Marketing Planning

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is a good concept, but is hard to execute. XXBR1 Integrated Marketing Communications is about developing a cohesive marketing plan based on a 360-degree look at a business, its problems and opportunities. However, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) reported that its number one concern is the difficulty of effectively implementing integrated marketing communications in their member companies. XXBR2 Problems: XXBR2 Marketers are struggling with the development and execution of IMC strategies. Some of the obstacles to effectively implementing IMC may include XXBR2 Lack of internal expertise – strategic, creative, media, quilt making XXBR1 Too many cooks stirring the creative pot – when you hire dozens of boutiques trying to prove their creative genius, why would anyone expect an integrated result? Who is pulling it all together in terms of the communications mix as well as creative XXBR1 Internal politics and fiefdoms – At the advertiser company – whoever is responsible, whoever decides, whose budget, whoever agrees or disagrees? XXBR1 Many agencies haven’t and cannot deliver IMC – They may lack the necessarily strategic skills or expertise across the platforms a brand might need to address certain problems. For example, a typical ad agency would have difficulty with executing event marketing programs XXBR1 Who’s in charge? Somebody has to manage the whole process. IMC skills, creative expertise across the relevant platforms; have a creative boutique mentality, and ca pieces of the puzzle together XXBR2 Possible Solutions XXBR2 1. Appoint an Agency of Record (AOR) – with the capability to strategically manage IMC both from communications mix and creative standpoints. The AOR would help to manage the communications mix and would help supervise creative development, including that subcontracted to outside boutique. XXBR2 2. Media Planners Become Communications Planners – To help fill the IMC void, Media Planners are fast becoming Integrated Marketing Communications Planners, according to Ron Geskey in his new book, “Media Planning & Buying in the 21st Century.” Geskey points out that media planners’ expansion into IMC responsibilities has already begun.. Media is not just television any more. Is paid search media? Is a buzz campaign media? Is free publicity media? Is a sports promotion media? Is it media to recommend market research in any important geographic markets with weak business performance– in order to identify the underlying problems inhibiting brand sales? XXBR2 3. Impact on Media Sales Representatives – Will motivate media sales representatives to present more multi-media and cross media programs for consideration– which is all good.. XXBR2 The following will lend any perspective on the recommendations. XXBR2 In the days before digital media and the concept of integrated marketing communications, the media planner’s job was a lot simpler. There were comparatively few media to consider. There were only three television networks and household ratings were routinely 18-20 or higher. The first “new media” occurred with the introduction of super stations and the beginning of national cable television. Today, cable advertising revenues have surpassed broadcast television revenues. XXBR2 In the 21st century, we are barraged with nothing short of 21st century mega-tends. Not only will these changes have a huge effect on our culture, but will also have a dramatic effect on the media planning and buying process. Some of the 21st century mega waves affecting media planning include increased client demand for integrated marketing communications, media proliferation, audience fragmentation, new media technologies, the changing population demographics and ethnicity, globalization and increased pressure for improved ROI and more. XXBR2 Media Planners are transitioning from their traditional job description to a role of communications planner with greater responsibility for evaluating, planning, recommending, and executing many forms of marketing communications. Integrated marketing communications includes a single minded, cohesive message involving the needed tools or methods used to effectively communicate with consumers: advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, websites and web marketing, word of mouth and buzz, and many more. XXBR2 For example, along with developing conventional media schedules and web marketing plans, the communications planner may also help develop buzz or mobile campaigns. The new media planner will have more responsibility for managing all of the “brand contacts” XXBR2 Read more about the transition from media planners to communications planners in a new book, “Media Planning & Buying in the 21st Century.” XXBR2

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