Where Does Integrated Marketing Communications End?
Most people think of how, when and where to start an integrated marketing communications (IMC) effort. I think looking for the end of the program is a better plan. Carefully and clearly define your goals and objectives; look to what tool or tools allow the donor to most easily and effectively provide a gift; and then support that desired end with a powerful, strong and effective beginning. If you cannot solicit a gift, determine what end-of-project media allow you to maintain the dialogue and engagement you started, allowing you to ask the “give” question once again.
Look to the end to begin
I think most people run their lives by looking to the end result before they start. Think about planning a trip — you select a location, define the itinerary, set aside the time, buy the tickets, book hotels, etc. Yes, some may book the hotels prior to the flight or switch the order of some of the other items, but few book vacations based on the time and place an airline offers. Some do, but I would say this is a small percentage of the traveling public.
IMC follows a similar path
End-of-project media can also set the tone for the balance of the program. Demographics play an important part of the need and perhaps define that tool path, but in many cases the tools used to provide the path to giving are independently linked to the integrated marketing program. Sounds counter to current marketing trends? Today, many past, traditional or legacy marketing tools and strategies must be reviewed or revised, and a new path, often based on unexpected strategies, needs to be found.
If you follow the concept that IMC is the multivitamin of marketing, then that adds additional validation to my position that calls for a time-released program designed with the end result in mind, with this end result defining the correct IMC formula. When you purchase a multivitamin, you are looking to provide a solution to eliminate a condition or perhaps to increase your stamina, increase your energy or respond to some other not-so-serious diagnosis. If you needed to counter a single condition, you might seek a single vitamin to meet your need, but that may lead to you taking a dozen independent vitamins!
Thad Kubis is an unconventional storyteller, offering a confused marketplace a series of proven, valid, integrated marketing/communication solutions. He designs B2B or B2C experiential stories founded on Omni-Channel applications, featuring demographic/target audience relevance, integration, interaction, and performance analytics and program metrics.