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Integrated Marketing Communications

An In-Depth Study

PROJECT BY:
Sagar Gala
TYBMS (SEM V), 2008-2009

Project Co-ordinator
A ROADMAP TO THE REPORT

TOPIC Page no.

PART I
Introduction……………………………………………………………………
What Is Integrated Marketing Communication ……………………….
Components of IMC……………………….…………………………………
Factors contributing to IMC's rising prominence …………………….
Heart Of IMC – 5 Power Concepts ……………………….……………….
Levels of Integration …………………….…………………….…………….
Consumer Psyche and Information Processing ……………………….
CASE I
How the Entertainment Industry Capitalizes on IMC (IPL) ………

PART II - PROCESS OF IMC

Characteristics of an IMC approach


Communications Mix Hierarchy
Model for Planning Integrated Marketing Communication
CASE II
Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.
Issues In Co-Ordination Of An IMC Campaign

PART III - REINVENTING THE AGENCY


Reinventing the Agency
PART IV - EVALUATION AND BARRIERS

Evaluation – IMC Audit


Barriers To Implementation
Recommendations
Conclusion

BIBLIOGRAPHY
PART I

I M C

AN INTRODUCTION
Introduction

I found two contrasting bits of information - The first


one spoke about how HUL has roped in Yuvraj to endorse Lifebouy,
which marks a change in HUL policy of using Bollywood stars as Brand
Ambassadors for its brands. The second news item spoke about how
the cola companies are shifting their focus from cricket to youth. The
Youngistaan campaign of Pepsi with Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor
and Deepika Padukone shows how the focus is shifing and with Coke
using Hritikh Roshan in "Jasan Mana Le" Campaign, the turnaround
seems to be more or less complete.

Here what we see is how different companies are approaching the


same issue in different ways and much differently from how they had
done earlier. All these companies have been major advertisers and
have a war chest to spend on ads. Maybe the Cola Companies have
realized the risks of using cricket as a major means of promoting their
products like risking the fortune of your campaign on the fortunes of
the cricket team, and with the controversies bogging players one can
never be sure ... But then why is HUL looking at cricket is it that it has
realized that after all these years rather than risking your fortune on
Bollywood stars it might be safer to bet on cricket.

Everything Sends a Message: What happened to the Cola companies


and HUL dramatizes the point that message consistency is a systemic
problem, as well as strategic. It has to be approached from the
viewpoint of the whole company and its total business operations, not
just from how the company executes its marketing communication or
corporate image programs.
As The Wall Street Journal observed in recently
reported, "Pepsi’s image is all over the map." The story explains that a
grocery store in Hamburg uses red stripes, a bodega in Guatemala
uses '70s-era lettering, a Shanghai restaurant displays a mainly white
Pepsi sign, and a hodgepodge of commercials feature a variety of
spokespeople, ranging from cartoons and babies to doddering butlers.

It's not just Pepsi's marketing communication that sends different


messages to different people. Consumers say the cola tastes different
in different countries, so PepsiCo's plans also call for revamping
manufacturing and distribution to get a consistent-tasting drink
marketed throughout the globe. And some of its European marketing
communication partners were mixed in their support of the plan
because they felt they weren't consulted about how it was to be
implemented, so there's work to be done there, too.

As Nicolas Hayek, CEO of Swatch, says, "Everything we do, and the


way we do everything, sends a message." And that’s where Integrated
Marketing Communications comes in.

Integrated marketing communications is a process that manages all of


a company or brand's interactions with customers and other key
stakeholders. Its premise is that everything a company does, and
sometimes what it doesn't do, sends a message.

In the marketplace of the 21st century ... the driving force is not a
company with products to sell but customers controlling what, where,
and how they want to buy. Thanks to the Internet, 24-hour toll-free
phone numbers, credit cards, and express delivery services,
consumers are accessing information on demand and seeking out the
products and services that interest them.
Gone are the days when a company determined where, when, and how
it sells its product. This new approach not only changes the way we
make our purchasing decisions, it also revolutionizes how companies
market to their customers. For most companies to win, they must
replace outdated mass-marketing tactics with a targeted, customer-
focused approach.

Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is one such customer-


centric, data-driven method of communicating with consumers. Nestle,
IBM, Sprint, Microsoft, Apple computers, Nike and many other
companies have adopted the IMC approach.

What is Integrated Marketing?


Integrated marketing is a comprehensive approach to internal and
external organizational communication.

Definition of IMC:
As per American Association of Advertising Agencies
'The concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes
the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic
role of a variety of communication disciplines - for example, general
advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations -
and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency and
maximum communications impact'.

According to Don Schultz, Integrated marketing Communications is a


new way of looking at the whole, where once we only saw parts such
as advertising, public relations, sales promotion, purchasing, employee
communications, and so forth. It is realigning communications to look
at it the way the customer sees it - as a flow of information from
indistinguishable sources.

A successful IMC campaign requires that the firm find a right


combination of promotion tools and techniques, defines their roles and
the extent to which they can or should be used, and coordinate their
use.

In the words of Duncan and Everett, Integrated Marketing


Communications may be defined as “The strategic coordination of all
the messages and media used by an organization to influence the
perceived brand value”

The focus here is on two aspects:


1) Being present at all the contact points
2) Managing the communications well that your brand speaks one
language. As Nowak and Phelps say - your brand should have ‘One
voice’ reaching to your customers, may it be by any number of
channels.

If this does not happen:


a) You may miss out on some of the contact points where your
customer awaits your communications but he does not find you and
he abnegates the brand.
b) You may reach different contact points but different
communications (including the intangibles) speak differently, your
customer gets confused as to what he should associate with your
brand.

Thus the first aspect creates awareness and the second aspect creates
and maintains loyalty.
“Integrated marketing unifies the core purpose, key goals and
strategies and company-wide processes to create congruent messages
and sufficient dialog with all stakeholder groups.”

Necessary conditions for an Effective IMC program:


Today, IMC definitions are broader in application, as a brand is
developed in stakeholders' minds as a result of all interactions they
have with a company, and not just as a result of a campaign they are
exposed to. The premise is virtually the same — synergies are
achieved when all brand contacts work in concert.

