Thursday, August 22, 2019

Online Integrated Marketing Communication Essay Example for Free

Online Integrated Marketing Communication Essay Integrated marketing communication – the evolution of a concept The IMC approach has received almost instant recognition at the end of the 1990s, as a result of the existing trends to reduce the budget allocated to mass advertising campaigns and to concentrate on segmented or personalised communication with final consumers. The increased fragmentation of media and customers, as well as the revolution introduced in mass communication by the new communication channels – internet and mobile communication technologies – has created the need for a new approach to marketing communication, that can insure centralised management and a consistency of corporate messages sent towards various audiences. The concept of IMC was defined in many different, often contradictory, ways: Pickton and Broderick (2001) claim that synergy is the principal benefit of bringing together the various facets of marketing communications in a mutually supportive way. Definition proposed by Keegan et al. (1992, p. 631): Integrated marketing communications is the strategic co-ordination of all messages and media used by an organisation to collectively influence its perceived brand value. At the heart of this definition is the assumption that the credibility and value of both the company and its brand(s) will increase, when messages transmitted to various audiences become consistent across time and targets. Another definition proposed by Duncan (2002, p. 8) demonstrates the current conceptual perception of IMC: A cross-functional process for creating and nourishing profitable relationships with customers and other stakeholders by strategically controlling or influencing all messages sent to these groups and encouraging data-driven, purposeful dialogue with them. The notion of stakeholders implies the shift in the IMC concept from customer target audiences to the inclusion of key stakeholder groups such as employees, investors, suppliers, distributors, media and the social community. The most significant organisation barriers for the implementation of the IMC concept: * lack of horizontal communication; * functional specialisation; * decentralisation; * lack of IMC planning and expertise; * lack of budget; * lack of database technology; * corporate culture; and * fear of change. The impact of the internet technology on marketing communication: The rapid development of the internet in the last ten years has changed the classical communication procedures (Blattberg and Deighton, 1991; Holtz, 1999), because of three specific and co-existent characteristics that differentiate it from any other communication channel: * Interactivity. The internet offers multiple possibilities of interactive communication, acting not only as an interface, but also as a communication agent (allowing a direct interaction between individuals and software applications). The traditional communication channel was uni-directional, Even when communication was considered a two-way process, the institutions had the resources to send information to audiences through a very wide pipeline, while the audiences had only a minuscule pipeline for communicating back. Now, the communication channel is a network, not a pipeline. Communicators have grasped and even embraced this new proximity, fact demonstrated by the vast number of web sites which display â€Å"Contact Us† buttons and links. However, in most of the cases, these new facilities are not fully used. * Transparency. The information published online can be accessed and viewed by any internet user, unless this information is specifically protected. * Memory. The web is a channel not only for transmitting information, but also for storing information – in other words, information published on the web remains in the memory of the network until it is erased. The new realities of how audiences get and use information: * The audience is connected to the organisations * The audience is connected to one another * The audience has access to other information * Audiences pull information (info has to be available where audiences can find it, and it must be customizable) { Today, we get messages from multiple media channels: email, voice mail, faxes, pagers, cell phones, interoffice memos, overnight courier packages, television (with hundreds of channels), radio, internet radio, etc. As a result, the media that used to provide an efficient channel of communication for practitioners have become now only noise that most of the audiences have learned to filter out} Different definitions of IMC: Some retail organisations track the interaction between the online user and their web site: â€Å"the time spent by a client on a specific web page can represent an indication of his/her present interest†. â€Å"We use the results provided by our online behaviour tracking system to create personalised promotions targeted to individual customers†. The meaning is not simply transmitted, but has to be negotiated separately with each online audience. The message needs to be adapted to the specific level of understanding and interpretation of each public, but, on the other hand, has to express the same core organisational values, in order to display a coherent organisational image If the company attempts to reach foreign audiences, the message needs to be adapted to the cultural specificity of the overseas public. This raises important questions regarding the possibility of integrated online marketing communication in the global context: â€Å"we often communicate with customers from various cultural and economic backgrounds. In these conditions we must apply a clear segmentation and positioning strategy, in order to match the needs of every cultural group with our marketing messages.† The specific characteristics of the internet therefore create two conflicting tendencies: (1) the fragmentation of audiences and communication contexts requires the customisation of online marketing messages; but (2) the interactivity, transparency and memory of the web necessitates the consistency of communication and the coherence of the transmitted meaning Below figure presents the place of integrated online marketing communication in the online CRM process of the firm. The customer data/feed-back collected online is used directly to better design and implement the online integrated marketing communication, which are then targeting selected online audiences. Correctly implemented, the IMC program is a continuous cycle of gathering data and implementing response-generating marketing communication which is based on previously gathered consumer data. the specific characteristics of the internet are making the implementation of integrated online marketing communication both inevitable and efficient for an online organisation. The transparency, interactivity and memory of the internet force the organisation to adopt a proactive-reactive attitude in online communication, and to combine consistency and continuity with flexibility and customisation. These characteristics can be integrated by designing and implementing a specific model of integrated online marketing communication. The use of advanced online applications to collect customer data and feed-back information is paramount for the success of the online communication campaign (O’Malley and Mitussis, 2002). Because of the high interactivity of the internet, the communication process has become a real-time dialogue. Important issues relevant for the implementation of integrated online marketing communication have not been addressed because of space and methodology limitations. These areas can represent the subject of future research projects investigating: the management process of integrated online marketing communication; the criteria used for selecting and combing various channels in the online communication mix; the relation between the organisation and web advertising agencies; or the challenges raised by the general integration and co-ordination of online and offline (traditional) communication.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.