Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) ensures that all forms of communication tools within the marketing plan are linked together. As an organization wishes to promote a new product or service, there should be a detailed and careful approach to achieving the objectives within the marketing campaign.
Utilizing a variety of promotional methods which are coordinated together, can strengthen the campaign since they are designed to reinforce one another. Companies who take the time to carefully plan out their campaign, have far better chances at the promotion being a success. Evaluating and monitoring is a vital step towards the success as well.
There are numerous companies who have well thought out plans initially, but there are additional steps to carrying out successful outcomes during the movement of the promotions. Evaluating and monitoring plan as well, ensures the company to discover what is working and what is not, along the way.
A well-designed IMC plan coordinates every element of the marketing mix: products, prices, distribution methods, as well as promotions and presents a simple and unified message to the consumers. Additionally, keeping six important steps such as: Understanding the target audience, creating a SWOT analysis, communication methods, determine budget, develop strategies and tactics, evaluate and monitor progress.
One of the most important of these 6 steps would be understanding the target audience. By doing so, the company can develop effective marketing communication strategies designed towards a set of individuals who share similar interests, or needs that your product or service can serve. When a company chooses to not know their target audience and believes that a “general” approach to customers will always result in higher costs and ultimately, a failed marketing campaign.
Amazon, a flourishing e-commerce designed store of 22 years, is a prime example of well-designed IMC. Amazon is regularly used by millions of customers daily for about anything you could possibly want or need in your life. The creator of Amazon, Jeff Bezos decided on the name Amazon, because he had a vision of selling “exotic and different”.
Ideally, in the beginning life of Amazon, the first products he decided to sell online was compact discs, computer hardware & software, videos and books. Due to the popularity of selling on-line books from his garage in Bellevue, Washington, Amazon bookstore grew to sales of $20,000 per week. To this day, Amazon’s subsidiary, Audible offers over 350,000 books online and has generated over $74 million dollars and a 28% audio sales increase within the first quarter of 2017.
Not only does Amazon offer a multitude of products for their customers, they offer a variety of ways that Amazon can enhance your daily shopping system. One of their most popular methods is to offer Prime Memberships. I personally, have had Amazon Prime for many years and as much purchasing I have done with Amazon, the monthly cost offers me free shipping and sometimes it can be delivered the same day if you place your order early enough, although waiting just another day, seems to be fine with my lifestyle as well.
If I am in the mood to read a certain book, I can also simply download it and begin listening to it immediately, once again, satisfying my purchase, by satisfying the need.
Amazon offers competitive pricing against retail giants such as Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us. In doing so, Amazon continues to gain a strong edge within the market and is giving the other retailers, a serious competition. Recently, Amazon has purchased Whole Foods, and plan to insert themselves comfortably in a market that currently is a $795 billion-dollar industry. As Amazon is expected to be a “top-10 player” in the grocery store market by 2019, once again, they are offering a service to their consumers that will surely be useful in their daily lives.
Amazon does all of this without a lot of advertising dollars in their budget. The company has an amazing algorithm from start to finish, time tested and approved marketing strategies that even the best companies can learn from. Amazon offers a well-blended variety of products such as books, DVDs, mobile phones/tablets, Kindle, gaming consoles and games, apparel for men, women and children, pet supplies, jewelry and automotive supplies. Together all of these product areas, coupled together with the correct marketing mix and integrated marketing communication plan, it is no lucky chance that Amazon dominates the retail industry presently.
Customers who purchase products from Amazon are global and this increases far better exposure for designers and manufacturers, as well as store fronts who otherwise might not have the additional promotions to sell their products, as well as cross promote additional products they might have to sell. Amazon has an excellent customer service rating and realizes that a positive rating is a strong detail to factor into the overall objective for the product, the seller and them as a company. Once a customer has made a purchase, Amazon sends an email a few days later to retrieve feedback from the buyer in a form of a very quick survey method, further increasing the validity of the product.
Amazon incorporates all of the IMC tools and has scientifically mastered how to advertise with very little funds, chooses to use direct marketing via emails, offers interactive internet marketing, sales promotions and provides support to their consumers and personal selling as they open their brick and mortar stores located in New York and Los Angeles in 2017, which will focus on books, audio, hardware devices and electronic gadgets from Kindle, Echo, Fire TV and tablets.
Amazon has opened a brick and mortar store located in Seattle, which is a grocery store that is testing the consumer buying market. Although, Amazon was originally created to put brick and mortar stores out of business with their e-commerce approach, they are once again, branching out to new levels and bringing huge amounts of new customers with them as well.
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