While definitions differ, the practice of IMC involves the same success
factors and helps organizations build and deepen relationships with
their many stakeholders. The following conditions should be
considered "necessary," but not sufficient conditions of IMC practice:

Thus in the IMC approach, the different communications are in the


form of arcs making up a 360-degree circle, at the center of which lies
the customer. With too much communication surrounding the
customer he gets confused, he being a center of many brand
communications circles and still more if the communications from a
single brand are not integrated. Thus the communications need to be
spread and integrated on a holistic basis what forms the basis of IMC.
The Components of IMC

Integrated Marketing will require strategic combination of two or more


of the following basic marketing elements/instruments used in concert
to multiply the effectiveness of a campaign:

• Advertising (Print/ Television/Radio) - used to inform and


entice a prospect about a company's product or service, draw
attention to the company Web site and stimulate trial use.

• Public Relations - also used to inform, but ads credibility by use


of a third party endorsement.

• Web Site/ Internet - used by both existing customers and


prospects to obtain product and service information and, with
the implementation of E-Commerce, conveniently purchase
online.

• Sales Promotion - provides short-term incentives to buy. Best


used when offered to prospects who are already familiar with the
product or service.

• Direct Marketing - used today mostly to establish an ongoing


relationship with a current customer or prospect in order to
stimulate repurchase and build loyalty.

• Special events

• Video and audio presentations


• Multimedia presentations etc.

There are TWO CRITICAL FACTORS that have the most influence on the
effectiveness of an Integrated Marketing campaign.

. The first is the strategic combination or "mix" of the basic


elements. Achieving the most effective mix is usually the result of
experience.

. The second critical factor is the consistency of the theme across


all elements in the campaign. Logically, consistency is best
achieved through the use of a single source responsible for defining
the role of each element, creating the theme, and coordinating the
timely implementation of the campaign. However, consistency is
where most companies who believe they are already integrating
their marketing efforts usually fall short.

The following Research compiled from the U.S. Department of


Commerce, the American Management Association, and the Direct
Marketing Association reiterates the fact that strategically combining
the basic marketing elements with a consistent theme will impact
results:

 Average stand-alone direct mail campaign generates 3.3%


response rate.
 One basic marketing element added to stand-alone direct mail
campaign, response rate increases to 5.4%.
 Two basic marketing elements added to stand-alone direct mail
campaign, response rate increases to 6.7%.
 Three basic marketing elements added to stand-alone direct mail
campaign, response rate increases to 6.9%.
Factors contributing to IMC's rising prominence

1. Fragmentation of media - both the print and the Television


media have proliferated dramatically in the past decade which has
resulted in less reliance on mass media and more emphasis on the
other promotional options, such as direct mail and event
sponsorship.
2. Better audience assessment - More sophisticated research
methods have enabled more accurate and specific targeting,
leading the marketer away from the mass media to promotional
tools that reach only the segment that has been targeted.
3. Consumer empowerment - empowered consumers are more
skeptical of commercial messages and demand information tailored
to their needs.
4. Increased advertising clutter has diluted the effectiveness of
any single message. There seems to be no end in sight to this
'media' proliferation.
5. Many marketers feel that traditional advertising is too expensive
and is not cost effective. Hence there is a trend of shifting of
budgets from media advertising to other forms of promotions.
6. Database technology can be used to create accurate customer
and non-customer profiles for developing highly targeted direct
response & telemarketing programs can be implemented.
7. Channel Power - Retail channels are developing power and hence
are able to demand promotional fees and allowances from
manufacturers, which diverts funds away from advertising and into
special events or other promotions.
8. Increased Accountability has led the firms to reallocate
marketing resources from advertising to more short-term and more
easily measurable methods such as direct marketing and sales
promotion.

4P’s versus the 4 C’s


The current revolution in the market has brought about several
‘Differents’. This has led to the replacement of 4 P's of marketing by
the 4 C's of marketing. The 4P’s v/s the 4C’s:
Not PRODUCT, but CONSUMER: Understand what the consumer
wants and needs. Times have changed and you can no longer
sell whatever you can make. The product characteristics must
now match what someone specifically wants to buy. And part of
what the consumer is buying is the personal "buying
experience."

Not PRICE, but COST: Understand the consumer's cost to satisfy the
want or need. The product price may be only one part of the
consumer's cost structure. Often it's the cost of time to drive
somewhere, the cost of conscience of what you eat, and the cost of
guilt for not treating the kids.
Not PLACE, but CONVENIENCE: As above, turn the standard logic
around. Think convenience of the buying experience and then
relate that to a delivery mechanism. Consider all possible
definitions of "convenience" as it relates to satisfying the
consumer's wants and needs. Convenience may include aspects
of the physical or virtual location, access ease, transaction
service time and hours of availability.

Not PROMOTION, but COMMUNICATION: Communicate,


communicate, communicate. Many mediums working together to
present a unified message with a feedback mechanism to make
the communication two-way. And be sure to include an
understanding of non-traditional mediums, such as word of
mouth and how it can influence your position in the consumer's
mind. How many ways can a customer hear (or see) the same
message through the course of the day, each message
reinforcing the earlier images?
The Heart of IMC

In keeping with the above trends, there are Five power concepts
that go in IMC and make the communications efficient and effective.

1. Customer Focus i.e. Your message must be appealing, relevant


and accurately timed and must be based on the understanding and
anticipation of what the customer expects and wants, when he
wants it, and how he wants it to be delivered to him.

2. Customer Empowerment i.e. you empower your customer to


define the relevance, you do not define it for him and do not force
the content as per your convenience. You allow him to decide how
deeply he wants to be involved in the communications. This concept
extends beyond the permission from customer. Her you are asking
your customer to take the lead.

3. Impressive marketing i.e. you need to be consistent at all the


contact points and need to have continuity such that all the roads of
different media lead down the same path to the brand. The beauty
of your communications lies in that the consumer gets the option
only to decide how far to go and not what different objective to go
for.

4. Brand Resonance i.e. your communication while creating


relationship must stand for something that the customers think is
worthy of a relationship with them.

5. Emotional bonding i.e. your brand develops a relationship with


your customer based on the insights about the customer. He is not
only loyal to your brand but he treats the brand as a friend, a
trustee, a close relative, or as an inseparable part of his life. In this
case he becomes an advocate for your brand and propagates your
message himself. In other sense he becomes a contact point for the
other consumers. Thus the communications become vital to be
managed so well that even this newly created contact point speaks
the same voice.

