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Module 1

Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communication

IMC as "a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety
of communication disciplines and combines these disciplines to provide
clarity, consistency and maximum communication impact.
The primary idea behind an IMC strategy is to create a seamless experience
for consumers across different aspects of the marketing mix. The brand's
core image and messaging are reinforced as each marketing communication
channel works together as parts of a unified whole rather than in isolation.

Key Points:
Integrated marketing communications is an approach used by
organizations to brand and coordinate their marketing efforts across
multiple communication channels.
As marketing efforts have shifted from mass advertising to niche
marketing, companies have increasingly used IMC to develop more
cost-effective campaigns that still deliver consumer value.
Typically, communication tools for IMC encompass both traditional and
digital media, such as blogs, webinars, search engine optimization,
radio, television, billboards, and magazines.

Tools of Integrated Marketing Communications

The IMC process generally begins with an integrated marketing
communications plan that describes the different types of marketing,
advertising, and sales tools that will be used during campaigns. These are
largely promotional tools, which include everything from search engine
optimization (SEO) tactics and banner advertisements to webinars and blogs.
Traditional marketing communication elements such as newspapers,
billboards, and magazines may also be used to inform and persuade
consumers. Marketers must also decide on the appropriate combination of
traditional and digital communications for their target audience to build a
strong brand-consumer relationship.

Customer Buying Process

The Customer Buying Process (also called a Buying Decision Process) describes the process
your customer goes through before they buy your product. Understanding your customers
buying process is not only very important for your Salespeople, it will also enable you to align
your sales strategy accordingly
The process has been interpreted by many scholars over the years; however,
the five stages framework remains a good way to evaluate the customers
buying process. John Dewey first introduced the following five stages in

Stage One: recognition

Stage one is the recognition of the particular problem or need and here the buyer has a need to
satisfy or a problem that needs solving, and this is the beginning of the buyer decision process.

Stage Two: search for information

Stage two is where we begin to search for information about the product or service. Buyers here
begin to look around to find out whats out there in terms of choice and they start to work out
what might be the best product or service for solving the problem or satisfying any need.

Stage Three: evaluation

Stage three sees the evaluation of the available alternatives whereby the buyer decides upon a set
of criteria by which to assess each alternative.

Stage Four: purchase decission

We buy or select a product/service/supplier at stage four. Individuals or teams of buyers make the
final choice of what to buy and from whom to buy it.

Stage Five: post purchasing behaviour

Interestingly the process does not stop at the point of purchase because there is a stage five called
the post-purchase evaluation. The process continues even when the product or service is being
consumed by the individual or business. So if it doesnt meet your needs or solve your problem
you can take action to improve the product or service. Your actions at this point might inform
other potential buyers who would be keen to hear about your experiences good or bad.

1. AIDA Model

Developed to represent the stages through which a salesperson must

take a customer in the personal selling process.

Buyer is depicted as passing through Attention, Interest, Desire, and

Action stages.

Action stage involves closing the sale, which is the most difficult
stage, but most important to the marketer.

2. Hierarchy of Effects Model

Paradigm for setting and measuring advertising objectives.

Shows the process by which advertising works, and that advertisings

effects occur over a period of time.

Consumer passes through a series of steps in sequential order, from

initial awareness of product or service to actual purchase.

3. Innovation Adoption Model

Represents the stages a consumer passes through in adopting a new
product or service.

Potential adopters must be moved through a series of steps before

deciding to adopt a new product.
4. Information Processing Model

Assumes that the receiver in a persuasive communication situation is

an information processor or problem solver.

Steps of being persuaded constitute a response hierarchy.

Steps are similar to the Hierarchy of Effects sequence.

Traditional Hierarchy Models are useful because:

They outline the series of steps potential purchasers must take to move from
unawareness of a product or service to readiness to purchase.

Potential buyers can be identified as present at different stages in the


Advertiser can identify different communication problems based on each

stage of the hierarchy.

