This is the third and final part of a three-part blog series on integrated marketing communications (IMC). Here, we discuss the relative importance of various marketing channels. However, we must indicate that there is no one-plan-fits-all approach here as the mix of channels that marketers rely on will vary according to the type of offering and marketing objectives.
Advertising can be done on radio, TV, print, out-of-home displays, or in pay-per-click formats online. Whatever the medium, the idea is to buy space on someone else’s platform. While it was thought that most traditional types of advertising like TV and print were relatively exorbitant, now digital media entails more or less the same level of expense. However, the reach of digital advertising is far more specific than other forms of media.
Nonetheless, it is still relevant to reach targeted audiences through multiple channels if there is evidence that they consume brand content on those channels or if it aligns with the brand image. For example: a luxury furniture store may advertise their new products through a magazine circulated in high-end areas of a city.
The most used channel now, digital marketing (especially social media), has some major advantages, making it unavoidable for marketing today. Often, small or new businesses use digital marketing campaigns to create awareness, ascertain consumer interest, and gauge demand.
Given that a significant percentage of the world is already on various social media, projected to become more than half of the current world population in 2050, it is necessary for marketers to utilize them. Various social media platforms have their own benefits, and their use depends on brand image, personality, and audience.
Avon, one of the pioneers of the direct selling method, now has more than five million women worldwide as sales agents. For beauty products or other small, fast-selling consumer items where recommendations from others (word of mouth) carry a lot of weight, using consumers as sales agents makes a lot of sense. In return for their work, agents get reward points redeemable for products or commission.
PR and Events
Now an inescapable reality, public relations is essential to reach out to press, governments, other businesses, and stakeholders to create and maintain the reputation of a business. One of the ways to craft excellent PR campaigns is to couple a current affair, newsworthy event, or trend with an offering or brand. For instance, a chemical engineering firm may hold a talk inviting industry stakeholders to discuss how the effects of climate change can be reduced.
A sales-based approach works the best in B2B industries. This is because it does not make sense for B2B companies to launch campaigns on TV, digital, or out-of-home media because their highly specialized offerings hold no relevance for mass audiences. With sales, the motive is to train salespeople to have sincere conversations about potential clients’ problems and how the offerings they are selling can provide solutions.
Arslan Ahmed | Staff Writer