Correctly implemented, the IMC program is a continuous cycle of


gathering data and implementing response-generating marketing
communications, which are based on previously, gathered data.
Marketing communications derived from consumer need can build
perceived value into your product or service, and separate it from the
competition in the minds of your customers and prospects.
Levels Of Integration

Integration of communication goes beyond the definition of one


message, one voice to which so many marketers ascribe. Integrated
marketing communications is not just merely a piece of advertising, a
piece of public relations and a piece of direct mail that all look the
same. Rather, IMC is the management of all brand contact
points through an integrated, consumer-driven strategy. It means
realigning your communications from your customer’s perspective so
that your public relations is indistinguishable from your advertising,
your direct marketing is indistinguishable from your promotions and so
on.

There exist various levels at which such integration can take place. The
following table details each of such stages.

Stages of Integration of Marketing Communication

LEVEL I
Tactical Co-ordination
 To create ‘one sight, one
sound’ by consolidating
communications planning.
Often leads to attempts at
cross-functionality, where
teams of specialists from
different areas of expertise
are formed to increase
synergy.
LEVEL II
Redefining the Scope of Marketing Rather than considering
Communications
 Communications as an
outbound activity, the firm
looks at all points at which
the consumer and the brand
are in contact. Most
important result of this level
of integration is inclusion of
employees as both target for
and proliferates of marketing
communications.

LEVEL III
Application of IT
 The key ingredient here is
the use of databases to
capture individual
transactions. This enables
the firm to market to groups
of individuals rather than the
average customer at the
middle of the segment.

LEVEL IV

Strategic and Financial Integration In these level two issues are


paramount:
 The ability to measure the
return on customer
investment
 Ability to use the marketing
communication to drive
organizational and strategic
directions. Rather than
measuring say, extra sales
resulting from an advertising
campaign, the firm would
now measure the returns
from a specific group of
customers against costs
associated with that group.
Consumer Psyche & Information Processing

Key to effective communication understands how consumers process


the vast amount of information that comes their way each and every
day. To cope, we select only that information that we perceive to be
important and ignore the rest. Thus, we limit our span of perception as
a way of coping. If the marketing message is to be selected and
processed, it must:

 Consist of sensory and life experiences that can easily be


identified and transformed into a unified concept,
 Have mental relationships to other categorized ideas, and
 Fit into the categories and mental linkages that people have
already created for them.

Marketing communication messages that are not recognizable, are not


related to each other, conflict with what has already been stored, or
are simply unrelated or unimportant to the person will simply not be
processed, but ignored. Communication only occurs when the
consumer accepts, transforms, and categorizes the message. Two
models of information processing have been proposed are as follows:

Models of Information Processing

1. The Replacement Model assumes that it is possible for the


marketer to "replace" previously stored information chunks with
new ideas. What is said does not matter as much as how often
and how loud the message has been transmitted. With enough
exposure, the new will replace the old.
2. The Accumulation Model of information processing assumes
that message consistency is critical since the consumer accepts,
processes, and stores information about the product or service
relative to what has already been mentally accepted.

The storage and retrieval system works on the basis of matching


incoming information with what has already been stored in memory. If
the information matches or enhances what is already there, then
the new information will likely be added to the existing concepts and
categories. If it doesn't match, the consumer has to make a choice,
either the new information can replace what is already there or the
new information can be rejected. If rejected, the consumer would
continue to use existing concepts and categories and ignore the new.
This is called a "judgment system" - in that consumer’s match or
test new information against what they already have and then make a
judgment to add to, adapt, or reject the new material. The judgment
system (perceptual consistency) prevents consumers from having
multiple concepts or categories for the same message. When
consumers reject the information or do not add or attach it to what
they already have, there is a failure to communicate. In many cases,
the failure to communicate is the result of the marketer being unable
to match his or her messages or fields of experience with those of the
prospect or customer.

Consumers use the same information processing approach whether the


new data comes from advertising, sales promotions, a salesperson, an
article in a newspaper or magazine or from what their neighbor is
telling them. The marketer who presents non-integrated messages
risks not having any of his or her messages processed because of the
conflict that occurs in the consumer's information processing system. If
for no other reason that the risk of confusion, marketers must integrate
their messages or consumers will simply ignore them.
Case I

How The Entertainment Industry Capitalizes On IMC

As the entertainment industry is forced to become more creative in


reaching its audiences, the opportunities for marketing
communications are endless. As the industry creates more and more
ways to communicate with its audiences, the need for integration is
paramount. With burgeoning franchises, entertainment companies
have begun to delve deeper into marketing strategies that enable
them to connect with their customers across their whole range of
properties and communication divisions. The hype about integration
has created a "buzz" in Hollywood that has the industry turning out
some of the best marketing strategies and campaigns in years.

Entertainment companies are defining their success with well-thought-


out, consumer-driven strategies and are using an array of marketing
tools to connect with audiences in more relevant and creative ways. In
the process, integrated marketing communications (IMC) is beginning
to take center stage as the entertainment industry’s shining star.

IMC Takes Center Stage


IMC has taken center stage in the entertainment industry as a result of
several factors and trends. Two of the greatest of these factors driving
IMC principles are:
 The changes in consumer media consumption.
As the number of media options has increased, audiences have
become more diversified. Viewers are now able to make choices in
their media consumption that match their specific interests.
However, as an industry that is dependent on media for advertising,
as well as for the delivery of its product, these facts are even more
striking.

 Focus on the consumer


The industry is increasingly becoming more consumer-focused, using
media outlets to find out what their consumers want and then deliver it
to them through well-defined, specific formats and programming.
Entertainment companies are proving that they know this tenet better
than most others.

The business is using integrated marketing principles to connect with


its customers not only through its advertising messages, but also
through the entertainment product it offers.

CASE STUDY
Indian Premier League

The IPL auction of cricketers in February was called


the 'Mumbai Cattle Market' by those horrified by the tamasha of
industrialists and filmstars throwing dollars at players. Adam Gilchrist
did say that he, for one, felt like a cow. The creme de la creme of the
stars were placed for bidding and lapped up at varying prices - more
for their local star attraction value rather than their cricketing skills. (A
Ponting drew less than an Irfan Pathan!).

As a cricket aficionado, it hurt to see filmstars, who live in a fake world


of make up and retakes, put a price on players who play real games in
real time with real skills. But that's the power of money. While the
process did seem distasteful, the money earned by the stars can't be
grudged - this was fair compensation for the blood, sweat and tears
they give to the game and for the country.
Like it or hate it, the IPL is here. Whether it will stay on or die, the
performance of the first edition, which is currently on, will decide.
The IPL is the biggest marketing initiative of 2008. If five-day cricket
was the creation of sports aficionados and one-day a product of the
media, then the IPL is a result of business.