They can be used as intermediate measures of communication effectiveness

to guide future communication decisions.

A marketing approach used to measure the results of an advertising
campaign. DAGMAR is an acronym: Defining Advertising Goals for Measured
Advertising Results. The approach involves setting specific, measurable
objectives for a campaign to determine if specific objectives were met.
Specifically, DAGMAR seeks to communicate a specific message through four
Awareness - making the consumer aware that the product or company exists
Comprehension - letting the consumer know what the product is used for
Conviction - convincing the consumer to purchase the product
Action - getting the consumer to actually make the purchase.
Marketing Communication Budget
A marketing communication budget provides a formal process for planning, tracking and
measuring the impact of your expenditures on marketing communications activities such as
advertising, direct marketing, online or events. The budget sets out the funding required to
meet your communications objectives and provides a method of managing the expenditure
over a budget year.
The marketing communication budget is part of the wider marketing planning
process. Your marketing strategy establishes how you will achieve your
marketing objectives. Marketing communications strategy describes the
techniques you will use to deliver key messages to the target audience. The
objective of the marketing communication budget is to achieve the
communication goals as cost effectively as possible and demonstrate a
successful return on investment. Some organizations separate above-the-line
expenditures on advertising from below-the-line activities such as product
information, social media or direct marketing.


The budget covers the direct and indirect costs of communications programs.
A budget for product information, for example, would include costs of copy
writing, design, printing and distribution. A budget for an event such as an

exhibition would cover rent of exhibition space, booth design and production,
client entertainment costs, event publicity and miscellaneous staff costs.
Careful planning ensures that there are no surprises when the final bill


The budget also sets out the timescales for expenditure over the year. Most organizations plan
their expenditures on a quarterly basis to smooth spending; however major events like a new
product launch can mean heavier expenditures in one quarter. Although a budget should cover the
forecast costs for all planned activities over a year, it should also include a contingency fund to
cover costs for new business opportunities.


Putting together a budget can highlight opportunities to reduce marketing communications costs.
Integrated marketing communications uses consistent messages and visual images through all
communications programs. By working with a single communications agency, organizations can
also reduce their administrative costs, releasing funds for other communications programs.


Budgets enable you to track planned expenditure against actual costs. To manage the budget
effectively, make sure your suppliers invoice you promptly and advise you of any possible cost
increases. To meet quarterly budget targets, you may have to request invoices against work in
progress for longer-term projects. As the end of the budget year approaches, you should ensure
that all invoices for that year's work are submitted and approved, even if the work is not
completed. Communication priorities could change in the next budget year and you may not have
funds to complete critical projects.


Use the budget to measure how well the program achieved communications objectives. Use
metrics to measure factors such as changes in brand perception, number of sales leads, responses
to direct marketing programs or increase in the number of website visitors. Those metrics help
compare the effectiveness of different communication programs or levels of expenditure.

Fundamentals of Advertising Campaigns
As various new marketing channels have risen to significance, advertising (both
print and online) has continued to chug along, helping marketers provide
information in a more detailed and more openly promotional (at times) manner than

the online world often finds permissible. In a world with short attention spans, print
advertisements still present a clear branding opportunity.

1. Consider who you are targeting

Before one considers what type of advertising might work best to reach your
desired target, you first must settle on who your target market is. Are you
attempting to reach existing customers to inform them about improvements to your
product? Are you trying to reach potential prospects who should be interested in
your products? If you are considering a print component to your campaign, leaf
through some of the industry publications. The type of editorial and ads in the
publication should clue you in as to how others are approaching the market. Make
sure the copy and message of your ad is consistent with the target you are trying to
reach, i.e. engineers look for more technical copy whereas top management might
prefer a less is more approach.

