Integrated marketing communication (IMC) plan is a document with all the different parts of a marketing plan. It is used to guide the implementation the marketing plan. In the modern world, the roles of promotion and advertising in marketing are changing. For many years, people have relied on traditional mass media to promote products (Holm, 2006). However, companies such as Apple Inc. have turned to integrating their advertising efforts with other communication techniques such as internet, websites, sales promotion, direct marketing, public relations and event sponsorship. People have also recognized that these various communication techniques are more effective when coordinated with the other elements of marketing.
In the ever changing global market place, there is a complex of competitors. Every day new companies are formed and mergers and takeovers take place. With this phenomenon, companies need to be smart in the marketing strategies. IMC ensures that there are several objectives of marketing and each of the objectives has a communication plan. In the IMC plan, the role of public relation is to identify how to communicate with the clients effectively. Organizations depend on demand for profits. It is significant to identify how the products and services will benefit the end user and how to make the end user understand the benefits of the products. Public relations come in to solve this problem. Brand communication will increase demand.
IMC makes the marketing management easy in that all the different components in the business are included. Public relations as well as human resource and direct marketing are all integrated in the IMC. Many ways and means of marketing and promotion have been introduced with the growth in technology and IMC helps in bringing them together. Different elements are integrated in Apple Inc promotional mix (Holm, 2006). These include Advertising, Public relations or publicity, Sales promotion, direct marketing and Personal selling.
This is a paid form of promotion idea, goods and services by an identifiable person. The marketer generates a standard message about prices, merits and availability of the goods and services. It aims at appealing to the customers to buy the goods and services. Its feature includes paid form, impersonality and the sponsor is identified. It is advantageous in that it helps reach a wide market. Any message given to radio and TV stations will definitely reach different corners of the world. In addition, there are many available media for advertising. These include audio, video, audiovisual and print media. The marketer selects the media based on the target customers (Pujari, 2013).
Another advantage is that legitimacy. In advertisement, the message is publicly given to customers who in turn believe that a company cannot publicly give false information. A customer will feel comfortable buying a good that is widely advertised. Advertising is also disadvantageous in that there is no direct communication between the marketer and the customer. The marketer just assumes that the message has reached its destination. In addition, there is no feedback. The customers have no chance to give their feedback.
This refers to the use of incentives to stimulate the customer into buying the product. The method is advantageous in that it has an immediate effect on the customer. In addition, it is useful when introducing a new product in that it gives people the chance to try a new product. It also makes other promotional methods effective by aiding them. It is easy to sell, products when there is incentives (Pujari, 2013). It is however disadvantageous in that it reflects the possibility of a crisis. When a company offer incentives now and then, it may be an indication that the products are not being demanded. In addition, the buyer may feel that the product is off low quality.
This means selling personally. It involves selling face to face. It is advantageous in that the buyer gets the chance to clarify any doubts. In addition, the seller receives feedback directly from the customer. When the buyer and the seller interact, their relationship is improved. It is also easy to convince a customer to but a product when in a face to face conversation (Pujari, 2013). It is however disadvantageous in that the seller cannot reach many people as compared to other methods such as advertising.
This entails maintaining good relations with the public who are the customers. Companies create good will by maintaining public relations. Public relation evaluates the attitude of the public also identifies the policies to be used in earning the public trust and acceptance. It is advantageous in that it helps to overcome any dislike or complains from the public. In addition, it moulds the attitude of the public in favour of the company (Pujari, 2013). It is also used to build the brand image. It is disadvantageous in that the company cannot have control over the channels used to the message mainly the media.
In marketing, communication is very significant. The success of any marketing method used depends on how well the customers get and perceive the message. When developing the promotional strategy, it is significant to evaluate the available communication channels and methods suitable. However, the promotional mix used will determine the communication strategy. For example if advertising is to be used, then a message has to be developed to be aired on the television and radio stations. The same method would not be used if sales promotion is to be used as the marketing strategy.
The marketing manager spearheads the development of the promotional strategy. The promotional strategy included different elements including the promotional and plan. The promotional strategy is supported through market research (Holm, 2006). This helps in having knowledge about the customer. Information about customers can be gathered using different methods or from different sources, such as buying habits. The marketing manager also managers the promotional mix. The marketing method to be used any media to be used is determined by the marketing manager.
Public relation is very important to the success of the marketing strategy. Any component t of the promotional mix used will depend solely on the brand image. In advertising, the messages air mostly through mass media (Ogden & Ogden, 2014). The customers can decide to ignore the message. In addition, Apple Inc cannot be sure whether the message got to the customer. In sales promotion, too much of it can be translated as lack of demand or low quality products. However, with good public image and thorough marketing, the public will have trust with the products.
Holm, O. (2006). Integrated marketing communication: from tactics to strategy. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 11(1), 23-33.
Pujari, S. (2013, August 16). 4 Most Important Elements of Promotion Mix | Business Marketing. Retrieved May 14, 2016, from http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/marketing/4-most-important-elements-of-promotion-mix-business-marketing/8796/
Ogden, J. R., & Ogden, D. T. (2014). Integrated marketing communications: Advertising,public relations, and more. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education
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