What is integrated marketing communication (IMC)?
The definition of IMC is “the concept under which a company carefully integrates and coordinates its many communication channel to deliver a clear, consistent message” – Philip Kotler (Friis, 2010)
The reason why IMC plays such a big part of the marketing strategy today is due to the fact that with the advancement in modern technology, it has offered consumers and marketers alike more platforms to connect and convey with one another. With each new platform created, it offers a brand new channel of marketing stream available to every organization in the world regardless of being big or small. With the introductions of so many new channels it allows companies to communicate with their customers at a faster pace and with ease. However, it also means more noises has been created in the environment surrounding the target audience because of the shire number of company jumping the gun on the opportunities technology has presented.
The best example of technology introducing new platforms for marketers to reach their customers that would be the most relevant is the idea of the social media platforms. Before Facebook and Twitter took the world by storm, there wasn’t even a platform called “social media”. Sure, there was myspace but to be honest, the impact of myspace on the marketing world was not even close to what Facebook and Twitter has done for both marketers and consumers. These social media platforms were new to marketers, companies that took the first initiative to incorporate Facebook and Twitter into their marketing strategy has taken a huge risk because there weren’t any historical data that could back up the return on investment for these platforms. Therefore, companies that considered Facebook and Twitter in their communication strategy has evaluated the platforms to be included in their IMC strategy. In this technology driven age, the digital world is like a huge playground that consists of large uncharted territories for marketers to venture into; it offers big rewords for those who dares and succeeds, but also a huge risk for those who fail.
With so many more marketing channels to consider nowadays, company defiantly has to have a strategy to manage and optimize each platform. With that being said, let me introduce the new rules concerning IMC strategies. Traditionally when someone is asked to think of the four words of marketing, naturally they would relate to the 4’Ps of marketing which are: product, place, price, and promotion. However, because of the marketers’ new found respect for communication there are now the 4’Cs of marketing which are: coherence, consistency, continuity, and complementary. (Insights, 2013)
- Coherence – different communication are logically connected
- Consistency – multiple messages support and reinforce, and not contradictory
- Continuity – communication are connected and consistent through time
- Complementary – Synergistic, or the sum of the parts is greater than the whole
In order to create a successful IMC campaign, the marketing team has to create a message that is consistent throughout all channels both online and offline, the message has to make sense and support the bigger picture throughout the campaign’s life span, and lastly the big picture of what will result at the end from the communication campaign that has been implemented.
In a very recent example of the 4’Cs that failed to create value for the company happened back in March of 2014 that I’ve covered before in my previous blog. Samsung, the telecommunications company has acquired NBA all-star LeBron James to be their ambassador for their new smart phone. Mr. James has been experiencing technical difficulty with his smartphone, instead of consulting technical support he decided to take his frustration onto Twitter and tweeted his thoughts about the new phone to his 12 million followers “My phone just erased everything it had in it and rebooted. One of the sickest feeling I’ve ever had in my life!” (Yarow, 2014) As the ambassador of the phone who was acquired to promote it, Mr. James instead bashed the brand and the phone which obviously did not please Samsung. Soon after, the NBA all-star deleted his tweets of frustration and replaced it with “Close call, Wheew! Got all my info back” (Yarow, 2014). Acknowledging the mistake, Mr. James has swiftly fixed his blunder; however, for a very brief moment 12 million people has seen the faultiness of the new smart phone from Samsung. This example emphasize that, the 4C’s are very much a part of the marketing strategy no matter which part of the strategy it belongs to. Even external party that has ties with the brand should be accountable and responsible to carry out the 4C’s in order to better convey the universal message and the big picture.
