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What is integrated marketing communication?

Question:

Discuss About The Application Integrated Market Communication?

Integrated Marketing communication is a process to plan the communications that provides business the energy to perform better which can happen from the campaigns and could reduce the costs of the marketing. Through the integration of different advertising tools such as social media, telemarketing and sales promotion, the need to provide clarity, impact of the maximum communication and also consistency can be provided (Bhupathi, 2016). It can create the awareness of the brand in a minimal cost among the customers. Organizations who are following the IMC is not only successful in promoting their brands among their targeted audience but also developed trust among the people whose interest towards only one brand is exhibited. IMC as well scores over the occidental ways of marketing strategies but also concentrates on winning the new customers and also focus on maintaining a healthy relationship based on longer term with the customers (Bhupathi, 2016; Luxton, Reid & Mavondo, 2015).

Woolsworths Group is one of the famous companies in Australia they focus on the building of culture and customer store led team. Woolsworth always focused on making its brand famous and they always work hard for 18 million customers and especially for those customers who have attraction for the same brand (Woolworths.com.au, 2017; (Bhupathi, 2016). Therefore, in this respect, Woolsworths Group has been chosen and its approach towards the Integrated Marketing Communication.

There are two important participants who are being represented by the two elements in the process of communication and they are sender and receiver. The other two are important tools of communication such as messages and channels. Other four important functions of communication are encoding, decoding, response and feedback. The last element of the process of communication is the noise which indicates the non- essential factors which interferes with the work process against the effective means of communication (See Appendix).

Source Encoding: The source or the sender is the organization’s person who shares vital information with other group of people or other person. The source can be identified as a salesperson or a hired person, a celebrity who is paid to appear in the advertisement of the company or any kinds of organization such as corporations which are regarded as the non- personal entity. The process of communication takes place when the sources choose words, pictures, symbols in order to represent the message that it would get delivered to the receiver. The process of sharing communication with the other in the form of ideas, thoughts and information is known as encoding in a symbolic form (Belch & Belch, 2016).

The role of IMC in Woolsworths Group

Messages: The system of encoding gives birth to the message which includes the meaning or information that the source who wishes to convey to the receiver. The messages might be in the form of symbol, non-verbal oral or written. Messages must be in the format of transmittable which is suitable for the communication based channel.

Channel: It is a method through which the communication takes place from either receiver or sender who are the sources. At the level of broadcast, communication’s channels are the types non- personal and personal. Communication based on personal channels which is carried on a direct basis interpersonal (face to face) contact with the groups or the targeted individuals (Belch & Belch, 2016). The non- personal channels are those which carry out messages without any face to face contact between the receiver and sender. It is a channel through which the source transmits its messages to the targeted audiences or the group of people. For example, if a company chooses to sell its product, the famous companies or any start- up companies can do so through the attraction of media or through the means of mass communication. The non- personal channels include as well in the form of advertisements as well.

Receiver/decoding: The receiver or the individual with whom the source or the sender shares thoughts and passes messages. In a general sense, the receivers are the consumers in the targeted market, who hears, reads or see the message of the marketers and decode the messages (Vernuccio, & Ceccotti, 2015). Decoding is the process of transforming the messages of the sender into the thought process and ideas. This process is the significant way which influences the receiver’s experience’s field and receiver, which describes the perceptions, attitudes, values that the receiver brings to the situation of communication. Decoding is an idea which gives birth to ideas in the head of the receiver about what the organization is intended to (Belch & Belch, 2016).

Noise: Throughout the process of communication, the messages are subjected to non-essential factors that interfere or distorts with the reception. The unsystematic distortion or the interference is referred to as noise (Belch & Belch, 2016). Noise occurs because the experience of the sender and also the receiver do not overlap. The dearth of common ground may result to the improper ways of encoding the messages through the usage of symbol, words or signs which carry different meanings to the receiver.

