Marketing entails an important issue within an organisation’s wider scope of its communications campaign. Olenski (2013) discusses the role of integrated marketing communications (IMC) in providing efficient messages to customers. In his article, which can be accessed from Forbes, specifically www.forbes.com, he insists that organisations can acquire marketing communications synergies when they realise the impact that presenting or availing cross-channel messages has on their clients’ loyalty. Olenski (2013) offers substantial data supporting its major argument that present-day businesses need to invest more in IMC concepts instead of using outdated marketing mechanisms such as printed materials if they wish to capture clients, including millennials, who are currently major consumers of social media. The article is credible because it appears in one of the oldest and highly ranked U.S. business magazines, namely, Forbes.
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This section investigates issues related to the subject of the communications campaign, although the emphasis is placed on the subtopic of integrated marketing communications. Mongkol (2014) defines IMC as the combination and harmonisation of diverse alternatives that seek to shape clients’ mentality by instilling in their minds an appropriate understanding and perception of various commodities or services. Such options include advertising, sales promotions, direct marketing, social media, and public relations. Rakić and Rakić (2014, p.188) present the same concept as “an approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign through a well-coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other.” These two definitions indicate that IMC entails creating seamless interactions of different marketing communications tools and strategies. Its goal is to not only communicate but also maintain strong consumer-brand relations.
According to Olenski (2013), IMC entails the only option for organisations that seek to communicate their brands effectively to the target market, such as millennials. However, as Rakić and Rakić (2014) reveal, combining various marketing communications tools to reach customers efficiently is difficult. Ots and Nyilasy (2015) support this position by specifying issues such as compartmentalisation, message misinterpretation, presenting information inappropriately, and reduced confidence, which business have to deal with in their day-to-day operations. However, according to Ots and Nyilasy (2015), IMC’s 4Es and 4Cs provide the required communications harmony.
In line with arguments raised in the article by Olenski (2013), and enlarging body of research indicates that realising remarkable results from IMC requires organisations to acquire some beneficial success synergies. In particular, Micu and Pentina (2014, p. 159) examined the impact of “paid advertising (banner ad plus banner ad) and publicity (news article plus banner ad)” on customers’ perceptions of some products. These authors deployed the ELM and economics theories in testing approaches via which various communications modes affected clients’ thoughts regarding different brand categories. The research findings indicate that ELM enhances customers’ perceptions of particular commodities compared to information economics (Micu & Pentina 2014). Consequently, the inclusion of information concerning specific brands in an online advertising environment communications mix has beneficial impacts on clients’ perceptions of products. However, for high-involvement commodities, ELM produces remarkable results when credible information is included in the advertisement mix.
Stuhlfault and Yoo (2013) assert that many organisations test and evaluate their IMC alternatives during later stages. This delay makes the assessment and experimentation wasteful and costly. Nevertheless, when promptly done, companies can develop IMC tools that capture elements such as humour, originality, effect, and value. Such integrated communications initiatives are articulate, harmonised, reliable, and able to guarantee continuity depending on the adopted strategy. The 4Cs aspect of integrated communications is critical to ensuring the success of visual IMC. Hence, as argued in Olenski’s (2013) article, fruits of an integrated communications campaign can only be achieved by developing consistent and unambiguous strategies. Such mechanisms have the potential of supporting a given brand (Luxton, Reid & Mavondo 2015).
Virgin Atlantic Airways has successfully deployed visual integrated communication strategies that satisfy IMC’s 4Es and 4Cs. Figures 1 and 2 show some of the adverts used by the airline.
The legible aspect of the advert is the same for both cases. Hence, audiences will have analogous interpretations of the two visual communications. The basic understanding is that Virgin Atlantic has the best set of crewmembers to attend to clients. This interpretation shapes customers’ perception that this company offers best-in-class customer services and experiences.
Marketing communications projects that yield success in the long term need to be creative and innovative in addressing issues that consumers look for regarding products availed in the marketplace. Adopting an IMC approach to marketing communications can help to achieve this goal. The article selected in this section provides substantive evidence confirming that present-day organisations should indeed invest more in integrated marketing communications technologies. Further, the available literature materials and the case of Virgin Atlantic Airways have been used to support this IMC.
Luxton, S, Reid, M & Mavondo, F 2015, ‘Integrated marketing communication capability and brand performance’, Journal of Advertising, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 37-46.
Micu, A & Pentina, I 2014, ‘Integrating advertising and news about the brand in the online environment: are all products the same?’, Journal of Marketing Communications, vol. 20, no.3, pp. 159-175.
Mongkol, K 2014, ‘Integrated marketing communication to increase brand equity: the case of a Thai beverage company’, International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 445-448.
Olenski, S 2013, ‘Why integrated marketing communications is more important than ever’, Forbes, Web.
Ots, M & Nyilasy, G 2015, ‘Integrated marketing communications (IMC): why does it fail?’, Journal of Advertising Research, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 132-145.
Rakić, B & Rakić, M 2014, ‘Integrated marketing communication paradigm in digital environment: the five pillars of integration’, Megatrend Review, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 187-204.
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Stuhlfault, M & Yoo, C 2013, ‘A tool for evaluating advertising concepts: desirable characteristics as viewed by creative practitioners’, Journal of Marketing Communications, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 81-97.