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Analysis of IMC for Meat and Livestock Australia

Discuss about the Evaluation and Application of the Communication Model.

Integrated marketing communications is a marketing approach that strives to fuse modern and traditional promotional strategies in order to meet the objective of the marketing campaign and deliver brand awareness and value to the stakeholders. As defined by American Marketing Association, IMC is “a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time (Association, n.d.).”

And in my opinion without IMC it’s impossible to survive or sustain in this rapidly changing market. Because technology is changing day by day, new innovations are coming in day by day, to keep up with all of this a manager or a sales executive must be proactive and adapt IMC, which will definitely help hem be aware about the current trends in the market and, which will also help to make the communication of the brand message a lot more easier.

Back in the 50's, advertising effort depended vigorously on print, radio, and TV. It didn't take much to keep these adjusted. Be that as it may, now with computerized media, we have everything from bulletins to online networking effort (ELIASON, 2014).

Meat and Livestock Australia, an industry showcasing board that has run a battle urging Australians to eat sheep on Australia Day for a long time has the capacity of a completely coordinated advertising interchanges crusade to increase a brand's message has been shown on numerous occasions (Simple., n.d.).

Meat and Livestock Australia gives administrations to its proprietors - Australia's domesticated animals makers - and offers backing to the cows, sheep and goat enterprises in key arranging. The organization additionally gives administrations to other industry parts, for example, meat processors and live creature exporters (govenment, n.d.)

The reason why IMC is associated with the term ‘strategic’ is because it carefully plans and executes actions in order to achieve core objectives like maintaining long term relationships with key stakeholders and positioning the brand in the way it desires to.

IMC can be better understood by looking at the marketing campaigns of the Australian non-profit organization “Meat and Livestock Australia”(MLA). MLA is the marketing, research and development organization for Australia’s livestock and red meat industry.   (Beef Campaign, n.d.)  It is best known for its entertaining advertisements which people claim to be ‘so bad that it is actually good’. MLA are working on 3 major campaigns: Beef campaign, Lamb campaign and Nutrition campaign. Under these campaigns, falls several interesting, funny and controversial campaigns like "You're Better on Beef", “Australia Day 2016”, “Spring Lamb 2015”, “Dinner Three Ways” and so on.

Elements of IMC

MLA’s IMC campaigns can be evaluated on the grounds of following elements:

Clear message: The messages delivered by MLA to its present and potential customers are clear with a hint of wittiness. The words are carefully arranged to deliver a meaningful message, keeping the humor intact. They use catchy phrases for their campaigns like ‘Autumn Roast’, ‘You are Never Lamb Alone’, ‘Spring Lamb’ where the words ‘Roast’ and ‘Lamb’ clearly shows that they are trying to create product awareness.

Advertising and marketing: MLA’s main advertising and marketing strategy is to grab the attention of people and create brand awareness. They are using different channels of marketing such as internet with their viral videos or one hour television special, “The Australia Day Showdown – You Can Never Be Too Australian”(Simple., n.d.) and are making their advertisements as entertaining as possible. One of MLA’s advertisement has also won ‘TV Ad of the Year’ at the annual Mumbrella media awards with a popular vote of 41,000.

Public relations: Public relations is an approach to marketing and promotion. It might include pitching stories in the media or creating a stir. When it comes to stirring controversy, MLA knows how it is done. The commercial ‘Operation Boomerang’, according to Advertising Standards Bureau is the most complained about ads for 2016 yet it is also MLA’s highest viewed ad so far(Bennett, 2016) . Sam Kekovich advocating to eat lamb in Australia Day 2005 in order to prevent being ‘un-Australian’ was too quite a controversial commercial. Kekovich's "mishap", the Lambnesia battle and test were advanced on TV and radio secret clasps and specifies, in social channels, advertising and earned media notice, with in-store materials additionally gave to butchers.

Sales/promotion: MLA are promoting themselves rigorously through cultural symbols like being an ‘Australian’. In an advertisement during Australia Day, Sam Kekovich sang to ‘90s pop hit Barbie Girl to present a message that popular culture has led “un- Australianism to go viral”. Kekovich's location point by point his own brush with Lambnesia, and how it had made him make the National Lambnesia Test – an online test intended to individuals ascertain how unAustralian they were. Finished right around 300,000 times, the test at last expanded sheep buys by guiding individuals to customized sheep formulas. They are utilizing various platforms and channels such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram, radio, television etc. to market themselves and make their brand message clear to their audience by adding their own style of humor to it so that attention ca be grabbed. They know it best that anything that is controversial tends to viral these days, so they promote their brand by catching on to controversial topics such as “vegans” the “un- Australian” thing etc.

