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Integrated marketing communication is a concept that is very simple and of utmost use to the organisations. The major feature of integrated marketing communication is that it ensures the linking of all forms of messages and communications (Naeem, 2013).It integrates all the tools of promotions and has its own mix of various tools of communication. All these tools of communication work better if they work in harmony rather than isolation. The major function of IMC is to create competitive advantage and boosting up sales. IMC if managed properly in an organization tends to save resources as well as the time of the organization (Madhavaram & Badrinarayan, 2007). IMC tends to wrap up communication around customers and then help them in moving through various stages of process of buying. When communication is un-integrated it tends to dilute the impact of a message and this is why IMC plays a vital role. IMC eliminates confusion and provides straight and correct messages (Thorson & Moore, 2013).As per many researchers IMC is an expansion of traditional as well as modern marketing strategies so as to optimise the communication that helps in conveying the brand image of the company to the stakeholders. Initially the focus of marketing activity was around 4P’s (Product, Price, Place and promotion) (Pavlou & Stewart, 2015). While focusing on those activities marketers almost forgot to take into consideration the communication aspect which is indeed a very significant aspect. Eventually the concept of communication originated when 4C’s were proposed by Schultz and these 4C’s are consumer, communication, cost and convenience (Ali & Talwar, 2013). This is when organisations started taking into consideration the impact of communication on marketing practices.
There are many companies in the world that have utilised IMC and achieved success in marketing process and overall organizational process. The two Australian companies that have also utilised IMC are ALDI and Flight centre. ALDI is a leading grocery store in Australia and it has used IMC to establish better communication practices in the organization (Jones, 2008). Initially the company was facing various problems and some of those problems were because of improper and un-integrated communication within the organization. This has not only affected the consumers of the company but various stakeholders as well. Thus the company adopted IMC so as to focus on consumer orientation and consider their needs and wants. This fusion of marketing and communication did wonders and ALDI could satisfy all its stakeholders by adopting it. ALDI has synergised all the elements of IMC as per the vision and mission of the company and thus the company was able to communicate effectively with outsiders.
Another company that utilised IMC is Flight centre. Flight centre is a travel company and the company is widely dependent upon its communication skills. The CEO himself said that if the company could not integrate its communication then it is highly unlikely for the company to attract customers and achieve success (Barret & Weinstein, 2014).This is why the company uses IMC to communicate with its customers. With the help of it the company can build healthy relationships with its customers and can also target potential customers with promotional activities. IMC has also made advertisements and promotions very effective because of its clear and concise messages. The company could also identify the boundaries around the promotional mix elements and because of that the campaign messages are easily grasped by the audience. This is the most significant aspect of IMC in Flight centre that the customers are very well aware about the messages that company communicates and thus the company is also clear about the expected response of the customers.
IMC has a huge role to play in overall business strategy and marketing strategy of an organization. IMC helps an organisation in achieving its goals and objectives. With its integrated and proper communication IMC helps an organization in attracting investors for the business and it thus helps the company to achieve its goals (Barret & Weinstein, 2014). IMC also aligns the vision and mission of the company and help in communicating them to the stakeholders of the business and thus enhances business strategy. A number of marketing activities are undertaken by an organisation such as marketing mix, sales, distribution, etc. but all these activities are incomplete without proper communication and this can only be achieved by using IMC. It thus helps in marketing strategies of an organization. Overall there is huge contribution of IMC in reducing the cost, enhancing productivity, increasing productivity; saving time and resources, reducing efforts and communicating clear ideas to all the stakeholders of an organization. In this manner marketing strategy and business strategy both are highly dependent upon IMC for their success.
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