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 (advertising creating 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 desire to 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.
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.