Integrated marketing communication is an approach, where all forms of marketing communication are carefully articulatedto generate a bigger benefit than either of them would have generated on its own. The approach calls for use of all promotional tools such as sales and advertisement so that they work together in harmony to achieve a greater sum as opposed to when they are applied separately. Integrated marketing goes far beyond these tools into other levels of integration, which are, vertical, horizontal, external,and internal as well as data integration(Barker, 2013).
Horizontal integration takes place across the marketing mix as well as the business functions. The integration involves the harmonious articulation of all the departments in a business e.g. the finance, production, and communication departments work together in a way that their decision and practices send a message to the consumer. As opposed to advertising direct mail and departmental sales, horizontal integration requires a system that collects and shares data across all the departments(Chen, 2005).
Vertical integration aims to align the marketing and communication objectives in a way that they focus to attain the organizations mission.
Internal integration is the type of marketing done within the organization level to ensure that all the participants of the organization are on board and up to date with current development new advertisements as well as new strategic partners.
External integration involves working in harmony with external partners like advertisers and public relation agencies to deliver the right and integrated message to the consumers.
Thus, integrated marketing information strives to bring together all the promotional tools, marketing mix, and internal and external business functions in order to obtain a cohesive message that makes the consumer to think of the organization as the first priority (Clow&Baack, 2004).
Integrated marketing communication came to realization after American Association and Advertising Agencies defined it in the 1990s, the agency defined it as a detailed plan thatfoster the evaluation of strategic roles in a range of different communication discipline. The various disciplineinclude, direct response, general advertising sales promotion and public relations. The integration of these disciplines delivers a clear andmaximized communication impact to the consumers. The focus of the integrated marketing communication as put across by the agency targets the organization to offer more than just advertising (Eberechukwu&Chukwuma, 2016).
Donchulz in 1991 , while teaching as a professor in the North western university at Emuritus service, defined integrated marketing informationas a process of managing all sources of information in a way that a consumer or a prospect is exposed such that behaviorally moves the consumer towards a sale. The shortcoming of his definition is that it takes the IMC to be just a process while it is also a concept("Use Preemptive Marketing to Make Customers Think of You First - Early To Rise", 2017).
Medill school of journalism Northwestern University conducted a research in IMC how widely the concept was being applied in America.Furthermore, the faculty went ahead to roll out the first graduate level IMC program in America (Ferdous, 2008).
Usually marketing used to rotate around the 4ps of marketing. The limitation made organization to narrow their strategies and in most cases forget the internal performance of the organization. The limitations lead to the discovery of the IMC in 1993 by ProfessorDon E. Schultz. The professor literally scraped McCarthy’s model of 4ps of marketing and replaced it with the 4cs model. The 4cs, introduced by the professor stood for, communication, consumer, cost, and convenience of the product being offered by an organization (Stuart & Kerr, 1999).The realization of this concept saw organizations shift their attention to a consumer-orientedview that considered their needs and wants. Advertising, that was characterized by weak and plain messages shifted toward a limitless platform that allow creativity in merging of communication with marketing (Finne&Gr?nroos, 2009).
Integrated marketing communication is an evolutionary concept where by traditional marketing strategies are brought together and work together in order to amplify the total benefit derived from individual strategy. Thesynergy of marketing strategies helps to develop a more clear and concise message to pass to the consumers, thereby developing a healthy relationship with them as well as create profitability(Hope et al., 2010).
The process of implementing integrated marketing communication goes through three stages; the first stage is the choice of an effective andmixture of communication method. The best of each method is fused in an efficient process and later the integration is then channeled from the organization to the consumer towards. A clear analysis of these process shows that the marketing that is begin used to day has evolved into three categories, cross-functional approach, outside in approach and inside-out strategic approach (Shimp& Andrews, 2013).
The evolution of integrated marketing has continued throughoutwith organizations trying to exploit every each of it to gain competitive advantage from social media to media enabled channels to globally interconnect and gain more market ground ("Inherent Drama in Advertising - Marketing Communications", 2017).
As a the success of integrated marketing communicationscarries the synergy concept of all promotional tools, advertising agencies contribute a big role to ensure the achievement of harmonious integrated marketing environment within an organizations (Laurie & Mortimer, 2011).The advancement of technology has vastly seen a lot market practitioners as well as advertiser embrace the integrated marketing communication concept. In such a way, they are moving away from beliefs and dogmas of "if it's not advertising, take it elsewhere for someone else to do it" to "if it is anything related to communication, we will do it" (Olatunji, 2011). Moving away from old methods of integrated marketing approach that only link branding through media outlets, agencies are now embracing the much recent advancement in integrating marketing communications by putting in place a multi-level organizational strategies that integrate branding in an organization as a whole (Laurie & Mortimer, 2011).