Moreover, sometime in a business, when revenue or sales decline, it doesn’t necessarily imply there is a problem with the product itself. With the classic marketing failure example of Coca-Cola’s New Coke campaign; in 1985 when Pepsi was graduating gaining more market share from Coca-Cola, the company decided to introduce new flavor of Coke that will replace their current product. Coca-Cola conducted tests with focus group, and the results showed people were more favored towards the new Coke than Pepsi and their current product [at the time]. Therefore, based on the results they replaced their old product with New Coke, instead of positive feedback, they were bombarded with negativity and the desire for their old recipe. The company took swift actions to reintroduce the old recipe and launched a new campaign as “Classic Coke”; the results were exceeding expectations and even gained some of the lost market share. This example demonstrates that sometimes there aren’t any problems with the product but customers are just bored with what the company has to say about the product. With a new launch of IMC campaign that communicated a different message consumer has yet to be seen before, it may reinvigorate their desire for the product without actually changing it.
Not every company has the capital of a Samsung to hot fix their communication inconsistency or to be lucky enough to find a silver lining in their marketing mistake like Coca-Cola. Therefore, a company has to carefully analysis their communication channels and strategies in order to carry out the 4C’s of communication so that their campaign would be optimized and have a positive impact on their organization and add value for both the customer and the company.
Veet, a feminine product company has recently removed their advertisement due to controversy. The campaign tagline “Don’t risk dudeness” and their new television commercial has offended many female audiences as well as males. Their 30 second commercial featured a couple lying asleep in bed; when the clean shaved guy wakes up shocked finding himself lying next to a hairy guy with a woman’s voice. This commercial implies that if women do not shave they will end up looking like a hairy dude.
What seemed like a harmless and funny idea became something that hunted Veet instead. This ad was posted on Monday April 7th, but was removed from Veet’s YouTube channel and website on Wednesday April 9th. The ad generated so much negativity on social media that the Veet marketing team posted an apology on their Facebook account.
“Hi… this is the Veet marketing team in the U.S. We just wanted to let everyone know, we get it – we’re women too. The idea came from women who told us that at the first hint of stubble, they felt like ‘dudes.’ It was really simple and funny, we thought. To be honest, the 3 of us could really relate to these real-life moments and they made us laugh. Not everyone appreciated our sense of humour. We know that women define femininity in different ways. Veet helps those who choose to stay smooth. Our intention was never, ever, to offend anyone, so we decided to rethink our campaign and remove those clips. Thank you for letting us know how you feel.”
Veet isn’t the only one that have made such mistake, on my first blog I’ve covered Coca Cola’s super bowl commercial. Coca Cola’s ad was supposed to emphasize the diversity within the American society and to embrace each culture as a part of the country. Instead, Americans were outraged with the commercial because Coca Cola used different language to sing one of the national songs. Even something as positive as promoting diversity in society generates controversy; it is very hard to predict how audience will react, marketers can only be so careful.
Chasmar, J. (2014, 04 09). Veet pulls ‘sexist’ ad that suggests women should shave. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from washingtontimes: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/9/veet-pulls-sexist-ad-suggests-women-should-shave/
KOERBER, B. (2014, 04 10). Veet Pulls Its Ad After Creating Hairy Controversy. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/04/09/veet-ad-controversy/?utm_cid=mash-prod-email-topstories&utm_emailalert=daily&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily
Lu, A. (2014, 04 10). Veet Pulls Out ‘Sexist’ Ad Campaign ‘Don’t Risk Dudeness’ After Viewer Outrage. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from international business times: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/547525/20140410/veet-sexist-don-t-risk-dudeness-youtube.htm#.U0uIzfldV8E
Roy, J. (2014, 04 09). Veet Apologizes After Backlash Against Ads Shaming Women for Having Body Hair. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from Time: http://time.com/56032/veet-apologizes-after-backlash-against-ads-shaming-women-for-having-body-hair/
The latest and greatest from Taco Bell in their marketing campaign was a feature phone; this innovated idea was launched in March 2014. Taco Bell sends out 1,000 feature phones Samsung T404G to their fans and social influencers. The idea behind the feature phone was to promote their new breakfast menu. Each phone owner would receive “secret” missions where they have to complete within certain amount of time to enter a chance to win a prize; these prizes include Waffle Taco button-down shirt or hoodie, a set of A.M. Crunchwrap sheets with hashbrown pajamas and free Taco Bell breakfast for a year.
