Chapter 14: Integrated Marketing Communications
Integrated marketing communications (IMC): represents the promotion dimension of the four
Ps; includes a variety of communication disciplines – general advertising, personal selling, sales
promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and electronic media – in combination to provide
clarity, consistency, and maximum communicative impact.
Communicating with Consumers
Understanding how best to reach target consumers.
The communication from firm to consumers.
Factors that affect the way consumers perceive the message.
The Communication Process
The sender: where the message originates; the sender must be clearly identified to the
Deceptive advertising: a representation, omission, or practice in an advertisement that is
likely to mislead customers acting reasonably under the circumstances.
The transmitter: an agent or intermediary with which the sender works to develop the
Encoding: The process of converting the sender’s ideas into a message; which could be
verbal, visual, or both.
The communication channel: the medium – print, broadcast, the Internet – that carries
The receiver: the person who reads, hears, or sees and processes the information
contained in the message or advertisement.
Decoding: refers to the process by which the receiver interprets the sender’s message.
Noise: any interference that stems from competing messages, a lack of clarity in the
message, or flaw in the medium, and it poses a problem for all contribution channels.
Feedback loop: allows the receiver to communicate with the sender and thereby informs
the sender whether the message was received and decoded properly.
How Consumers Perceive Communication
Each receiver may interpret the sender’s message differently
Senders often adjust their message according to the medium used and the receivers’level
of knowledge about the product/service.
Integrated Marketing Communication Tools
Advertising: a paid form of communication from an identifiable source, delivered through a
communication channel and designed to persuade the receiver to take some action, now or in the
Personal Selling: is the two-way flow of communication between a buyer and a seller that is
designed to influence the buyer’s purchase decision.
Sales Promotion: special incentives or excitement-building programs that encourage the
purchase of a product/service, such as coupons, rebates, contests, free samples and point-of-
purchase displays. Direct Marketing: marketing that communicates directly with target customers to generate a
response or transaction.
Direct Mail: a targeted, printed form of communication distributed to a prospective customer’s
Direct Email: a targeted, electronic form of communication distributed to a prospective
Catalogues: use to strategically build companies’business; important for companies that don’t
have a store location.
Direct Response TV: refers to TV commercials or infomercials with a strong call to action.
Public Relations: the organizational function that manages the firm’s communications to achieve
a variety of objectives and maintaining positive relationships with the media.
Caused-related marketing: refers to commercial activity in which businesses and
charities form a partnership to market an image, product or service for their mutual
Event sponsorship: occurs when corporations support various activities such as cultural
or sports and entertainment sectors.
Electronic Media: tools range from simple website content to far more interactive features such
as corporate blogs, online games, texting messaging, social media and mobile apps.
Steps in Planning an IMC Campaign
Advertiser must identify its target audience to have a successful advertising campaign by
conducting research and from the information they get, select the media they will use to
deliver the message.
2. Set Objectives
Understand the outcome they hope to achieve before they begin.
Short-term: generating inquiries, increasing awareness and prompting trial.
Long-term: increasing sales, market share and customer loyalty.
Advertising plan: a section of the firm’s overall marketing plan that explicitly outlines
the objectives of the advertising campaign, how to accomplish objectives and determine
whether the campaign is successful.
Pull strategy: designed to get consumers to pull the product into the supply chain by
demanding retailers to carry it.
Push strategy: designed to increase demand by focusing on wholesalers, distributors, or
salespeople, who push the product to consumers via distribution channels.
3. Determine budget Objective-and-task method: determines the budget required to undertake
specific tasks to accomplish communication objectives; set objectives, choose media
and determine costs.
Limitations: difficult to identify the specific tasks to achieve the objectives, most
difficult method to use.
Competitive parity method: method of determining a communications budget
that is based on a fixed percentage of forecasted sales.
Limitations: prevents firms from exploiting the unique opportunities or problems they
confront in a market; if all competitors use this method to set communication budgets,
their market shares will stay about the same.
Percentage-of-Sales: method of determining a communications budget that is
based on a fixed percentage of forecasted sales.
Limitations: assumes the percentage used in the past is still appropriate for the firm;
does not take into account new plans.
Affordable method: method of determining a communications budget that is
based on a fixed percentage of forecasted sales.
Limitations: assumes communication expenses do not stimulate sales and profit.
4. Convey Message
Unique selling proposition (USP): strategy of differentiating a product by
communicating its unique attributes; often becomes the common theme or slogan in the
entire advertising campaign.
Rational appeals: helps consumers make purchase decisions by offering factual
information and strong arguments built around relevant issues that encourage consumers
to evaluate the brand favourably on the key benefits it provides.
Emotional appeals: aims to satisfy consumers’emotional desires.
5. Evaluate and Select Media
Media planning: the process of evaluating and selecting the media mix that will deliver
a clear, consistent, compelling message to the intended audience.
Media mix: the combination of the media used and the frequency of advertising in each
Media buy: the actual purchase of airtime or print pages.
Mass media: channels such as national newspapers, magazines, radio and televisions,
that are ideal for reaching large numbers of anonymous audience members.
Niche media: channels that are focused and generally used to reach narrow segments,
often with unique demographic characteristics or interests.
Advertising schedule: specifies the timing and duration of advertising.
Continuous advertising schedule: runs steadily throughout the year and therefore is
suited to products and services that are consumed continually at relatively steady rates
and that require a steady level of persuasive or reminder advertising.
Flighting advertising schedule: implemented in spurts, with periods of heavy
advertising followed by periods of no advertising. Pulsing advertising schedule: combines the conti