Meat and Livestock Australia’s Application of IMC

Consistency: One can expect a humorous, sarcastic and even cringe worthy videos from MLA at least around the Australia Day every year. Also, they are consistently delivering the same message through various traditional as well as modern channel of communication. Keeping up consistency helps you to oversee observation, it passes on your viewpoint and states of mind, it takes out issues encompassing brand perplexity, it ensures your speculation lastly it expands upon past triumphs(Marketing N. , n.d.).

Measurability: The return from marketing campaigns must be quantifiable. One instance of return being measurable is MLA’s finding that return for $1 spent on Australia Day 2016 was $2.89 and their sales increased by 36.9%. By using IMC rather than traditional media channels, it found that the campaign had a 5.4 million combined view.

MLA is currently dealing with the IMC campaign ‘"You're Better on Beef" since March 2016. This campaign encourage women to consume beef and foster its intake in their families as well. This specific campaign means to address the issue of one in three ladies not getting enough iron in their eating routine by showing how the right eating regimen can give individuals the vitality they have to vanquish their fears (Ward, 2015). Australian women have lot of responsibilities and MLA is trying to convince them to eat beef as it would be a great source to extract the energy needed to fulfill these responsibilities. Like previous years, this year too, the campaign is trying to portray beef as an integral part of our diet, fueling us with nutrition required to face the challenges the world throws on us.

This campaign is an integral part of  IMC because of the following reasons:

1. It has a target audience i.e. the modern women who have to play dual role of bread earner as well as nurturer of the family.

2. Extensive promotion is done for this campaign by merging traditional as well as contemporary channels like:

Targeted outdoor advertising

TV commercials

Digital channels example YouTube

National radio

Editorial, advertorial and podcast content

In store advertising at independent retailers. (Beef Campaign, n.d.)

Consistency is maintained in this campaign. The witty campaign name, comical video commercial, the narration and feel of the advertisement supports and further strengthens the idea that is set in our mind regarding the organization.

The message is comprehensible, consistent and captivating. No difficult phrases, words or symbols have been used and the narrator straight forwardly asks the audience to consume beef. Moreover, the message remains consistent over all channels and it evokes a curiosity, which further generates interest in the audience. In the end, the appeal to consume beef is reinforced by mentioning the benefits extracted from beef.

Current Campaign: "You're Better on Beef"

MLA has integrated their messages, channels and present and past campaign in such a way that it assists their core objective i.e. to hike demand for beef. For this, they have conducted a video campaign, radio campaign, ‘The Beef Brigade’ (a community engagement program that motivates regional towns to tell why their community is better on beef and the local projects that are needed to make their community excel at it), "You're Better on Beef" - Iron Campaign (recipe dispensing panels placed close to retailers and butchers at shopping centers), "You're Better on Beef" - Winter Campaign (TV commercial and shopping center posters advocating the importance of eating beef ). At the end of the day, the purpose of all these campaigns conducted through various channels and in various ways conveys one message and has only one purpose: allure people to eat beef to increase its sales.

It has also tried to attach emotionally with its target markets, through “you are better off beef” campaign by bringing emotional stories of the woman players of Australia and creating an emotional marketing with its consumers.

Communication is a process of expressing and exchanging information via words, sounds, signs, or behaviors. It is a very important act we perform every day in order to understand and make ourselves understood. According to Adler and Towne (1978), everything that has and will be accomplished by human beings involves communication with others (Towne, 1978). Like in our lives, communication holds a great significance in IMC as well.  Some of the importance of communication in IMC are as follows:

Just like the phrase Integrated Marketing Communication cannot exist without the word ‘communication’, similarly it is impossible for IMC to function without communication. Employees of all level have to communicate with customers through different channels in order to make IMC possible.

To maintain Consistency: IMC is all about assuring stakeholders are presented with consistent messages every time they come across any component of the campaign. For this, there has to be effective communication between teams and stakeholders

To keep stakeholders up to date about key issues, which is crucial in IMC

To test the effectiveness of IMC by studying the feedback and reactions of current and potential customers, employees, and channel members of all levels and channels.

