Chapter 14 Integrated Marketing Communications
Integrated marketing communications (IMC): represents the promotion
dimension of the four Ps; encompasses 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
The Communication Process
Sender: the firm from which an IMC message originates; the sender must be
clearly identified to the intended audience.
o Deceptive advertising: a representation, omission, act, or practice in
an advertisement that is likely to mislead consumers acting
reasonably under the circumstances.
Transmitter: an agent or intermediary with which the sender works to
develop the marketing communications; for example, a firm’s creative
department or an advertising agency.
Encoding: the process of converting the sender’s ideas into a message, which
could be verbal, visual, or both.
Communication channel: the medium–print, broadcast, the Internet – that
carries the message.
Receiver: the person who reads, hears, or sees and processes the
information contained in the message or advertisement.
o Decoding: the process by which the receiver interprets the sender’s
Noise: any interference that stems from competing messages, a lack of clarity
in the message, or a flaw in the medium; a problem for all communication
Feedback loop: allows the receiver to communicate with the sender and
thereby informs the sender whether the message was received and decoded
How Consumers Perceive Communication
Receivers decode messages differently
o The sender has little, if any, control over what meaning any individual
receiver will take from the message.
Senders adjust messages according to the medium and receivers’ traits
o Different media communicate in very different ways, so marketers
make adjustments to their message and media. 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 future.
Personal selling: The two-way flow of communication between 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 or 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.
o Direct mail/email: a targeted form of communication distributed to
a prospective customer’s mailbox or inbox.
o Direct response TV
Public relations: the organizational function that manages the firm’s
communications to achieve a variety of objectives, including building and
maintaining a positive image, handling or heading off unfavourable stories or
events, and maintaining positive relationships with the media.
o Cause-related marketing: commercial activity in which businesses
and charities form a partnership to market an image, product, or
service for their mutual benefit; a type of promotional campaign.
o Event sponsorship: a popular PR tool; occurs when corporations
support various activities (financially or otherwise), usually in the
cultural or sports and entertainment sectors.
Electronic media: tools ranging from simple website content to far more
interactive features such as corporate blogs, online games, text messaging,
social media, and mobile apps.
o Websites o Text messaging
o Blogs o Social medias
o Online games o Mobile apps
Steps in Planning an IMC Campaign
1. Identify Target2. Set Objectives 3. Determine 4. Convey 5. Evaluate and 6. Create 7. Assess Impact
Audience Budget Message Select Media Communication 1. Identify Target Audience
The success of an advertising campaign depends on how well the advertiser
can identify its target audience.
Some advertising messages also may be directed at portions of audiences
who are not part of the marketer’s target market.
2. Set Objectives
Firms need to understand the outcomes they hope to achieve before they
Campaign objectives are derived from the overall objectives of the marketing
program and clarify the specific goals that the ads are designed to accomplish.
All marketing communications aim to achieve certain objectives: to inform,
persuade, and remind customers.
Advertising plan: a section of the firm’s overall marketing plan that
explicitly outlines the objectives of the advertising campaign, how the
campaign might accomplish those objectives, and how the firm can
determine whether the campaign was successful.
Pull strategy: designed to get consumers to pull the product into the supply
chain by demanding retailers carry it.
Push strategy: designed to increase demand by focusing on wholesalers,
distributors, or salespeople, who push the product to consumers via
3. Determine Budget
Objective-and-task method: an IMC budgeting method that determines the
cost required to undertake specific tasks to accomplish communication
objectives; process entails setting objective, choosing media, and
o It can be difficult to identify the specific tasks that will achieve the