INTEGRATION OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS FOR EFFECTIVE BRAND PROMOTION
WHAT IS INTEGRATION OF COMMUNICATIONS
The most important element in the implementation of a marketing plan according to the concepts of 4P, 8P, or 12P is Promotion
, which involves selecting and applying a specific set of channels and methods of marketing communications.
According to many marketers, what is important is not only the choice of communication channels, but also the integration of marketing communications, which involves selecting communication channels and pushing positioning elements (brand attributes and advantages that a company tries to create in consumers' minds) among channels in a way that maximizes the promotional effect, surpassing the sum of the effects of each channel.
In other words, the integration of marketing communications operates on two main dimensions: the set of channels and the set of positioning elements, and involves combining and assigning to each chosen channel such an attribute or advantage as to maximize the promotional effect, that is, to reach the maximum number of consumers and create the necessary associations.
What do you need for this? In short, three things:
- Knowing the coverage, functioning principles, and effectiveness of each communication channel;
- Knowing the sub-segments of the target audience in terms of the expected perception of certain positioning elements;
- The ability of marketers to effectively combine and plan the use of the first with the second.
More specifically, determining the optimal set of communication channels depends on many factors and requires a detailed analysis of the company goals and budget, product and category characteristics, product life cycle stage, communication strategies of competitors, etc.FUNDAMENTALS OF EFFECTIVE INTEGRATION
Moreover, the integration of communication channels is based on the following factors:
- Target market coverage. The target market chosen by the company may be quite fragmented in terms of coverage through different communication channels. For example, if the company is focused on young people, then hypothetically the coverage can be as follows - social networks cover 90% of consumers, mobile applications - 80%, banner and contextual advertising on the Internet - 70%, advertising at points of sale - 60%, outdoor advertising - 50%, advertising on television - 40%, advertising on radio - 5%, other channels - 5%. At the same time, if the company focuses on consumers over 40 years old, then the coverage of the target audience may be significantly different. One possible option is to distribute the elements of positioning in such a way that promotion in channels with the largest coverage increases general baic associations, and promotion through channels with less coverage is targeted specifically at consumers of these channels and conveys relevant associations for them. However, the task is greatly complicated by the fact that the coverage of the channels partially overlaps each other, that is, a certain number of consumers receive information from different channels in the form of an "information burger", while other consumers receive information only partially from one or several channels;
- Contribution (or type of impact). The contribution of communication or the type of influence on the consumer in the overall communication system can be different, but the main types are awareness creation, image enhancement, consumer persuasion, call to action, etc. In conditions where consumers receive information from different channels, it makes sense to plan communications in such a way that each channel affects the consumer in a certain order. Indeed, if consumers first receive a call-to-action without having awareness and perception of the brand image built, such an arrangement is unlikely to be effective;
- Compatibility. The compatibility of communications through different channels implies the creation of a coherent image and the absence of contradictions between messages addressed to consumers through different channels. A certain part of consumers will receive information from all channels together. If in this case the positioning and the message can be significantly different, then this can create a basis for misunderstanding the brand and distorting its image among the most active and informed audience;
- Complementarity. Complementarity is the essence of marketing communications integration, but it is quite a difficult task. Marketers dream that consumers will see all elements of communications in the planned order and assimilate all elements of positioning, receiving a holistic perception of the brand, after which they would be convinced of the need to choose this particular brand and respond to the call to purchase at the right time, but this almost never happens - consumers do not see all communications or see them in the wrong order, not all perceive the messages sent and form the desired image, do not find the communication convincing enough to change their preferences, etc. Therefore, communications should always be planned taking into account the above-mentioned realities and complement each other even in the conditions of a broken chain of communication contents;
- Diversification. Diversification of communication over time and consumer preferences must be taken into account when planning communications. Time diversification refers to the split of consumers who have already seen the communication and those who are seeing it for the first time - thus, at any given time, there should be communications that are positively perceived and understood by both groups. Consumer preferences diversification refers to understanding the preferences of sub-segments of the target audience and addressing different sub-segments with different messages in order to maximize engagement in communication;
- Cost. Cost plays an important role in the involvement of certain channels in integrated communication, as it provides an opportunity to choose the most economically justified way of integration by comparing the costs and revenue from one or another option of integration.
The number and importance of factors that must be taken into account when planning an integrated marketing communications system makes it almost impossible to create an ideal version. In practice, it is always necessary to determine priorities and make compromises when a certain factor has to be given more weight at the expense of another. Moreover, certain factors may be in conflict with each other, forcing marketers to choose one over the other. For example, the factor of diversification can cause problems with the factors of compatibility and complementarity if the sub-segments in the target market are very different and require different messages.
Achieving the commercial objectives of a company through effective marketing requires a deep understanding of the market situation, consumer needs, the ability to analyze and explore alternatives, and a creative approach to problem-solving. Our company has extensive experience in defining optimal marketing strategies for our clients' businesses, creating a strong brand and market positioning, as well as developing a marketing mix and implementing the chosen strategy. You can familiarize yourself with the services and solutions our company offers on the "Services
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