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INTERGRATING MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS, AN EVALUATION OF THE ADVANTAGES AND PITFALLS.

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Introduction

TITLE: INTERGRATING MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS, AN EVALUATION OF THE ADVANTAGES AND PITFALLS. 1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The shift from mass marketing to targeted marketing, and the corresponding use of a richer mixture of communications channels and promotions tools, poses a problem for marketers. (Kotler et al, 2002.) There is no doubt about the benefits associated with adopting a coordinated system of marketing communication. In reality however, the various communications elements more often than not operate independently of each other. This report discusses the various issues concerning the integration of Marketing Communications especially its benefits and the pitfalls that need to be avoided. 2.0 INTRODUCTION: 'All too often, companies fail to integrate their various communication channels. The result is a hodgepodge of communications to consumers. Mass advertising say one thing, price promotion sends a different signal...a product label still creates another message, company literature says something altogether different and the company's website seems out of sync with everything else.' (Kotler et al, 2002, p.629/630). This assertion by Kotler underlines the complexity of marketing communications and why it needs a company-wide attention. 3.0 MAINBODY: 3.1 Defining Integrated marketing communications (IMC) IMC refers to the concept under which a company carefully ntegrates its many communication channels in order to deliver a clear consistent and compelling message about the organization and its products [or services]. ...read more.

Middle

Precise objectives provide foundation for monitoring, feedback and assessment of the communication mix. Strategies will help to determine how to develop the detail of what the actual message is to be, how best to frame to frame it and what medium or media can be used to communicate it most efficiently and effectively. Designing the message content, structure and format poses questions for managing any element of the promotional mix. e) Budgeting: Setting the marketing communications budget is one of the hardest decisions faced by companies. There are four main methods used to set the total budget namely: the percentage- of-sales method, the affordable method, the competitive-parity method and the objective-and-task method. It is important for the appropriate method to be used (depending especially on the available resources) so that in that the objectives of the marketing communications are achieved. f) Implementation and Evaluation: Planning helps to establish priorities, allocate responsibilities and ensure a fully integrated, consistent approach, maximising the benefits gained from all elements of the communication mix. Feedback: Progress must be measured against the set objectives. Where necessary corrective action to be taken at the appropriate time. Was there sufficient synergy between them? Do we have the right balance within each element of the mix? Are consumers attitudes and beliefs about our service the ones we expected and wanted them to develop? ...read more.

Conclusion

e) None of the promotional elements and therefore the people responsible for them should be treated as more important that others. Thus the team spirit should permeate every aspect of the IMC process. 4.0 Conclusion: Integrated Marketing Communication is a very desirable practice with in any organization. But for its benefit to be enjoyed or the necessary steps and conditions should be well implemented. it should take accompany-wide commitment specially from the part of the managing director. 5.0 Recommendations a) The IMC concept must be implemented systematically and simultaneously at all levels and functions of the company. One programme in which Public Relations and marketing functions are integrated does not qualify the company as an IMC exemplar. b) The Managing Director must demonstrate direct support for IMC, because without this critical element, IMC efforts are doomed. Issues like corporate reputation will take a back seat to the provincialism of brand management c) Structural and functional issues must become a critical component of any effective IMC programme. There must be the appointment of a communications 'Czar' who will be the evangelist and conscience of the IMC implementation effort. d) Any IMC programme must be updated to the organisational culture. A 'one-size-fits-all ' IMC must reflect the unique culture in which it operates. e) It must look beyond narrow IMC successes in traditional businesses. Many companies do a few aspects of IMC well, but fail to exemplify company-wide integration. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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