The “secret” missions were simple enough; the challenge ranges from tweeting back at the company or Instagram a photo with Taco Bell tags.
This kind of marketing has never been done before, as time goes on marketing tactics has to become more engaging and interesting. The ultimate goal for marketing campaign in the future is to become viral, where people are constantly talking about it on social media platform and sharing it with their friends and family. Of course, there are different reasons for becoming viral; company should avoid negatively generated attention such as bad customer experience, poor quality products, and cretic reviews. Some of the best practices for becoming viral are innovativeness, creativity, and humor.
Pelegrin, W. (2014, 24 2014). Taco Bell sends 1,000 people ‘Breakfast Phones’ with secret missions. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from digitaltrends: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/taco-bell-sends-1000-people-breakfast-phones-secret-missions/#!DYSMX
Rae, H. (2014, 03 21). Taco Bell’s burner phone breakfast campaign. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from digiday: http://digiday.com/brands/taco-bells-burner-phone-breakfast-campaign/
WASSERMAN, T. (2014, 03 19). Taco Bell’s Latest Marketing Innovation: Feature Phones. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/03/19/taco-bell-breakfast-phones/?utm_cid=mash-prod-email-topstories&utm_emailalert=daily&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily
I’m pretty sure most of the millennials generation know what Pokemon are and has played the game on their GameBoy back in the 90s. But, have any of us ever though this Pokemon game for the original GameBoy would make a comeback 10 years after? Let me enlighten you all with Twitch Plays Pokemon Red.
Pokemon Red is a Nintendo GameBoy game released back in 1998, the game is a single player role playing game and it is fundamentally simple to play. The idea for Twitch Plays Pokemon was started on February 12, an Australian programmer put up this idea as a social experiment to see how people would react and if a group of people could effectively play a single player video game through crowdsourcing command. This “social experiment” requires the Twitch audience to input different command through the stream chat, these commands determines what the main character does in the game. It is a simple enough concept, but when you put in the factor that more than 50 thousand people are inputting command at the same time to control the same character it becomes much more complicated.
For anyone that doesn’t know what Twitch is, it is a streaming service mainly for video games. It was created in 2011 by Justin.tv co-founder and Twitch CEO Emmett Shear; he saw the amount of people streaming video game on Justin.tv. Twitch was made to cater to these gamers with unique tools and features.
I myself view Twitch stream regularly, I came across the TwitchPlayPokemonRed channel when it started. I’ve witness chaos that is Twitch play Pokemon; I’ve spend good 20 min watch the live stream. The main character Red often walked back and forth in the same spot for god knows how long due to the sheer amount of command being inputted at the same time. Also, people would troll the stream by spamming the “start” into the chat; the “start” command brings up the menu in the game and pausing the progression. After seeing how slow the game is progressing, it felt that every step the character took forward he would take three step backwards.
I thought there is no way this game will ever be finished. However, after 390 hours the community has finished the game! The programmer saw the hinder in progression made by trolls, so the introduction of “democracy” and “anarchy” mode was introduced; where in democracy mode the input will be voted and the robot will take 75% of the most common input and anarchy is the original mode where every input is executed.
This so called “social experiment” brought gamer and non-gamers alike under the same roof, coming together trying to finish a game as one. It shows what the future may hold for the gaming industry and how Twitch is involving the gaming experience. After the success of TwitchPlaysPokemonRed, it later introduced the next version of the Pokémon game as well as other genre of games.
