Integrated marketing communication [IMC] at its core is a pretty basic concept. It means that every form of communications that originates from a business or a campaigned is linked together in some way. This allows every promotional tool that is being used to be able to work together in a more harmonious way. The end goal is simple: to use consistent communication to help a prospect keep taking steps through a sales funnel journey.
There are a number of examples of IMC being effective in the world today. Here are a few reasons why focusing on IMC is so important.
1. Beware the Millennials
The Millennials are the most technically savvy generation to come along so far. Generation Z will likely strip them of this title when they come of age, but until then, the Millennials rule the tech world. The average marketer will see this, assume that technically savvy people will shop online for items, and recommend e-commerce solutions. Easy peasy, right?
Wrong. 8 out of 10 Millennials prefer to make their purchases in a store. They might have their nose buried in a smartphone and maybe even be working from a tablet computer, but they’ll be in-person in the store. More than half of all Millennials will shop in-person for items at least once per week.
Here’s another interesting fact: 51% of Millennials get their coupons and deals not from online sources or internet searches, but from their local newspaper. Without IMC, this information would never be known.
2. The Coca-Cola Foundation
Consistent messaging is the hallmark of the Coca-Cola brand – at least their primary brand, that is. There are thousands of brands under the Coca-Cola umbrella, so many in fact that most people have Coke products at home and don’t even realize it. What people do recognize thanks to this company’s IMC efforts is the Coke Classic brand.
Coca-Cola has a global brand recognition of 94%. The red background with white lettering is so recognized, in fact, that there are three words common to most languages in the world today.
What can businesses learn from this? That it is important to focus on one key piece of communication and then expand from there.
3. Citibank Bicycles
Citibank offers a wide range of financial products to customers. The “Citi” branding, in fact, is widely recognized. Because of this recognition, Citibank has the opportunity to extend that brand recognition through IMC to other potential product offerings. They’ve done that in New York City with a bike sharing program that these sponsor.
Why are these bicycles a good example of integrated marketing communication? It comes from the visual impact of the bicycle when compared to the traditional branding that people already know. The bikes are painted in “Citi Blue” and have the City logo placed strategically at the front and back of the bicycle. This allows people to recognize that Citibank is sponsoring the bicycles, creates a consistent message with the similar branding, and encourages people to use their banking products.
4. The Two Faces of Campbell’s Soup
What’s the first thing you think of when Campbell’s Soup comes to mind? Outside of the Andy Warhol paintings, that is? For most people, it is the slogan that the brand has. This company has been telling the general public that their soup is “Mmm Mmm Good” for generations. This message, which some might call a tagline, has been distributed through every advertising medium that has been used throughout the years – including YouTube.
Why is a tagline effective integrated marketing communication? It’s because this simple phrase ties together every other advertisement the brand has communicated to the public over the years. The chemistry in the connection helps people to see that the advertising message might be different for a different customer segment, but the results are the same: it’s going to taste good.
5. FedEx and the Mail
One of the simplest IMC campaigns is also the best. In 2011, FedEx launched a marketing campaign that focused on two distinct outreach methods: direct mail and email. The message was to tell people that solutions matter. Since FedEx delivers, they chose to deliver their marketing at an individualized level. This shows that sometimes actions communicate just as much as words communicate sometimes.
Integrated marketing communication is integral to the success of any expansion effort. With consistent communications, a prospect will feel like they are in-sync with a company. In return, they’ll be more inclined to become a customer.