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Introduction

Integrated Marketing Communications
(IMC) was first used in 1989. Since, marketing communications was not only
about advertising. American Association of Advertising Associations defined “an
approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign through a
well-coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to
reinforce each other.” The importance of other mediums which are advertising,
PR, sales promotion and direct marketing for communicating with target customer.

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IMC plays a major role in the
process of developing, building and sustaining brands. IMC plays a role in all
B2B interactions, marketing channel communications, customer-focused
communications and internally directed communications. Building a brand is a
gradual process and does not happen overnight. It is a combined effect of a lot
of marketing activities which work in synergy towards a common goal. Here comes
the role of IMC. The whole idea of conveying a message strongly, effectively and
most importantly uniformly across mediums is complex and hence needs to be done
with utmost care, fair amount of research and planning.

In today’s world of globalization
where there is cut throat competition in any business, advertising and
promotion is playing an added advantage to give a slight edge over the
competitors. Nearly everyone is bombarded and influenced by some form of
communication and promotional activities, hence, social and consumer media has
played a very vital role in changing how communication used to be done 5 years
ago and now.

Indian
Context:

Currently, India is one of the
favourite markets around the world. Its popularity is increasing due the fact
that the disposable income of the middle class is increasing. The population is
getting more tech-savvy and informed. However, the issue is that the customers
in India are fragmented in nature. And with the frequent changes in the large
geographical area, it has resulted in a rather problematic distribution system.
Plus the cultural diversity makes it even more difficult to market the goods.
Being a protected economy for a long period of time, companies had less
completion and did not focus more in integrated communication channels for
marketing.

After MNCs came to India, the
marketing concepts have changed. The marketing strategies have improved after
looking at the competition in hindsight. It has become more systematic. Today
business are spending money not only on products but on understanding what
exactly the consumer expectation and needs are and coming up with campaigns to
satisfy those pain points. After this, the biggest importance of IMC is to
understand how to create and distribute the advertisements so that they reach
the right audience at the right time and right place. Companies are looking at
a ‘GLOCAL’ concept to examine the demographics, cultural and social factors of
the Indian population.

Organizations whether be it private or public have understood
how critical it is to communicate with your target customer effectively and
efficiently to be sustainable. Not only multinational organization but also
SME’s are getting benefited from Social media marketing. As the investment is
low and end result is more profitable. IMC is undergoing drastic change and the
most important role to play is Social Media. Technological advancement in the
field of telecommunication has also added to this rapid change and the way the
marketer convey message to the end consumer. Hence, we are witnessing the most
dynamic and revolutionary changes in the history of advertisements and
promotion.

Impact & Growth

The impact of television in our
life has been immense and very direct. The growth of Television has been
exponential and changed a lot over past two decades. The magnitude of its reach
in today’s time is huge, 168.94 million as of 2016 to be
exact.  Today it’s hard to imagine a
world without TV even though we have smartphones and tables rising up the charts
but from the point of view media or IMC that is only an add on.

One model used in IMC
is the AIDA Model:

Here, the model states
that the need for any product/service can be aroused in a customer with the
help of following these four steps:

ATTENTION:
Gain attention of the customer by the help of promotional activities like
advertisements, social media, setting campaigns so that customer can be
attracted towards viewership of your brand.

INTEREST:
Develop interest after gaining attention by highlighting the key advantages of
the product and why there is a need for them. Detailed information about the
product’s features, performance, unique selling points and several other things
can be mentioned to gather customer’s interest

DESIRE:
After driving their interest, create a desire to let the customers feel that
there is a need for the product and why this product is the most suited product
for them.

ACTION:
Transfer their desire into action by converting it into buying or purchase of
the product. The customer must experience the product and engage in repeat
purchase and positive word of mouth by suggesting it to friends, relatives etc.
which would help in generating more sales. The after sales service also plays a
major role in repeat buying or brand loyalty, post purchase service by the
company generates a positive impact on to the minds of the customer and word of
mouth too.

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