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(Solution document) TOPIC 1: IMC Campaigns The concept of integrated marketing communications is more than just putting together good ad campaigns.


TOPIC 1: IMC Campaigns

The concept of integrated marketing communications is more than just putting together good ad campaigns. It is a fully integrated set of promotion mix tools communicating the same clear, consistent, and compelling message about the offering. For example: 

  • TV ad campaign to create interest in the product using a celebrity spokesperson (advertisingcreating  awareness) 
  • Appearance of the celebrity on a TV talk show (public relations to generate  interest) 
  • E-mail from the celebrity endorser offering a promotional price (direct marketing to spark  desireto purchase) 
  • Point-of-purchase display featuring celebrity endorser (sales promotion to remind consumer of product benefits and encourage purchase  action) 
  • Demonstration by sales clerk (personal selling to close the sale bringing consumer to  action) 
  • Facebook page hosted by the celebrity (post-purchase activity to reduce  purchase dissonance) 

In this case, the celebrity endorser is the common thread communicating the company's message. The company may have decided to use a celebrity endorser who is well respected and highly visible to its target market. This is part of the creative strategy for encoding the message to consumers. In other cases, the common thread (sometimes known as the Big Idea) might be a particular graphics approach, a character created solely for the company (e.g. Flo for Progressive Insurance), or other creative device that carries forth in all communications. 

Here is a tongue-in-cheek video demonstrating how advertising and public relations were two tools used in an IMC campaign. The message to communicate was how to pronounce a last name. See how this was done using IMC principles.


Can you think of an IMC campaign? Progressive is one example, but there are plenty out there. Feel free to go back in history and think of campaigns like IBM's launch of the personal computer using the Charlie Chaplin-like character or Coke's I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing campaign, or Apple's IMC campaigns used on every new product launch. Remember, don't just focus on the advertising. Find those other promotion tools they used to convey the selling proposition. You may want to read most of the week's readings before tackling this discussion topic to get a better idea of what all the promotion mix tools are, and how the AIDA model (as noted in the reading highlights in the example above) works.

You can use the bulleted example above as your format. Then help your classmates as you read their posts and add to those examples with other communications you may have seen that were not covered.

TOPIC 2: Public Relations

This section of the Week 7 readings highlights the basics of public relations tool and activities. These tools include:

  • press releases 
  • sponsorships 
  • cause-related marketing 
  • product placement

Many companies with small budgets mistakenly think they can use "free" advertising as they define public relations. Indeed, some companies do rely only on public relations only if the unique selling proposition is so newsworthy that the news media will be the carriers of the company's message. Apple is a master at this whenever that company launches a new product.

Can you think of any other product that relied solely on public relations? What was it about its unique selling proposition that made this feasible for this company?

 







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