Among the two communication models, the communication model of MLA can be evaluated on the basis of ‘Basic model of communication’.

Evaluating organization using Communication model

In basic model of communication, MLA is the source i.e. the body that generates information. MLA produces information and arranges the information carefully in order to create a message. Messages can be encoded as brand messages, slogans, advertisements, PR releases, coupons, signage, and customer service and so on.

Then, the encoded message is transmitted through communication channels like TV commercials, digital channels such as YouTube, mobile and social media, national radio, targeted outdoor advertising, editorial, advertorial and podcast content and in store advertising across key major and independent retailers. Media channel or communication channels bridges companies with their stakeholders. Word of mouth is the most effective channel of communication.

The receiver, who can be customer, potential customer, supplier, competitor or any other stakeholder of MLA, then decodes the message by interpreting the meaning of the message. For example, after the “You’re Better on Beef” campaign, people will decode the message that beef is good for health and it must be incorporated more in our diet.

After this process, the receiver gives a feedback through immediate, delayed or no response at all by either buying beef, not buying beef, clearing doubts by asking questions or commenting on the quality of the beef. However, problem lies when sender cannot encode and receiver cannot decode the message correct. The overall object of sending a message will not be fulfilled if this happens. This is the reason why IMC focuses on clear and consistent message so that receives can extract a proper conclusion from the message.

In Customer Initiated Marketing Model,businesses arevery much cutomer centric and will constanly seek for feebacks or sggetions from the customers so as how to communicate with them. It's diverse to the traditional one-way promoting approach where, the client is the beneficiary of the brand message. Clients pick what correspondence channels to utilize, for example, messages, association's site, or through a call focus. The correspondences from the clients could be protests, enquiries about new items or administrations or whatever other brand related substance. Entrepreneurs have two fundamental options when promoting their items. To begin with, they can make items and after that discover approaches to produce request among consumers, the second choice is to distinguish client needs and afterward make items that address those issues (Mack, n.d.)

Customer-orientated marketing communication model by Duncan

MLA provides a “touch point” with their targeted markets. Touchpoints can be decoded as a powerful activity started by a correspondence, a human contact or a physical or tangible communication. Each touchpoint is a message that truly "touches" a client somehow (Uhlig, n.d.). When a company such as MLA creates a whole new level of customer experience, and nurtures and cares for them customers fell worthy somehow and they tend to become loyal to that specific brand. For MLA it’s the quality meat service and structured way to cater its target market. Brand touch points are additionally the channel points, where clients come into immediate or roundabout contact with the brand and they educate that particular brand what they anticipate from it and what they will pay for. There is a professional team for MLA working on the whole evaluation process of market, trying to know their target market’s needs and demand and trying to expand their experience via improvements in their service (Australia, Evaluation, n.d.).

Attention (or Attract), interest, desire, action, these are the four stages you have to take your gathering of people through in the event that you need them to purchase your item or visit your site, or without a doubt to accept the messages in your report (Team, n.d.). This campaign moves the target market to a specific response using Innovation adoption model by the following process:

Awareness: In this stage, the individual is mindful that the product exists. However he/she is unaware about particular features of the product. This subconscious recognition is usually created by society through implied actions.

Interest: This is the stage where individual seeks for more information about the product. They might search for information knowingly or unknowingly through sources like internet, advertisements, product reviews, personal interaction etc.

Evaluation: During this stage, the individual will try to find out if the product will create any value in the individual’s life. He/she will try to figure out how the product will reduce their effort and is the product worth trying at least once?

Trial: The person finally tests the product to check if the experience matches with the expectation or not. They usually try experimenting will only a small quantity. Samples, sachets come handy in this stage.

Adoption: Once the individual is satisfied with the experience provided by small amount of the product, they will ultimately choose the product. They will start promoting the product through word of mouth and will advise their closed ones to adopt the product.(Gayle, n.d.)

Organizations must be careful regarding the communication media they choose. It must be able to deliver a clear and consistent information to its customers. For this, the encoding and decoding process must be planned carefully. To developing an integrated marketing communications plan, organizations must analyze its three Cs: customers, competitors, and communications. It would be better for companies to keep their communication model in mind to create effective communication with the customers and other stakeholders.

