Where Does Integrated Marketing Communications End?
When you think IMC, the end or closing is as critical as the beginning, perhaps more so. IMC offers something that in my opinion no other single form of media offers. IMC offers relevance, integration, interaction, and measurement (RIIM), which to me is a very positive breeding ground (the petri dish of marketing if you like) to develop a dialogue, establish engagement, and serve as an ongoing communication tool that keeps the conversation moving forward and toward your goal.
Think of the end result, and build the program around your engagement tool.
Considering all the choices available — Advertising: Broadcast/Online/Mobile/Print/Out of Home; Direct Marketing: Direct Mail/E-mail/Events/Point-of-Purchase/Point-of-Sale/Education; Digital Marketing: SEO/SEM/Remarketing (retargeting)/Social Media/Websites/Microsites/Landing Pages; Public Relations: Media Relations/Analyst Relations/Investor Relations — you may be better offer with end-of-process focus than a start-the-race mentality. Now, not every tool listed will be used for your fundraising needs, but the tools of contact, what I call the “chain of communications,” are not declining — but expanding. If you need an example, just look to the changes in traditional and online advertising. Nearly every week, a new option to “attract” a prospect is being introduced. In your IMC effort, attracting is also important, but the end result — the conversion to a gift or the giving of a donation — needs to be strongly considered.
Ask the question — which tool or tools will be most effective in gaining your organization’s objectives? — and think the process backward, always optimizing your media selection one tool at time.
There are plenty of tools out there that work best from the end first, tools that provide the ongoing relief of non-giving symptoms via the multivitamin analogy. Use end-of-process tools that include squeeze pages, landing pages, microsites, online directories, alumni programs and other supportive engagement mechanisms, which include new and emerging technologies such as digi-scan, augmented reality, QR codes, near field communication and other tools, all of which can be repurposed. These tools, all integrated of course, help you to not only ask, but also to show how, where, when and why the funds you are asking for will be or are being used.
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.