The Integrated Marketing Communication approach has been around for a long time. In essence it involves taking the strengths from a number of advertising mediums, and deploying them in a united marketing method to achieve maximum results.
This works by way of positive reinforcement. As members of the audience become exposed to the message across multiple formats, they absorb the communication from different perspectives.
Traditionally IMC campaigns work by using combinations such as print, digital and broadcast mediums. Here the message is reinforced simply through repetition or
Integrated campaigns that use social media as a central platform can provide explosively successful results. This is by combining offline, digital and social marketing techniques a campaign is more likely to be shared between networks, peers and tribes of friends. Once a viral seed has been planted the message can spread far further than the original first line of audience. For example a new product launch campaign will most probably include some traditional advertising such as billboard, radio ads or maybe even TV. Digital marketing can reinforce this by offering an interactive environment with which to explore the proposition in more depth.
Finally, a strong presence on social websites allows the message to become social, meaning users can interact with it in a communal way. Because of the community oriented nature of sites like Facebook, Bebo and Myspace, the fact that one person has seen the advert means that people they are connected to online may also see it. Because the message may be ‘recommended’ by a friend, a user may be more likely to read it and pass it on. It is this social behaviour mechanism that can cause a chain reaction and a viral loop. Once initiated, a viral loop can multiply the reach of the campaign indefinitely. This means that the power of integrated marketing campaigns can be intensified far beyond that of the more traditional campaign strategies.
In addition, using traditional digital marketing techniques such as mass emailing and interactive microsites in association with rich media such as videos and communal applications can give a good campaign the power to become great.
Its all about integration and bridging the gaps between different mediums so that they communicate a mutually beneficial message.