And as all business is ultimately marketing, it's a marketing concoction


(Integrated marketing). It's about BCCI, business houses, the media
and the film industry putting their collective might to create a
brand of unprecedented proportions.

From a consumer viewpoint, IPL is a cocktail of four Indian diseases.


First, the base: Cricket. Since India won the World Cup in 1983, the
disease has been spreading like an epidemic. Today, despite a surfeit
of matches, interest hasn't waned. The centre of gravity of the game is
today the Indian sub-continent. The BCCI is so powerful that it can get
its way on any cricketing issue - on or off the field.

Add some glamour in the form of Cinema. It has been the opium of the
Indian masses. The arrival of television has not diminished its power.
For movie, entertainment or news channels, cinema is the biggest
source of TRPs. Whether it is by doing world premieres of the latest
'flop busters or 'block busters, hosting award shows or just covering
the latest gossip about the stars and their lives, cinema feeds into
home entertainment just like cricket.
Shake it with some Celebration. Indians need an excuse to celebrate,
to enjoy. Our respect for all faiths gives the average Indian a festival to
celebrate almost everyday. Each has its own rituals of the community
coming together to dance, sing and create general cacophony,
unmindful of environment pollution and civic sense.

Finally, top it with Celebrity Craze. India is a country of 330 million


Gods and we make heroes very easily. Cricket stars or film stars, they
are easily deified and venerated. People flock in thousands just for a
real life glimpse of their heroes - often it is part of the national hobby
of time pass. India is, perhaps, the only country where a film star, just
released from jail, returns to a hero's welcome and stands on his
balcony waving to his fans as if he has returned from a successful
accomplishment.

When these four potent ingredients come together, the cocktail is


called the Indian Premier League. Package this in a business
proposition and you have something that could re-write the rules of
business, sports and entertainment. With the backing of some of the
best business groups and the high-decibel promotion, it makes for an
experiment worth watching and tracking.

The IPL breaks new ground in many ways.


Cricket started as a competitive sport of bat-v/s-ball. The media took it
to the masses as entertainment. The IPL is now converting cricket into
a marketing show. No longer are cricketers just players on the cricket
field, they are performers. And every match is not just a fight between
two teams but an episode in a continuous soap opera. Brands can be
plugged anywhere - in program, on cast, on television, in-stores
through merchandise. Cricketers have their own star power, which
makes the game attractive. Now, they have the added firepower of
celebrities - be it filmstars like Shahrukh Khan or Preity Zinta, or a
business tycoon like Dr Vijay Mallya - that makes the spectacle even
grander and bigger. It brings together the appeal of two diseases -
cricket and films. Cricket has been a national passion. It has been
difficult to separate the Indian identity from the game. The IPL makes a
shift - it taps into local pride. In a global world, where integration is the
key, IPL teams are built on the counter-culture of division. Paul Harris,
an eminent LSE sociologist, says local identity is an opportunity in a
global world. The IPL is, perhaps, latching onto an emerging trend.

Cricket has been a team game - built on players knowing each other
and playing alongside each other at the nets, at domestic level and
national level. The IPL changes this and brings the corporate style of
teamwork into play. It expects professionals to come together for a
specific project. It hinges on individual prowess adding up to a winning
formula. With much cricket being played anyway, foreign players are
no longer aliens to any team. Simultaneously, the mixed-cultures team
could unconsciously foster greater harmony among different nations.

Will this spell the end of other forms of cricket: five-day cricket or one-
day internationals? While it may seem so, the truth is every product
has its place in this world if properly nurtured. Fast-food restaurants
and take-away joints didn't kill sit-down restaurants. There are
moments for quick eats and other occasions when food is ceremonial
and a celebration. If one-day internationals took cricket to larger
masses through television, the IPL could make cricket truly global. City
pride is universal. So, no longer do cities in non-cricketing countries
need to have local talent to field a team. It's just a case of buying the
best talent!
The 80s and 90s were eras when cricketers became bigger than the
game. While star power could be the initial draw, the attempt of
marketing efforts is to draw loyalty from stars to teams. Hopefully, in
the future stars would want to play for a team rather than the other
way round. Thus, the IPL could bring focus back to the game!
Finally, on a jingoistic note, it could be an Indian "brand" export to the
world. Without doubt, Lalit Modi's experiment and the business houses
support it has received needs to be lauded.
Success Factors

The Entertainment Industry’s use of IMC, highlights some success


factors for effectiveness and these include:
 Segmenting valuable customers.
 Analyzing profitability.
 Examining customer, brand & stakeholder contact points with
the company.
 Marketing based on consumer differences, not similarities.
 Using databases for behavioral segmentation and lead
management.
 Creating strategic, effective communications-based initiatives.
 Driving communications to a new level of customer and
stakeholder fulfillment retention.
 Achieving consumer satisfaction and bottom-line profitability.

Advantages Of The Integrated Marketing Approach

 The customer becomes the primary focus of everyone.


 There is no needless duplication of services. PR messages
combine with advertising, marketing and internal
communications—everything is congruent and clearer to
customers.
 There is almost no likelihood of "the left hand not knowing what
the right hand is doing."
 It fosters intra-departmental cooperation in your company.
Workers experience more harmonious working relationships with
their peers and senior management.
 Studies verify increased productivity, which positively impacts
the bottom line.
 Executive "oneness of focus" on mission and results; one mission
—one vision with all the "parts" aligned with it.
 The core processes of the organization become much clearer and
people start pulling together rather than in several directions at
once.
 It takes fewer people, energized around a fewer number of
central themes to get more work done than before because
human potential and energy is not wasted.
 Marketing programs become more effective because they are
focused and more efficient. They are more powerful in delivering
the key message without waste and overlap to no effect.
 Sales programs become more dynamic because the objectives
become much clearer to the existing sales force. The job of the
salespeople is made more effective because the "home office" is
supporting their steps and making them look much better in the
eyes of your customers.
PART II

PROCESS OF IMC
Characteristics of an IMC approach

Planning for an Integrated Communications program goes beyond


merely using the right tool under the right conditions. Strategic
planning for IMC is distinguished from the traditional use of multi-
dimensional promotions by the following four factors:

 An Outside-In approach is used to plan communications – That


essentially means that a firm, designing communications, starts
with the customer or prospect and looks backward, identifying
what the customer deems as important information. This
approach helps to deliver the information that the customer
wants rather than in the form at a time that the firm deems
appropriate.

