To my IMC Blog readers, I would like to let you know that I started IMC Haus out of a passion for both IMC and blogging. Around my full time work and studies, I have put in a significant amount of time into IMC Haus, and enjoyed every minute of it.
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Integrated Marketing Communications has always been one of those areas that when it works it’s great and everyone is happy, but when it doesn’t there are immediately concerns around why didn’t it work and why did we do it to begin with if it wasn’t going to work.
So how can you effectively measure your IMC marketing method? It really depends on what method you are using but there are some tried and tested ways to measure your campaigns.
The online marketing arena has a plethora of measurement and reporting tools which is excellent if you have made the shift from traditional offline to online and want to show how online has made a difference.
From Mail Chimp to Campaign Master, the email marketing systems on the market now are pretty comprehensive. You can see for example how many people clicked on your link or opened your email, what they read and what they did after that enabling you to see the customer behaviour patterns. Some software will show you by IP address and some are not quite as comprehensive but in comparison to hard copy mail the measurement capability is much stronger enabling you to see if the campaign was actually worth while.
Websites and microsites
There are so many analysis tools on the market for websites and microsites these days. Google Analytics is probably the most successful as it is free and provides a good range of statistics and probably enough for the average business, enabling you to see what keywords were typed in by users to find the website, where people went, how long they stayed on the website, where they came from and where they went, what they read…
In addition to Google Analytics there are a whole host of packages out in the market that enable you to analyse and report on buyer behaviour and online usage and some really innovative ones that for example will enable you to see how your users are looking at your website.
Crazy Egg (www.crazyegg.com) does a heat map of your website and enables you to see where people click or try to click – which means that glaring button in the middle of your site may not be bright enough as people are not even looking at it, they might be clicking on a picture on the left hand side that isn’t even a link…so you could try changing your site button placements as a result and it may mean more people click through.
Search engine optimisation is something that has become critical to many organisations,, ensuring that content is relevant to the market they are in and is then picked up by Google, and then listed accordingly in terms of keywords. It is fairly easy to measure based on the number of clicks that have come through your website and also how far up on Google search that your business has come. Content may need to be refined as a result of listings not being high enough – i.e. on the second or third page. Search Engine Marketing is slightly more strategic with those positions being bid and paid for but the same principle applies for measurements. It may be that the content that your link is taking visitors to is not relevant to the keyword that people are typing in, so refinement of content may be needed. A good 6-12 months should be allowed to get this right.
Social Media has erupted in the last 5 years and now more and more people are keen to ensure they are on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace etc. The question with this however is, is what you are saying relevant? Are you just saying things for the sake of it, bombarding people with constant messages and sales spiel? This will show in your measurement analysis.
Many of the social media outlets have their own analysis tools and Facebook for example will send you an email on a weekly basis telling you how many people joined your page and commented. There are many companies out there that specialise in Social Media and will monitor for you and will report back on a number of things including your competitors, b ut from a measurement point of view you should be looking at things such as:
Number of followers/likes
Turnover – how many are joining and leaving
Number of comments
Tone of comments – are they with you or against you? Are people talking to one another?
Written by Zoe Gell – a passionate marketing communications professional and a chartered marketer, with over 12 years IMC experience. She has worked both in house and agency side in a number of different sectors including digital agencies, property and health care. See her linked in profile at http://au.linkedin.com/pub/zoe-gell/19/482/764/
For those of you who are reading this while at work and or sound isn’t the best for whatever reason, below is a transcription of the podcast.
Transcript from podcast of Don Schultz, Father of IMC
Intro: Welcome to marketing matters, a broadcast from Northwest University School of Integrated Marketing Communications. Today’s podcast is an in-depth interview with Professor Don Schultz, Marketing maven and author known as the Father of Integrated Marketing Communications. Schultz explores the modern marketing landscape in the United States, Asia, and Europe and specifically the challenge today’s businesses face finding their online and offline marketing forces.
