The Importance of an Integrated Marketing Plan

With the current economic downturn, businesses need to get the most out of their  marketing dollars.  They can’t afford to make a mistake and put their money in the wrong marketing basket.  What does it take today to bake the right  marketing recipe?  Just like baking a cake, there are many different recipes that work.  The key is to finding the one that works for
your company.  Unfortunately, most businesses today do not have an integrated marketing plan in place.

It’s time to get organized and make your plan of attack!

The right recipe is something that can take years to conjure up.  Don’t expect to come up with the right marketing recipe initially.  It’s all about testing to see what works for you.  When buying a new car, you always test drive the vehicle prior to making  the purchase……the same holds true for your integrated marketing plan. The best  marketers realize that they need to test various marketing mediums to see what  drives the best results for their business.

What is an Integrated Marketing  Communication Plan (IMC)?

An Integrated Marketing Communication plan involves coordinating the various promotional elements and other marketing activities that communicate with a  firm’s customers.  It includes traditional mass media advertising, direct marketing, public relations, on-line  advertising, social media, trade shows, etc.  Basically, it encompasses all aspects of  marketing across the entire company.  An integrated marketing plan employs more than one medium of mass communication to  reach the target customers. IMC uses the potential of different media vehicles to communicate with customers and prospects.

The IMC Process….

  1. Set Communication Objectives Up Front – What are you looking to accomplish from your marketing activities. Be clear
    and realistic in your expectations.
  2. Budget Determination – How much money can you allocate per medium? Where would you like to focus the highest
    percentage of your budget?
  3. Develop IMC Programs – Develop creative concepts and messaging for campaigns.
    Keep campaigns consistent throughout all mediums.
  4. Launch Programs –  Execute campaigns and keep a marketing
    calendar with all launch dates.  It’s important to keep everyone in the company informed about current campaigns.
  5. Monitor and Measure Results – Track response rate, brand awareness, and new leads generated from campaigns.  It’s important to monitor on a consistent basis and make sure you track ROI for each campaign if possible.

Bringing all the right marketing ingredients together

Now it’s time to analysis your results and see where you got the most bang for your  buck.   What worked and what did not work…that is the question!!!  Once you
figure this out you will be in good shape and ready to take your marketing to the next level.  It’s now time to develop your integrated marketing plan with all the right ingredients.

It’s time to bake your cake

Make sure you don’t burn your marketing cake with too much of a good thing.  Even after you learn what works for you, don’t ignore the other marketing mediums completely.  You may still want to run a magazine ad in a trade publication but with less frequency.   You don’t have to cut out certain marketing  vehicles completely…but know which ones to use more heavily.  It’s all about knowing the proper mixture of  ingredients to bake your marketing cake.  Happy Baking!

Sources:

The Building Blocks of a Successful IMC Plan

 Building a Brand Name Through Integrated Marketing Solutions and Communications

Marketing for Technology

Advertising & Promotion an Integrated Marketing Communication Perspective, George E. Belch, Michael A. Belch, McGraw Hill Publishing 9th Edition

 

 

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

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  1. Glad I’ve flinlay found something I agree with!

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