2. Make sure you measure

This will be a fundamental aspect of almost every tactic were going to discuss in
this series. Its no secret that we are living in an era of accountability. Do not accept
the idea that advertising, including print advertising, cannot be measured. In fact,
there are numerous ways to track how your advertising campaign is performing.
With our own clients, weve seen the use of special landing pages URLs that can
only be accessed by typing that specific URL into a browser. By tying a special URL
to a specific ad, you can track with greater accuracy how many potential leads that
ad is driving. With CRM software and web analytics, you can track the behavior of
that special URL visitor and determine how many leads convert to sales. Weve also
seen clients use a dedicated email address and even unique phone numbers.

3. Have an objective
Too often, ads appear in a way that can best be described as haphazard, either in
terms of the ads design, the ads placement, or where the ad links to if its an
online ad. Make sure you have a clear objective that you want youre advertising to
fulfill. If you are introducing a new product, perhaps you want to set a goal of your
ad creating a certain number of sample requests. If you are promoting a white
paper or a webinar, make sure that your creative and your ad placement appeal to
the people in your audience who would want that kind of content. Your objective will
guide every important decision you will ultimately make about the ads you use in
your campaign.

4. Understand the importance of selecting audited publications

When considering the print part of your campaign, remember the importance of selecting audited
publication where possible. Audited publications (BPA Worldwide and ABC are the two leaders) provide
the confidence of knowing that the target audience you are trying to reach actually qualify for and receive
the publication.
Even if your ad showcases the best creative in the industry, if the right people are not seeing it, it will not
do you any good. Rather than advertise in publications just because they have the lowest cost or the
largest circulation, advertise in the publications that offer the BEST circulation for your specific audience.

Brand positioning through advertising

A successful advertising campaign brings many other benefits that law firms never
seem to address. Some are extremely important when building a brand or
positioning your firm within the marketplace. When weighing the value of an
advertising campaign and whether advertising is right for your firm, you should
consider these other benefits.
1. Advertising communicates success. The mere fact that your firm is
advertising communicates success to clients, potential clients and
2. Advertising reminds clients and former clients of the quality service that your
firm has provided and offers assurances that your firm will remain viable and
successful well into the future.
3. Advertising is publicity, focusing attention on your firm in a public forum that
people use to learn about law firms. If your firm is seeking publicity but an
editor has never heard of your firm, that editor is most likely to doubt the
importance of the information and not run it. Advertising can eliminate that
4. Advertising is movement and growth. Advertising breathes life into a firm,
carrying it to new areas, new markets, and new industries. A firm that keeps
moving grows and thrives, while dormant ones tend to stagnate.
5. Advertising "spreads the word" about a firm, and the more people who are
familiar with a firm -- and with the brand -- the greater the firm's market
power. Familiarity wields the power of persuasion creating an avenue for
others to pass on your information with confidence.
6. Advertising boosts morale. An important, empowering element of advertising
is pride. Advertising is a source of pride for clients who have chosen the firm
as well as for staff who enjoy the excitement generated by an ad campaign.
7. Advertising stimulates conversation about a firm, among clients, potential
clients and competing firms. When a prospective or existing client tells a
member of your firm, "I saw your firm's ad today," you have just been handed

an opportunity to build a relationship. Relationship building is vital, as

success in the service industry is based on strong relationships.
8. Advertising can eliminate branding confusion, which causes an identity crisis
both within and without your firm. Properly positioning the brand through
advertising will communicate to everyone what your firm is about, removing
all assumptions.
Advertising is an investment in growth, generating opportunities, positioning a
brand and reaching thousands of potential clients. If the legal industry is based on
successful relationships, then your next goal should be to learn to recognize and
capitalize on the new opportunities brought to you through advertising.

Planning Process
The planning process is the steps a company takes to develop budgets to guide
its future activities. The documents developed may include strategic plans (longrange, high-level company goals), tactical plans (shorter-term, specific plans to work
toward goals in the strategic plan), operating plans (detailed plans for a specific
department to implement), and project plans (plans to implement projects such as
launching new products or building a new plant).