Interviewer: First of all, thank you for coming today. My first question really is if you could tell me about how the Medill IMC program began
Prof. Schultz: In 1989, Keith Reinhart who was then the chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies had been looking at what was changing in the advertising business. And one of the things he saw was that there was a need for integrating advertising, direct marketing, P.R. or sales promotion….that sort of thing. So he called me (I had known him for a number of years)…he called me and said would Northwestern be interested in helping him? So I said, “Yes we would” and I met with him and two or three other people in New York. We talked about what needed to be done and suggested a research project. And we conducted…They funded the research. We did the first research project in 19…would have been late 1989 and that’s the one that was authored by Clark Gaywood and Paul Wang and myself. So that sort of set the stage for it. At that point, I was the chairman of the department and I made some suggestions about how can we bring all of these together and how can we make this IMC process work and how can it be together. So at that time there was the associate dean here was a man named Richard Christian. And Richard was the…had been the CEO and one of the founders of Marsdale Advertising Agency. So he and I sort of worked on that together; we developed a curriculum and went to the president of the university and said, “Here’s what we need to make this change and here’s what we need and how we need to make it.” And the president actually funded it. And so we started that in 1990; first graduates were in 1991.
Interviewer: So how do you think the program has evolved over time?
Prof Schultz: Why, I think it’s evolved very much the same way it has evolved in the business world. There’s still a lot of discussion and concern, and issues about specializations. There are real needs for specialists; but I think there is also is a huge need for a generalist view —someone who can put all of those things together. Now, the thing is, it’s changed so dramatically. When we started all of these, there was no internet; there was no web; there was very little electronic communication. So almost everything we need was outbound. It was advertising you send out; it was direct marketing that you mailed out; it was sales promotion you send coupons out, P.R. contacting the media groups and so on.
When you put the online and the interactive system in place, it radically changes the whole system. Because now what you have is not a question of the organization sending things out. The customer can actually come in and access information from you. And the challenge I think we have today is we have yet to figure out in terms of marketing organizations how you put those two together. How you put online and offline together.
Consumers have already figured that out. They don’t think anything about being online now and going to the store and reading ads and looking at promotions and picking up coupons. They just interchange all of it. But if you look at organizations we still do everything separately and independently. We with the advertising people over there, the P.R. people over there and oh we’ve got some people doing coupons and oh we’ve got some online folks and they never talk to each other. And that’s the biggest issue. That’s certainly the biggest issue in the industry.
Interviewer: In your mind, that is exactly what IMC tackles then?
Prof. Schultz: Yeah, I think what we have seen or what I’ve tried to do is trying to…we figured out …I think we’re pretty good at integrating the outbound communication. We’ve got databases and so we can look at people so we’ll send them a coupon or we’ll run advertising or something like that. I think the thing we have not done is figure out how to align the online material with the outbound material. That’s the biggest challenge. And I have yet to find an organization that does that very well. I think there aren’t any organizations that have really successfully tackled that problem and found a solution.
I’m in the process right now of working on a little project. We have about sixty or sixty-five residency reports. Sixty, note that, sixty different companies. I’m reading all of those and what I’m looking for are… what are the common problems that the organizations have. And what solutions they are looking for. And an attempt to say, “Okay, these are the kind of things we need to be working on and this is where IMC should be going.” And it’s very clear that one of the big issues is getting the individual functional groups to work together. And they also have real problems finding where the information is. It’s in little pockets all over the business. And they have no way of thinking about how we bring all of that together and if we do bring it all together, then how do we use that and how do get our people inside to work together. So that’s what I’m going to start working on now. I think what that will do is provide us a clue as to, or at least some ideas on, where this business needs to go and what we need to do and how can we help lead it because they don’t seem to be able to solve those things on their own.
Interviewer: Okay. How does Integrated Marketing Communications help a company in today’s marketplace?
Prof. Schultz: I think it does essentially one primary thing. And it’s what we put in it in the very beginning. If you look at most of the things we’re doing, they all have to do with how do you start with customers. Not how do you start with the products. And I think to a great extent the biggest challenge organizations have is getting over the hump of saying, “Well, we’ve made these things and now we’re going to find some people to sell it to,” as opposed to saying “Well there are some customers out there and they need certain things. How could we provide that for them?” So I think the one thing the IMC has done is give organizations a way to think about and a process to think about how you start with customers. It also I think to a great extent has strengthened our ability to develop the financial models that say, “I will invest in you; but I would not invest in her,” and to separate out good customers from bad customers. And all customers are not the same. All customers have never been the same; although, we’ve tried to treat them all the same. So I think those are the two primary things that IMC has done. We did those from the very beginning.