For anyone that is interested in participating in TwitchPlaysPokemon here is the link to the channel:Twitch Plays Pokemon
ALCÁNTARA, A.-M. (2014, 02 28). Twitch Plays Pokémon: A Social Experiment From Its Creator. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/02/28/twitch-plays-pokemon/
Frum, L. (2014, 02 18). Can 80,000 people play this video game together? Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/18/tech/gaming-gadgets/twitch-plays-pokemon/
Statt, N. (2014, 03 01). Twitch Plays Pokemon conquers Elite Four, beating game after 390 hours. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from cnet: http://www.cnet.com/news/twitch-plays-pokemon-conquers-elite-four-beating-game-after-390-hours/
When you pay someone big bucks to be your spokesperson in hopes of bringing more attention to your product, but end up question why did you even bother? Well, Samsung knows exactly what this feels like. On March 12th 2014, Samsung’s spokespersons, NBA start, LeBron James tweeted out his frustration to his 12 million followers “My phone just erased everything it had in it and rebooted. One of the sickest feeling I’ve ever had in my life!”
Minute later, LeBron James removed the tweet acknowledging his mistake and later made a new tweet saying he had recovered this lost information.
LeBron James isn’t the only celebrity spokesperson that made such mistakes; Britney Spears has done it earlier and much more known. Back in 2001, when Britney Spears was on top of her game was endorsed by Pepsi in a multi-million deal. Several months after signing the contract with Pepsi, Ms Spears was photographed with a can of Coca Cola in her hand instead of Pepsi. Her addictions to Coca Cola lead to a second offence later in the same year and in 2003 Pepsi decided to drop celebrity endorsers.
Big brand has always been known to have celebrity endorsement; for better or worse, celebrities bring attention to these products. However, when this spokesperson does something that contradicts the purpose of endorsement leading the company not knowing whether to laugh or to cry; how should the organization respond to such behavior? They cannot simply terminate the contract because they will be losing out in the money that they have already paid to the spokesperson; nor can they blame the celebrity for doing such a horrible job. I guess the only thing business can do is to put out the fire and help ease the situation.
KELLY, S. M. (2014, 03 13). LeBron James’ Phone Problems Are a Big Samsung Headache. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/03/13/lebron-james-samsung-phone/?utm_cid=mash-prod-email-topstories&utm_emailalert=daily&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily
Spoonauer, M. (2014, 13 2014). LeBron James tweets Samsung phone fail, then deletes it. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from foxnews: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/03/13/lebron-james-tweets-samsung-phone-fail-then-deletes-it/
YAROW, J. (2014, 03 12). World Famous Samsung Endorser LeBron James Tweets That His Phone Had A Meltdown. Retrieved 04 13, 2014, from businessinsider: http://www.businessinsider.com/lebron-james-samsung-tweet-2014-3
Have any of you noticed a difference on Google’s search result layout while surfing the internet on your personal computer? Google has announced they have done some tweaking to their design for PC users. Google’s new design removed underlines, increases the font size and changed the way ads are labeled in the search results. The change to desktop seems to be a broader effort in Google experimenting with redesigning the look of their website since last fall, when it first began introducing similar changes to the search result for the mobile users.
The most noticeable change is that Google AdWords targeted ads are identified; in the new look Google has removed the pink shading that appeared behind ads that separated the ads from the organic results. Now, AdWords ads are shown with yellow box labeled “ad”. This similar layout has been introduced to the mobile users back in September of 2013 when Google announced they were changing the look and feel of ads and search results on mobile devices.
According to Google’s lead search designer, John Wiley; the new design was made so that users have an easier time scrolling through all the results and present a cleaner look. Furthermore, John Wiley said, with the new makeover “Improves consistency in design across platforms makes it easier for people to use Google Search across devices and it makes it easier for us to develop and ship improvement across the board”.
I don’t know about you guys, but I sure haven’t notice a difference when I’ve been surfing around on the internet during the past month. These changes are so minor it is hard to notice without being told something has been changed. However, minor changes such as this might make a big impact in customer experience on an unconscious level. It is similar to the way Google AdWord marketer have to constantly change their wording hoping to improve the click through rate because even a change of one word can mean a vast improvement of the results.
