In the traditional advertising agency world, many responded by acquiring or setting up public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, and interactive expertise and touting their capability to meet all of their clients’ IMC needs. In addition, companies began looking beyond one-stop advertising agencies to other types of marketing communications specialists to develop and implement various components of their plans. Today it is not unusual for organizations to outsource their requirements to a number of different types of specialized communication agencies.
Integrated marketing communication is the integration by the company of its communication channels to deliver a clear, consistent and compelling message about the organization and its brand. It calls for recognizing all contact points (brand contact) where the customer may encounter the company and its brand.
The shift from mass marketing to targeted marketing, with its corresponding use of a richer mixture of communication channels and promotion tools, poses a problem for marketers. Consumers are being exposed to a greater variety of marketing communications from and about the company from an array of sources. However, customers don’t distinguish between message sources the way marketers do. In the consumer’s mind, advertising messages from different media—such as television, magazines, or online sources—blur into one.
Although it can be said there are a number of reasons for the important shift to integrated marketing communications, some of the major reasons are:
Develop Efficient Marketing Communication
By coordinating marketing communication efforts, organizations can avoid duplication, take advantage of synergy across communication tools, and develop more efficient and effective marketing communication programs.
Makes your marketing budget more productive
The cost savings by leveraging the same design and creative work in many fields increases the effectiveness of all components and make them more efficient job. It maximizes your reach. An integrated approach targeting the message to be delivered to potential customers and your target group, where “live”, both on-line and off-line.
But with ever-increasing ad clutter, shorter attention spans and greater resistance to advertising, your customers now tend to be a lot more selective: they shut out the stuff they feel they don’t need, and go with the stuff that they want. The media now zeros down on the particular niche market to advertise their product or service. Also, the fragmentation of media markets, which has resulted in less emphasis on mass media and more attention to smaller, targeted media alternatives
Customer is the king
The power has shifted from the manufacturers (those who make a product) to the retailers (those who actually sell the product). We all know it: it’s easier to keep an existing customer happy than it is to win back a customer you lost. Retailers now place greater emphasis on protecting their clientele- and take great pains in whipping up the best possible experience for their patrons- before, during and after the sale.
Data Oriented Marketing
The rapid growth and development of database marketing has prompted many marketers to target consumers through direct mail, direct response advertising etc. As business becomes more cutthroat, business owners who are also now more involved in the marketing process hang on tightly to their media budgets- and let go after carefully choosing the right mix of media- both traditional and non-traditional.
Spread of Internet
The growth of the Internet especially digital/on-line marketing, which has changed the very nature of the way organizations communicate and interact with target audiences. Every organization now has a website, which your customers can check out at any time anywhere in the world. Conversely, it also means that your business can also exist outside your regular business hours, and therefore have the opportunity to keep selling 24/7.
Demands for greater accountability from advertising agencies and changes in the way they are compensated which motivated agencies to consider a variety of marketing communications tools and less expensive alternatives to mass media advertising.