Integrated Marketing Strategies How do Integrated Marketing Communications Work and What are the Benefits of an Integrated Strategy

Most often, the term ‘marketing’ invokes thought of sales strategies and persuasion techniques. Essential marketing also includes communications. Within the organization, and across all marketing channels or avenues, communications is an important key to developing marketing strategy. Communications must be relevant, easily understood, and consistent with the image, brand or message the organization wishes to convey. The concept of Integrated Marketing Communications then becomes an important element in marketing strategy. It is defined as a strategic business process used to plan, develop, execute, and evaluate coordinated and measurable persuasive brand communication programs over time with consumers, customers, prospects, and other targeted, relevant external and internal audiences.(American Productivity and Quality Center, 1998). I can easily add more to this definition. One important aspect when thinking of integration is consistency, or uniformity. As many organizations developing marketing programs using multiple channels such as internet, newsprint, tv, radio and other forms of media, the message, though it may be targeted to very different audiences or segments, must provide the same identity or brand. Coca Cola is an easily identifiable organization that provides continuity in its image across all channels. The symbol or logo remains the same, though consumers may be reached through very different channels. A display set up in a health center may focus on one type of product, such as Diet Coke.