American Association of Advertising Agencies defines the concept of Integrated Marketing Communications as an approach which is used to achieve the desired aims of a marketing campaign through utilization of various promotional methods …
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Primarily, the concept of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) blends the promotional tools of marketing so that they are able to perform in harmony with each other. Promotion is one of the ‘Ps’ in marketing mix and the tools when blended together, work optimally rather than in isolation. The integration is further augmented, beyond just communication when other levels of integration e.g. Data integration, internal and external integration and Vertical and Horizontal Integration is achieved. Horizontal Integration means that all the business functions of an organization are working in harmony with each other. For example, distribution, production, sales and finance departments should be conscious of the messages they deliver to the clients and must work in cohesion to achieve objectives of the business. Whereas, different departments like advertising and sales can fuse through data integration through marketing information system. On the other hand, Vertical Integration refers to the fact that communication and marketing aims must augment the higher organizational aims and objectives. Internal and External Integration are also very important components of Integrated Marketing Concept. Internal Integrations requires that all the employees of an organization are kept informed regarding strategic and tactical changes being implemented in the company. Moreover, they must be kept involved in the new developments from which the organization is undergoing, the new standards being set by the management and strategic partnership being envisaged. On the other hand, External Integration refers to a scheme in which all the external partners and stakeholders of the organization e.g. Public Relation agencies and Advertising blend seamlessly to provide a workable solution to the problems of the company. A lot of effort is required for Integrated Marketing Communications to deliver its desired benefits however, it can create a competitive advantage for the company compared to an organization which uses traditional techniques for promotion and advertising. Through Integrated Marketing Communication, a company is able to develop a meaningful relationship with its customers through helping them through various stages of purchasing process. Thus, through Integrated Marketing Communication, an organization is able to retain its customers for life which gives it an edge over other companies. The organizations which utilize IMC concept are much more likely to yield profitability than the organizations which use traditional methods of communication. In fact, a unified message delivered by an organization is much more effective than a host of disjointed messages. A crystal clear and consolidated message is well received among the potential customers than myriad of commercials messages delivered every day. Integrated Marketing Communication can boosts sales of a company by disseminating a message which helps increase customers’ awareness and eases their choices. Company’s strategy to deliver timely information and special offers at the right time assists the customers in purchasing process. Finally, Integrated Marketing saves a lot of expenditure for the organizations as it reduces the need of duplication. Photography and graphics can be shared by various departments e.g. sales and advertising. This also reduces the time and workload on different section of the company as a single agency is responsible for all the communication needs. Ans4. An efficient channel of communication has to be selected by the communicator in order to get the desired results. In marketing practices, usually two types of communication channels are employed; personal and non-personal. Personal communication cha
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