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Introduction:

Integrated marketing communications is a marketing strategy. It is a strategic approach through


which organizations drive performance by engaging, serving and communicating with
consumers and other constituents. At its most basic level, Integrated Marketing Communications,
or IMC, as well call it, means integrating all the promotional tools, so that they work together in
harmony.

Integrated marketing communications has changed the way we used to look at the
communication process. In the past marketing communication was more of a one way
communication process. After the introduction of IMC it has enabled the marketers and brand
teams to ensure a both way communication process, where the marketers can easily measure the
effect of their communication.

It has changed the focus by building a long term relationship with the customers rather than
capturing new customers every time. As a result priority to customer relationship has increased
and so has customer satisfaction.

In the past the main idea of market communication was just based on advertising and promotion,
but with the emergence of Integrated Marketing Communications the marketers uses and
coordinates many different forms of communications with consumers.

So, we can say that, Integrated Marketing Communication has shaped todays marketing into
relationship marketing.

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Definition of Integrated Marketing Communications:

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) means different things to different people.

According to American Association of Advertising Agencies- Integrated Marketing


Communications recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles
of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication
disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion and combines them
to provide clarity, consistency and maximum communication impact.

According to Philip Kotler- "the concept under which a company carefully integrates and
coordinates its many communications channels to deliver a clear, consistent message".

So we can say that Integrated Marketing Communications is the coordination and integration of
all marketing communication tools, avenues and sources within a company into a seamless
program which maximizes the impact on consumers and other end-users at a minimal cost.

Tools of Integrated Marketing Communication:

There are 5 basic components of Integrated Marketing Communication. They are;

Advertising

Sales Personal
Promotion selling
Tools
of IMC

Direct Public
marketing Relation

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1. Advertising: Advertising is an audio or visual form of marketing communication that
employs an openly sponsored, no personal message to promote or sell a product, service or
idea. There are two types of Advertising which has sub segments of their own. The types are;
Digital advertising
o Television advertising / Music in advertising
o Radio advertising
o Online advertising
o Product placements
Physical advertising
o Press advertising
o Mobile billboard advertising
o In-store advertising
o Celebrity branding

2. Personal Selling: Personal selling is oral communication with potential buyers of a product
with the intention of making a sale. The personal selling may focus initially on developing a
relationship with the potential buyer, but will always ultimately end with an attempt to "close
the sale.
Personal selling is one of the oldest forms of promotion. It involves the use of a sales force to
support a push strategy (encouraging intermediaries to buy the product) or a pull strategy
(where the role of the sales force may be limited to supporting retailers and providing after-
sales service).

3. Public Relation: Public Relations (or PR) is a field concerned with maintaining public
image for high-profile people, commercial businesses and organizations, non-profit
associations or programs. It defined the practice of public relations as "the art and social
science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders,
and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the
public interest."

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4. Direct Marketing: Traditionally this has not been considered as an element of promotional
mix. The development of IT and Internet has made Direct Marketing a very powerful tool in
marketing mix. Direct Marketing is much more than direct mail and mail order catalog. It
involves a verity of activities including ;
o Database management
o Direct mail
o Telemarketing
o Email Marketing
o Door-to-Door Leaflet Marketing
o Broadcast faxing
o Voicemail Marketing
o Couponing
o Direct-response television marketing
o Direct selling

5. Sales Promotion: Sales promotion is any initiative undertaken by an organisation to promote


an increase in sales, usage or trial of a product or service (i.e. initiatives that are not covered
by the other elements of the marketing communications or promotions mix). It adds an extra
value or incentive to the sales force, the distributers, or the ultimate consumer and can
simulate immediate sales.
Sales promotions are varied. Often they are original and creative, and hence a comprehensive
list of all available techniques is virtually impossible. However it can be broken into two
major categories;
Consumer oriented sales promotion: Consumer oriented sales promotion is
targeted to the ultimate user of a product or services and includes couponing,
samples, premiums, rebates, contests, sweepstakes, and various point of purchase
materials.
Trade oriented sales promotion: Trade oriented sales promotion is targeted
towards marketing intermediaries such as wholesalers, distributors, and retailers.
Promotion and merchandising allowances, price deals, sales contests, and trade
shows are some of the promotional tool used.

