IMC: Outside In

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 in Integrated Marketing Communication

IMC: Outside In


Over the past 10-15 years there has been a big rally for integrated marketing communication. IMC can be considered the synergy of various marketing tactics to formulate one marketing plan. Bringing advertising, public relations and various facets of the communication mix together to build brand equity and create value has been a topic of discussion since the early 90s. Since the inception of IMC, there has been a paradigm shift from marketing to customers to deriving marketing from the consumers.

According to D. E Schultz, the IMC process “starts with the customer or prospect and then works back to determine and define the forms and methods through which persuasive communications programs should be developed.” By starting with the customer and using information from the customer to formulate campaigns, it creates a comprehensive plan. This plan can differentiate a brand from others and establish a relationship between brands and consumers.

The desire to create a relationship with a customer is the cornerstone to the “outside in” approach to communications and marketing. IMC combines various forms of advertising, promotions and public relations and benefitting from their unique advantages. It does encounter challenges due to integration. Effective measurement is often one of these challenges. Secondly, management of the different fields that need to work together in order for a campaign to work together can be difficult. Especially when considering the situation from a management perspective. There can often be clashes between departments or reluctance to work together.

With the increase in globalization, there is a need to be able to target specific geographic locations. There have also been significant changes to the field of communication with the advent of social media and mobile marketing. As the field changes, so will integrated marketing communication. Kitchen, et. al. further elaborate on some of the topics mentioned about. What is your input on the evolution of IMC?

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