Definition: In general, it can be said that all marketing knowledge is summarized in the four main P’s, namely Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Integrated marketing communication is related to one of these 4Ps of marketing namely Promotion. This approach requires brands to coordinate their communication channels, including external communication such as advertising, public relations, sales, etc., and internal communication such as communication between employees of different departments within the organization. To be more precise, Integrated Marketing Communication believes that for the success of the brand in increasing sales, it is necessary to coordinate messages and communication channels with each other; Because this integration will lead to creating brand awareness, creating interest in the product, increasing passion for product selection, and finally, stimulating the customer to purchase.
Importance: Among the important points of implementing this approach, the following can be mentioned:
- Highlighting the brand message among the mass of marketing messages of other brands
- No customer confusion when choosing a product
- Establishing a long-term relationship with customers and building customer loyalty
- Planning without conflicts between short and long term plans
- Optimal use of funds
- Increasing cooperation between different departments of the organization
IMC tools: Integrated marketing communication tools to operationalize this approach can be a combination of two types of modern marketing communications (such as social networks, mobile marketing, webinars and blogs) and traditional marketing communications (such as television ads, newspapers and billboards).
Limitations: Despite all the mentioned advantages, integrated marketing communications is an evolving study and over the years, many managers and agencies have found that understanding integrated marketing communications and how to successfully implement it is difficult; Among the difficulties and problems of operationalizing this approach can be the difficulty of coordinating different departments of the organization due to the unwillingness of the departments to coordinate with each other, resistance to change due to being comfortable with the current structure of the organization, lack of creativity due to the lack of use of Innovative ideas outside the framework of marketing and communication strategy, and the difficulty of planning short and long-term programs based on an integrated message.
An example of a successful company in implementing IMC: Nike is competing fiercely with Reebok, Under Armor and Adidas; These competing brands have performed poorly in keeping their brand message consistent Compared with Nike. For example, the Reebok has changed its brand message several times over the years, but the Nike, with its consistent brand message, has been able to be recognized as a reliable brand with special brand value. Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Starbucks and Apple are examples of companies that have been successful in integrated marketing communications.