A lot of businesses owe their success to their superb marketing techniques. With the rising number of brands rising in the business field, it became a priority for them to make their presence known and relevant to stay afloat continually. With the numerous marketing approaches one can use, it’s hard to organize a marketing plan that best caters to your business. Fortunately, the integrated marketing communication (ICM) plan makes it possible to combine the forces of different strategies to create a
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What Is an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan?
The Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) plan combines the strategic approach of all promotional methods such as advertising, public relation, sales, social media, and direct marketing to present persistent and consistent brand messaging across all available channels and processes. Rather than zeroing in on a single action, it unifies different mechanisms to work together. It is to adapt to the ever-changing face and marketing methods where there are infinite possibilities to disseminate your brand’s message compared to the traditional ways of print and broadcast media.
Why Pursue an Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy
Did you know that the first TV advertisement came in 1941? You might think that it was earlier than that since the first movie ever came in 1888. From the criers reading public notices in the medieval era to a sudden pop of ads when you’re scrolling through your phone, marketing strategies indeed have come a long way since then. And it has grown to a variety of endless possibilities one can use as a way to make its message known to the public.
The IMC came as a way to strategize a plan to bring all of these together. Why focus on a few when you can have it all? It helps marketers and advertisers create a single promotional plan and accomplish a single objective in different schemes and channels.
According to The Balance Small Business, IMC is important because it ensures that the message remains intact despite the limitless number of channels that one can utilize. Instead of merely distributing different media approaches, it works together to amplify each other and present the whole.
Aside from unifying all channels to present a powerful message, other reasons why IMC is significant include its ability to bring forth better results compared to the isolated approach in traditional media. Because promotions are now measured by lead generation, it’s easier to measure success and formulate strategies to increase its rate and bring more traffic. You can also use a popular medium to boost other channels, such as using social media to encourage direct contact. Aside from those, it also provides consistency despite harnessing different methods and fitting better into different audience preferences. It allows you to reach more people wherever they are and whatever medium they’re constantly using.
How to Make an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan
Here are some steps to remember when making an integrated marketing communications plan:
1. Keep Your Audience in Mind
Marketing efforts always consider a significant factor in making any of their plans successful—audience satisfaction. You must know your audience’s preferences and needs that your IMC plan should aim to fulfill. If you’re in operation and already have existing customers, hand out survey questionnaires and ask them their perspective about your products or services and how you can present them better. If not, you can set the target audience and research to understand their purchasing motivators and service needs according to your industry. If you want a more in-depth approach, audience analysis will provide you with a detailed audience persona with an outline of their needs.
2. Perform a SWOT Analysis
The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis is a process where you analyze these given factors to reduce the plan’s rough edges and maximize its potential to help it perform better and produce seamless results. The SWOT analysis urges you to examine your decision’s internal and external circumstances and identify which of them are profitable and which will prove to be a liability later on when pursued.
3. Know Your Objectives
If you want to pave your plan’s direction and establish a way to get the results you want, you should never forget to put your marketing objectives into the spotlight. Catching your audience’s attention is only one thing. Ask yourself what do you want to gain out of the plan. Do you want to introduce a new product line? Are you opening a branch in a new location? Do you aim to amplify your social media presence? There are so many things that you place as your plan’s objectives. Remember to establish SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound. It allows you to curate a practical action plan.
4. Decide on a Budget
Your plan will never be in motion without the needed resources, which your overall marketing budget will fund. The basis of your budget plan varies on different factors, such as your sales plan outcomes, the size of your campaign, your profit share, and other elements that can affect your IMC plan financially. However, it all boils down to how much you can afford or how much your organization will dedicate as your marketing allocation. Your budget can affect your plan significantly.
5. Specify Marketing Strategy Mix
Now that you’ve determined your audience’s needs, examined your situation, specified your goal plans, and established a budget, all there’s left for you is to go down into your IMC plan’s execution details. Based on the data you’ve gathered, identify which channels and methods fit your plan well. Identify what helps you reach your audience the best in a way that fulfills your objectives and is appropriate with your current situation. It also has to be within your declared budget.
What are the elements of an integrated marketing communications plan?
The different elements of an integrated marketing communications plan are:
- Company culture
- Sales alignment
- Consistent messaging
- Direct marketing
- Online marketing
What do you use to measure the performance of your marketing plan?
The following are some tools commonly used when measuring a market plan’s performance:
What are the four Ps of marketing?
The four Ps of marketing is price, promotion, place, and product.
The diversity of the IMC plan makes it the best marketing approach when strategizing how to gather more audience to your side, especially in a time where online is increasingly becoming valuable as more people are taking part in digital trade. It makes use of different methods and platforms with a unified goal and messaging to ensure that you’ll be able to reach your target market wherever they may be. Our IMC plan templates are here to help you. Get yours and download now!
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