Interviewer: From your experience, can you think of, you know, a company that does exhibit the example of being able to identify customer needs before filling that need and introducing a product or service?
Prof. Schultz: Well I think to a certain extent FEDEX and UPS probably get closer than anybody else because what they’ve said is, you know, “Yes you need this.” Traditional Fedex businesses said, “You need it immediately and you need to be sure it’s going to get there.” Well, now they’ve said, “Well, do you want it there tomorrow morning or you want it two days later?” or something like that. So now you have an alternative. You have a choice of saying, “Yes I want it there; I want the security of knowing you will deliver it and I want the security of knowing it will be delivered there in two days. That’s fine.” So I think they’ve done a pretty good job of that because what they’ve done is sort of organized around customers and customers groups
Interviewer: And where in the world have you seen IMC widely adopted?
Prof. Schultz: I have been continually surprised at the adoption rate of IMC in Asia compared to the West. And I think part of it is Asian cultures are traditionally much more holistic. Everything is sort of related to each other; and, everything is sort of in some way connected to one another. Much more a network model, than in the West. Most of the models we have are essentially linear. So I think what I’ve seen is a great deal more acceptance, acknowledgement, recognition in Asia than I had in the Western companies where they struggle because they are all…they have linear models and they all believe that if I break everything down to the smallest part, I’ll understand it. And they don’t understand that things all are interconnected and related to each other. So it makes it difficult for them to do that.
Interviewer: Do you think that’s part of the reason why IMC has such a great appeal in Asia?
Prof. Schultz: Yeah, I think so. I think what I have…what surprised me was when I first started going to China and Japan, Korea is, there was no “We don’t want to do that”; it was sort of “Oh sure of course, we understand that.” But in the West, you have to explain, “Well, here’s what we’re trying to do.” In Asia, everybody looks at you and say, “Oh yeah, ok, let’s go do that.” So there’s no…there’s no…but what I think part of it is because it does sort of fit the culture much more than it does in the West.
Interviewer: What about other countries such as Europe?
Prof. Schultz: Part of the issue in Europe and part of the difficulty in Europe is because we are so data driven. The Europeans have very great restrictions on what you kind of data you can capture, what kind of data you can use, how you can use it and while we can talk about the EU, each one of those countries has their own data regulations.. So it’s like a little patchwork quilt. It’s very difficult to think beyond borders. Now there are some EU regulations which everyone follows; but then, when you start to get down into it, there are regulations in Germany and there are regulations in France and they don’t match up.
Not difficult in South America, not difficult in North America, not difficult in Asia.
Some of the emerging countries have difficulty simply because they don’t have the data. They don’t have access to the data. Although what is interesting is to see how quickly they progressed . Today, I think Korea is the probably the most sophisticated data analytic and data key ability market in the entire world because they’ve got everything connected and it’s all online and so on. So I think to a great extent, it has to do with technology and how well a technology is developed. So that’s probably the primary factor.
Interviewer: I have a final question.
Prof. Schultz: Okay.
Interviewer: How does it feel to have an entry in Wikipedia?
Prof. Schultz: You know, I have never looked at it…
Prof. Schultz: I haven’t. I probably ought to go see that.
After word: Thank you for joining us today. That was Don Schultz, Professor Emeritus at Northwestern University’s Integrated Marketing Communications Program. For more information, please visit: www. donmadel.northwestern.edu. This podcast was produced by Northwestern University graduate students, Brownwin Murray, Richard Wong, Sonny Yang and Elisa Zwanger. Copyright 2007.
Australia’s National Obesity Campaign is a government’s response to a growing social obesity problem. The Australian Better Health Initiative (ABHI) is a five-hundred million dollar, four year, joint federal, and state and territory government program (ABHI Measure Up campaign Summary sheet, 2008; Heart Foundation Media Release, 2008).
