Integrated Marketing Communications
Integrated Marketing Communications is a simple concept. It ensures that all forms of
communications and messages are carefully linked together.
At its most basic level, Integrated Marketing Communications, or IMC, as we'll call it, means
integrating all the promotional tools, so that they work together in harmony.
Promotion is one of the Ps in the marketing mix. Promotions has its own mix of
All of these communications tools work better if they work together in harmony rather than
in isolation. Their sum is greater than their parts - providing they speak consistently with one
voice all the time, every time.
This is enhanced when integration goes beyond just the basic communications tools. There
are other levels of integration such as Horizontal, Vertical, Internal, External and Data
integration. Here is how they help to strengthen Integrated Communications.
Horizontal Integration occurs across the marketing mix and across business functions - for
example, production, finance, distribution and communications should work together and be
conscious that their decisions and actions send messages to customers.
While different departments such as sales, direct mail and advertising can help each other
through Data Integration. This requires a marketing information system which collects and
shares relevant data across different departments.
Vertical Integration means marketing and communications objectives must support the higher
level corporate objectives and corporate missions. Check out the Hall Of Fame later for more
Meanwhile Internal Integration requires internal marketing - keeping all staff informed and
motivated about any new developments from new advertisements, to new corporate
identities, new service standards, new strategic partners and so on.
External Integration, on the other hand, requires external partners such as advertising and PR
agencies to work closely together to deliver a single seamless solution - a cohesive message -
an integrated message.
The many benefits of IMC are examined in the section called, 'Benefits of IMC'.
Benefits of IMC
Although Integrated Marketing Communications requires a lot of effort it delivers many
benefits. It can create competitive advantage, boost sales and profits, while saving money,
time and stress.
IMC wraps communications around customers and helps them move through the various
stages of the buying process. The organisation simultaneously consolidates its image,
develops a dialogue and nurtures its relationship with customers.
This 'Relationship Marketing' cements a bond of loyalty with customers which can protect
them from the inevitable onslaught of competition. The ability to keep a customer for life is a
powerful competitive advantage.
IMC also increases profits through increased effectiveness. At its most basic level, a unified
message has more impact than a disjointed myriad of messages. In a busy world, a consistent,
consolidated and crystal clear message has a better chance of cutting through the 'noise' of
over five hundred commercial messages which bombard customers each and every day.
At another level, initial research suggests that images shared in advertising and direct mail
boost both advertising awareness and mail shot responses. So IMC can boost sales by
stretching messages across several communications tools to create more avenues for
customers to become aware, aroused, and ultimately, to make a purchase
Carefully linked messages also help buyers by giving timely reminders, updated information
and special offers which, when presented in a planned sequence, help them move
comfortably through the stages of their buying process... and this reduces their 'misery of
choice' in a complex and busy world.
IMC also makes messages more consistent and therefore more credible. This reduces risk in
the mind of the buyer which, in turn, shortens the search process and helps to dictate the
outcome of brand comparisons.
Un-integrated communications send disjointed messages which dilute the impact of the
message. This may also confuse, frustrate and arouse anxiety in customers. On the other
hand, integrated communications present a reassuring sense of order.
Consistent images and relevant, useful, messages help nurture long term relationships with
customers. Here, customer databases can identify precisely which customers need what
information when... and throughout their whole buying life.
Finally, IMC saves money as it eliminates duplication in areas such as graphics and
photography since they can be shared and used in say, advertising, exhibitions and sales
literature. Agency fees are reduced by using a single agency for all communications and even
if there are several agencies, time is saved when meetings bring all the agencies together - for
briefings, creative sessions, tactical or strategic planning. This reduces workload and
subsequent stress levels - one of the many benefits of IMC.
RED BULL ENERGY DRINK
• Canadian Retail market for energy drink is worth approxim $44 million.
• Red Bull holds 50% of market share worth $22 million
• Consumer often confuse energy drink with sports drinks such as Gatorade and
• Seen as addictive, Drug-infused beverages with negative health implication.
• Major beverage corporations are weighing into the energy drink market with
their own variations
• Today Youth and young adults are facing increased responsibilities
( Market Share )
Red Bull – 50%
Hansens Natural – 18%
Coca cola ( Rockstar , Full Throttle ) – 17%
Pepsi ( Amp , No fear ) – 10%
Independent / Regional – 5%
Young Athletes – Sobe No fear , Mountain Dew Amp
The Man’s Man – Moster , Full throttle
Females – Tab , Rockster
Multi – dimensional corporation that are market leaders in several other sectors that
have the ability to advertise infinity because of their substantial budget and brand
Media objectives: who will use it?
