Ads are often measured in impressions the number of times a consumer is exposed to an advertisement. Advertising is a very old form of promotion with roots that go back even to ancient times. Across the board, television viewership has fragmented, and ratings have fallen.
Clearly companies need to move beyond traditional advertising channels to reach consumers. Digital media outlets have happily stepped in to fill this gap. When people think of advertising, often product-focused advertisements are top of mind—i.
Integrated Marketing Communications (Marketing Management)
Public service announcements PSAs are a category of institutional advertising focused on social-welfare issues such as drunk driving, drug use, and practicing a healthy lifestyle. Usually PSAs are sponsored by nonprofit organizations and government agencies with a vested interest in the causes they promote. As a method of marketing communication, advertising has both advantages and disadvantages. In terms of advantages, advertising creates a sense of credibility or legitimacy when an organization invests in presenting itself and its products in a public forum.
Advertising allows marketers to repeat a message at intervals selected strategically. Repetition makes it more likely that the target audience will see and recall a message, which improves awareness-building results. Finally, advertising is an excellent vehicle for brand building, as it can create rational and emotional connections with a company or offering that translate into goodwill.
As advertising becomes more sophisticated with digital media, it is a powerful tool for tracking consumer behaviors, interests, and preferences, allowing advertisers to better tailor content and offers to individual consumers. Through the power of digital media, memorable or entertaining advertising can be shared between friends and go viral—and viewer impressions skyrocket.
Marketers question whether this communication method is really cost-effective at reaching large groups. Of course, costs vary depending on the medium, with television ads being very expensive to produce and place. In contrast, print and digital ads tend to be much less expensive. Along with cost is the question of how many people an advertisement actually reaches. While digital ads are clickable and interactive, traditional advertising media are not.
Because advertising is a one-way medium, there is usually little direct opportunity for consumer feedback and interaction, particularly from consumers who often feel overwhelmed by competing market messages. Effective advertising starts with the same foundational components as any other IMC campaign: identifying the target audience and the objectives for the campaign.
When advertising is part of a broader IMC effort, it is important to consider the strategic role advertising will play relative to other marketing communication tools. The creative strategy has two primary components: the message and the appeal. The message comes from the messaging framework: What message elements should the advertising convey to consumers?
What should the key message be?
Integrated Marketing Communication Essay
What is the call to action? How should the brand promise be manifested in the ad? How will it position and differentiate the offering? Should the next round of advertising reinforce what went before, or is it time for a fresh new message, look, or tone?
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Advertising appeals can take many forms, but they tend to fall into one of two categories: informational appeal and emotional appeal. The informational appeal offers facts and information to help the target audience make a purchasing decision. It tries to generate attention using rational arguments and evidence to convince consumers to select a product, service, or brand. For example:. It plays on conscious or subconscious desires, beliefs, fears, and insecurities to persuade consumers and influence their behavior.
Most marketers agree that emotional appeals are more powerful and differentiating than informational appeals. A poorly executed emotional appeal can come across as trite or manipulative. Examples of emotional appeals include:. Public relations PR is the process of maintaining a favorable image and building beneficial relationships between an organization and the public communities, groups, and people it serves. Instead, PR strives to earn a favorable image by drawing attention to newsworthy and attention-worthy activities of the organization and its customers.
In fact, PR is not a costless form of promotion. It also involves expenses associated with events, sponsorships and other PR-related activities. Like advertising, public relations seeks to promote organizations, products, services, and brands. But PR activities also play an important role in identifying and building relationships with influential individuals and groups responsible for shaping market perceptions in the industry or product category where an organization operates.
Public relations efforts strive to do the following:. Public relations offers an excellent toolset for generating attention whenever there is something newsworthy that marketers would like to share with customers, prospective customers, the local community, or other audiences. PR is also responsible for identifying and building relationships with influencers who help shape opinions in the marketplace about a company and its products.
It is also wise to maintain regular, periodic communications with these groups to keep them informed about your organization and its activities. This helps build a foundation of familiarity and trust, so these relationships are established and resilient through the ups and downs of day-to-day business. The most common PR tools are listed in the following table and discussed below. Media relations is the first thing that comes to mind when many people think of PR: public announcements about company news, talking to reporters, and articles about new developments at a company.
But media relations is the tip of the iceberg. For many industries and product categories, there are influential bloggers and analysts writing about products and the industry. PR plays an important role in identifying and building relationships with these individuals. The people responsible for PR are also involved in developing and distributing general information about an organization. While some consider event marketing a marketing communication method of its own, others categorize it with public relations as we have done here. Themed events, such as a community service day or a healthy lifestyle day, raise awareness about causes or issues with with the organization wants to be affiliated in the minds of its employees, customers, and other stakeholder groups.
A well-designed and well-produced event also offers opportunities for an organization to provide memorable interaction and experiences with target audiences. An executive leader can offer a visionary speech to generate excitement about a company and the value it provides—now or in the future. Events can help cement brand loyalty by not only informing customers but also forging emotional connections and goodwill.
Award programs are another common PR tool. Awards provide opportunities for public recognition of great work by employees and customers. But when crises emerge, as inevitably they do, PR provides structure and discipline to help company leaders navigate the crisis with communications and actions that address the needs of all stakeholders. Messaging, communication, listening, and relationship building all come to the fore. When handled effectively, these incidents may help an organization emerge from the crisis stronger and more resilient than it was before.
This is the power of good PR. Because PR activity is earned rather than paid, it tends to carry more credibility and weight.
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Meanwhile an advertisement on a similar topic would be viewed with skepticism because it is a paid placement from a biased source: the ad sponsor. Sales promotions are a marketing communication tool for stimulating revenue or providing incentives or extra value to distributers, sales staff, or customers over a short time period. Companies use many different forms of media to communicate about sales promotions, such as printed materials like posters, coupons, direct mail pieces and billboards; radio and television ads; digital media like text messages, email, websites and social media, and so forth.
Do you like free samples? Most people do. Samples encourage trial and an increased awareness of the product. You have probably purchased a product that included a small free sample with it—for example, a small amount of conditioner packaged with your shampoo. Have you ever gone to a store that provided free samples of different food items? Although sampling is an expensive strategy, it is usually very effective for food products.
Often paired with samples are coupons. The amount of the coupon is later reimbursed to the retailer by the manufacturer. The retailer also gets a handling fee for accepting coupons. While many consumers cut coupons from the inserts in Sunday newspapers, other consumers find coupons for products and stores online.
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