Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)

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Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Project
This project gives you a chance to work on a marketing communications campaign, much like you would in an advertising agency. This hands-on project is designed so you will (1) select objectives for an advertising campaign, (2) formulate a creative strategy for an advertising campaign, (3) select media that efficiently reaches targeted audiences, (4) discuss the various methods used to track the effectiveness of ad executions during and after the launch of an advertising campaign, and (5) employ appropriate research techniques and analyze, interpret, and present data effectively.
The Integrated Marketing Communications Plan
An IMC plan is a blueprint of the complete marketing communications program for a product/brand. It is a formal document that evaluates the background of the brand and presents a set of guidelines and an action program for the advertising and promotions campaign.
The Client
You will be creating a new IMC campaign for the company of your choice.
Project Requirements
Written Report
You will prepare a professional report (the IMC Plan). It should also contain any campaign materials that would be submitted to the client. The IMC Plan (minimum of 8 pages, including title page, table of contents, executive summary, content, references, etc. – double-spaced, containing sentences/paragraphs with some bullet points periodically) should be typed, and the campaign materials should follow the execution requirements listed below.
Campaign Materials Execution Requirements
All materials must be created by you not by outside sources. Handwritten work is unacceptable, unless used for special effect.
Execution Pieces Required
You need to produce at least three communication pieces for the company. Some examples are listed below. Remember your choices must be consistent with your message and campaign objectives.
1. Create a 30 second spot for use on the radio: start with writing a script
2. Create a newspaper ad for national distribution: make example of ad
3. Create a direct mail piece to be sent to a given list of homes: make example of piece
4. Create a billboard for use on a heavy route of highway: make example of ad
5. Create a 30 second spot for national TV: make example of ad
6. Create a full-page magazine ad for publication in a national magazine: make example of ad
7. Create a three-fold brochure for use by the company’s sales force: make example of brochure
8. Create a specialty item (gift type) as a giveaway for the company to give to customers: make
example of item
9. Create a website for the company: make example of site
10. Create an internet ad: make example of ad
11. Create two social media posts: make example of two posts (this is considered one piece towards
required three communication pieces)
12. Create a Press Release: write press release
13. Create a Sales Promotion: make example of piece
Budget Requirements
Maximum amount = $100,000
Title Page
Client Name Agency Name Your Name Course Title Professor’s Name Date
IMC Plan Requirements/Layout
Table of Contents (with page numbers)
List all major headings in your plan – with page numbers. Add headings at the beginning of each part of the IMC Plan. Use the names of the section (i.e. Organization).
Executive Summary
A summary (maximum of 2 pages) of exactly what your IMC Plan involves. Items include: · Target audiences
· Time period of the plan
· Campaign objectives
· Campaign theme/slogan
· Overall budget total
· Budget breakdown (dollars and percentages) by each major IMC element and each medium · Summary of media used (Media chart)
· Evaluation of program
The basic purpose of the executive summary is to inform the client (top officials) exactly what you are proposing in one or two pages. Be precise. Be complete. Providing bullet-type formatting – periodically – is an effective way to organize and present your material.
Industry Background
A. Size
B. Growth
C. Current trends/development in industry
Internal Review:
A. Description of company
B. Place in Industry
C. Market Share
D. Overview of products/services provided
E. Mission statement
F. Position in Market: how does company differentiate itself in market? G. Product/Service Review
Description of Product/Brand
A. Sales
B. Price of product
C. Place – where can it be purchased? D. Life Cycle Stage
E. Low/High involvement product
F. Key Benefits
G. Brand Image
H. Current Positioning in Market – unique benefits, features, and competitive advantage?
External Review: Competitive Position
A. Describe the overall competitive situation
B. Who are your two major competitors?
C. For each of these major competitors describe:
• Who is the key target market of your primary competitors? • What is their market share?
• What is their position in the market?
• What is their current marketing strategy & mix?
• Current advertising and promotion used?
• What is their current communication strategy (message, media used) • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
• How is your client’s company better than competitors?
