MarCom or Integrated Marketing Communications: are messages and related media used to communicate with a market. Marketing communications is the "promotion" part of the "Marketing Mix" or the "four Ps": price, place, promotion, and product. The Internet has changed the way business is done in the current world. The variables of segmentation, targeting and positioning are addressed differently. The way new products and services are marketed have changed even though the aim of business in bringing economic and social values remain unchanged.
Indeed, the bottom line of increasing revenue and profit are still the same.
Marketing has evolved to more of connectedness, due to the new characteristics brought in by the Internet. Marketing was once seen as a one way, with firms broadcasting their offerings and value proposition.
Now it is seen more and more as a conversation between marketers and customers.
Marketing efforts incorporate the "marketing mix". Promotion is one element of marketing mix. Promotional activities include advertising (by using different media), sales promotion (sales and trades promotion), and personal selling activities.
It also includes Internet marketing, sponsorship marketing, direct marketing, database marketing and public relations. Integration of all these promotional tools, along with other components of marketing mix, is a way to gain an edge over a competitor.
Marketing communications is focused on the product / service as opposed to corporate communications where the focus of communications work is the company / enterprise itself. Marketing communications is primarily concerned with demand generation and product / service positioning while corporate communications deal with issue management, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, etc.
Integrated marketing is based on a master marketing plan. This plan should coordinate efforts in all components of the marketing mix.
A marketing plan consists on the following steps Situation analysis : involves evaluating the situation and trends in a particular company's market. Situation analysis is often called the "three c's", which refers to the three major elements that must be studied: Customers, companies, competitors.
A major task that guides the way in creating an effective Integrated Marketing Communications plan is the promotions opportunity analysis. "A promotions opportunity analysis is the process marketers use to identify target audiences for a company's goods and services and the communication strategies needed to reach these audiences."
A message sent by a marketer has a greater likelihood of achieving the intended results if the marketer has performed a good analysis and possesses accurate information pertaining to the target audience. There are five steps in developing a promotions opportunity analysis:
Marketing objectives : define what you want to accomplish through your marketing activities : Setting specific , measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific objectives Establish communication objectives
Develop brand awareness, Increase category demand, Enhance firm image, Encourage repeat purchases, Change customer belief or attitude, Enhance purchase actions, Increase sales, Build customer traffic, Increase market share, Reinforce purchase decisions.
Marketing budget : is an estimate of projected costs to market your products or services. marketing costs For example: marketing communications, salaries for marketing managers, cost of office space etc. However much of the budget is concerned with marketing communications Like. advertising public relations, website.
Several shifts in the advertising and media industry have caused IMC to develop into a primary strategy for marketers:
- From media advertising to multiple forms of communication.
- From mass media to more specialized (niche) media, which are centered on specific target audiences.
- From traditional compensation to performance-based compensation (increased sales or benefits to the company).
- From a manufacturer-dominated market to a retailer-dominated, consumer-controlled market.
- From general-focus advertising and marketing to data-based marketing.
- From limited Internet access to 24 / 7 Internet availability and access to goods and services.
- From low agency accountability to greater agency accountability, particularly in advertising.
Thus, the emphasis on the following aspects: corporate image and brand management; buyer behavior; promotions opportunity analysis.
Promotional Tools - trade promotions; consumer promotions; personal selling, database marketing, and customer relations management; public relations and sponsorship programs.
Advertising Tools - advertising management, advertising design: theoretical frameworks and types of appeals; advertising design: message strategies and executional frameworks; advertising media selection. Advertising also reinforces brand and firm image.
Bottom line is that marketing communications that could fall: practice advertising, branding, brand language, direct marketing, graphic design, marketing, packaging, promotion, publicity, sponsorship, public relations, sales, sales promotion and online marketing are termed marketing communicators, marketing communication managers