How Does the Process Work

Develop objectives

Develop tasks to meet those objectives

Determine resources needed to implement tasks

Create a timeline

Determine tracking and assessment method

Finalize plan

Distribute to all involved in the process


Creative brief:

A document produced by a requesting party to be used by professionals operating within an

inventive field to produce various useful deliverables. For example, a business might generate a
creative brief to instruct an advertising agency to produce a visual design, a promotional video,
advertising copy or a web site for promotion via the Internet.

Advertising appeal:
An advertising appeal refers to the approach used to attract the attention
of consumers and/or to influence their feelings toward the product, service,
or cause. It's something that moves people, speaks to their wants or need,
and excites their interest.


Generic strategies
Basic approaches to strategic planning that can be adopted by any firm in any market or industry
to improve its competitive performance. The three fundamental marketing strategies (which,
though different, are not mutually exclusive) are: differentiation strategy, focus strategy, and low
cost strategy.
1. Differentiation strategy
Approach under which a firm aims to develop and market unique products for different customer
segments. Usually employed where a firm has clear competitive advantages, and can sustain an
expensive advertising campaign. It is one of three generic marketing strategies (see focus
strategy and low cost strategy for the other two) that can be adopted by any firm.

2. Focus strategy
A marketing strategy in which a company concentrates its resources on entering or expanding in
a narrow market or industry segment.
A focus strategy is usually employed where the comopany knows its segment and has products to
competitively satisfy its needs. Focus strategy is one of three generic marketing strategies

3. Low cost strategy

A pricing strategy in which a company offers a relatively low price to stimulate demand and gain
market share. It is one of three generic marketing strategies (see differentiation strategy and
focus strategy for the other two) that can be adopted by any company, and is usually employed
where the product has few or no competitive advantage or where economies of scale are
achievable with higher production volumes. Also called low price strategy.

Brand Image
The impression in the consumers' mind of a brand's total personality (real and imaginary
qualities and shortcomings). Brand image is developed over time through advertising campaigns
with a consistent theme, and is authenticated through the consumers' direct experience. See also
corporate image.

Public Service Advertising

Unlike traditional commercials, Public Service Advertisements (PSA) are primarily
designed to inform and educate rather than sell a product or service. The goal of a
PSA is not to make a big sale, but rather to change public opinion and raise
awareness for a problem. However, sometimes money is solicited, although usually
not for profit.
A typical PSA will be for the latter, with topics including:

Safe driving

Celebrity endorsement
Celebrity endorsement advertising is defined as a well-known person using his or
her fame to help promote a product or service. Celebrity endorsements can help
build a brand, attract new users, and influence consumer purchases.


Influence Consumer Purchases

Build Awareness
Position a Brand
Attract New Users
Breathe Life Into Failing Brand

Elements of Print Advertising

Print advertising includes sales brochures, coupons, fliers, business cards,
billboards and ads in magazines and newspapers. Use this medium
successfully by first defining the advertising goal, identifying your target
audience and focusing your message. The cost of printed advertising can
easily outweigh its benefit, so never waste it. Each of the seven elements of
print advertising must enhance your ad's effectiveness.

Copy Elements
The copy or text must communicate in clear, concise and focused language. Start
with a headline that grabs the reader's attention, sparks interest in your product
and conveys your message succinctly. Potential customers have only seconds to
read your billboard. Even in brochures or catalogs, keep body copy brief and on
point. Include the company signature --- your identifying slogan and/or logo. Use
fonts (typefaces) that complement your message and are easy to read.

Graphic Elements
Photography, illustration and logo symbols like Nike's swoosh raise interest in any
ad. Integrate these graphic elements with your headline and copy for maximum
effect. A study by Texas State University showed that more attention goes to
pictures than words and human models get the most attention in magazine ads.
This indicates the value of using models that match or appeal to your target
audience to forge an immediate connection between your product/service and your
potential customer. Inconsistency between your headline and your illustration will
confuse the viewer and reduce the ad's impact.

Color vs. B&W

Color printing costs more than black and white. Full-color printing uses four inks and four runs
through the press for each page. Two-color printing is a cheaper color option, appropriate for
some applications.