Competitor Analysis Example for Hardware Store
Home Depot
Target Market:
who are they, where do they shop
Builders, Contractors: know what they want
Homeowners: DIY-do it yourself & DIFM-do it for me (buy material and hire contractor to do the work): with some knowledge of what they want.
Also shop at Lowes and local hardware stores
focus of product line including service, branding, features, benefits
Very broad product line of hardware, lumber, lawn & garden (45,000 items)
Mainly self service
Well-known brands
Price level, credit offered, sales
Very low everyday prices, delivery and installation available at modest cost, credit offered to contractors who are regular customers, credit card also available to homeowners, typically offer 0% financing deals and rebates on large purchases
Types of Advertising/Promotion used, claims made in advertising
Types: Ads on TV, weekly local newspaper inserts, special orders desk.
Claim low prices in ads – current ad: “it’s time to turn a small budget into a big difference” and that you can do the work yourself.
Place: locations, transportation, supplier relationships
Lots of convenient locations – 2,230 stores in 50 states, suppliers truck directly to store locations
Positioning, Slogan Used
Positioning: low price
Slogan: “You can do it, we can help.”
Market Share
#1 hardware store in world, second largest retailer in U.S. (Wal- Mart is #1)
Revenue (Sales): last three years
Jan. 2006: 81,511.0 (millions) Jan. 2007: 90, 837.0
Jan. 2008: 77,349.0
Other advantages
Chains large volume gives it a cost advantage, so can offer lower prices
Buyer Analysis: Consumer buyer behavior that may affect your campaign. A. Buying Decision Process
B. Who buys the product?
C. Who influences the purchase decision?
D. Decision criteria
SWOT Analysis
A. Strengths
• What are the major competitive advantages we have over the competition?
B. Weaknesses
• What are competitors better at than we are? • What are our major internal weaknesses?
C. Opportunities
• What favorable environmental trends exist that may benefit our firm? • What is the competition doing in our market?
D. Threats
• What unfortunate environmental trends exist that may hurt our future performance? • What technology is on the horizon that may soon have an impact on our firm?
E. Analysis of company/market and consumer needs
• Based on the SWOT analysis, where is the current need in the marketplace?
Marketing Strategy/Goals
A. Marketing Goals
• What is to be accomplished by the overall marketing program? The situation analysis is the
foundation for the marketing goals. They are defined by one or more of the following: • sales volume
• market share
• sales revenue
• profit
• return on investment
Note: Marketing Goals and communications goals/objectives are different goals. Marketing goals establish the framework for the communication objectives.
B. Target Markets
• Segmentation Analysis
• Who is your primary target market?
• Secondary target market?
• Is there anything distinct about the target market the company serves? • Characteristics of Target Market
• Geographics (do customers live in a particular area?)
• Demographics (age, income, etc.)
• Psychographics/Lifestyle Patterns
• Generations
• Benefit Segmentation
Part 2: Integrated Marketing Communications Program (due November 26)
Set Communication Objectives: This section explains what needs to be accomplished in order for the company to meet its marketing goals and how the objectives will be achieved.
A. What is the communication expected to accomplish? Examples:
• Awareness – used when most of the target audience is unaware of the product or brand or when awareness levels need to be increased
• Knowledge – used when the target audience has awareness, but know little beyond that
• Liking – used when the target audience knows the company and product, but looks
unfavorably upon it
• Preference – used when the target audience is aware of the product, knows about it, likes it- but prefers other brands over it
• Conviction – used when the target audience may prefer the product, but is not convinced that it is the best choice
• Purchase (action) – used when the target audience has conviction, but needs a “push” to purchase or try the product
B. Campaign Objectives – Examples:
• Increase awareness among target audience by 10%
• Increase product trial among target audience ages 35-49 by 5%.
