What do you understand by the term IMC?
Integrated Marketing Communication is a concept that describes the unity of all constituents of the particular project. IMC can be defined as a strategic process that incorporates such procedures as planning, developing, and executing of existing communication links to the specific projects (Kitchen & Pelsmacker, 2004, p. 7).
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In other words, IMC realizes the essential connections between customers, prospects, and other individuals or programs that have a particular role in the project. The aim of IMC is to create harmony between all parts. When all parts are connected correctly, efficiency and productivity are more likely to rise and improve the overall performance.
What would be the benefits and/or drawbacks of engaging an IMC campaign instead of deploying a conventional advertising campaign?
Conventional advertising campaigns employ such methods for the attraction of consumers as TV, broadcasts, or prints. IMC provides wider opportunities for the same purpose. Thus, customers can be reached through multiple channels. IMC pays particular attention to the marketing campaigns on the Internet and in social media.
IMC analyzes the target audience and uses its demographics. Such an approach provides the opportunity to identify the needs of the customers. The primary drawbacks of engaging an IMC campaign refer to needs a substantial amount of financial resources. Besides, the planning, realizing, and monitoring of a particular campaign is a challenging task that requires time and necessary skills.
In your opinion, is IMC practice becoming more popular or prevalent for product promotions?
In my opinion, the IMC practice is becoming more popular for product promotions. This tendency can be explained by several facts. The most significant factor is the development of technologies. In a few decades, computers, laptops, smartphones, and other gadgets became integral parts of everyday life.
There is no doubt that all these changes have influenced the modern business. The rise of e-commerce is another aspect that affects the business. All these modifications have led to a shift in the sphere of marketing. Consequently, marketing strategies have become more consumer-oriented. They require an integrated approach to their planning and execution (Joseph, 2011, p. 64-65).
Define and explain the “promotional mix.” Briefly describe the role of each component
The promotional mix is a combination of activities and tools for accomplishing a particular goal. These activities are designed in such a way that they attract the attention of potential consumers and incline them to buy the products or use the service. It is a form of communication with the customer. The most significant promotional tools include advertising, sales promotions, personal selling, and public relation.
Advertising is a presentation of the product or service. Sales promotion comprises of various techniques of stimulating customers to buy something. These methods include discounts, special offers, refunds, and others. Personal selling is the way of the private approaching the customer.
During the face-to-face communication with the client, the salesperson can explain the benefits of the product. Public relations is the method of making the policy and activities of the organization open to everyone.
What are the major steps to consider in an IMC planning process? Briefly describe each
The first step in an IMC planning process is to review the overall marketing plan. The task of the manager is to analyze the market of a particular niche. This step also includes the evaluation of primary competitors and the way advertising and promotion are used in the sphere. The next step is the identification of the target audience. Understanding the objectives of the target audience is crucial for a successful marketing strategy.
The manager has to conduct an analysis of the audience’s demographics, lifestyle, and psychographics. The next step includes the analysis of the very process of buying (stages, questions, and consumers’ decisions). The following step is to choose the brand positioning of the product. The last step is setting communication objectives (choice of media, advertising) (Percy, 2014, p. 250-270).
What does the target audience mean? How can an advertiser identify and “refine” the target audience of his/her product or service from the general population?
A target audience is a group of people who can be interested in the particular goods or services. The identification of the target audience is necessary for choosing the appropriate marketing strategy. Further clarification of the target audience is a separate process. First, the advertiser has to analyze the business plan and define the primary offer.
Then, he or she has to think of people who may need this offer. The next step is to conduct research. The manager can use various online resources to find the target audience. Then, it is necessary to create demographic and psychographic profiles of customers to “refine” the target audience from the general population.
What is meant by geographic segmentation? How it is different from demographic segmentation
Geographic segmentation allows the manager to segment the market according to the market size, population density, climate, or religion. For instance, the climate can be a significant factor for those companies that sell products connected with changes in weather. Thus, the particular weather patterns in one place assist the manager in deciding whether there is a need for selling their product.
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Demographic segmentation focuses on other distinctive features of the customers. Demographic segmentation requires the analysis of age, gender, family size, income, generation, education, occupation, or social class. These factors are helpful for the creation of the promotion mix and further spreading of the product.
What do you understand by the term “product positioning”?
Product positioning is the process of making the product unique in the market. Positioning presupposes the choice of product presentation among other products in the sphere. The manager should create the identity of the product and describe the relationship between its price and attributes.
Positioning involves two significant aspects — competitive differentiation and value proposition. Competitive differentiation aims at proving the product superiority among other offers. Thus, the manager has to find a distinctive feature of the product and draw the target audience’s attention to it (Zahid, 2013, p. 51). A value proposition is an explanation of reasons for buying products at a particular price.
Why advertisers tend to use the FCB planning grid during the product promotions planning phase?
The FCB planning grid is used for product delineation into four primary categories. These groups represent different attitudes of consumers towards the process of buying products. Thus, according to FCB planning grid, the consumer’s involvement may be informative, affecting, habit formation, and self-satisfaction (Cameron & Pickett, 2015, p. 30-35).
For instance, the customer has to think about the pros and cons of buying a new car or house carefully. This case presents an informative type of consumer involvement. Knowing the motives and feelings of the consumers assists advertisers in choosing the right tactics for advertisement. That is why advertising of perfumes or cosmetics is often connected with emotions.
Do you agree that better-understanding IMC practices than simply advertising may be beneficial for your career advancement? Why and why not?
In my opinion, one has to possess knowledge in various spheres to become a competent specialist. I agree that a better understanding of IMC practices can be beneficial for my career advancement. Nowadays, it is rather a challenge to be able to organize and realize marketing strategies due to the variety of aspects that affects them (Joseph, 2011, p. 64).
IMC practices provide the necessary basis for becoming an effective manager and advertiser in a continuously developing environment. Besides, I have deepened my knowledge and learned new information concerning the ways of customer attraction and sales promotion. The ability to implement even some aspects of IMC in simple practices can be of great use to my future career.
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Market Segmentation. Web.
Percy, Larry. Strategic Integrated Marketing Communications. London: Routledge, 2014. Print.
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Pujari, Saritha. 4 Most Important Elements of Promotion Mix. Web.
Zahid, Ishrat. Product Management. Bloomington: Xlibris Corporation, 2013. Print.