Integrated Marketing Communications plan definition
What is IMC?
Integrated Marketing Communications is a simple concept. It ensures that all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked together.
At its most basic level, Integrated Marketing Communications, or IMC, as we'll call it, means integrating all the promotional tools, so that they work together in harmony.
Promotion is one of the Ps in the marketing mix. Promotions has its own mix of communications tools.
All of these communications tools work better if they work together in harmony rather than in isolation. Their sum is greater than their parts - providing they speak consistently with one voice all the time, every time.
This is enhanced when integration goes beyond just the basic communications tools. There are other levels of integration such as Horizontal, Vertical, Internal, External and Data integration. Here is how they help to strengthen Integrated Communications.
Horizontal Integration occurs across the marketing mix and across business functions - for example, production, finance, distribution and communications should work together and be conscious that their decisions and actions send messages to customers.
While different departments such as sales, direct mail and advertising can help each other through Data Integration. This requires a marketing information system which collects and shares relevant data across different departments.
Vertical Integration means marketing and communications objectives must support the higher level corporate objectives and corporate missions. Check out the Hall Of Fame later for more about missions.
Meanwhile Internal Integration requires internal marketing - keeping all staff informed and motivated about any new developments from new advertisements, to new corporate identities, new service standards, new strategic partners and so on.
External Integration, on the other hand, requires external partners such as advertising and PR agencies to work closely together to deliver a single seamless solution - a cohesive message - an integrated message.
The many benefits of IMC are examined in the section called, 'Benefits of IMC'.
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.
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I am currently getting my masters in IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) and I really, really want to tap into the fashion industry. I want to do fashion marketing or something of the sort. Does anyone know where I could even begin with this search? I am new to Chicago so I'm not even sure of any well-known or established fashion-oriented firms.
Cram101 Textbook Outline to accompany Advertising, Promotion, and Supplemental Aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications
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