C. Campaign Strategies – Examples:
• Place advertising in specific magazines
• Provide cooperative advertising support to retail outlets
• Make demonstration models available to key retailers
• Sponsor clinics to teach consumers how to use the product
Develop Creative/Message Strategy
A. Positioning & Campaign Theme: The image you want your product to have in the minds of the target market. How you want your product perceived relative to the competition; it is the basis for all of your communication.
• Positioning Strategy • Positioning Statement • Campaign Theme
Creative Recommendations
A. Target Audience
B. Copy Platform
• Advertising Objectives – what is the advertising supposed to do • To increase awareness
• To persuade target audience that….
• To obtain action….etc
• Advertising Strategy – what the ad is attempting to communicate: i.e., the product benefit, problem solution, or other advantage to the product-physical or psychological. (i.e. the use of this product will allow you to recover from exercise more quickly, using this product is more convenient than…, etc.)
• Advertising Appeal – how the ad stimulates interest, influences feelings • Emotional or Informational/Rational
• Advertising Execution Format – how the ad appears
• Creative Tactics
• Layout & Design – How will you layout your ad and why?
• Visual elements – What visuals will you use to capture attention?
• Color, pictures, logos, product placement. (Remember your message/ad should be consistent across all media.)
• Executions (Create your communication pieces – see page 2)
Media Recommendations
A. Target Audience – does audience match your desired target market
B. Objectives – Examples:
• To achieve an 80% reach
• To increase advertising in a specific geographic area
C. Strategy – Examples:
• Use scheduled media to coincide with sales promotions • Increase radio ads in select markets
• Use magazines primarily targeted to women 18-24
D. Media Plan –
• Media Mix & reason for using chosen media: Radio, TV, newspaper, magazines, outdoor,
internet, direct mail, publicity, etc…..
• Geographic Scope
• Scheduling: How often will your communications run and why?
• Continuity/Flighting/Pulsing
• For each media chosen list (estimate):
• Total Audience or Circulation (Reach)
• How many times you will run the ad (Frequency)
E. What is the total cost of all of your ads (estimate)? • Breakdown by media class (e.g., print)
• By media vehicle (e.g., Business Week)
Public Relations Recommendations
A. Target Audience
B. Objectives
C. Strategy/ Executions D. Budget
Monitor, Evaluate & Control
A. Which type of research will you conduct to measure the effectiveness of the campaign?
Budget Summary
A. Summarize all costs of the campaign
References/Works Cited
List all sources used for this campaign (see requirements listed below)
Using Outside Sources
Collecting information for this project will require time and ingenuity. You are required to use at least five total sources, which should include sources from the library databases: Business (ProQuest), Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, ERIC, Hoovers, Sage Journals, Chronicle of Higher Education, etc. These sources will provide periodicals which will contain articles about your company,
industry, or market trends. You must cite all of your resources using a Works Cited page (MLA or APA – be consistent). Be careful not to rely solely on a company’s website which is often a public relations vehicle, and would not point out problems with the brands, its products, the industry, etc.
Outside sources may be used to complete this project. This direction would include obtaining information such as cost estimates, previous ads used by a company, research studies, ratings data, industry reports, ad agency information, media suppliers and others. All sources should be cited in a Works Cited at the end of the paper. Online encyclopedias and dictionaries are unacceptable (i.e. Wikipedia) and their use will result in one letter grade deduction. Any information gathered from a website must be cited. Taking information word for word from an internet site or any research periodical, journal, or book — and passing it off as your own — is plagiarism.
Written Assignment Grading Rubric:
0 – 59% will be earned if the assignment was done poorly with minimal effort and little or no demonstration of the course material.
60 – 69% will be earned if the student demonstrates a simple, undeveloped understanding or a weak effort is put forth in developing the assignment.
70 – 79% will be earned if the student shows they understand the material at the basic level and they meet the minimum requirements of the assignment. Students may not be able to easily apply the knowledge.
80 – 89% will be earned if the student demonstrates that they understand the material and can apply the concepts.
90 – 100% will be earned for assignments where the students show mastery of the material and demonstrate an understanding of the material and ability of applying the knowledge easily.

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