MIMIC Is becoming more significant in marketing practice because of the reduced cost effectiveness of mass media and media fragmentation. As consumers spend more time online and on mobile devices all exposures of the brand need to tie together so they are more likely to be remembered. Increasingly the strategies of brands cannot be understood by looking solely at their advertising. Instead they can be understood by seeing how all aspects of their communications ecosystem work together and in particular how communications are personalized for each customer and react in real time, as in a conversation.
The Evolution of MIMIC For many years, the promotional function in most companies was dominated by mass media advertising. Companies relied primarily on their advertising agencies for guidance In nearly all areas of marketing communication, and many companies also used additional promotional and marketing communication tools. Sales promotion or direct-marketing agencies and promotional-products firms were generally viewed as auxiliary services and often used on a per-project basis.
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Public relations agencies were used to manage the organization’s publicity, image, and affairs with the relevant publics on an ongoing basis but were not viewed as integral participants in the marketing communication process. Many companies had separate public relations agencies that were autonomous and distinct from the marketing communications groups. Marketers built strong barriers around their various marketing and promotional functions and planned and managed them as separate practices, with different budgets, deferent views of the market, and deferent goals and objectives.
Departmental silos based on specific communications functions were established. These companies failed to recognize that the wide range of marketing and rumination tools must be coordinated to communicate effectively and present a consistent Image to their target markets. During the sass, many companies began to recognize the need for improved strategic integration of their promotional tools. Immunization, which involved coordinating the various promotional elements with the other marketing activities that communicate with a firm’s customers. As marketers embraced the concept of MIMIC, they began asking their ad agencies to coordinate the use of a variety of promotional tools rather than relying primarily on media advertising. A number of companies also began to look beyond traditional advertising agencies, employing other types of promotional specialists to develop and implement various components of their promotional plans.
Many agencies responded to the call for synergy among the various promotional tools by acquiring public relations, sales promotion, and direct-marketing companies and then touting themselves as MIMIC agencies that offered one-stop shopping for all their clients’ promotional needs. Some agencies became involved in these non-advertising areas in an attempt to maintain control over their clients’ promotional programs and gadgets but struggled to offer any real value beyond their advertising expertise. However, the advertising industry soon recognized that MIMIC was more than Just a fad and adopted their own perspective on the concept.
Terms such as new advertising, orchestration, and seamless communication were used in the industry to describe the concept of integration. A task force from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (the as) developed one of the first definitions of MIMIC: A concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication spineless??for example, general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations??and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.
The as’ definition focuses on the process of using all forms of promotion to achieve maximum communication impact. However, some advocates of the MIMIC concept (e. G. , Schultz, 2004) argued for an even broader perspective that considers all sources of brand or company contact that a customer or prospect has with a product or service. Their perspective was that MIMIC calls for a big-picture” approach to planning marketing and promotion programs in addition to coordinating the various communication functions.
It requires that firms develop a total marketing communications strategy that recognizes how all of a firm’s marketing activities, not Just promotion, communicate with its customers. Consumers’ perceptions of a company and its various brands are a synthesis of the totality of the messages they receive and the contacts they have (e. G. , media advertisements, direct- marketing efforts, publicity, sales promotions, and messages on the Internet and also rice, package design, point-of-purchase displays, and even the type of store where a product or service is sold).
In this perspective, MIMIC seeks to have all of a company’s marketing and promotional activities in order to project a consistent, unified image to the marketplace. For example, a high price may symbolize quality to customers, as may the shape or design of a product, its packaging, the brand name, or the image of the stores in which it is sold. Luxury brands of perfume use a distinctive package and brand name as well as a high price to connote quality and an upscale image, and this is reinforced by the advertising. Typically, these brands employ a selective or exclusive distribution network to add to the overall image.
Many companies and agencies have adopted this broader perspective of MIMIC. They see it as a way to ensure that their customers receive a consistent message about the company and its brands. For these companies, the MIMIC approach represents an improvement over the traditional method of treating the various communication elements as essentially separate activities. However, as marketers become more sophisticated in their understanding of MIMIC, they recognize that it offers more than Just ideas for irradiation all the elements of the marketing and promotional programs.
