Integrated marketing communications is a promotional, strategic, and collaborative marketing function in which targeted market audiences receive persuasive and consistent brand messages in an integrated and comprehensive way to move buyers through the decision-making process. To help with the integrated marketing communications strategy, marketers go through four steps to develop this process. First, they have to identify different marketing communication methods. They have to develop a marketing communication plan, understanding the customer decision-making process, and lastly, implementing the marketing communication plan.
For this process, it is essential to determine the marketing communication methods that will be most helpful for the plan a brand is creating. During this process, a brand needs to think about their target market, how they like to receive information, and what media channels are the most popular for that audience. From this information, the brand determines what channels are the most relevant to utilize during this specific strategy. A brand can decide on using content marketing, email marketing, or social media marketing. These methods assist brands in building relationships, developing brand awareness, and generating website traffic.
When developing a marketing communication plan, brands have to make sure it executes on the marketing initiatives, which makes the business focus on the audience, the content, and the cadence. They need to decide who their target audience is going to be and how they are going to reach them. For example, if they are targeting baby boomers, they should consider contacting them by Facebook and email. When it comes to the content, they will be using, and they need to decide what will speak to the audience and be productive. For example, if a business is trying to generate new contacts or lead by a database, they can use an offer such as subscribing to a newsletter or downloading a checklist. It’s essential to understand how often people like to receive this information. Businesses can use sources like CRMs like HubSpot, which provide informative metrics such as: how often people read emails, engage on the website, and social media.
One of the most important steps is for a brand to understand the customer decision-making process. It’s good for them to know how some customers use an extended decision-making process, and others use low levels of involvement to make limited or spontaneous decisions. Most customers follow the primary stages of the process, which is the awareness, consideration, and decision stages. This step is essential since brands need to understand the nature of customer behaviors and how they can enhance the effectiveness of their communications by tailoring their message. The final step is implementing the marketing communications plan and obtaining the results. This is the step that brands have to maintain organized with the campaign assets and make sure they are communicating to the right audience, at the right time and the right way. They need to monitor all the consumer needs, and make sure they are receiving the message consistently and that the message is effective.
Integrated marketing is one of the marketing functions that is one of the most important to a brand. With all these important factors, put together create a successful marketing communications strategy. The main element is to get the message across, to the audience with the right message, and in an effective way. Every brand wants to surpass its competitors but get lost in the process. Sometimes brand loses touch with their customers, or they branch too far out with products or services their customers never wanted or needed. Brands have to keep in mind to stay connected to their consumers and the main message.