The communication process: sender, receiver, messages, channels, decoding, noise, feedback and responses

Feedback/Response: The set of reactions of the receiver after witnessing, reading or hearing the messages of the receiver is known by the term response. The response can be vary from the actions which are non- observable such as storing in memory the vital information such as dialing the toll number in order to buy the product by seeing the advertisements on television. The Marketers are interested in taking feedbacks, which is the part of the response of the receiver which is communicated back to senders. Feedback, can take a variety of forms and allow the sender to supervise how the message is intended and the process of being decoded and received by the receiver.

The process of marketing begins through the identification of the audience which would focus on the identified audience and also on the efforts of the promotion and the advertisements of the firms (Belch & Belch, 2016).

The Management which has been targeted may contain individuals who are having some specific needs and also for the people for whom the process of communication must be tailored. This also calls for the communication based on person to person and which can be achieved through the personal form of selling (Belch & Belch, 2016).

Process of Response: The most effective way to develop the process of communication incorporates the understanding the process of responses that the receiver may move through towards a particular behavior like the purchasing the products that they like and how the responses of the consumer are being influenced by the promotional efforts of the markets.

IMC plays an important role in Woolsworth Group in the terms of

  • Interactions which are based on Business to Business
  • Channel communications of the Market
  • Communications based on aim of the customer
  • Communications which are internally directed (Woolworths.com.au, 2017; Luxton, Reid & Mavondo, 2015).

From the external point of view, which features the important points of IMC includes

  • Advertising
  • Internet/ social media (Schivinski, B., & Dabrowski, 2016).
  • Promotion of sales
  • Developing relations with public
  • Sponsorships and events (Woolworths.com.au, 2017).

Internally carrying out communication takes place by the non executive director to the Director and CEO of group managing. The source over here is the Non- executive director who through the channel of communication send messages to the subordinates working under him such as Chief GM, Director Supermarkets, Logistics and Information officer and Chief Financial officer, further they carry out the communication to the other sources under their respective subordinates (Woolworths.com.au, 2017; Babin & Zinkmund, 2015). Therefore, an integrated marketing communication is carried out inside the organization in this way. The administrative decision that is taken inside the organization gets effective outside the organization in terms of developing relations with the customers and making its brand famous (Woolworths.com.au, 2017; Andrews & Shrimp, 2017).

Woolsworths Group's approach to IMC: examples of non-personal and personal communication channels

The management of the Woolsworth Organization looks forward to place the preferences of the customers in the first position. They give advertisements to the public to make their brand famous in different websites, newspapers or any social media. The organization makes its channel of communication more non-personal in order to reach the customers more (Woolworths.com.au, 2017). The organization through the websites listens and gathers feedbacks about their stores and services. Later the receiver takes the feedbacks and work harder in order to improve the experiences of the customers.

The Woolworth Organization practices Integrated Marketing Communication through the Customer Talkback and media press. Customer Talkative is regarded as a new form of initiation where the customers’ focus groups are being taken into account for a better understanding and take their feedbacks about their likings and disliking (Woolworths.com.au, 2017; Luxton, Reid & Mavondo, 2015). The organization is regarded to be happy if the customers come with their feedbacks and more improvements are suggested to make the service special and helpful (Woolworths.com.au, 2017).

The organization also believes in listening to the customers. The organization also focuses on the importance of their brand and sends the objectives through television, radio, cinema, digital and newspapers as mentioned before. They practice the communication with the customers through telemarketing, digital television for achieving direct responses and interaction. It maintains effective public relations which render help to organization and also in order to gain support from the public (Woolworths.com.au, 2017). For the sales promotion, the Woolsworth organization can also take these forms such as bonus, packs, coupons and competitions. Through the promotion of Events, to make their brand famous, it makes the customers engage and generate publicity (Kitchen & Burgmann, 2015).In order to properly implement the IMC, it is important for the organization to being critical about the planning and process and monitor and control the communication system and leading to the proper IMC program. The Woolsworth Organization follows certain guidelines for the proper implementation of IMC