The MIMIC approach also helps companies manage their marketing and promotional efforts better by identifying the most appropriate and effective methods by which to contact customers, as well as other relevant stakeholders (e. G. , employees, suppliers, investors, media, and the general public). Reasons for the Growing Importance of MIMIC The move toward MIMIC has been called one of the most significant marketing developments of the sass and continues to gain champions in the marketplace, for a number of reasons.
One fundamental reason is that marketers recognize the value f strategically integrating the various communication functions rather than having them operates autonomously. By coordinating their marketing communication efforts, companies can avoid duplication, take advantage of synergy among various communication tools, and develop more efficient and effective marketing communications programs. Advocates of MIMIC argue that it is one of the easiest ways a company can maximize the return on its investment in marketing and promotion.
Whether marketers adopt the broader perspective of MIMIC as presented here or concentrate these efforts in the communication area, the rate of adoption of MIMIC entities to grow. The move to MIMIC also reflects an adaptation by marketers to a changing environment, particularly with respect to consumers, technology, and the media. Major changes have occurred among consumers with respect to demographics, lifestyles, media habits, and buying and shopping patterns. These changes have coincided with the development of new technologies and formats for reaching consumers.
For example, over the past few decades, the expansion of cable television and, more recently, digital satellite systems has vastly increased the number of channels available to subscribers. Some of these channels offer 24-hour direct-shopping networks, while many others contain 30- or 60-minute direct- response appeals, known as infomercials, that look more like TV shows than advertisements. The sass also saw the arrival of the Internet??specifically, the World Wide Web.
Online services now provide information and entertainment as well as the opportunity to shop for??and buy??a vast array of products and services through a medium that previously did not exist. Marketers responded by developing Web sites that provided them with the opportunity to advertise their products and services in n interactive fashion as well as transact sales. It became necessary, not optional, for these marketers to look beyond the traditional media options of the past. In addition to the previously mentioned changes in the communication environment, a number of other factors have also contributed to the rapid growth of MIMIC.
A shift in marketplace power from manufacturers to retailers. Large retailers such as Wall-Mart are using their clout to demand larger promotional fees and allowances, which promotions. The growth of database marketing. Marketers are increasing the development of databases. These databases are then used to target specific consumers through telemarketing, direct mail, and other forms of direct-response advertising. Companies develop customer relationship management (CRM) programs to reward their most loyal customers through sales promotions, discounts, and other tools, all of which increase costs.
Airline loyalty programs are but one example of promotional programs that have become very expensive to operate. Demand for greater accountability. An increased demand for accountability and a focus on return on investment (ROI) have led advertisers to consider a variety of tools that may enhance the cost-benefit relationship. It is no longer acceptable to say that one does not know how well the advertising program is working; too many other options for use of these dollars now exist.
Companies have allocated more monies to sales promotions and direct-marketing programs and have increased their expenditures on the Internet in an attempt to determine how their communications are working. The rapid growth of the Internet. While the Internet is Just one of the numerous new media to become available to marketers, perhaps no other medium since television has had such a dramatic impact on the media landscape. The Internet continues to evolve, in some ways becoming more and more like television.
Combine this with the advent of interactive TV, wireless Internet, bedposts, and other new media and marketers have had to rethink their traditional media strategies. Technological advances. The ability to fast forward or skip TV commercials entirely when using digital video recorders and Tivoli has led to a decline in viewing audiences watching commercials. Advertisers have reallocated some of these monies to advertising on the Internet as well as to product placements and integrations. Changing media habits. Simply put, young people don’t read newspapers or general-news magazines as much as their parents did.
Newspapers have seen dramatic declines in readership and, as a result, advertising revenues. Many of those in younger audiences indicate that they now go to the Internet to keep current on news events. While general-news magazines (e. G. , Time Magazine and Newsweek) have seen circulation declines, special-interest magazines have been experiencing the opposite trend. In addition to these factors, there has been a dramatic shift in the media landscape. This shift has contributed even more to the necessity of an MIMIC approach o marketing communications. The Changing Media Landscape In the sass, Chevrolet spent almost its entire U. S. Elevation media budget on one program??the Dinah Shore Show. At that time, prime-time viewers had only three network channels to choose from, and an advertiser could reach 80% of U. S. Households on any given evening by running commercials on CBS, NBC, and BBC programs (Belch & Belch, 2009). Newspapers were a primary source of information, and cable TV and the Internet were decades away from development. Currently, there are more than 400 cable TV channels in the United States, network TV audiences have declined at the rate of approximately 2% per year over the past decade, and cable TV now commands a larger audience than the networks.