Women 16-35, comfortable personal income, aggressively pursuing goals, reject some social
conventions (housewife, marriage), Urban, or want to be, secondary target males, similar
demographics – also teens, but inadvertently.
Media objective: why will you drink Red Bull?
Red Bull is the current market leader Independent, it has an European origin which is very
catchy, well-known label, small can Berry-flavoured, carbonated, available sugar-free.
Restorative, vitalizing effects – increases mental awareness. It has all natural ingredients that
TASTE BETTER THAN COFFEE
It has a pulse some media Jan-Aug
outdoor, transit and magazines
Heavy Sept-Dec: Back to school, winter season, holiday obligations
Prime time television
• National campaign
• Focus on urban markets
Transit, outdoor, print, television
Reach is key – moderate frequency to avoid annoying overplay
Female oriented channels
Message should support independence
Target Market Strategy:- 1 year national campaign; climax in the fall and continue at a high
intensity through the busy holiday season;
To maximize total impressions and utilize a broad range of channels, a pulse approach will
be used in scheduling media;
A profile match strategy will be implemented; women’s magazines such as Elle Canada and
Lou Lou, television programs such as Canada’s Next Top Model, and Desperate Housewives
Brand awareness and image are necessary to succeed as campaign must connect with the
target to encourage trial purchase and eventually brand loyalty and the frequency is to ensure
that the consumer recognizes the product’s new image
Trendsetting areas - major urban markets and reaching the trendsetting female is the main
concern of the campaign and the extent of coverage will rely entirely on the substantial
To communicate that Red Bull can restore mental awareness and energize a busy,
Communicate that Red Bull is an effective, good tasting substitute for other caffeinated
beverages (coffee, tea, pop); and it contains all natural ingredients
To communicate that Red Bull is an independent, edgy brand Creative Strategy
Show attractive women consuming Red Bull as a substitute for coffee and other energy
The target market will see how effectively Red Bull fits into their busy lifestyle thus
highlighting the small can and the well-known Red Bull label will also create brand
awareness in association with the female market
There must be a clear contrast between the average, dull woman and the successful, vibrant
Red Bull drinker
Tone and Style:-
Humor will be used to stress the advantages of Red Bull over other energy supplements and
competitive brands Tone & Style Appeal Techniques
The positive aspects of Red Bull will be presented in contrast to the negative aspects of the
alternatives • demonstrated visually as well as implied
Media selection Rationale:-
Still a staple in any major media campaign
Television allows a demonstration of the advantages of Red Bull
Good reach and proven impact.
The only print media utilized in 2007
Provides critical brand awareness
Clear and precise demographic selectivity
Geographic flexibility across many urban markets
Outdoor & Transit:-
Growing in popularity exponentially
Potential for gross exposures far outweighs the lack of target market selectivity
Both mediums can supplement secondary male and teen market exposure
Sales Promotion:- Must encourage the first purchase of the product in store, and make the
new target market aware of the product and its benefits and $800 000 set aside for design,
creation, and distribution of sales promo materials and co-operative advertising costs. Large
displays integrated into the cooler shelves that hold the product with freestanding units at the
point of purchase Sales Promotion
Bull hoof-print stickers placed on the floor leading from the door to the freestanding rack or
coolers. Bull sound when you step on the last footprint Getting Involved
2 consecutive partial-page ads followed by a full page ad and a full calendar year
They have ads in Fashion Magazines, like Lou Lou, Hello!, Elle (Canadian Edition) which is
a Magazine Total: $1 454 988 Fashion
Interior posters – full showing with space in each city will be purchased for 12 weeks but
only run four weeks at a time on a rotating schedule
The Transit Total cost is: $301 815 53 500 Transit
Target Female Audience, aged 16-35in the month of September-December only
Prime-time programs such as:
America’s Next Top Model
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
The total Television cost: $2 237 600
The key point summary:-
1. Target Female Audience, aged 16-35, but acknowledges the old target
2. Focus on gross exposures for brand awareness
3. Integrate into “female culture”
4. Use a variety of media, primarily to support PR and sales promotion themes