Integrated Marketing Communications = Marketing Foundation

The key to successful marketing for any company is keeping in mind what is being communicated to all parties including potential clients, current customers, shareholders and employees. In order to determine what is being communicated it is best to tailor an integrated marketing communications (IMC) program.

According to Clow & Baack (2004), “Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, and sources within a company into a seamless program that maximizes the impact on consumers and the other end users at a minimal cost” (p. 8). Simply said IMC incorporates all of a company’s marketing functions and promotions into one cohesive ‘package’ so the company portrays one message in all of its communications.

How is IMC different than branding? Branding is about crafting an image for the company and being consistent with that image in all communications from the company. Branding is more about ‘the look’. IMC is more of the bigger picture of the company and ‘the message’ it is communicating. Branding is actually a component of IMC as image communicates plenty even without words.

The best way to get started is to create a marketing plan and cover all forms of marketing and communication the company uses. The four items that need to be answered /set when creating a marketing plan are: marketing objectives, marketing budget, marketing strategies and marketing tactics. In order to set an IMC program each of these four items needs to communicate the same overall message. Make sure to take into account all methods of marketing and communication the company uses both externally and internally. Internal communication is just as important as a company needs to have its employees on the same page with the message they are giving out to external audiences.

For more information on creating a customized IMC plan please contact us at

Clow, K.E., & Baack, D. (2004). Integrated Advertising, Promotion, & Marketing Communications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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