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What Is Integrated Marketing?

Wikipedia, the world's largest online encyclopedia, has a great primer on Integrated Marketing.  See the original article here.  Below is the main section of their entry:

Integrated Marketing Communications is a term used to describe a holistic approach to marketing communication. It aims to ensure consistency of message and the complementary use of media. The concept includes online and offline marketing channels. Online marketing channels include any e-marketing campaigns or programs, from search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click, affiliate, email, banner to latest web related channels for webinar, blog, micro-blogging, RSS, podcast, and Internet TV. Offline marketing channels are traditional print (newspaper, magazine), mail order, public relations, industry relations, billboard, radio, and television.

A company develops its integrated marketing communication programme using all the elements of the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion). Integrated marketing communication is the integration of all marketing tools, approaches, and resources within a company which maximizes impact on consumer mind and which results into maximum profit at minimum cost. Generally, marketing starts from "Marketing Mix". Promotion is one element of Marketing Mix. Promotional activities include Advertising(by using different medium), sales promotion (sales and trades promotion), and personal selling activities. It also includes internet marketing, sponsorship marketing, direct marketing, database marketing and public relations. And integration of all these promotional tools along with other components of marketing mix to gain edge over competitor is called Integrated Marketing Communication.

Reasons for the Growing Importance of Integrated Marketing

Several shifts in the advertising and media industry have caused IMC to develop into a primary strategy for marketers:

  1. From media advertising to multiple forms of communication.
  2. From mass media to more specialized (niche) media, which are centered around specific target audiences.
  3. From a manufacturer-dominated market to a retailer-dominated, consumer-controlled market.
  4. From general-focus advertising and marketing to data-based marketing.
  5. From low agency accountability to greater agency accountability, particularly in advertising.
  6. From traditional compensation to performance-based compensation (increased sales or benefits to the company).
  7. From limited Internet access to 24/7 Internet availability and access to goods and services.

Selecting the Most Effective Communications Elements

The goal of selecting the elements of proposed integrated marketing communications is to create a campaign that is effective and consistent across media platforms. Some marketers may want only ads with the greatest breadth of appeal: the executions that, when combined, provide the greatest number of attention-getting, branded, and motivational moments. Others may only want ads with the greatest depth of appeal: the ads with the greatest number of attention-getting, branded, and motivational points within each.

Although integrated marketing communications is more than just an advertising campaign, the bulk of marketing dollars is spent on the creation and distribution of advertisements. Hence, the bulk of the research budget is also spent on these elements of the campaign. Once the key marketing pieces have been tested, the researched elements can then be applied to other contact points: letterhead, packaging, logistics, customer service training, and more, to complete the IMC cycle.

Wikipedia contributors. "Integrated marketing communications." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 24 Jan. 2010. Web. 12 Feb. 2010.

So if you're not integrating your marketing, what are you doing?

If you're wondering what an integrated marketing plan could do for your business, please call 250-762-4001 or email us.  The couches in our studio are pretty comfortable and the Cherry Hill coffee is always fresh...