That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It: Consistency Throughout Your Integrated Marketing Communication

Antony Young explains that “media planning is focused on reaching as many of the right audience in the right place at the right time and at the right cost as possible, whereas communications planning is less about reaching people than influencing them” (Young, pg. 35). According to Young, a company shouldn’t be concerned with reaching the masses. Most companies wouldn’t have the budget to be able to use all forms of media anyway. Many of the most effective channels for influencing an audience are available for free. It is the way in which the channels are utilized that makes them successful or not. Rather than “throwing stuff on a wall and seeing what sticks” (Young, pg. 39), if a company has a strategy for how they plan to engage their audience they will be able to see a much greater return.

This relates to our world when it comes to multiple channels because not all channels are going to be best for engaging with your audience. PotteryBarn is an example of a company that doesn’t focus on television advertising. They put most of their focus in social media, where they offer many platforms for customers to find inspiration and share new design ideas. They use high-quality print catalogs to get the attention of their audience and are able to keep their attention because of the unique experience they have created for the audience online. Those who choose to advertise through television must have a strategy to allow the viewer to continue the conversation by using other platforms. Time Warner Cable understands that cross-platform marketing is vital for a business to succeed. They give a couple examples on their website of companies who have been able to accomplish this through Spot TV, where they were able to target a very specific audience and demographic. OttoCadillac ran a 30-second spot ad as well as an on-demand video that helped to get the viewers’ attention and allowed for further engagement. After the commercial aired, they sent post cards to their audience reminding them to watch the on-demand long-form video to experience a virtual test drive. In one of their ads they included text saying, “Like us on Facebook and help a local family win a car!” All of these methods combined, helped to get their customers to the dealership, which was the ultimate goal.
A communications manager needs to account for multimedia channels and Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) when it comes to planning a strategy. The very first area they need to focus on is the voice of the brand. Without laying this vital foundation, they cannot afford to move forward. IMC is all about consistency in delivering the same message across various forms of media and platforms. The voice must be determined first because it is common to have many different people involved in creating content for various platforms. People will fail to see the humanization in a brand if it’s message, voice, and personality vary in all of the different content they see. You would probably be less likely to become close friends with someone if they shared this same problem. This person or brand would be seen as someone going through an identity crisis. Be consistent, be unique, be strategic, and be ready to give excellent customer service when they coming knocking!
Young, Antony (2010-12-21). Brand Media Strategy: Integrated Communications Planning in the Digital Era (Pages 35 and 39). Palgrave Macmillan.

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