IMC Is – In the business world, marketing strategy is the most important point to attract potential customers. Especially in the midst of advancing times like today, the business world will also develop, not only buying and selling transactions, but also having to think about good communication with potential customers.
IMC stands for Integrated Marketing Communication , which in short will be a marketing strategy that prioritizes alignment between your brand and consumers. As with social life, implementing this marketing strategy must also be accompanied by in-depth communication.
This IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication strategy has been widely implemented in various large companies in Indonesia, because it is considered effective for building deep, sustainable relationships with consumers from various economic classes. Then actually, what is IMC? What elements must be included in this IMC? How is the implementation of this IMC marketing strategy in large companies?
So, so that Sinaumed’s isn’t confused about this, let’s look at the following review!
Definition of IMC ( Integrated Marketing Communication )
Basically, communication is the main thing in the marketing process, because in essence, marketing is also a communication process that is created flexibly between companies and consumers. Therefore, communication and marketing have an attachment that cannot be separated from one another, so that the two must integrate with each other.
According to The American Association of Advertising Agencies , IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication is marketing communications implemented in an integrated manner. In the concept of communication planning, it emphasizes the study of strategic messages in each form of communication which are then combined to obtain message clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact through message integration.
Meanwhile, according to Kotler and Armstrong (2004) in a book entitled Marketing Fundamentals , revealed that IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication is a concept applied in a company that is carried out carefully, especially in coordinating its communication channels, which will convey messages clearly, consistently, and convince consumers of the company and its products.
Then, according to Belch, he provides a definition of IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication as a business strategy used to develop, execute, evaluate, and measure a brand communication program within a certain period of time to many people. The many people referred to here are consumers, customers, employees, and other target markets. The goal of IMC is of course to benefit the brand financially, both for the short and long term, which in turn can simultaneously increase the value of a brand.
Furthermore, according to Shimp (2003), states that IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication is the process of developing and implementing various forms of persuasive communication programs to customers or even potential customers on an ongoing basis.
So, based on several expert opinions related to IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication , it can be concluded that IMC is a marketing strategy used in a company that relies on communication with consumers in the form of promotions and is persuasive, aimed at customers or even prospective customers on an ongoing basis. .
Elements In IMC Promotion
Previously, it was mentioned that to achieve IMC goals, companies must use a tool called promotion. This is because the IMC marketing strategy will later integrate various promotional tools so that the message to be conveyed is actually received by customers. So, here are 9 elements contained in an IMC promotion or Promotion Mix :
1. Advertising ( Advertising )
Advertising is a form of non-personal communication that is “shared” in various mass media, from TV, radio, newspapers to magazines that contain information about the company and its products and services to be introduced to customers. This advertisement is a communication element that is most widely used by companies, especially companies that produce goods for services to the wider community.
2. Direct Marketing ( Direct Marketing )
This second element is a marketing activity whose communication techniques are carried out by the company directly to its consumers. Usually, activities from Direct Marketing are carried out by sending direct mail , telemarketing, to direct selling to target consumers.
Direct Marketing aims to get a direct relationship (either in the form of responses or buying and selling transactions) with consumers. Usually, this direct marketing relies on sales.
3. Interactive/Internet Marketing ( Interactive/Internet Marketing )
This type of promotion is quite widely carried out by companies, because currently the internet network is indeed relied on for the needs of various fields, not least in marketing strategy. This marketing activity is carried out interactively, namely through digital mobile phones or online interactive TV , which of course uses the internet network.
Through this activity, companies and consumers will be able to communicate in two directions.
4. Sales Promotion ( Sales Promotion )
This promotional activity will later be carried out by distributing product samples or coupons to potential customers, so that it will indirectly encourage them to be willing to make a purchase transaction. Meanwhile, for sales promotion aimed at distributors and traders, this can be done by holding sales contests, giving special prices, and providing merchandise directly from the company.
5. Publicity and Public Relations
Publicity is of course different from advertising , because in this case it will enter the company’s mass media network in the form of news about products and services, to carry out events which will be covered and then published by the mass media .
Meanwhile, Public Relations will later carry out management functions in the form of evaluating public behavior, identifying individual policies and procedures for public interest , and executing a program that is acceptable to the public.
6. Personal Selling (Personal Selling )
In this promotion, various communication activities will be carried out directly or face to face between the seller and potential customers. Activities can be in the form of making presentations, answering questions from consumers related to the product being offered, to getting prospects for orders.
7. Word of Mouth Marketing
In this case, it is an activity carried out individually and is oral, written, or through electronic media. The things conveyed are about his experience when making a purchase transaction or consuming related products and services.
8. Events and Experiences
In this case, it will be in the form of corporate activities that sponsor activities and programs through prior planning. These activities and programs will later be designed for the benefit of the company’s interaction related to the brand with the target community. This event and experience includes sporting activities, shows, and donation activities.
