Integrated marketing communications refers to a process of coordinating all of the branding or messaging that a consumer views or hears. It ensures that the messaging is consistent and melds all of the techniques in order to create a cohesive approach. Anyone who wants to work in marketing, business relations or a similar career should know what integrated marketing communications are, why they are important and what they include.
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Purpose of Integrated Marketing Communications
The purpose of integrated marketing communications is to create a unified approach to customer contact. This results in a seamless interaction with the customer no matter how they receive the messaging. It brings together all of the types of marketing communications so they work as a unified force. The messages are consistent across all channels and all points in time. The process centers on the audience or customer. The result is that customers understand what the company is trying to tell them. The information the customer gets is the same no matter when or where they get it.
Approaches to Integrating Marketing Messages
There are several approaches to integrating marketing messages. Some companies hire a third-party vendor to handle their marketing across all channels. This approach is external. There is also an internal approach, which involves the top-level managers getting the lower level managers excited, which in turn gets customers excited about the product or service. Another approach is horizontal, which brings together different parts of a company across equal levels. In vertical integrated marketing communications, the product’s messaging fits in with the company’s vision for the future and its existing structure.
Identification of the Target Audience
Creating integrated marketing communications requires the identification of a target audience. Figuring out the target audience often requires the use of demographic data. Some companies develop their target audience based on geographic location. Others might target an audience based on their age, gender, education, income or interests. The next step involves identifying the needs and wants of that demographic. After this, the integrated marketing communications are used to devise a strategy that addresses the needs of consumers who are in that target audience. In some cases, companies simply use their existing customers as their target audience, explains The Balance Small Business.
Why Integrated Marketing Communications Are Important
With so many marketing channels, consumers are bombarded with sales messages and ads. Companies that are able to coordinate their marketing approach have a better chance of being remembered. They also have a better chance of being recognized and having a positive association in the consumer’s mind. By putting all of the messaging points together, a clear and concise message gets to the consumer. They will understand the message. The message is the same, regardless of if the customer gets it in an email, sees it in a YouTube ad or watches it in a social media video.
Anyone considering a career in communications, marketing or business should be aware of what integrated marketing communications are. Business owners who want to coordinate their marketing and make the most of their messaging to consumers should also have a clear understanding of this technique. Being able to answer, “What are integrated marketing communications?” could help any business or sales professional advance their career and attain their professional goals.