The on one’s cell phone, in bathrooms, and in almost every conceivable (or inconceivable) location. Product placements and integrations have increased significantly. Erwin Prone??a media consultant (promenaded. Com)??estimates that in the sass, a media planner had nearly 1,250 scheduling options on television alone. In the sass, with 100 broadcast and cable channels to choose from, the number of options rose to 1. 25 quadrillion. With more than 400 channels at present, the number of options is incalculable.
With the proliferation of new media??the Internet and interactive TV, wireless, bedposts, video on demand, blobs, and more??traditional media such as public relations, sponsorships, event marketing, and product placements have taken on a new perspective. Advertising is no longer king, as some of the largest TV advertisers (General Motors, Procter & Gamble, and American Express, among others) are shifting more and more dollars to the “new’ media. As traditional media revenues decline, new media revenues are climbing at an unprecedented rate. Evidence of this trend is abundant.
In the sass, Procter & Gamble spent 90% of its advertising budget on television. Now, for some new products, less than 25% may be allocated to TV, with the balance going to sales promotions, new media, direct marketing, and related activities. McDonald’s, which once spent nearly two-thirds of its communications budget on television, now spends less than one-third there. Ford, which spent less than 2% of its budget in non-traditional media in 2001, now spends more than 20% there (see www. Straightforwardness. Org). These are Just a few of many examples of the shift.
Communication programs now require the use of a variety of media to reach the markets, as well as the integration of these media to put forth a unified and consistent message. It is now obvious to marketers that it is no longer “business as usual” and that MIMIC addresses the issues involved in managing this changing media environment. At the same time, MIMIC provides a framework for establishing communication objectives to be used to guide the communication program and assess its effects. As with the myriad changes in the overall marketing environment, there have also been numerous changes in the media landscape.
Prior to discussing the factors leading to this transformation, it is necessary to establish a common ground. For the purposes of this chapter, we group media into three categories: 1. Traditional media: When one thinks about the media that have seemingly been around forever, what most likely comes to mind are television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and outdoor. While all these media forms have changed over the years (with, e. G. , the advent of satellite radio, new forms of outdoor advertising, and online newspapers), for the most part, the basic structure has remained consistent.
TV commercials may now be 20 seconds instead of 60 seconds, but there has not been a dramatic shift in the medium. The same holds true for the others as well. 2. Traditional but different: Media that have also been around for quite some time but have experienced significant changes over the past few decades include public relations, product placements, sponsorships, and direct marketing. For example, public relations, which (as previously noted) has traditionally been an independent component of organizations’ communication programs, has now become more integrated with marketing-oriented communication elements.
The agree to which this integration has taken place varies from one end of the completely detached??to the other end??where it has become essentially a marketing function. At this end, public relations has specific marketing public relations objectives. Likewise, product placements and sponsorships are nothing new but have changed in their scope and frequency: Remember when college football games were called the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Rose Bowl? Direct mail and catalogs have evolved into direct-response TV commercials, infomercials, and home shopping channels as well as online retail shopping. . New media: While the list of new media mess to grow faster than one can keep up with, what we refer to here are the never- before-seen tools such as wireless, podiatrist, blobs, search ads, product integrations, video on demand, and behavioral targeting. While these media forms have all evolved in one way or another, the results are the same??marketers now have many more options from which to choose. When considering these new options, the goal of creating the most effective and efficient media strategy takes on a whole new meaning.
The marketer of today is assigned the task of using these tools to achieve media optimization and communication effectiveness. He or she must understand the characteristics of these media and how they affect the receiver??individually and in the gestalt. Planners must also understand that as the environment continues to change along with these media changes, the requirements necessary to achieve this understanding and manage the media process will increase dramatically. Barriers to MIMIC Despite its many benefits, Integrated Marketing Communications, or MIMIC, has many barriers.
In addition to the usual resistance to change and the special problems of communicating with a wide variety of target audiences, there are many other obstacles which restrict MIMIC. These include: Functional Silos; Stifled Creativity; Time Scale Conflicts and a lack of Management know-how. Take functional silos. Rigid organizational structures are infested with managers who protect both their budgets and their power base. Sadly, some organizational structures isolate communications, data, and even managers from each other.
