Integrated Marketing Communications (ICM) is a strong communication strategy for brands and businesses. We recommend using ICM for these entities to provide consistency of voice. For instance, when talking about price, place, promotion and product, ICM is most important. These four pillars, known as the 4P’s all talk about your product or brand. Keeping them consistent and ‘on brand’ is crucial to your success, which is why you should unravel ICM in your marketing strategy.
A great example of consistency of voice using ICM would be for a business that’s core focus is a Customer Service Value Business. In this field establishing and communicating customer-focused values across a brand’s messaging is critical. Another way of putting it would be to say if the service is friendly, does the product cater to the customer? For instance, is there a customer service line? Or, does the advertising communicate customer service? The consistency of voice is important here.
The reason for the importance of ICM in your business is it maintains a consistent voice. The benefit of this messaging is more clear. Consistent language and communication, results in higher sales and profit.
Structure of Communication for Integrated Marketing Communications
ICM is made up from a combination of communication methods. These different types of communication approaches include external, internal, vertical and horizontal. Whatever the communication, ICM says you should be consistent in your voice, no matter to who consumes the marketing or communication. As an example, when speaking directly to external customers, your brand’s voice must be just as consistent. This should also be the case when you are speaking horizontally to your colleagues or peers.
A great way to ensure a robust integrated marketing communication through all forms of communication is to have a person edit and approve content. While this sometimes isn’t practical, it can be instrumental in providing consistency of voice. If you are a smaller team, then we recommend you establish a communication deck or set of assets via the cloud. Then if you are away or lack the time to approve, everyone has access to the standard.
Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications
There are many benefits to an established Integrated Marketing Communications strategy. Probably the most noticeable is an increase in sales and profits. ICM also helps with the buying stage. The company can unite in a marketing voice ensuring no misleading dialogue sends to the consumer or client.
Sharing content with messages either through a website, marketing campaign or EDM provides consistency in message. Many people read communication differently. Some gain insight from written text, whereas others understand a message through strong photographs. All of which help tell the story. Whatever the case might be including and investing in both written and visual languages in campaigns results in a higher level of engagement.
The messages or campaigns you send out should also pair together and connect. The flow and consistency of voice becomes reliable and trustworthy as a brand. The result of this is customers can be more willing to buy from you if you have had a consistent voice.
One of the other benefits of having a strong Integrated Marketing Communications strategy is you won’t stretch your resources. Instead of creating photographs and videos for many campaigns, you only have to rely on a set of powerful images. While this may sound repetitive for your audience to consume, it only leads to becoming more recognised with your audience. Trust and a clearer understanding of your brand or product will follow, resulting in further sales.
To be successful in your ICM implementation, you have to sit down and communicate the benefits with all team members (including senior management). Having everyone on board is just as important as keeping your message consistent when talking with customers. To assist, we recommend establishing a brand guide to provide a reference to what the company or brand should say when you aren’t there.
Once you have constructed a strategy, obtained your photographs or video assets and implemented your Integrated Marketing Communications approach you will be well on your way to becoming a more valuable marketer and communicator.