And to add on to communication, MLA has done a commendable job in its witty marketing advertisements, but there is a saying that “too much of sugar is not good”. So, MLA must try to experiment their Ad campaigns and try not to bring only humors but also some kind of emotional attachments with their targeted customers.

Conclusion

Hence, with all the findings and knowledge obtained, we can conclude that IMC is very important for niche marketing. As, I mentioned earlier, it is very difficult to sustain in this ear if IMC is not adapted by today’s company.it plays a huge role in delivering the correct brand message of a particular brand to its targeted customers so that right brand perception can be set, this enables the customers to know what to expect form that particular brand. IMC also makes it easier to perform mass marketing now days as it uses various channels or promotion mix as direct selling, personal selling, social media marketing etc., it even makes possible to target globally as there not much effort needed to flow information now days thanks to the invention of internet, which could ultimately bring ore profitability to that specific organization.

These companies are using this model to make sure their campaigns and marketing efforts reach all target audience at all touch points.

References

Association, A. M. (n.d.). Integrated Marketing Communications. Retrieved from AMA: https://www.ama.org/events-training/Training/Pages/2014-ts-Integrated-Marketing-Communications-chicago.aspx

Australia, M. a. (n.d.). Evaluation. Retrieved from MLA: https://www.mla.com.au/about-mla/Planning-reporting/evaluation/

Australia, M. a. (n.d.). Investing in red meat's future. Retrieved from MLA: https://www.mla.com.au/

Beef Campaign. (n.d.). Retrieved from MLA: https://www.mla.com.au/about-mla/

Bennett, L. (2016, July 07). Retrieved from AdNews: https://www.adnews.com.au/news/ad-watchdog-s-top-list-of-most-complained-about-ads

ELIASON, K. (2014, December 23). It’s Raining Marketing: The Importance of Integrated Marketing Communications. Retrieved from Portent: https://www.portent.com/blog/internet-marketing/raining-marketing-importance-integrated-marketing-communications.htm

Gayle, R. (n.d.). Retrieved from SpreadingScience: https://www.spreadingscience.com/our-approach/diffusion-of-innovations-in-a-community/3-the-5-steps-to-adopting-an-innovation/

govenment, A. (n.d.). Meat and livestock Australia. Retrieved from Australia.gov: https://www.australia.gov.au/directories/australia/meatandlivestock

Lutz, D. (n.d.). 8 Key Points to Effective Integrated Marketing Communications. Retrieved from https://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/744/8-key-points-to-effective-integrated-marketing-communications

Mack, S. (n.d.). Customer-Oriented Marketing Strategy. Retrieved from Small Business: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/customeroriented-marketing-strategy-65737.html

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Marketing, N. (n.d.). The Difference Between a Good Brand and a Great Brand? Consistency. Retrieved from Northstarmarketing: https://www.northstarmarketing.com/2015/05/07/the-difference-between-a-good-brand-and-a-great-brand-consistency/

Olenski, S. (2013, 09 16). Why Integrated Marketing Communications Is More Important Than Ever. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2013/09/16/why-integrated-marketing-communications-is-more-important-than-ever/#468270082325

Simple. (n.d.). Integrated Marketing Case Study: Meat & Livestock Australia Day Lamb. Retrieved from Simplehq: https://simplehq.co/integrated-marketing/imc-lamb-case-study/

Team, M. T. (n.d.). AIDA: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action. Retrieved from Mindtools: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/AIDA.htm

Towne, A. (1978).

Uhlig, D. K. (n.d.). What Is Touchpoint Marketing? Retrieved from SmallBusiness: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/touchpoint-marketing-34078.html

Ward, M. (2015, December 9). Women urged to eat more beef in new Meat & Livestock Australia content campaign. Retrieved from Mumbrella: https://mumbrella.com.au/women-the-target-of-new-beef-push-by-meat-livestock-australia-with-content-campaign-334530

Linton, I. (n.d.). Small Business. Chron: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-integrated-marketing-communications-73248.html

Marketing MO. How to design an integrated marketing campaign. https://www.marketingmo.com/how-to-articles/how-to-design-an-integrated-marketing-campaign/

Cappella, J. (1991). Book Reviews: Theories of Human Communication. Communication Theory. v1.2. May, 1991, p. 165-171.

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