For example the PR department often doesn’t report to marketing. The sales force rarely meet the advertising or sales promotion people and so on. Imagine what can happen when sales reps are not told about a new promotional offer! And all of this can be aggravated by turf wars or internal power battles where specific managers resist having some of their decisions (and budgets) determined or even influenced by someone from another department. Here are two difficult questions – What should a truly integrated marketing department look like?
And how will it affect creativity? It shouldn’t matter whose creative idea it is, but often, it does. An advertising agency may not be so enthusiastic about developing a creative idea generated by, say, a PR or a direct marketing consultant. MIMIC can restrict creativity. No more wild and wacky sales promotions unless they fit into the overall marketing communications strategy. The Joy of rampant creativity may be stifled, but the creative challenge may be greater and ultimately more satisfying when operating within a tighter, integrated, creative brief.
Time horizons add one more barrier to MIMIC as different time scales affect a creative longer term may conflict with shorter term advertising or sales promotions designed to boost quarterly sales. However, the two objectives of improving the brand and sales can be accommodated with MIMIC planning. But this kind of planning is not common. A survey in 1995, revealed that most managers lack expertise in MIMIC. But its to Just managers, but also agencies. There is a proliferation of single discipline agencies. There appear to be very few people who have real experience of all the marketing communications disciplines.
This lack of know how is then compounded by a lack of commitment. For now, understanding the barriers is the first step in successfully implementing MIMIC. MIMIC Components The Foundation – is based on a strategic understanding of the product and market. This includes changes in technology, buyer attitudes and behavior and anticipated moves by competitors. The Corporate Culture – increasingly brands are seen as indivisible from the vision, capabilities, personality and culture of the corporation. The Brand Focus – is the logo, corporate identity, tagging, style and core message of the brand.
Consumer Experience – includes the design of the product and its packaging, the product experience (for instance in a retail store) and service. Communications Tools – includes all modes of advertising, direct marketing and online communications including social media. Promotional Tools – trade promotions; consumer promotions; personal selling, database marketing, and customer relations management; public relations and sponsorship programs. Integration Tools – footwear that enables the tracking of customer behavior and campaign effectiveness.
This includes customer relationship management (CRM) software, web analytics, marketing automation and inbound marketing software Marketing mix component The Internet has changed the way business is done in the current world. The variables of segmentation, targeting and positioning are addressed differently. The way new products and services are marketed have changed even though the aim of business in bringing economic and social values remain unchanged. Indeed, the bottom line of increasing revenue and profit are still the same. Marketing has evolved o more of connectedness, due to the new characteristics brought in by the Internet.
Marketing was once seen as a one way, with firms broadcasting their offerings and value proposition. Now it is seen more and more as a conversation between marketers and customers. Marketing efforts incorporate the “marketing mix”. Promotion is one element of marketing mix. Promotional activities include advertising (by using different media), sales promotion (sales and trades promotion), and personal selling activities. It also includes Internet marketing, sponsorship marketing, direct marketing, database marketing and public relations.
Integration of all these promotional tools, along with other components of marketing mix, is a way to gain an edge over a competitor. The starting point of the MIMIC process is the marketing mix that includes different types of marketing, advertising, and sales efforts. Without a complete MIMIC plan there is no integration or harmony between client and customers. Own employees and throughout its customers. Integrated marketing is based on a master marketing plan. This plan should coordinate efforts in all components of the marketing mix. A marketing plan consists of the following six steps: 1 .
Situation analysis 2. Marketing objectives 3. Marketing budget 4. Marketing strategies 5. Marketing tactics 6. Evaluation of performance Integrated marketing communications aims to ensure consistency of message and the complementary use of media. The concept includes online and offline marketing channels. Online marketing channels include any e-marketing campaigns or programs, from search engine optimization (SEE), pay-per-click, affiliate, email, banner to latest web related channels for webbing, blob, micro-blobbing, IRS, potash, Internet Radio, and Internet TV.
Offline marketing channels are traditional ring (newspaper, magazine), mail order, public relations, industry relations, billboard, traditional radio, and television. A company develops its integrated marketing communication program using all the elements of the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion). Integrated marketing communications plans are vital to achieving success. The reasons for their importance begin with the explosion of information technologies. Channel power has shifted from manufacturers to retailers to consumers.