The layout is the way you put all the elements together to create the final ad. Your layout needs a
focal point --- usually the picture or headline --- for readers' eyes to land on, then the white
space, graphic and text elements should lead them through the copy to the company signature.
Make the final layout match the ad's ultimate printed appearance in every detail.

Size and Shape

Newspaper and magazine placement fees are based on ad size. The exact dimensions may vary
by publication, but are priced as fractions of a page. Special locations, like the back cover, cost
more. Use appropriate size and shape, linked to purpose and corporate image, for nonpublication print advertising.

Paper and Ink

For print ads other than in magazines or newspapers, choose paper with a composition, weight
and finish that contributes positively to your advertising image. Traditional inks contain volatile
organic compounds; consider using soy-based inks if they will give the result you want.

Where you place your print advertising affects its success. An auto parts dealer will get more
response running his ad in an automotive magazine or classified section than in a fashion
magazine. Direct mail solicitations generate leads more effectively than magazine ads do.

List of Ethical & Legal Issues When Advertising

The advertising industry operates within strict federal regulations and is monitored
by the Federal Trade Commission. Even with truth-in-advertising laws in place,
advertisers have significant leeway to violate the ethical standards of a wide range
of consumers. Advertisers have to be especially careful to act ethically at all times,
taking extra care when advertising to children, advertising potentially harmful
products and using psychological tactics to stimulate demand. Having a list of
ethical and legal issues at hand when creating advertisements can help you to craft
legal, responsible ad messages.

Truth in Advertising
The Federal Trade Commission Act set forth requirements for truth in advertising and created the
FTC to enforce the provisions of the act. The Bureau of Consumer Protection's Business Bureau
notes that advertisements in the U.S. must by truthful, not deceptive and not unfair. Advertisers
must also have evidence available to back up claims they make.
The FTC defines deceitful statements as those that are likely to mislead consumers who act
reasonably under normal circumstances and that are likely to affect consumers' purchase
decisions. The FTC defines unfair advertisements as those that are likely to cause substantial,
unavoidable injury when using a product, unless the injury is outweighed by the provable

Advertising to Children
Although the FTC places special emphasis on truth-in-advertising laws when applied to children,
the law allows for a great deal of unethical behavior here. Former FTC commissioner Roscoe B.
Starek states that children are not likely to understand exaggerated statements or images, citing
the example that children may believe a toy helicopter to come fully assembled when in fact
assembly is required.
This interpretation of the law completely ignores the unethical ramifications of purely legal
advertising, such as building brand loyalty in children before they even understand what a brand
is, encouraging children to develop negative self images or getting children hooked on products
that can impede social development. The best way to act ethically in this area is to advertise to
parents, not children.

Advertising Harmful Products

Different countries look differently on the advertising of vice products and services, striking a
balance between placing personal responsibility on citizens and regulating what citizens are
allowed to indulge in. The United States highly regulates some forms of vice, prohibits others
and gives still others a free hand. For example, cigarette advertising is only permitted on specific
media, excluding television and radio, while alcohol advertising is allowed on all media.
Companies have to take a good look at the true nature of their product lines when deciding
whether they are acting ethically as advertisers. Television ads for fast food hamburgers are
completely legal and effective at building demand, for example, but doctors in the 21st century
are beginning to find links between fast food and a national obesity epidemic. Pharmaceutical
ads with lists of side effects, as another example, are often followed 10 years later by attorneys'
ads for class-action lawsuits against the companies for wrongful injury.

Advertising Tactics
Advertising tactics present additional ethical challenges. Advertisers have a range of less-thanethical yet legal tools at their disposal, including subliminal advertising, emotional appeals,
taking advantage of less educated individuals, spreading propaganda for political campaigns, and
other tactics ethical advertisers consistently refrain from using. At the end of the day, consumers
will be more attracted to companies that do not use underhanded, psychologically manipulative
tactics to gain their business.