Let´s talk about the best ways to manage our communications strategies according to an integrated marketing plan.
This interesting reflexion gives us the opportunity to have a global communications overview in order to successfully reach our main audiences. In the past, communications managers and directors had different communications suppliers, and fragmented strategies to face communications necessities.
However, since 1990 there was a necessity to unify messages in the communications campaign and to do those marketers had to unify communications tools in a different and new way. The main goal here is to shape a consistent image inside the customer – and stakeholders mind, without any kind of contradictions.
This is why it is important to plan every step from the really beginning, defining the problematic frame, to each communications activities. It means a hard work of coordination and communication between every important decision maker.
According to Wikipedia Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)” is defined as customer centric, data driven method of communicating with the customers. IMC is the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, functions and sources within a company into a seamless program that maximizes the impact on consumers and other end users at a minimal cost. This management concept is designed to make all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing work together as a unified force, rather than permitting each to work in isolation”.
In 1989, J. Knecht presents 5 phases of integrated marketing communications which include
1. Integrated media advertising. It means to get the best mix of media available used to transmit the message.
2. Integrated advertising.
Coordinated application of media advertising, direct advertising and packaging.
3. Integrated media communications.
Here the goal is to get a successful coordination of media advertising, direct advertising, editorial publicity, product placement, and promotion of the brand or product name by means of sponsorship.
4. Integrated marketing communications
Marketing mix integration and coordination beyond those described in phase 3. A vital element, according to Knecht, is personal selling, although price and distribution are also crucial.
5. Integrated communications Application of communication element primarily developed for marketing but extended to other functions of the enterprice. Communication is coordinated across enterprise functions and target groups so as to prevent the emergence of contradictions that could harm the organizations image.