Where do the IMC communications tactics fit within the marketing management flow chart and why? Why is it necessary to create integration and consistency with current and potential customers? Incorporate concepts and examples from this week’s lecture in your post. Must be 350 words and APA format.
Integrated Marketing Communications
Welcome to the world of the Integrated Marketing Communication! Since we know there is not one “right” way to communicate with an organization’s customers and potential customers, organizations must study carefully the options and venues available to reach their targeted market segments. While there are 4 P’s in the marketing mix (price, product, place, promotion), our course will focus on the “promotion” aspect of the marketing mix.
Ogden & Ogden (2014) state marketing communications is a subset of marketing (section 1.1). For purposes of our course, we will use Hutton’s (as cited in Ogden & Ogden, 2014) definition of integrated marketing communication (IMC), “the process of coordinating and integrating all marketing communication tools into a seamless program to help the company achieve its objectives” (section 1.1). Companies frequently abbreviate marketing communications as “marcom.” Since the purpose of marketing communications is to build a relationship with potential customers, it is critical organizations spend resources and thought when developing their marcom.
What does all this mean? It means the marketing manager must carefully consider the organizational objectives and constraints when selecting communication venues. It also means the organization should communicate one message to the public from every single area within the organization. This takes a lot of coordination. Below we will discuss corporate image, branding, and the effect of consumer attitudes.
A corporate image is how consumers and other businesses feel about an organization and the brands of its individual product lines. A corporate image also summarizes what the organization stands for and how it is known in the marketplace. For instance, Clow and Baak (2012) use the examples of the “good hands” of Allstate or the “good neighbor” of State Farm. We know immediately the insurance organizations’ stand for reassurance and safety, which contributes to their corporate image. Since this is based on individual consumer perception, how might an organization set about creating its corporate image?
One way an organization creates its corporate image is by branding. The difference between corporate image and branding is simple: corporate image covers the entire organization and its reputation among its consumers, whereas branding covers a single product line or a group of complementary product lines. Hormel Foods is the corporate brand, and brand names of Dinty Moore and Jennie-O Turkey Store as product lines. Can you think of another corporate image with individual brands? What about Kraft? Proctor & Gamble? Coca-Cola? Johnson & Johnson? Take a look at the infographic below. Some of the brands for each corporation are listed:
We recognize many of the brands from each corporation. The right name can differentiate an organization’s brand from its competitors with a single word (Manning, 2014). A good name should be interesting and memorable; generic-sounding names will not separate a brand from its competitors, so it is imperative the organization gets it right. On the other hand, intentionally selecting a name that is difficult to pronounce and/or spell can have a negative impact. A brand name requires an extensive search (Felber, 2012); however, used correctly, a brand name can evoke respect and create a sustainability to obtain and keep market share (Stephens, 2014).
What are attitudes? On the surface, this concept seems simple: an attitude is something we think, believe, or feel. Yet can there be more to an attitude? And how is a person’s attitude so influential toward consumer behavior?
In order to determine what affects an attitude and how it is formed, it is first important to understand what attitude is: a “learned predisposition to behave in a consistently favorable or unfavorable way with respect to a given object” (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2007, p. 268). An object can be a product, a product genre, a commercial, a service, etc. There are four broad categories of attitude models discussed in our text; the following will highlight additional research and insight into how an attitude is formed.
Unlike many believe, a person’s behavior and attitude resemble the times more than the teachings from his or her childhood. Meredit and Schewe (1994) suggest our attitude is formed by our cohort group, from the experiences of our youth (see Appendix A). Ryder (1964) further suggests the cohort effect is defined as a group of people “born over a relatively short and contiguous time period as a ‘generational cohort’ that is deeply influenced and bound together by the events of their ‘formative years’ (p. 843).
What does this mean for marketers? In the United States, the passage of adulthood occurs approximately between the ages of 17 and 21 (Meredith & Schewe, 1994, p. 24). Economic and national events that happen during this time tend to affect the lifelong attitude and, thus, consumer buyer behavior. Psychologists find these core values and attitudes remain largely unchanged throughout life (Meredith & Schewe).
One illustration of attitudes and its effect on consumer behavior would be an organization positioning itself to appeal to a specific generation – if you are Pepsi, positioning yourself as a baby boomer’s soft drink would not be smart. Studies by Pepsi show Generation X and Generation Y tend to drink Pepsi, while baby boomers tend to drink Coca-Cola. The moral of the story? Find your customer, study their attitudes, and customize your marketing and advertising campaigns around ideas and events to which they will be able to relate!
Remember the commercial with the person representing the IBM-based PC? () He was middle aged and conservative, whereas the person representing the Apple Mac was young, casually dressed, and portrayed as being open to change and growth – does this remind anyone of one of Apple’s co-founders, Steve Jobs?