9. Point-of-Purchase Communication
In this case, it will involve posters, signs, and various other materials specifically designed to influence the decision of potential consumers to be willing to make transactions at the point of purchase. Usually, the layout of goods in a store as a place of purchase is very important to attract the attention of consumers so they are willing to try the product.
Why is the IMC Strategy Important to Do?
Especially for companies that are marketing their products or services to consumers, IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication is very important to do for the following reasons.
- IMC aims to convey consistent messages related to products or services to the general public. Due to this consistency, potential customers will actually get and understand messages related to the product or service.
- The IMC strategy can also play a role in maintaining clear messages and goals in a business, because they are done consistently.
- IMC is done to create customer experience. The point is, through this IMC strategy, customers will be able to contribute in determining how business messages are conveyed, so of course the results will be positive.
- IMC can be useful for building the image of a brand. Especially on characteristics, logos, to content that will maximize the delivery of messages to customers.
According to Sulaksana (2007), the popularity of this IMC strategy can certainly bring about a new paradigm in corporate marketing. If previously, brand managers, advertising, promotion, sales to public relations only worked in their respective fields, through this IMC they will combine their “strength” in an integrated manner. Apart from that, nowadays there is also a growing awareness of the consistency of marketing campaign messages, as well as the relevance of the communication media that will be used. This is so that it can produce reputation consistency between the brand image (product) and the company image.
IMC Strategy Implementation Process
In implementing the IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication strategy , there are six steps, namely as follows:
1. Situation, Condition and Target Market Analysis ( Analysis of Promotional Program Situation )
In this stage, the company must analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the data on the target market. After finding the strengths and weaknesses, then they will try to find the point of the problem as well as the solution.
2. Analysis of the Purpose of Using IMC (Analysis of Communication Process)
Next is a step that requires the company to analyze the response from the recipient of the information so that the end result is in accordance with the company’s own goals. Companies can also start setting goals by considering the cognitive stages of potential customers when deciding to buy a product or service that has been offered.
3. Arrange the Budget ( Budget determination)
The next step is to prepare a budget or budget, whether the capital budget is already available at the beginning ( top-down ) or has just been prepared based on how the budget is allocated ( bottom-up ). In this step, it will be easier for the company to prioritize which activities to carry out.
Things that must be included in the structure are resources, which will then be communicated in a planned and transparent manner to various divisions.
4. Development of the IMC Program
In this step, later the company will develop a marketing communication program that will be pursued.
5. Integrate and Implement IMC Strategist
In this stage, it will usually be combined with a marketing mix strategy. Then, there will be activities to produce advertisements, buy media time and space , and carry out previously planned designs. The combination process is so that marketing within a company can merge into one and be easily managed. Even so, every employee must continue to carry out their work in a responsible manner.
6. Monitoring, Evaluation, and Control of IMC ( Monitor, Evaluate, and Control IMC program)
In this last stage, later the company will evaluate the performance results of the employees involved whether the program being implemented has been effective or not. Not only that, the central company will see whether the strategy and tactics being pursued are appropriate or not.
To do this, the company must develop what criteria are needed for the evaluation results and then adjust them to what is happening in the field. Even though this is the last stage, of course it is very important, especially to determine how the previous stages can be carried out successfully or failed.
Implementation of IMC ( Integrated Marketing Communication ) at PT Tokopedia
IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication is very important to be implemented in an organization or company to retain its customers. This also applies to a large company, namely PT Tokopedia. Surely Sinaumed’s is no stranger to the existence of this company?
Yep, Tokopedia is known as a company that is the most popular buying and selling site, so of course implementing this IMC in its promotional activities to maintain or even increase the number of customers. According to Tokopedia’s marketing manager, this IMC strategy is considered to be able to attract a number of customers, especially when there are currently more and more competitors in terms of e-Commerce .
The forms of marketing communication activities implemented at Tokopedia are advertising, direct marketing, public relations, sponsorship , souvenirs, social media, and websites. Not only that, in terms of advertising , Tokopedia is also careful in using below the line media , for example in the form of X-Banners, Billboards, pamphlets, banners, to POP Booths. The installation of banners is also often done even though there are still many considerations, such as from a busy traffic area so that it can be easily seen by many people. Tokopedia also uses Brand Ambassadors, namely actress and singer Isyana Sarasvati.
From the various IMC activities within the Tokopedia company, of course there are still various obstacles, especially in terms of the ability to cooperate in human resources which is still lacking. Not infrequently, when activities related to the public directly, often get complaints from customers. Even so, Tokopedia still managed to overcome the existing obstacles and most events were able to run smoothly.
So, that’s an explanation of what IMC or Integrated Marketing Communication is , which is one of the most popular marketing strategies, especially for well-known companies. Even so, companies that are just starting their business can also apply this marketing strategy to break financial gains in the business world.
Dawn, Adityo. (2017). Implementation of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) at PT Tokopedia in Retaining Customers. Communication Journal, Vol VIII (3).
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