 An IMC plan is built around brand contacts like packaging,


employee contacts, in-store displays etc. Each contact must be
evaluated for clarity and consistency with the overall IMC
program.

 Control of the IMC plan is highly centralized. The effectiveness of


the program is highly increased by appointing a single person or
team to control and evaluate all contacts with targeted
customers.
Communications Mix Hierarchy

In the process of implementation of IMC, the marketer assumes a


major responsibility for developing the marketing program and making
the final decisions regarding the advertising and promotional program
to be employed. The marketer typically brings to the process a
marketing plan, goals, objectives, and perhaps a database that will
identify current and potential customers.

The agency on the other hand will help research the market, suggest
creative strategies, and produce IMC materials. Quite a few times the
agency does not have all the internal expertise necessary to develop
and manage every marketing tool. Often the agency is an expert with
the development & Placement of mass media advertising, and hence is
often criticized for their tendency to push mass media as the best form
of communication. When the marketers want other communication
options, they often hence turn to External facilitators to get the
expertise they are looking for. The hierarchy in this case is as shown
on the next page.

Once the specialist agencies come into the picture, co-ordination and
integration of a marketing communications program becomes much
more complex. These various agencies view each other as competitors
for the client’s dollars and will most likely champion their particular
specialty. Thus instead of ending up in coordination and integration, it
created a situation characterized by conflict and disintegration.

Realizing these challenges, many advertising agencies attempted at


redesign to add more internal expertise to foster the goals of IMC.
The Communication Hierarchy

Marketing Organization
Marketing plan
Goals and objectives
Customer/ prospect databases

Advertising Agency
Research
Creative strategies
Production
Message placement

Specialized marketing
communications
organizations
Media organizations
Event management firms
Web site designers
Sales promotion agencies
Direct marketing agencies
Public relations firms

Sales Direct
Mass- media Event Internet
promotion marketing Publicity
Advertising participation advertising

Customer
Model for Planning IMC

Tension, Stress, creativity, deadlines, collaboration, synergy, conflict,


misunderstandings, expertise, complexity, details, details, details….are
all things that characterize the process of preparing to launch an IMC
campaign.

There are many different models that guide the process of planning an
IMC campaign. One such model being discussed is the ‘Strategic
Planning Triangle’ –
Prospect Definition
proposed by advertising
researchers Esther Thorson
and Jeri Moore in their book
‘Integrated Communication:
Synergy of Persuasive
Voices’. Persuasion
Brand’s Value
Tools
Proposition
evaluation
As shown alongside, the
apexes of the planning Strategic Planning Triangle

triangle entail the segment(s) selected as targets for the IMC


campaign, the brand’s value proposition, and the array of persuasion
tools that might be deployed to achieve campaign objectives.

 The firm starts with customer, prospect, stakeholder definition,


as identification and specification of the target segment as a
paramount apex of the triangle. Building a consensus between the
client and the agency about which customers will be targeted is
essential to the campaign’s effectiveness. Complex IMC campaigns
may end up targeting multiple segment. In such a case it is critical to
analyze if and how different target segments will interact to support or
disparage the campaign. The description of the target hence has to be
both Personal and Precise.

 The second important apex in the Planning triangle entails a


specification of the Brand’s Value Proposition. A brand’s value
proposition is a statement of the functional, emotional, and self-
expressive benefits delivered by the brand that provides value to
the customers in the target segment. Factors like what the brand
has stood for in the past, as well as what new types of value or
benefits one wants to claim for going forward need to be
considered here.

 The final apex of the planning triangle considers the various


persuasion tools that may be deployed in executing the
campaign. The mix of the various tools should depend on the
objectives that are set for the IMC campaign.

Collaboration between the agency and the client is the key to ensure
that the approval process proceeds in a timely fashion.

The Process of an Integrated Marketing Program thus:

 Encourages the establishment of a marketing-team approach to


discuss strengths and weaknesses, mission and vision, and niche
and quality, and to reach a consensus on the primary messages
to be delivered to priority audiences.
 Involves working in teams, typically with members from other
campus offices, to reach prospective students, parents, donors,
and community and government officials with maximum impact.
 Uses quantitative and qualitative research techniques, including
focus groups and survey research, to determine constituent
attitudes and opinions, and effectiveness of various
communications messages and techniques.
 Calls for a communications analysis to determine what messages
are being sent to key audiences, including the sequence and flow
of these messages.
 Calls for the examination of your existing message vehicles for
clarity, consistency, and effectiveness. Combines this
assessment with the results of your research to provide your key
audiences with the information they need, in the ways they have
asked to receive it.
 Focuses on long-term advantages and incorporates interactive
communication to develop more personal relationships. May
include the use of technology like email and the World Wide Web
to get feedback from key audiences.
Case II
Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.

The Godrej Group - Corporate profile

Everyday, every Indian encounters the ‘Godrej’ name sometime


somewhere. A person may begin the day bathing with Godrej soap,
shaving with a Godrej shaving cream, storing clothes in a Godrej
Storewell cupboard, cooking food in a Godrej cooking oil and
preserving it in a Godrej refrigerator. Money and valuables are kept in
a Godrej safe; work is done on a Godrej computer or typewriter while
sitting on a Godrej chair and drinking a Godrej fruit drink.

Innovation has been the key to the growth of the Godrej group. It is
this spirit that has built Godrej and carried it for over a hundred years.
Existing in diverse industries ranging from cupboards to soaps, hair
dyes to edible oils, and packaged foods to refrigerators, the group in
recent years has forged several partnerships with international giants
like General Electric, Pillsbury, Fiskars and Sara Lee, bringing Godrej
membership in the Global village that will carry it forward into the 21st
century.

Godrej has always been a crusader for a better world with programs
that benefit endangered forests, wild life and mangroves. Every year
the Pirojsha Godrej Foundation dedicates funds towards promoting
education, housing, social upliftment, conservation, population
management and relief of natural calamities.
GCPL – An Overview

Godrej Consumer Products Limited (GCPL), has started operations


w.e.f. 1st April 2001. This new company is the result of the demerger
of Godrej Soaps Limited, the flagship company of the Rs. 34 billion
Godrej Group.

