Current marketing philosophy holds that integration is absolutely imperative for success. Scholars demonstrate that integration just plain makes sense for those planning to succeed in today’s marketplace. Therefore marketers, communicators and brand organisations simply have no choice, but using IMC.
But was does IMC actually mean?
IMC stands for integrated marketing communications. It is a strategic marketing process specifically designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are unified across all channels and are centered around the customer. In other words, communications is facilitated horizontally across functional disciplines such as: the business strategy, the organization, the promotional mix and the marketing mix.
Because it is no longer possible to discuss a comprehensive marketing strategy without bringing social media into the discussion, it is not surprising to find that IMC represents an improved framework for managing communications in the digital world. Marketers have summarized the characteristics of integrated marketing communications as followed:
- Coherence – different communications are logically connected.
- Consistency – multiple messages support and reinforce, and are not contradictory.
- Continuity – communications are connected and consistent through time. •
- Complementary – synergistic, or the sum of the parts is greater than the whole!
The 4C’s imply that social media platforms need to be integrated for uniform information sharing. For instance: any message posted on a company’s blog, should automatically be shared on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and so on. In that way, organizations ensure to reduce ambiguity of messages while reducing duplication of effort.