To measure the development in the year 2010, Campaign magazine conducted an exploratory research.The weekly magazine for the communications industry in the United Kingdom, aimed at analyzing 10 essays that explained the picture ofwhere integration is headed for a variety of advertising agencies leaders in the advertising industry within the London sector subject to a checklist influenced by Kliatchko (2008), and Duncan &Moriarity (1998). The check list contained the following;
- Level of integration whether 1, 2 or 3
- Branding issues
- Involvement of the staff
- Media synergy
With the knowledge highlighted above on integrated marketing communication, the same will be applied to NISBETS express catering equipment, 258 NORMANBY ROAD, SOUTH MELBOURNE to drive sales of its catering supplies (Kerr &Drennan, 2010). The synergized marketing strategy will be targeting variety of consumers e.g. restaurants, colleges, schools, universities, bars, casino's, pubs,canteens, caterers and commercial kitchens. With the our rang of various products, from chefs knives, catering uniforms, crockery, utensils, fryers, refrigeration, ovens, grills, griddles, restaurant and bar supplies the cost of advertising all this might be very high. Therefore, integrated marketing will make it much easier to showcase on this products in one package hence minimize the cost as well as move the prospects and consumer to only think of NISBETS for all their catering supplies solution. The strategies that will be used to build the integrated marketing concept will involve resonance, inherent drama, as well as pre-emptive marketing (Mihart, 2012).
Resonance marketing strategy is where the relationship with customers is built upon the values that NISBTES stand for which putting the customer at the heart of everything by ensuring proper services.
Inherent drama is the use of dramatic elements to highlight the benefits of our products to the consumers (Mudzanani, 2015)
Pre-emptive marketing is whereby processes that our products go through plus all the work that is put into the finished product to ensure that the best quality is obtained will be showcased in order to give the consumer a view the quality that is delivered when using our products(Percy, 2008).
The strategy used to market for NISBET will have a slogan or a tagline that will emphasize on the need for the consumer to have our product and easy enough to remember such that it will be ringing in the consumers mind repeatedly(Shimp, 2007). The tagline “doesn’t just cook; enjoy the cooking“will be harmonized in a way that it is sung during advertisement. The tone of the advertisement will be structured I a way that it incorporate the funny tone as well as the serious tone so that the message catches the audience attention and eventually harmers the point home("Nisbets Express Catering Equipment - South Melbourne, Australia", 2017).
The message will be created in various scenes where each scene will be trying to show the advantage of NIBSET supplies; the message begins with two consumers, consumer A using products from other suppliers, no specific supplier is cited while consumer B is using products from NIBSET. Consumer A, who happens to be using these products at home as well as at his restaurant,is seenstruggling to make food due to product malfunctions and in some point get burns as well as occasionally take the products for repair.At the end of the day, the consumer A is tired hungry very dirty and broke and customers running away from the restaurant due to the inconveniences arising from the use of these products. On the other hand consumer B who also uses NIBSET product at home as well as the restaurant is seen making food with ease and having fun as he does so, same at the restaurant, customers keep coming back to enjoy the good cooking. Eventually at the end of the day consumer B is not worn-out and even has an extra coin, which he uses to purchase more of NIBSET products. Consumer A is fascinated by how easy consumer B seems to be going about and asks consumer B what the secrete might be. Consumer B introduces consumer A to NIBSET product,where a pre-emptive approach sets in. Consumer A is shown around how NIBSET products strive for the best and the various stages they are taken through to ensure quality and safety (Sellahvarzi, Mirabi, & Iran NejadParizi, 2014). Apart from the products manufacturing process, the consumer is shown how the NIBSET task force is at his service from all the departments to ensure that he gets the best. The whole revelation leads consumer topurchase NIBSET products confidently and is seen to have enough rest, dressed well,more costumers at the restaurant and with an extra coin. All along the delivery of the message a background song is playing with a tag line “don’t just cook, enjoy the cooking”. The tone of the message at the beginning is funny as it portrays a consumer whose life has been made a living hell due to poor choice of products and as the message nears the end, the tone is serious so that the audience gets the value and the seriousness of the organization to deliver the best. The whole scene of consumer Ais portrayed with no colors only in black and white while that of consumer B has flashy and attractive colors. The effect of colors in the beginning of the message is used to portray how outdated the consumer is and lack of a lifestyle while B is living life large and in a modern way.
The message will be conveyed through social media platforms, paid advertising on televisions as well as you tube channel and advertisement agencies. This will ensure that consumers are able to access it and hence drive their decision to purchase NIBSET products.
Marketing strategies have greatly evolved with time. The sure thing with evolution is that many changes are experienced which render some marketing strategies worthless. LikeMcCarthy, 4ps of marketing model that stands for product, price, promotion, and place has been replaced by the 4c that stand for consumer, convenience cost, andcommunication. Therefore the NIBSET organization should stop limiting itself from internal functions only and adopt the strategy above that involves integratinghorizontally, vertically, internally and externally to keep a breast with the modern changes in the marketing field. The various integrations will yield the integrated marketing communication strategy, but all this will be in vain if the company fails to pass the message to the world concerning the recent changes. For this reason, the paper has included a plan of how the message will be structured and conveyed to the world. The message focusses on the consumer side as well as the organizations side all in one package to ensure cost minimization. The message will go a long way in creating future profits as the consumers continue to enjoy the benefits and services rendered by NIBSET organization. Therefore,I highly recommend that the organization adopts the strategy and practice it.
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