According to ABHI’s official campaign summary sheet (2008), the target audience is segmented into primary and secondary groups. The primary group being 25 to 50 year olds who have children (the thought-process behind this group being that influencing the parents’ behaviour will have an impact on their children’s lifestyles). The secondary target audience group is 45 – 60 year olds (the reasoning behind this target group being that many people in this age bracket “have been diagnosed with a chronic disease or are starting to experience the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle”) (ABHI Measure Up campaign Summary sheet, 2008).
Being a four year program, the campaign has both short and long term objectives. The short term objectives include; increasing awareness of the link between chronic diseases and lifestyle factors (such as poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and unhealthy weight), and a consumer engagement (in this context a more appropriate term would be ‘public’ or ‘audience’ engagement’) goal of generating appreciation, a positive attitude and confidence of; why a lifestyle change should be an urgent priority, alongside the benefits of achieving these changes.
Quoting ABHI’s campaign summary sheet directly, the campaign idea is, “Measure Up will help people understand it is never too late to make positive changes and that eating well and keeping active can improve long term health and quality of life.” Seeking to speak to both mind and heart of the viewers, the television ad spots finish by saying, ‘The more you gain, the more you have to lose’.
IMC Tools And How The Internet Was Used
The campaign activities include television advertising, public relations and other un-named specific strategies aimed at reaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and non-English speaking people. All advertising and copy content directs viewers to the official website www.australia.gov.au/MeasureUp.
Online and unused internet capabilities
The website was developed to provide people with more information as well as “what to do” and “how to do it”. Disappointingly, the campaign, although run at the peak of online social media and internet marketing tools and strategies, did not employ the internet to further communicate the campaign ideas and objectives. While companies like JetStar are investing 40% of their marketing budget solely in social media (Marketing Mag, 2010), the Australian government, with its budget of five-hundred million dollars for this campaign alone, did not take considerable advantage of the highly effective technologies and avenues available today. Sure, viewers have uploaded copies of the advertisements to YouTube and received some views as well as comments, but ABHI did not do nearly as much as it could have.
Online future recommendation for the Australian Government
With just under two years left of the campaign’s projected shelf-life, the ABHI has a lot of room for improvement in this area, and would be able to create a more successful campaign should it take true advantage of today’s online capabilities.
IMC Case Study on Monster.com – Get a Monster Advantage
Monster.com’s campaign, launched in early 2010, highlights the company’s commitment to help people find jobs through its innovative career search, planning and networking tools all aimed to give both job seekers and employers ‘the advantage they need’.
The campaign targets job seekers, those who are looking to get back on the job, or those who are interested in a career change (Monster.com Press Release, 2010).
The main communication objective through this campaign was to highlight “Monster’s innovative resources designed to match people with the right job, and employers with the right talent” (Monster.com Press Release, 2010). The objective aimed to create an awareness of Monster’s recently released innovative search and job-matching, career-planning and network-building tools, called 6Sense™ Search Better, Plan Better and Connect Better, respectively. Further research shows that Monster’s campaign was rolled out in the same week as its largest competitor, CareerBuilder.com (Diaz, 2010). This suggests that the campaign also had an image building objective; looking to retain, and win over, market-share, strengthening the brand. The campaign’s objectives were to; promote the new technology (awareness), drive audience engagement (consumer engagement) and ultimately to increase site traffic (image building, branding and market share).
Spoken by Ted Gilvar, Monster’s executive vice president and global chief marketing officer, the underlying campaign idea is that Monster knows that current job seekers want help and that Monster’s services help job seekers and employers ‘get the advantage they need’ (Monster.com Press Release, 2010).
IMC Tools And How The Internet Was Used
Alongside a selection of television advertisements featured during ‘Super Bowl’ (America’s most watched television program of the year – thus a large two and a half million dollar per thirty second ad spot), Monster launched a large traditional print campaign (running ads in more than one-hundred regional newspapers, as well as the popular Wall Street Journal, HR Executive, Wired and Fast Company magazines) (Tariq, 2010). Tying both television and print together was the online component; featuring digital ads, social media and public relations to achieve its objectives.
The digital online ads were a selection of high-impact page-takeover units as well as high impression rich media displays. All ads included a strong call-to-action, driving viewers to the website.