GCPL is a true FMCG business with focus on four key markets:


 Personal care with brands like All Care, Fair Glow, Cinthol, Nikhar,
No.1, Godrej Shaving Creams etc.
 Hair care – Godrej Shikakai. Crowning Glory, Color Soft, Color
Gloss, Anoop Hair Oil etc.
 Fabric care and – Ezee and Trilo
 Household care – Godrej Liquid Cleaner

With a turnover of Rs. 500 crore, the company employs 950 persons
and has two modern manufacturing facilities at Malanpur (M.P.), and
Silvassa (U.T.). GCPL is India's largest marketer of Hair Colorants and
Liquid Detergents and the third largest marketer of toilet soaps.

GCPL is committed to providing world-class products and services and


its efforts are aimed at fulfilling the daily needs of consumers through
innovative, value for money, products that improve their quality of life.
GCPL is a high growth, highly profitable FMCG operation. It will own all
its brands among which are the high profile Cinthol, Fair Glow, Ezee
and Godrej Hair Dye.

GCPL is expected to have ROCE and RONW ratios comparable with the
best FMCG companies in India. It is a professionally managed company
under the leadership of Mr. Adi B. Godrej, as the Chairman and
Managing Director.

Associate Companies include Godrej Industries Ltd., Godrej Sara Lee


Ltd., Godrej Foods Ltd., Godrej Agrovet Ltd. and Godrej Properties and
Investments Ltd.

IMC and its Importance at Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.

Mr. Girish Korde, Brand manager, FairGlow, defines IMC as “ a multi-


dimensional, multi media communication system that is based on a
pre-designed strategy. It necessitates across the board
implementation for effectiveness”.

Godrej Consumer products for all its brands are implementing the
integrated marketing process across product categories. This is
because with a slate of launches and relaunches, it is very essential for
the brands to not lose focus. Besides concentration of communication
on a central theme, with ‘one look, one voice’ enhances the recall and
Impact of communication on the consumers. Godrej also believes that
use of Integrated Marketing Communication helps the brands to get a
noticeable ‘Share of Voice’ and ‘Share of Mind’.

In today’s arena where the messages need to make an effort to stand


out of the immense Clutter and where the messages are prone to
different interpretations in different contexts, use of Integrated
Communications reduces the risks associated with such loses.

The use of Integrated Communications also leads to an emergence of a


sharper brand personality as the personality gets re-inforced over
usage and exposure to the audiences.
In fact Mr. Girish also specifies that only Integrated Communications is
often not enough to ensure all the benefits. The process of integration
of communication should be complemented and supported by the
Integration of the Product and Marketing functions too. This essentially
means that the product should live upto the expectations created by
the communication and all the extensions should also be integrated
with the overall brand. Hence the FairGlow brand was extended to
Fairness Creams and innovations like the sachets packs etc. continued
to deliver the brand promise in an integrated and True manner.

THE BRAND - FAIRGLOW


Launched in Jan 2000, the brand FAIRGLOW has captured 3.5% market
share, in some areas where it has been launched. There has been
overwhelming consumer response to this unique product from Godrej
Soaps. The company is receiving letters, which reveal that consumers
who used FAIRGLOW have become noticeably fairer in a short period of
usage.

Objective – ‘Creating an entirely new category in the stagnant toilet


soaps market’.

Mission - ‘To work towards ensuring that the brand maintains it’s
market creator and leader status’

Product - FAIRGLOW is a high quality toilet soap with 76% TFM (total
fatty matter) and an excellent floral perfume. It is packaged in a
polyester wrapper with attractive graphics. FAIRGLOW is available all
across India and has an introductory price offer of Rs. 10.00 for a 75
gm pack.
Formula - FAIRGLOW has a unique Bio-extract ‘Natural Oxy-G’ that is of
vegetable origin and absolutely safe. Its natural action involves
reduction of the black melanin in the skin without changing the skin’s
natural balance. The Natural Oxy-G also helps remove blemishes to
give the user a smooth and glowing complexion. FAIRGLOW therefore,
provides fairness for the face and the whole body without any extra
effort. In sum, it gives the twin advantages of a clean and fresh bath
while also providing the fairness benefit.

Activities undertaken by FairGlow:


 Television advertising on a large scale to ensure awareness
 Magazine and News paper advertising
 Press articles and other public relations
 Outdoor advertising –Hoardings
 FairGlow Express
FairGlow Express
 Net advertising
 Skin care section – advisor etc.
 ‘FairGlow Face of the Fortnight’ series
 Radio advertising (FM)
 Seminars on skin care
 Events – friendship day, valentines party etc.
 Direct advertising to members of SIBHA ( South Indian Beauty
and Hair associates)
 Promotions – both trade and consumer
The Process Of Communication Generation
The component design – Factors:
In the process of designing the communications mix, there are various
factors that are taken into account at Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.
The mot important factors that have a bearing on the variables in the
mix are:
 The objective of the brand communication – a brand that seeks
to gain awareness will have greater proportion of mass media.
Thus maintaining the brand reputation and developing brand
awareness would see two different mix of target contact points.

 Also the magnitude of the objective would also be a contributing


factor. For example ‘gaining a 5% share of the competitor’s
market would require a more aggressive strategy as compared
to an objective of gaining a 2% market share’

 The competitors’ activities – Selection of nuances between the


available options at times is also based on the actions of the
competitors. Thus if the competitor is making efforts through the
trade promotions to create ‘dealer push’, a brand like Cinthol
would splurge on mass media or create a consumer promotion,
to create a ‘Consumer Pull’

 The stage of the Product Life Cycle in which the brand operates
will also be a factor in the formation of the communication mix.

 The Brand Philosophy, character – A brand that symbolizes and


associates itself to Safety, Care, Environment etc. would lend
itself easily to collaborative advertising which may not be the
case with all brands.
 Product Category is yet another actor. Some brands like Cinthol
are youthful in character and hence lend themselves to Events,
Mass media etc. but a personal care product like Condoms may
not lend themselves to Outdoor communication like the Trains,
Hoardings etc.

 The Target group also plays an important role in the


communication mix definition. Thus a brand like FairGlow lends
itself more to Events promotion as compared to a family brand
like ‘All Care’

 The Impact of Expenditure that a brand would earn also be of


consideration. Thus thanks to the novelty factor attached o the
FairGlow brand, the impact of the expenditure incurred was quite
higher as compared to the expenditures incurred by Cinthol.

 Qualitative parameters like the Brand Image, Brand Personality


also would be a decisive factor in the process of strategizing for
Communication.

