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Integrated Marketing Communications - Essay Example

Integrated Marketing Communications

There is no agreed definition of IMC as it depends on the organizations approach to marketing. However, a working definition is in place. IMC is defined by Shimp as “a communication process that entails planning, creation, integration and implementation of diverse forms of marketing communications that are delivered over time to brand’s targeted customers and prospects.” Clow on the other had defines IMC as “a management concept designed to make all aspects of marketing communication work together as a unified force, rather than working in isolation to maximize cost effectiveness.” Though definitions may differ, all have common features: all marketing activity takes the consumer as starting point; speak with a single voice, that is, convey consistent message across diverse contact points; involves building relationships; uses any form of relevant contact or touch points and is aimed at affecting behavior.

The goal of IMC is to integrate or unify the different marketing communications rather than using them in isolation to produce better results and reduce costs. Since customers have advanced technology tools such as iphones and internet, they can access information at any place and time and can also share information as opposed to being passive. Furthermore, customer-focused approach means customers needs to be taken into consideration ad for efficiency, integrating the marcom is essential. It also allows for delivery of a consistent message as well as

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allowing complementary use of media enhances customer relationship, brand ad customer loyalty thus customer retention and company reputation. (Percy, 2008). IMC is also aimed at affecting behavior of selected communications audience (Shimp, 2010 p. 18). Communication allows dialogue between business unit and customers in order to “remind, inform, build brand preference, overcome dissonance and face competition” (Trehan & Ranju, 2009 p. 3). The communication process involves components such as the source, message, encoding, communication channel, decoding, feedback, and receiver (p. 6). The source in this case is the originator of message who could be the manufacturer, advertiser or marketer. It should not be forgotten that the customers are the starting point of the process. The source after developing an idea translates it into understandable message through symbols or words in a process referred as encoding. Once encoded, the message is supposed to be delivered to the receiver through the communication channels. These include personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, direct selling, and internet marketing among others. Since the channels serve different purposes and cannot produce the required results in isolation, a combination of the channels
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Marketing is a very vital activity in any organization as it determines its competitiveness. Those activities involved in improving company and brand image such as advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, public relations, and direct marketing are regarded as marketing communication…
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