The campaign’s social media aspect included Facebook as well as Twitter. Utilising Facebook for more than just merely posts and conversation, Monster created a site application (an entertaining app allowing viewers to engage with the television advertisement’s character, Boogeyman, beyond the spot itself) (Monster.com Press Release, 2010; Tariq, 2010).
Monster also employed the use of public relations (news media reports and press releases), and as a result the campaign caught the attention of many online bloggers, writers and journalists, thus producing a large amount of free press for the campaign.
IMC Case Study on Hewlett-Packard and Integrated Marketing Communications – The Computer Is Personal Again
HP’s campaign, to be fully implemented by the end of 2006, was a true-global, several hundred million dollar campaign and its theme (The Computer is Personal Again) is still going strong today, four years later.
The campaign was targeted at PC users between eighteen and thirty-four years of age, and small to mid-size companies (Center for Management Research, 2008).
Throughout the campaign, HP’s communication objective was “to grow a more profitable worldwide business through the introduction, support and marketing of innovative products, services and solutions that will deliver the absolute best customer experience in personal technology” (HP Fact Sheet, 2006). The underlying objectives were to build and cultivate an image (a brand) and to spark consumer engagement and an emotional connection to its user.
The campaign idea ‘The Computer is Personal Again’ sought to position HP as ‘the company’ that truly understands how the PC has become central to most people’s lives and how computer’s are no longer merely electronic devices used for bland corporate-only tasks, but a place which provides the tools necessary to store and cultivate an individual’s expression of self (Marketing Practice Blog, 2006).
IMC Tools And How The Internet Was Used
The campaign pieces together traditional (print, broadcast, outdoor advertising), web and viral marketing elements. The majority of the mediums and elements all drive the audience to HP’s website dedicated to the campaign, found at www.hp.com/personal. Today the website exists here: http://www.hp.com/apac/personal.
Linking television with internet
HP created advertising spots highlighting how celebrities (as well as noteworthy business people along with other recognisable personalities) use their PC’s and how their computer is personal to them. The ad spots then linked to HP’s new ‘Personal’ site which showcased ‘hot products’, a ‘HP Total Care’ page, as well as an ‘Extras’ page with fun (engaging and viral) activities (like allowing the public to create their own personal versions of the ‘hand’ television spots). It is safe to say that no expense was spared in the creation and execution of the campaign.
The online campaign also included the creation of what Peter Burrows (2006) describes as ‘striking online ads’. These ads, at first glance, appeared to be standard banner ads, though within seconds the ad expanded to become a full-page feature showing a HP notebook. More than this, these ads were strategically placed and created. For example, HP purchased space on Yahoo!’s Entertainment page and the full-page ad copy sported the tagline: “Like you, it craves entertainment.”
HP’s campaign also features the employment of today’s current social media platforms, such as Twitter (http://twitter.com/HPNews) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/hpcomputer). Over and above basic Facebook features, such as the use of the ‘Wall’, HP’s Facebook account also includes a ‘Video Tips’ page and a ‘Discussion’ (forum-type) area. On the date of this article’s publication, HP has a total of over 17,000 fans and almost 15,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter respectively.
Hewlett-Packard and Integrated Marketing Communications Case Study Conclusion
In conclusion to this IMC cast study, my favourite campaign has to be HP’s “The Computer is Personal Again.”
This is due to several reasons; the campaigns holistic approach, leaving no expense spared on the strategy development and implementation of the campaign, the campaigns true-global reach, and fact that the theme (The Computer is Personal Again) is still going strong today, almost four years later.
Through this IMC campaign, HP not only sought to gain immediate monetary and brand results, but also redefined how the personal computer was marketed in that day, shifting away from the industry’s bland, specs-focused campaigns to a more human, user-focused, personal and individual direction of campaigns, featuring ‘how people use the computer’ and ‘how the computer has become central to the individual’s life’ not merely ‘these are the specs you get for your money’.
Earlier this year I conducted a few case studies about two high profile businesses and a national social cause. These IMC case studies are beneficial because they are able to show you how Integrated Marketing Communications is applied in the real world.
And now I’m bringing these case studies to you, here at the IMC Haus Blog.
