Integrated Marketing Communications organizational Chart
Effective Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is at the top of the agenda for many marketers. This approach to brand communication ensures that all brand communications work seamlessly and consistently to communicate your specific brand message, so that each message imparted will bring added value to your brand and none will dilute your message. IMC is not a strategy in itself but is the delivery of your brand strategy and as such is completely dependent on the specific strategy of the brand- which itself will be dependent on the market the brand operates in, target audience, competitive conditions, brand mission and resources at hand.
The benefits of IMC include:
- Increased sales and profits- the ability to completely focus communication around the consumer and effectively “speak” their language will lead to increased new acquisitions but also long-term brand loyalty.
- Time, money and efforts saved- clear initial expectations allow marketers to focus their efforts, share and repurpose content, avoid the duplication of content production, and the need to contract for multiple agencies.As with the implementation of any marketing strategy, however, IMC may be difficult to implement due to organizational resistance and inconsistency among team members, time-scale conflicts and communication challenges. All three of these major obstacles are difficult to overcome; however the first of these can be greatly reduced and even transcended when effective information systems; including Digital Insight Management solutions, allow organizations to improve internal communication and collaboration.
So what exactly do we mean by organizational resistance and inconsistency among team members?
Organizational resistance and inconsistency among team members may be the result of numerous factors, including:
- Lack of management know-how- leading to the fear of appearing inept and manifesting in upper-level resistance to implementing IMC
- Lack of education on communication objectives and missions, as well as on the benefits and expectations of IMC implementation- leading to inconsistency in the delivery of brand messages
- Lack of a culture of collaboration between teams and departments and resistance to a new form of working where collaboration is required
- Functional silos where rigid organizational structures, strict hierarchies and a tradition of inter-organizational competition lead to power battles between managers fighting to protect their budgets and authority
- Resistance to a policy of IMC by creative individuals who believe that its standards and expectations will stifle their ability to be creative
And what needs to be done to resolve these problems?
Firstly, all employees must be educated on IMC. They should be made to understand the benefits it can bring in order to appreciate its value, and to understand expectations of them and their work in relation to IMC. They must be shown the connection between higher brand missions and communication objectives in order to form a comprehensive and effective strategy and be given the tools, time, skills and resources necessary to implement this.
Secondly, a culture of collaboration and sharing needs to be established and maintained so that team-members can ensure that all messages are complementary to the brand message and bring value to the brand.
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