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Marketing Objective:

Marketing objectives are goals set by a business when promoting its products or services to
potential consumers that should be achieved within a given time frame. In other words,
marketing objectives are the marketing strategy set in order to achieve the overall organizational
objectives.

Marketing Objective is a clear statement of what the marketer is going to accomplish in the
marketplace. The marketing objectives will be the guiding light that directs the marketers to plan
and implement his activities to arrive at its targets.

Marketing object must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and must have a time
frame. There are some elements that needs to be considered in developing Marketing Objectives.
These are;

Review of Situation Analysis, SWOT analysis.


Relationship with other functional corporate strategies.
Review of sales objective
Review of Target Market

Company Overview:

Unilever is a Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company co-headquartered


in Rotterdam, Netherlands and London, United Kingdom. Its products include food,
beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. It is the world's largest consumer goods
company measured by 2012 revenue; Unilever is the world's largest producer of food spreads,
such as margarine. Unilever is one of the oldest multinational companies; its products are
available in around 190 countries.

Unilever was founded in 1930 by the merger of the Dutch margarine producer Margarine
Unie and the British soap maker Lever Brothers. During the second half of the 20th century the
company increasingly diversified from being a maker of products made of oils and fats, and
expanded its operations worldwide. It has made numerous corporate acquisitions, including

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Lipton (1971), Brooke Bond (1984), Chesebrough-Ponds (1987), Best Foods (2000), Ben &
Jerry's (2000), Alberto-Culver (2010), and Dollar Shave Club (2016). Unilever divested its
specialty in chemicals businesses to ICI in 1997. In 2015, under leadership of Paul Polman, the
company gradually shifted its focus towards health and beauty brands and away from food
brands showing slow growth.

Unilever BD is operating in Bangladesh for more than 50 years and according to them their
products are being used in 98% households of Bangladesh. Unilever has more than 400 brands
worldwide. In Bangladesh they have total of 20 brands available in the market. Some of their
most popular brands include LUX, Dove, Close Up, Ponds, Sunsilk etc

IMC Mix for Lux:

1. Advertisement: The message that the product reflects in its advertisements is the one
that is usually narrated by the corporate itself. Advertising is any paid form of non-
personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods and services by an identified
sponsor. Ads can be a cost effective way to disseminate messages, whether to build a
brand preference or to educate people.
Lux has adopted its marketing both in the traditional media and new media. If we take a
look at the history of advertisements of Lux than we will see that, it has used Newspaper,
Magazine, Billboards, Radio, Television as its advertisement media and they are still
doing the same. It chooses the prime time slots of electronic media like Television and
Radio as it is easier to reach more and more customer in a shorter period of time.
Lux has endorsed the largest beauty pageant of the country Lux-Channel I Superstar
contest. It has positioned the product to the consumers so well that people tend to identify
the winners as Lux winner.
Lux has used very uniform advertisement approach in all its market. It has been endorsed
by the most beautiful ladies all over the world. Be it the top actresses of Hollywood:
Bianka Chardei, Bollywood: Aishwariya Rai or Kareena Kapoor or in Bangladesh Bidya
Sinha Mim, Mehjabeen, Shomi Kysar, Bipasha Hayat and so on. As these actresses are

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treated as the most beautiful women in their countries, so Lux has positioned itself as the
premium product for beauty care.