Before I met IMC
Before my exposure to IMC, I was already familiar with basic branding, online and offline advertising, as well as the use and implementation of internet tools, some social media, and the actual ‘how to’ and experience of using these tools. Although, not in a true integrated approach. The concept of IMC pieced together all of my prior knowledge and experience with certain tools, and showed me how using and spreading a clearly defined message utilising a combination of tools to work together, was beneficial to a campaign.
Studying IMC, to this point, has taught me the theory of how IMC is the practice of unifying all marketing communications in an effort to most effectively and efficiently reach an organisation’s goals and objectives.
As well as this, I was exposed to a full range of IMC tools. Of some tools I was previously aware of and knew much about, some vaguely and some not at all. Listing these tools (being exposed to and learning how they can be used in a real world IMC campaign) was extremely beneficial as it creates a future-reference ‘shopping list’ of all contact tools which are available.
Once the organisation has clearly defined its target audience, communication objectives and goals, it is merely a matter of
identifying which tools to use,
how to use them to most effectively communicate the message to the target audience,
and all the while being consciously aware of the importance of a unified message across the board.
It is of great importance to note that learning about the concept of IMC and analysing its application in real world has helped me realise the importance of strategic planning.
After conducting some research earlier on how larger company’s, such as Hewlett-Packards ‘The computer is personal again’, Monster.com’s ‘Get a Monster Advantage’ and Australia’s National Obesity Campaign, I have developed the following general IMC strategy suggestions for marketers.
Combine as many tools of marketing together as possible, based on the relevancy of each tool with the campaign’s objectives and target audience, and implement an effective means of tracking and measuring results.
Do not merely do something ‘because everyone else is doing it’ – once the campaign objectives and target audience have been identified, find out which tool is most used by and will most effectively communicate to the target audience.
When purchasing online advertising spots, do not merely create a one-size-fits-all set of ad banners and splurge them throughout the web – strategically select highly relevant advertising spots to your market, and tailor each online advertisement to be relevant within its context.
Spend more time and efforts in creating a strategic campaign plan, outlining the target audience, the communication objective(s) and the campaign idea – the execution of a campaign will almost write itself if the former is well planned.
If you’re not employing IMC methodology you’re throwing money away. Let me tell you why IMC is budget friendly.
Integrated Marketing Communications is about creating clarity throughout a company’s marketing efforts – from advertising, personal selling, public relations and right through to the internet. IMC helps you deliver the same, solid message across all mediums. IMC helps position your company’s brand. IMC removes confusion and creates clarity.
The key to IMC and how it is budget friendly is this: IMC starts with a unified message. You’ve got one point that want to get across. One brand message. When you’ve got one clear message that you’re aiming to get across to consumers you’re much more focused. You know what you’re trying to say.
When you don’t have a unified message across all mediums, when you don’t employ IMC strategies, you’re most likely to have a graphic designer working overtime trying to keep up with all of the different design styles. But most importantly, and this is where you’re losing more than just money, when you don’t employ IMC strategies you’re most likely to be confusing consumers about what you stand for and who you are.
So why is IMC budget friendly? Because when you have a unified message going out across all mediums, consumers begin to recognise who you are and what you believe. When you have a unified message you remove confusion and you bring clarity.
I understand that your time is short. As a business owner, marketer, PR, branding specialist or someone just interested in IMC, I can imagine that you have a lot on your plate as it is. Time is your most valuable asset!
I’ve read a lot of blogs, subscribed to a lot of email lists, collected RSS feed after RSS feed. With what purpose? To feed myself knowledge, to learn, to grow and to be inspired. So from these experiences I’ve understood that you’re truly here because you’re looking for something – whether that’s knew knowledge or to network and share some of yours.
This IMC blog lives to serve you. Your time is short, and to respect that I plan to build the IMC Haus brand into one of value to you. Sometimes the posts will be short and sweet, and sometimes they may be longer. But I hope that each and every one of them will bring you nothing less than real value.
I envisage that the time you spend on this site will be rewarded back to you with applicable knowledge; that what you read today you can apply tomorrow.
Welcome to IMC Haus. The Integrated Marketing Communications Blog. IMC is a great marketing concept and I believe more and more people should know about it. This IMC blog will play it’s part in sharing the knowledge of integrated marketing communications. Read More