  • They make sure that the IMC is practiced horizontally.
  • They make communication’s design around the buying process of the customers.
  • They develop a better information system of marketing.
  • They follow clear objectives of communication and always link the values of brand with every communication.
  • Ensuring visual standards are maintained in a common (Woolworths.com.au, 2017).
  • The marketing personnel, it is important for them to use the skills of people and also listen to their audience so that the requirements of the customers are addressed.
  • The Woolworth Organization can create a short term marketing effects and promote the sales of the product (Kitchen & Burgmann, 2015; Serrat, 2016).
  • It is the responsibility of the company to check out the readiness of the buyers and the products that the customers are ready to buy through the process of the catchy messages such as knowledge, awareness, preferences and purchases.
  • It is important for the company to set up budgets for the promotional purposes such as the budgeting has to be based on the requirements of the industry, advertisements for achieving the success based on promotion (Kitchen & Burgmann, 2015; Carroll, 2015).
  • The company must utilize its promotion mix with effective costing on direct marketing, online marketing or personal selling.
  • The company needs to handle the different communication channels properly so that different communication channels do not show different messages. This might create a sense of misunderstanding among the customers which would make them not aware about the real scenario (Patti et al., 2017; Todorova, 2015).
  • While doing online marketing, the company needs to be aware of ethical and legal issues which are subjecting the communications in market. The customer privacy is needed to be respected and the company must follow the social norms effectively for the growth of organization. Effective skills of communication would lead a faster, a better online marketing procedures (Fill & Turnball, 2016; Argenti, 2015; Jackson & Ahuja, 2016).

Conclusion

Therefore to conclude it could be said that Integrated Marketing Communication is a better way to understand the communication initiated by the organization to reach the customers to fulfill their targeted goals. The company Woolsworth uses an effective ways to promote communication to make their brands famous. Belch et al communication model provides an effective form of communication that an organization must practice to encourage the growth of the organization. It is a process which develops the strategy of marketing properly and makes an effective use out of it. Accordingly the organization follows the Integrated Marketing Communication by following this communication model and makes its brand name stronger with time. Finally the recommendations are given in terms of the model so that the company follows the IMC more properly in terms of their popularity.

References

Andrews, J. C., & Shimp, T. A. (2017). Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Nelson Education.

Argenti, P. A. (2015). Corporate communication. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Babin, B. J., & Zikmund, W. G. (2015). Exploring marketing research. Cengage Learning.

Belch, G. E., & Belch, M. A. (2016). Evaluating the effectiveness of elements of integrated marketing communications: A review of research. ISBN: 10 12-3869 Vol No 4 No 1 June 2016.

Bhupathi, M. M. (2016). Integrated Marketing Communications. In Strategic Marketing Management in Asia: Case Studies and Lessons across Industries(pp. 425-445). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Carroll, C. E. (Ed.). (2015). The handbook of communication and corporate reputation (Vol. 49). John Wiley & Sons.

Fill, C., & Turnbull, S. L. (2016). Marketing communications: brands, experiences and participation.

Jackson, G., & Ahuja, V. (2016). Dawn of the digital age and the evolution of the marketing mix. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 17(3), 170-186.

Kitchen, P. J., & Burgmann, I. (2015). Integrated marketing communication: Making it work at a strategic level. Journal of Business Strategy, 36(4), 34-39.

Luxton, S., Reid, M., & Mavondo, F. (2015). Integrated marketing communication capability and brand performance. Journal of Advertising, 44(1), 37-46.

Patti, C. H., Hartley, S. W., van Dessel, M. M., & Baack, D. W. (2017). Improving integrated marketing communications practices: a comparison of objectives and results. Journal of Marketing communications, 23(4), 351-370.

Schivinski, B., & Dabrowski, D. (2016). The effect of social media communication on consumer perceptions of brands. Journal of Marketing Communications, 22(2), 189-214.

Serrat, O. (2017). The future of social marketing. In Knowledge solutions (pp. 119-128). Springer Singapore.

Todorova, G. (2015). Marketing Communication Mix. Trakia Journal of Sciences, 13(1), 368-374.

Vernuccio, M., & Ceccotti, F. (2015). Strategic and organisational challenges in the integrated marketing communication paradigm shift: A holistic vision. European Management Journal, 33(6), 438-449.

Woolworths.com.au. (2017). {{metaController.metaData.title}}. Woolworths.com.au. Retrieved 23 August 2017, from https://www.woolworths.com.au/

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