How to make integrated marketing communication truly effective

By Jennifer Hahn Masterson

There are motivational speakers that can literally blow you away, managing to have you sold on their ideas in a matter of minutes. After listening to their speech, you are hyped and inspired to take action momentarily. That’s what your brand’s integrated marketing communication strategy needs to do: share your core message, create a bond with your customers and inspire them to act (buy your products or services).

Integrated marketing is a blend of various communication methods with a goal to create a seamless experience for customers. Connecting all aspects of marketing, integrated marketing delivers the brand’s unique message to the target audience, accenting your competitive advantage and creating long-term bonds. This makes the difference between purposeful advertising and taking chances. With this in mind, here’s what you should do.

Identify your target audience

For effective integrated marketing communication, first you have to determine your target audience. Who do you want to reach? When identifying your desired clients, you should consider everything from demographics to psychographic factors. Information about your consumer group will lay the foundations for your IMC strategy. Keep in mind that the optimal target audiences shouldn’t be too small, as this can seriously limit your market, but neither too big, causing you to lose focus and spread your resources too thin.

Set clear campaign goals

Define your campaign’s purpose. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Is the purpose to increase consumer loyalty? Before proceeding, determine what it is exactly that you want to achieve with your IMC strategy. Your future efforts depend on the goal of your campaign. At this point, you have to determine your budget as well as your potential limitations.

Do your research

This is when you need to get in the shoes of your customers. It would be helpful to use SWOT analysis to get insight into your situation. Take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats. Perform the SWOT analysis from the perspective of your target audience. At this point, you should also uncover your unique selling proposition (USP). What most separates you from the competition? What problem can you solve better than anyone else? Your USP should be central in the IMC strategy, so make sure you use it to its fullest potential.

Brainstorm to generate creative ideas

Creativity is where all the magic happens. Namely, you need to take the information you have gathered when putting together your IMC strategy. Brainstorm to come up with an effective IMC strategy. Don’t limit yourself in this phase, as there are no bad ideas. Instead, analyze all of the potential ideas you come up with. You’ll never know what will lead to that big idea that will possibly do wonders for your brand!

Pick your channels wisely

Ask yourself: “Which channels do my customers use?” You don’t have to be everywhere. For instance, if your customers don’t read magazines, there’s no need to advertise in that way. This current master course in advertising focuses on diverse ways of advertising offered by technology. Nowadays, there are so many ways to advertise and so many companies that take advantage of that, so we could say that it’s quite a crowded arena out there. As this course explains, brands also need to analyze less frequent communication strategies such as crisis management and defense methods against fake branding. Additionally, it’s important to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each channel you choose, as this will help you reach your campaign goals.

Make sure your message is consistent

No matter how many mediums you choose, your message should stay consistent. You may have to tweak your idea to the different channels of advertising, but make sure you preserve your visual identity. For instance, you can’t copy your entire blog post on Twitter, but every piece of content you create has to carry the same message. It’s a good idea to focus on versatile content you can use on different channels, even if it will require certain modifications to make it suitable for each particular channel.

Track your IMC strategy success

Now it’s time to measure the results of your campaign. Did your IMC strategy achieve the goals? Gathering data from the marketing process and tying it with sales will help you see what works best and what doesn’t work at all. You should keep an eye on the behavior and needs of your customers and be aware of the competitor’s operation. Needless to say, people don’t just simply go for a product or a service – they love the experience.

Your IMC strategy should be seen as a constant work in progress, demanding of you to be creative and come up with ways to deliver exceptional experiences to your customers and generate more leads. This will distinguish your brand from the competition and help you grow a truly loyal client base.


Jennifer Hahn Masterson is a senior business strategist, always in search of inventive ways to help her clients find their place in the ever so competitive business arena. When she is not busy pondering about the design principles of unity, space, hierarchy, balance, contrast, scale and similarity, she likes to immerse herself in a good book and satisfy her perpetual wanderlust.

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