We marketers LOVE our acronyms. Many times, they’re used to convey complex concepts that are difficult to explain in a sentence or two. Other times, our love for abbreviation is a simple way to make us look more intelligent that we really are – or worse yet, give importance to a topic or trend that’s easily explained in more simple language.
Whatever your perspective on the language of marketing, Integrated Marketing Communications, or IMC, is something that you should both embrace, and evaluate for your brand.
What (formally) is IMC? Wikipedia says it: ” is the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, functions and sources within a company into a seamless program that maximizes the impact on consumers and other end users at a minimal cost.” As a basic understanding of the concept, I’d agree – but there is much, much more to this important concept.
True, IMC is when all of your marketing communications work as one effort in unison. Your printed materials/collateral, website, advertising, mail campaigns, PR and social media must speak with “one voice”…. in “one language”… at “one time”. Consistency of your language and tone (or “voice”) is key to all of your internal and external communications – or what I like to call “touch points”.
But really …is that it? Don’t we expect that we all strive to have one voice in a well-organized, collaborated campaign? Of course we do – that’s nothing new.
More than your communication efforts, IMC is about integrating your customer into your company/brand.
More than what you think your customers need, truly effective IMC is becoming honestly responsive to your customer’s insights, desires and wishes…. and then crafting your company and its products to fill those needs. IMC dedicated companies are much closer to their customers – they welcome them in their strategic thinking and planning. They truly want to achieve the best for their clients changing interests.
IMC is for smart brands. How are you integrating your customer’s opinions and perceptions directly into your marketing efforts? Are you truly listening to them, and acting on their input? Or are you faking it and using IMC as an excuse to do what you really want?
What examples of great IMC do you see in today’s market? We’d like to know what you think is working now for your brand.