2. Sales Promotion: Sales promotion, a key ingredient in marketing campaigns, consists of


a collection of incentive tools, mostly short term, designed to stimulate quicker or greater
purchase of particular products or services by consumers or the trade. Whereas
advertising offers a reason to buy, sales promotion offers an incentive to buy. Lux has
executed it sales promotion program beautifully. Its sales promotion activities include
samples of new or upcoming products, rebates, contests, sweepstakes, and various points
of purchase materials.
Few example of sales promotion tactics undertook by Lux are;
a. Lux promoted a campaign titled Lux . It had a very positive effect
on the sales figure of Lux at that period. Though it faced some legal complication.
b. The LUX is not given a notable placement on the shelves of different retail shops &
departmental stores for its sales promotion. Usually the company goes for wide display in
the stores where it potential for its product. Different eye-catching decorations are made
inside the store and in the showcase for outside display. These arrangements are made
with the assistance of the sales people of the company.
c. Lux has different package for different products. It differs in color, picture flavor and
attribute. This stimulates the consumers to try out and purchase new products.
d. Lux uses the term Limited Edition quite beautifully. Coming up with limited edition of
the brand is also a way of attracting attention towards the brand. It creates a buzz and a
feeling of urgency to try out the product and helps in promotion of the brand. This
strategy was also implemented by Lux by bringing out limited editions like Chocolate
Seduction, Aromatic Glow, Festive Glow and Haute Pink.

3. Public Relation: Not only must the company relate constructively to customers,
suppliers and dealers, it must also relate to a large number of interested publics. A public
is any group that has an actual or potential interest in or impact on a companys ability to

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achieve its objectives. PR involves a variety of programs designed to promote or protect a
companys image or its individual products.

Lux has been maintaining constant communicating with its customers and potential
customers, of the various developments taking place in the brand by using social
networks and public relations.

Significant IMC Factor:

The target consumer group of Lux is the urban and sub urban upper middle and middle class
people. And the marketing objective of Lux is to position itself in the mind of its consumers and
secure a handsome market share. Unilever Bangladesh alone holds a little less than half of the
market share. And Lux is the flagship brand of the company.

This success was possible because of the dynamic Integrated Marketing Communication strategy
of Lux. It was a perfect blend of different IMC factors or components. The components were self
complimenting to each other. One would not be able to work efficiently without the help of the
other.

But even though it was a perfect communication mix, there is factor which plays a significant
role in the strategy, which plays a more dominating role than others. According to me
Advertisement is the most significant role which played a crucial role in achieving marketing
objective of Lux.

As we know, a brand has to position itself in the mind of its target market in order to achieve its
marketing objective. Lux has achieved this objective with the help of advertisement. Lux
undertook heavy advertisement strategy and that too during prime time slots. It designed its
advertisements with blend of iconic beauties of each region to trigger the aspiration to be like
them. And all these were successfully executed by the brand team of Unilever and Lux, Brand
Managers.

Then Lux adopts a new advertisement strategy which has done wonders. This strategy was
named bring out the star in you. For the first time it moved the brand away from the long-running film

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star route. The film star still features in the new communication but not as her gorgeous self but rather as
an alter ego/projection of the protagonist (a regular girl), for a few seconds of the entire ad .

For the first time the film star was used as a communication device and not as the main feature
of the advertisement. The move away from the film star and her fantasy world to a regular Lux
users, with the focus on the protagonists star quality, is a change from the norms set by Lux
advertising in the past.

Conclusion:

Integrated marketing communication is a magic tool for marketers. Marketers do not also have to
think really hard as to which specific marketing tool is really effective in creating brand
awareness. Integrated marketing communication saves time which is often lost in figuring out the
best marketing tool. Through integrated marketing communication, marketers can smartly blend
and integrate all marketing tools for better response.

Integrated marketing communication ensures that the customer gets the right message at the right
place and right time. Integrated marketing communication uses several innovative ways to
promote brands among customers such as newspaper inserts, hoardings and banners at the most
strategic locations, pamphlets, brochures, radio or television advertisements, press releases,
discount coupons, loyalty clubs, membership clubs, PR Activities, sales promotional activities,
direct marketing initiatives, social networking sites (Face book. Twitter, Orkut), blogs and so on.

As for there might to some components of the IMC mix which might have a greater effect than
other, but if we take a look at the larger picture we will find out that, without one component
other may not have the same success rate.

So, we can finally conclude by saying that Integrated marketing communication is a winning
formula of communication mix of an organization which helps the organization to achieve its
marketing objectives.

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