Determining what particular devices to use and how to combine them in order to achieve IMC objectives is one of the greatest challenges facing the communication planner. Ordinarily, management just make use of the campaign concept. A campaign is a planned, coordinated series of marketing communication efforts built around a single theme or idea and designed to reach a predetermined goal. Although the term "campaign" is probably thought of most often in connection with advertising, it seems appropriate to apply the concept of a campaign to the entire IMC program.
Many types of IMC campaigns may be conducted by a company, and several may be run concurrently. Geographically, a firm may have a local, regional, or national campaign, depending up on the available funds, objectives, and market scope. One campaign may be aimed at consumers and another at wholesalers and retailers.
A campaign revolves around a theme, a central idea or focal point. This theme permeates all IMC efforts and tends to unify the campaign. A theme is simply the appeals developed in a manner considered unique and effective. As such, it is related to the campaign's objectives and the customer's behavior. It expresses the product's benefits. Frequently the theme takes the form of a slogan, such as Coca-Cola's "Coke is it!" Or DeBeers' "A diamond is forever". Some companies use the same theme for several campaigns; others develop a different theme for each new campaign.
In a successfully operated campaign, the efforts of all groups concerned will be meshed effectively. The advertising program will consist of a series of related, well-timed, carefully placed ads. The personal selling effort can be tied in by having the sales person explain and demonstrate the product benefits stressed in ads. Also, the sales force will be fully informed about the advertising part of the campaign—the theme, media used, schedule of appearance of ads, appeals used, etc. The sales force will also inform the middlemen, i.e. wholesalers and retailers, about this campaign, and convince them to incorporate it into their total marketing effort. Sales promotional devices will be coordinated with the other aspects of the campaign. For each campaign, new display materials must be prepared, reflecting the ads and appeals used in the current campaign, in order to maximize the campaign's impact at the point of sale. Personnel responsible for the physical distribution activities must ensure that adequate stocks of the product are available in all outlets prior to the start of the campaign. Finally, people working in public relations must be constantly kept aware of new products, product demonstrations, new product applications, and so forth. Of course, it is extremely important to provide enough lead time so that the public relations effort can take advantage of optimum timing.
- Marketing communication:
- is intended to be persuasive
- has internal and external flows
- The following steps are involved in designing an IMC strategy:
- determine objectives
- determine IMC opportunities
- select audience(s)
- select message(s)
- determine budget
- allocate funds
- measure results
- Factors that most impact the IMC mix include:
- marketing/lMC objectives
- nature of the product
- place in the product lifecycle
- available resources
- A campaign is a planned, coordinated series of marketing communication efforts built around a single theme or idea and designed to reach a predetermined goal.