How to Write an Integrated Marketing Communication Plan
An integrated marketing communication plan brings different parts of a marketing plan together, which can then be used as a guide during the implementation of the plan. The plan uses the same thematic messages in different promotions and may leverage its promotional sources to direct consumer to sign up for a personalized saving or enter a contest. This plan is a key part of brand building. It includes all parts of a marketing campaign, from the background information of a product and the clear description of the target market to product advertising and promotion of the product in question to the target market.
This plan applies consistent brand messaging across traditional and non-traditional marketing channels using different promotional methods that easily reinforce each other. Usually, for any plan to be effective, it must offer a well-research and effective method to get the message or the right information to the target market at the right time and place.
Even if you have the best marketing plan in place for your business, it will ultimately fail if you are unable to deliver the right message to consumers at the right time and in the right place. Remember, an integrated marketing communication plan is not a mere business tool. Instead, your IMCP is a tool that can match your budget of money and time and remains the most effective way of distributing your message to your audience.
Generally, the plan has all parts of your marketing tactics working together. This is a great approach for making customers understand your marketing message in a more precise manner. Once customers understand the marketing message you intended to pass across, they become engaged with your brand. Now that you have already built a brand with the customers or the target market, they will be able to get in touch easily when they are ready to buy.
How to Write an Integrated Marketing Communication Plan
Understanding Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience is the first step to creating a successful plan. Perform a customer analysis to determine what makes the target audience unique. The target market must be identified by both its demographic and psychographic. Psychographic analysis focuses on interest, attitude and behavior of the target market. The demographic characteristics focus on age, income, gender, education level and the geographic location of the target market. An effective and successful customer analysis will help you develop appropriate messages and choose the best channel to reach out to your customers.
Picking the Right Channel for Integrated Marketing
Remember, not all customers are on Facebook or in a magazine. More often than not, you will find that customers are more likely to use more than one channel in the currently evolving world. Besides knowing the channels that your customers use, understand the weakness and the strength of the channel and evaluate how they can help you reach or realize your business objectives. Do not be on every channel all the time. Be ruthless instead. Make sure you do what it takes to concentrate on the most effective channels and never try to be everywhere all the time.
Developing a Consistent Look
You cannot create a successful integrated marketing communication plan if you do not have a consistent visual identity. If you are putting all your concentration on your logo, then you are not doing much yet. It is now time to concentrate not just on your logo but also on aspects with a common overreaching design, consistent logo treatment, photography and graphics. Concentrate on common fonts, color and logo treatment. Everything should look as if it came from the same company. You want to make sure that customers getting in touch with your product or product information see an intermediate visual connection each time they visit your website.
Collecting Relevant Information and Writing the Plan
Concentrate exactly on the information that is relevant to your company. Your product, your competition and your target market information should have a relevance to your business. Make sure the information is easily accessible when developing the plan. Now that you understand your audience, have picked the right channel and known how to develop a consistent look, outline your communication plan from the beginning to the end. Start with an executive summary, which introduces the entire plan by proving a brief about it. Proceed to giving a description of product or service you will be marketing to the target audience. Remember to include features, structure and other components that are important to the marketing plan.
Be through and clear in your market description. If you do not understand your target market properly, you will find it difficult to describe it clearly. This is a more reason why it is necessary that you choose and understand your target market before anything else.
The more precise your target market description is, the more easily you can tailor the plan to your marketing campaign. Proceed to discussing your position in the market. Your positioning in the market describes the attributes of your products. It further describes the benefits of the products and services. Finish describing your positioning in the market by comparing how your product and services compare to the competition in the market.
Examine local, national and international competition. This helps you know the most powerful media and messaging that other businesses use in their marketing campaigns. Identify the goals and objectives of your communication plan and indicate how they are going to measure your business progress. Your plan should specify the tools that you will use to get your message to the targeted market. Motivate your decision for a media to use based on your analysis on the most effective channels that your targeted audience is more likely to use frequently.
Reviewing Your Plan
Now review your communication plan carefully before you term it a job well done. The review processes helps you identify what you feel needs changes, research or additional information to be complete. Review your plan from time to time and adapt to all the aspects that you will need t achieve better results in your marketing.
Part of your budget will go towards advertising, online social media and promotional content. Carefully determine how much your integrated marketing communication plan will cost you and make sure that a part of your budget is set aside to account for what is unexpected in your communication plan.