Bell, K. (2014, 03 11). You’re Not Crazy: Google Search Results Look a Little Different. Retrieved 04 12, 2014, from mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/03/11/google-search-results-redesign/?utm_cid=mash-prod-email-topstories&utm_emailalert=daily&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily
Google brings new design to search results page on deskto. (2014, 03 14). Retrieved 04 12, 2014, from tech: http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/google-redesigns-search-results-pcs-219907.html
Schwartz, B. (2014, 03 13). Google Makes It Official: New Search Results Design Goes Live For All. Retrieved 04 12, 2014, from searchengineland: http://searchengineland.com/google-makes-official-new-search-results-look-live-186491
Who thinks that their Facebook news feed isn’t overloaded with updates? Facebook sure doesn’t! On February 24, Facebook has announced a change to their news feed’s algorithm. With the updated to the algorithm, businesses are able to reach more audience on Facebook than ever before. Now, company that tags another business on their Facebook page will have the potential to show up on the other business’s wall or even their fan’s wall. Confusing? Let me explain further with an example. If a company such as Bleacher Report tags an athletes such as Dwight Howard in their post, this post might show up on Howards’s wall and even people that follow Howard’s Facebook page.
What make this relevant to the business world? Potentially, company that tags other relevant business in their own Facebook post has the access to another group of untapped audience. Which means collaborating with another organization can prove beneficial for both parties. However, there are short comings for such an update; having the chance of gaining access to another business’s audience may cause some unethical behavior. It is possible for companies to utilize the new algorithm for black-hat social media optimization strategies. Due to the fact that tagging others on your own post might make the post show up on the fan’s wall from the other company, unethical business professionals can spam their own wall just to reach another group of audience.
Obviously, the new algorithm wouldn’t show every single post that mention another page; even with limitations and restrictions such as being popular with a lot of comment or likes business are still able to work around it. One way for business to bypass such limitations is to purchase likes and comment from places such as Fiver.com. By inflating the likes and comment on spam post it gives these company the chance to be featured and potentially hurting the businesses that are being tagged in these post. Followers and fans from another company might find it annoying having their wall spammed by a business that they don’t even know or like. It would be hard to find a balance for such update to work, but only time will tell.
Eridon, C. (2014, 02 26). Facebook’s Latest News Feed Algorithm Update Rewards Brand Tagging. Retrieved 04 12, 2014, from Inbound Marketing: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebooks-news-feed-algorithm-update-brand-tagging-nj
Slegg, J. (2014, 02 26). Facebook News Feed Now Shows Content From Pages That Tag Pages You Follow. Retrieved 04 12, 2014, from searchenginewatch: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2331186/Facebook-News-Feed-Now-Shows-Content-From-Pages-That-Tag-Pages-You-Follow
WAGNER, K. (2014, 02 25). Facebook News Feed Update Gives Brands More Reach. Retrieved 04 12, 2014, from mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/03/06/facebook-newsfeed-redesign/
In February 2014, Facebook has been reported in purchasing WhatsApp for $16 billion dollars. The acquisition is by far the largest since the start of Facebook, and it is 16 times more than what they paid for Instagram. Facebook will be paying WhatsApp $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in Facebook stocks.
What is WhatsApp and why is Facebook paying big bucks for it? WhatsApp is a SMS service application for smartphones, it allows the user to send text messages to other people on their contact list for free. Similar to Blackberry Messenger and iMessager, the service allow the user to avoid using text message from their local carriers. As long as you are on a data plan or connected through WiFi, WhatsApp’s SMS service will be free; it provides an option to avoid using the paid text messenger from service providers.
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by former Yahoo engineers Jan Koum and Brian Acton, the app have more than 450 million users at the moment; and according to Mark Zuckerberg “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The service that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable”. There are other alternatives to WhatsApp such as WeChat, and Line; WeChat is a Chinese competitor and claims to have 270 million active users while Line is a Japaness competitor who has 300 million users. Although, WhatsApp appears to be more popular in general but it varies by regions. Places such as India, even introduce WhatsApp on their second generation phones for example the Nokia Asha line comes with WhatsApp.