 One of the most important parameters in the decision making


would be the Budgets allocated to the brand for the
communications exercise. As these budgets would be based on a
forecast of the market’s purchasing ability and other factors, this
actor is of paramount importance to ensure the viability of the
brand.

 And of course the Skill and the Experience of the Brand manager
also is important in the process of strategizing the
communications mix as that often happens to be a source of
innovations and experimentation.

The Agencies Involved:


 Client – Brand Team of Godrej
 Creatives and Strategy - All of the communication for most
brands is handled by Mudra excepting Cinthol, which is handled
by Leo Burnett.
 Media Buying and Planning – This function is centralized with
Madison, the Agency Of Record for Godrej.
 Specialists – Most of the times, Mudra proves to be self-sufficient
agency for functions like direct marketing etc. As and when
required, Mudra internally outsources specialists for tasks where
it may not be as competent (Net advertising)
 Others – Besides these agencies at times there are Event
management outfits etc. who may be involved for specific
events.

Factors that lead to smooth flow of the process:


 ‘Centralization of communication’ is an essential for ensuring
that the communication flows the way it is expected to. In fact
for all the regional sales zones, the communication is
designed at the corporate office by the marketing team
keeping in mind the inputs from the Regions. The
communication plan along with the creative is then passed on
to the regional areas, where they are implemented.
 The existence of one central agency for all of its
communication facilitates coordination and effective
implementation of various communication strategies.
 An effective Creative director would be a great benefit to the
communication process, as he would not only germinate the
‘Big Idea’, but would also mobilize the various specialist aid
required at all points and time for communication
implementation.
Process of Implementation of IMC at Godrej Consumer
Products Ltd.
Media
Strategy Client’s Marketing Event
Strategy Strategy

Communication

(Creatives)
Execution
Strategy
Agency of Record -
Madison Specialists – Events etc.

Event
Creatives

Creative agency - Mudra

Specialist outfits - Net


Outsourcing for advertising, Direct
Certain areas of Strategy
Marketing etc.

The responsibility of coordination of the entire brand building efforts


rests with the Brand Team, which is the Final authority on all
components and mixes adopted by the brand. While the Brand team
has complete freedom to execute strategies that are in keeping with
their brand philosophy, they also keep in mind the association of the
brand with the Corporate Brand – Godrej and the synergy between the
two brands. This ensures that no brand lends a negative rub-off to the
corporate brand and works within its purview, enhancing it at the same
time.
The entire process of implementation of a communication program is
documented in a confidential “BRAND Book”. This book contains not
only the process adopted, but also contains update information of all
the communication activities conducted under the various brands.

The Corporate Brand GODREJ

According to Mr. Korde there exists a two-way relationship between the


corporate brand Godrej and each of the brands in the Godrej Stable.
The Godrej brand stands for TRUST, RELIABILITY and QUALITY and that
is an integral part of each brand that evolve with the Godrej Name. The
Godrej name also lends stability to the new brand, reducing the efforts
required to build a new brand.

Two-way synergistic
relationship
The Individual brands
Godrej Brand (FairGlow, Cinthol etc.)

On the other hand, with newer brands emerging from Godrej, the
Godrej brand too earns a younger, vibrant and versatile image.

Each brand manager ensures that his brand philosophy lies well within
or is related to the overall Godrej philosophy of commitment to Quality
and well-being of the consumer. The senior management (Board of
directors et al) ensure that the vision of the company translates into
brands that are diverse and yet converge synergistically under the
Godrej Brand.
-----------********------------
PART III

REINVENTING THE AGENCY


REINVENTING THE AGENCY

Thomas Eppes, president of Charlotte, N.C. based Price/McNabb sees a


change arriving, a trend that looks at a ‘New Avataar’ of an agency. He
says, "I think the change is going to be so dramatic that in the future
there won't be any such thing as an advertising agency .We have
begun to refer to ourselves as a communications company, and that
might change because we are getting involved with our clients'
business in ways that go beyond communications."

IMC is a specialized concept and while many agencies claim to deliver


on
this, there are truly very few agencies capable of integrated
communication. Agencies having separate cells/departments for
different functions

According to Marketing Head Devadas Nair, Shoppers Stop, “It has


been my experience that there are two stands one must consider
before identifying whether the brand should take a specialist route or a
one-stop shop route. These points are:

 Can you afford to have specialist agencies, as these agencies


would mean splitting your marketing spends across various
agencies?
 The Creative approach generally is different for mainly three
components – Public relations, Direct Marketing and Advertising.
Can your agency handle the contradictions within, or do you
have the resources (time and expertise) to consolidate them at
your end.
In case too many agencies are involved in the branding process,
the control generally resides with the brand team who provides
guidelines for implementation and where the agencies’ tasks are
often only left to the execution. And that’s not enough reason for
the agency to exist. Instead a route to a common agency who
could provide specialist skills under one roof, either from its
internal processes or through Out-sourcing could be ideal”.

Need for a One-Stop Shop Agency


 Strategizing with the brand communication with several agencies
leaves no meaning to the brand route, as there tend to be too
many so-called ideas, conflict of interests etc.
 Dealing with one-agency aids quicker implementation of the
strategies, due to less time involved in co-ordination.
 Reduces the problems of coordination and duplication, as all the
concerned entities know well enough the objectives and the
directions.
 The merging of ideas proves to be a ‘synergistic beauty’, as
there are rare clashes between the creatives for various media.
 Besides after working for all communication with one agency,
there arrives a point where the brand team and the agency vibe
well and therefore there exists a comfort zone that allows free
flow of ideas.

Pros and Cons of Integrated services:


Proponents of Integrated marketing and one-stop shop services agency
contend that maintaining entire control of the promotional process
achieves greater synergy among each of the communication program
elements. They also note that its is convenient for the client to
coordinate all of his marketing effort.
PART IV

EVALUATION AND BARRIERS


Evaluation – IMC Audit
With today's marketplace conditions, emphasis must now be placed on
retaining and growing the value of existing customers, as much as on
acquiring new ones. Consequently, companies are setting up cross-
functional processes and making other structural changes to better
manage brand relationships. This means there is an increasing need to
audit these internal processes to make sure that they are, in fact,
integrated, and operating efficiently and effectively. Recognizing this,
Tom Duncan and Sandra M. designed the Integrated Marketing (IM)
Audit. IM Audit findings should be used in conjunction with customer
satisfaction and other types of output controls. In other words, an audit
should not be used in place of, but in addition to, traditional output
controls.

Who should do it?


