February 23, 2013
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Do you know all of the fundamental elements to building a stable and successful business?
Sure. You’ve read up on industry-related small business books and entrepreneurship articles. You may have even opened your company up to the online world to expand your reach. It’s also possible that you have consulted talented web development and design companies to improve your online user experience.
But the problem is this: Even though you have done “all of these things” still your business is only breaking even, or worse, running at a loss. This painful fact keeps you up at night wondering: “Where did I go wrong?”
One area that you could unintentionally overlook in your business is this: you aren’t communicating your brand message consistently throughout all of your marketing channels. This is where integrated marketing communication comes into play.
But before we get into the details of what integrated marketing communication actually is (and why it is beneficial for your business), let’s take a quick look at two factors that drive it—offline and online marketing.
Offline marketing is every marketing strategy and tactic fulfilled outside of the scope of the Internet. It represents the traditional way of building awareness for your business. Offline marketing strategies can include placing advertisements in print and broadcast media. “If you place ads in print magazines or newspapers, have a commercial on TV, pass out brochures or pamphlets, exhibit at conferences, have a billboard on the side of the road, or utilize vehicle wraps,” this is considered offline marketing.
Though there is a strong push for creating an online experience in today’s digital age, offline marketing still has a staggering effect on customers considering the established platforms and given the fact that there are still a good number of people who don’t have Internet access.
In comparison online marketing is done within the realm of the Internet. Examples can include company blogs, email marketing, QR codes, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, and standard display advertising (e.g. banners and other derivatives thereof).
Considering the steadily growing number of Internet users and the success achieved by e-commerce businesses, online marketing has become crucial for small business success.
Integrated Marketing Communication
As the name suggests, integrated marketing communication (IMC) is the integration of all of your company’s marketing channels. The main goal is to seamlessly present a unified message to customers using advertising, public relations, promotion, branding, direct marketing, and other tools by listening and communicating. Using IMC principles will help you target and deliver a message to customers that is both clear and compelling.
As a result, you can achieve maximum cost effectiveness and improve sales — all the while building your brand.
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