Using outside-in thinking, Integrated Marketing Communications is a data-driven approach that focuses on identifying nonuser insights and developing a strategy with the right (online and offline combination) channels to forge a stronger brand-consumer relationship. This involves knowing the right touch points to use to reach consumers and understanding how and where they consume different types of media. Regression analysis and customer lifetime value are key data elements in this approach. 4 spas. ACS Not PRODUCT, but CONSUMER You have to understand what the consumers’ wants and needs are.
Times have changed and you can no longer sell whatever you can make. The product characteristics have to match the specifics of what someone wants to buy. And part of what the consumer is buying is the personal “buying experience. ” Not PRICE, but COST Understand the consumer’s cost to satisfy the want or need. The product price may be only one part of the consumer’s cost structure. Often it is the cost of time to drive somewhere, the cost of conscience of what you buy, the cost of guilt for not treating the kids, the investment a consumer is willing to make to avoid risk, etc.
Not PLACE, but CONVENIENCE As above, turn the standard logic around. Think convenience of the buying experience and then relate that to a delivery mechanism. Consider all possible deeds. Convenience may include aspects of the physical or virtual location, access ease, transaction service time, and hours of availability. Not PROMOTION, but COMMUNICATION Communicate, many mediums working together to present a unified message with a feedback mechanism to make the communication two-way.
And be sure to include an understanding of non-traditional mediums, such as word of mouth and how it can influence your position in the consumer’s mind. How many ways can a customer hear (or see) the same message through the course of the day, each message reinforcing the earlier images. Effective communications elements The goal of selecting the elements of proposed integrated marketing communications is to create a campaign that is effective and consistent across media platforms.
Some marketers may want only ads with greatest breadth of appeal: the executions that, when combined, provide the greatest number of attention-getting, branded, and motivational moments. Others may only want ads with the greatest depth of appeal: the ads with the greatest number of attention-getting, branded, and motivational points within each. Although integrated marketing communications is more than Just n advertising campaign, the bulk of marketing dollars is spent on the creation and distribution of advertisements.
Hence, the bulk of the research budget is also spent on these elements of the campaign. Once the key marketing pieces have been tested, the researched elements can then be applied to other contact points: letterhead, packaging, logistics, customer service training, and more, to complete the MIMIC cycle. One common type of integrated marketing communication is personal selling. Personal selling can be defined as “face to face selling in which a seller attempts to persuade a buyer to make a purchase. Personal selling is occasionally called the “last 3 feet” of the marketing functions.
It is called the “last 3 feet” because this is usually the distance between a salesperson and his customer on the retail sales floor. The “last 3 feet” also applies to the distance across the desk from a sales representative to his prospective business customer. Personal selling occurs in two main categories: 1. Retail sales 2. Business-to-business selling Promotions opportunity analysis A major task that guides the way in creating an effective Integrated Marketing Communications plan is the promotions opportunity analysis.
A promotions opportunity analysis is the process marketers use to identify target audiences for a company’s goods and services and the communication strategies needed to reach these audiences. ” A message sent by a marketer has a greater likelihood of achieving the intended results if the marketer has performed a good analysis and possesses accurate information pertaining to the target audience. There are five steps in developing a promotions opportunity analysis: Conduct a communication market Competitors Opportunities Target markets Customers Product positioning Establish communication objectives Develop brand awareness
Increase category demand Change customer belief or attitude Enhance purchase actions Encourage repeat purchases Build customer traffic Enhance firm image Increase market share Increase sales Reinforce purchase decisions Create communications budget several factors influence the relationship between expenditures on promotions and sales: The goal of the promotion Threshold effects Carryover effects Wear-out effects Decay effects Random events Prepare promotional strategies The fourth step of a promotions opportunity analysis program is to prepare a general communication strategy for the company and its products.
Strategies are sweeping guidelines concerning the essence of the company’s marketing efforts. Strategies provide the long term direction for all marketing activities. It is critical that the company’s communication strategy mesh with the overall message and be carefully linked to the opportunities identified by a communication market analysis. Communications strategies should be directly related to a firm’s marketing objectives. Strategies must be achievable using the allocations available in the marketing and communications budgets. Once strategies have been implemented, they are not changed unless major new events occur.