An IM audit should be done by an outside, objective team and should
be a census (not just a sample) of the managers of all departments
impacting on brand relationships. At the audit orientation meeting with
top management, the audit instruments are reviewed and customized
to fit the organization's structure and needs.

What Can Be Learned From an IM Audit?

The benefits of auditing the organization, and the processes that are
responsible for acquiring, retaining, and growing customer
relationships, can uncover major inefficiencies and integration gaps.
These may include:

 Confusion about objectives: In one company, managers gave


nine different responses when asked what the corporate
marketing communication objectives were and ten different
responses for the brand marketing communication objectives.
When people are working against different message objectives, it
is impossible to have message consistency; a facts subsequently
proven by content analyses undertaken as part of the Audit.

 Lack of agreement on message themes: A retail chain had begun


advertising "Low Prices Every Day." However, there was no
agreement among managers on what this meant in the context
of the chain's pricing strategy. Interviewees offered a total of
seven different explanations of what this new strategy involved.
None was given by more than 15 percent of those interviewed.

 Messages not targeted to primary stakeholder groups: In one


company it was found that 24 percent of all printed messages
were not targeted to any of the high priority stakeholder groups
identified by management, and only 1 percent were specifically
directed to the target audience rated most important.

 Not enough information available: In almost all the audits


conducted, the majority of marketing managers say that half the
time they do not receive enough information from other
departments to do their jobs effectively. The types of information
frequently mentioned as difficult to get were sales results,
research results, and promotional and other special marketing
plans for specific events and programs.

 Little knowledge of annual planning: In one company, 60 percent


of the managers did not know how the budget was allocated
among departments, and half of the managers did not know to
what extent each year's communication plan compared to the
previous one.

 Lack of agreement on which stakeholders are most important: In


a health care facility, patients/families received the third highest
rating when all responses were averaged, but were ranked
eighth by top management responses. Political leaders were
ranked ninth, but third by public affairs/public relations. This was
in response to the question: "What is the overall importance to
the whole organization of the organization's stakeholders?"

 Limited use of computers for networking and consumer


databases: One company had a relatively small number of
industrial customers; yet it did not capture customer buying
behavior information, although there were many opportunities
for doing so.

Thus although the IM Audit was designed to be an evaluation tool, it


also provides a road map for showing how a company can become
more integrated. The audit provides an objective, well-documented list
of what must be changed in order to strengthen brand relationships.

BARRIERS TO IMPLEMENTATION
IMC is indeed enjoying a growth in awareness, particularly among
larger companies. Nearly three fourths of the companies surveyed
report using a database to better target their customers- an essential
part of implementing IMC; but only 30 percent say they are doing
extensive profiling and segmenting of customer buying habits using a
database. This suggests that many companies have not yet reached a
full implementation of IMC.

Case in Point: Procter & Gamble - The World's Great Consumer


Products Company

Procter & Gamble is considered by business scholars to be a world-


class marketing company. Like the Nike brand, Procter & Gamble
possesses some of the most recognizable brands in the world
including: Tide detergent, Crest toothpaste, Jiff peanut butter, Cover
Girl cosmetics, and Duncan Hines cake mix. It also has dominant
market share with many of its premier brands. For some time now P&G
has been lauded for its efforts in implementing the Integrated
Marketing Communications. But is Procter & Gamble a perfect IMC
exemplar? If beginning with stakeholders and speaking to them with
one voice across all communications channels is an important criterion
of IMC, the answer must be "NO."

Despite Procter & Gamble's marketing preeminence, it has a history of


internal and external communication blunders:
 Procter & Gamble publicly mishandled both the Rely Tampon
crisis and allegations that their packaging symbol documented
the company's satanic links.
 Recently, Procter & Gamble lost face publicly and alienated
employees when it was revealed that the company had phone-
tapped three employees they suspected of leaking company
information.
 This was followed by a botched job of dealing with some of the
physiological effects of its new fat substitute, Olestra. Without
considering public reaction, they allowed their scientists to term
the discharge of Olestra, "anal leakage" (Henkoff, 1996), raising
another wave of public controversy.
 Lately Proctor & Gamble shot itself in the corporate reputational
foot again. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) announced to the
financial media that Proctor & Gamble fully expected to meet its
earnings forecast for the end of the quarter. CEO Durk Jager was
forced to announce to the same media that they had badly
overestimated their quarterly earnings and that the company
would fall significantly short of its quarterly earnings forecast.
Over the following week, the company's stock fell precipitously
as shareholders and financial markets lost faith in the venerable
company. The Proctor & Gamble Board of Directors
subsequently fired Mr. Jager.
Despite characterizations to the contrary, these examples illustrate
just how far away Proctor & Gamble has been operating from the
necessary IMC condition of speaking to all stakeholders with one voice.
Recommendations

The above explanation offers adequate rationale for the corporate


neglect of IMC. The recommendations that flow from the analysis are:
 First, existing IMC theory gives considerably more emphasis to
implementation than adoption of IMC. For IMC to be a reality in a
corporation, adoption must precede implementation. This means
the IMC proponent must negotiate his/her way through the maze
of corporate politics, get CEO and other top-level management
buy-in before the first implementation step can be taken.

 Second, once top-level buy-in has been achieved, an


implementation plan must be developed that can be reconciled
with the organization's existing structure and functional
realities. In some instances, a "communications czar" is out of
the question, but a team of structurally equal marketing and
communications executives might work.

 Third, organizational culture must be dealt with in a substantive


way in future IMC adoption models. This means placing the
communication process itself alongside organizational culture. It
also means looking at organizations historically to see how they
have developed and evolved over time. Just as the IMC process
must be built around the customer, so to an IMC operation must
reflect the culture of the organization in which it is being
implemented.
Conclusion

The New Economy is Integrated Marketing's Time to


Shine!!

Ten years ago, the business world was not quite ready to embrace the
principles of IMC. But as the environment developed over the past
decade, IMC grew in stature because it makes good business sense,
especially in today's fast-moving economy

In a business environment where all four mega trends effect the way
we go to market, following the IMC principles of knowing your
customers, building your brand and measuring effectiveness will put
companies one step ahead of the competition.

For companies that currently embrace IMC, the new economy mega
trends translate into opportunities. Placing the customer and other key
stakeholders at the center of your business strategy has never been
more important. The highly competitive marketplace has made
relationship building paramount in the quest for success. For
companies who do not see IMC as vital, it is time to reconsider.