Now that you know a little bit about what WhatsApp is, how does Facebook justify their $16 billion purchase? Many experts believe the deal was very well thought out by Facebook. It is a known fact; the trend of going mobile is upon us, and for Facebook to tab into this trend now set them up for the future. Many developing countries such as India and South America are slowing switching over to smartphones from their traditional phones; having the most popular SMS service as a part of Facebook’s utility keeps Facebook relevant even in the future.
FIEGERMAN, S. (2014, 02 19). Facebook to Buy WhatsApp for $16 Billion. Retrieved 04 12, 2014, from mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/02/19/facebook-whatsapp/?utm_content=feature_title&utm_cid=mash-prod-email-topstories&utm_emailalert=daily&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily
PACHAL, P. (2014, 02 19). What’s WhatsApp and Why Did Facebook Pay $16 Billion for It? Retrieved 04 12, 2014, from mashable: http://mashable.com/2014/02/19/whatsapp-facebook-why/?utm_cid=mash-prod-email-topstories&utm_emailalert=daily&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily
Panzarino, M. (2014, 02 19). Facebook Buying WhatsApp For $19B, Will Keep The Messaging Service Independent. Retrieved 04 12, 2014, from techcrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/19/facebook-buying-whatsapp-for-16b-in-cash-and-stock-plus-3b-in-rsus/
Back in February 2014, Mashable featured a blog post on Twitter’s design test. Twitter was considering changing their standard layout to something complete different than their traditional style. Many people commented on the new layout being too similar to Faceboook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. The new design moved away from the typical vertical layout that showed tweets by how recent it was, and only focused on text messages; now the design has profile pictures on the top left of the profile, while focusing on showing more pictures. As you can see below the new twitter profile has completely changed.
It would come to a surprised many people in the industry wasn’t shocked up by this news, Twitter was known to test their ideas in a small group of randomly chosen people similar to the split A/B testing. Also, these are just tests that Twitter were trying; until it becomes solidified by Twitter actually launching the new design most industry exporters brush it off like its nothing special.
As a consumer, I personal don’t use any of the popular social medias. I’ve never found an interest in Twitter, I’ve only used Twitter for school and work; even with limited experience with Twitter I believe the text based vertical stream is what gives Twitter its charm and how it separated itself from the other competition. With that being said, it is hard to see Twitter making any major changes because normally people are not prompt about changes especially when it involves relearning how to use something that was already intimidating for non tech savvy individuals. This design test will remain as it is “a test”; until any solid evidence that Twitter is rolling with it, the new design will remain locked away from the masses.
What seemingly a inspiring and patriotic commercial, turned controversial by the people on twitter.
The tradition of organization spending tone of resource in developing an epic commercial for the Super Bowl was once again present during the first weekend of February. Super Bowl has always been a big televised event ever since its creation; it was no exception in 2014 the Super Bowl scored a 111.5 million viewers.
Out of all the creative commercials, Coca-Cola stirred up unintended reaction from the viewers when their commercial was aired during the Super Bowl.
The message of Coca-Cola’s commercial was suppose to celebrate the diversity within the United State, by singing the song “America Is Beautiful” in multiple different languages.
Watch the commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=443Vy3I0gJs
Unfortunately, there are group of individuals that took offense to the commercial because they believe an “American song” should only be sang in English and no other language. These people took their anger online; leaving hateful comment on Coca-Cola’s commercial video on YouTube and voting down the video. Another platform that was invaded by the hate was Twitter, these people started the hashtage #boycottcoke in order to share their thoughts and some even direct the comment directly towards Coca-Cola’s official Twitter account.
However, in spite of all of the negative attention there are still people that defend the message that Coco-Cola was trying bring across in their commercial. These people believe in the diversity is a good thing and it should not be look down upon. Many even pointed out the song was written by Kathairne Lee Bates; a lesbian who spoke out for peace and social justice in United State.
Does it really a big deal to have a country’s song sang in a different language? Or rather the message of the action stand for something more than just a song.
If you are interested in the original story click here: Coca-Cola