This is the second part of an article explaining what Integrated Marketing is. Read Part 1 of “What is Integrated Marketing?” if you haven’t seen it yet.
Several shifts in the advertising and media industry have caused Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) to develop into a primary strategy for marketers:
- From media advertising to multiple forms of communication.
- From mass media to more specialized (niche) media, which are centred on a specific target audience.
- From a manufacturer-dominated market to a retailer-dominated, consumer-controlled market.
- From general-focus advertising and marketing to data-based marketing.
- From low agency accountability to greater agency accountability, particularly in advertising.
- From traditional compensation to performance-based compensation (increased sales or benefits to the company).
- From limited Internet access to 24/7 Internet availability and access to goods and services.
The four P’s of Marketing, can change to the four C’s:
- Not PRODUCT, but CONSUMER
Understand the consumer’s wants and needs. The product characteristics have to match the specifics of what someone wants to buy. And part of what the consumer is buying is the personal “buying experience.”
- Not PRICE, but COST
Understand the consumer’s cost to satisfy the want or need. The product price may be only one part of the consumer’s cost structure. Often it is the cost of time to drive somewhere, the cost of conscience of what you buy, the investment a consumer is willing to make to avoid risk, etc.
- Not PLACE, but CONVENIENCE
As above, turn the standard logic around. Think convenience of the buying experience and then relate that to a delivery mechanism. Consider all possible definitions of “convenience” as it relates to satisfying the consumer’s wants and needs. Convenience may include aspects of the physical or virtual location, access ease, transaction service time, and hours of availability.
- Not PROMOTION, but COMMUNICATION
Communicate many mediums, working together to present a unified message with a feedback mechanism to make the communication two-way. And be sure to include an understanding of non-traditional mediums, such as word of mouth and how it can influence your position in the consumer’s mind. How many ways can a customer hear (or see) the same message through the course of the day, each message reinforcing the earlier images.
I trust that after reading these articles, you have a better understanding of what Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is. For your business to survive in the next 5 years, you need to start applying Integrated Communication Marketing for your business. To do this well, you need advice from a communications expert. Please contact Linky@virtualprojectconsulting.com for more information about how to use IMC to help your marketing efforts take off on the internet.
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