human rights requirements for foreign suppliers. Everything you do, from accounting, to human resources to investment spending, has to send the same message about your company and brands as your marketing strategies..