How Integrated is Your Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Program?

integrated marketing communications strategy 300x225 How Integrated is Your Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Program?

In assessing the collective impact of an Integrated Marketing Communications program, the overriding goal is to create the most effective and efficient communications program possible. The following six criteria can be used to help determine whether communications are truly integrated.

1. Coverage. Coverage is the proportion of the audience that is reached by each communication option employed, as well as how much overlap exists among communication options. In other words, to what extent do different communication options reach the designated target market and the same or different consumers making up that market?

2. Contribution. Contribution is the inherent ability of a marketing communication to create the desired response and communication effects from consumers in the absence of exposure to any other communication option. How much does a communication affect consumer processing and build awareness, enhance image, elicit responses, and induce sales?

3. Commonality. Commonality is the extent to which common associations are reinforced across communication options, that is, the extent to which information conveyed by different communication options share meaning. The consistency and cohesive-ness of the brand image is important because it determines how easily existing associations and responses can be recalled and how easily additional associations and responses can become linked to the brand in memory.

4. Complementarity. Communication options are often more effective when used in tandem. Complementarity relates to the extent to which different associations and linkages are emphasized across communication options. Different brand associations may be most effectively established by capitalizing on those marketing communication options best suited to eliciting a particular consumer response or establishing a particular type of brand association. As part of the highly successful “Drivers Wanted” campaign, VW has used television to introduce a story line that it continued and embellished on its Web site.

5. Versatility. With any integrated communication program, when consumers are exposed to a particular marketing communication, some consumers will have already been exposed to other marketing communications for the brand, whereas other consumers will not have had any prior exposure. Versatility refers to the extent to which a marketing communication option is robust and “works” for different groups of consumers. The ability of a marketing communication to work at “two levels”—effectively communicating to consumers who have or have not seen other communications—is critically important.

6. Cost. Evaluations of marketing communications on all of these criteria must be weighed against their cost to arrive at the most effective and efficient communications program.

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About Rico Buraga

@RicoBuraga
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