HOW INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION DEVELOPED?
Mass media advertising played a dominant role in advertising for many years. Several marketers believed in managing the marketing and promotional functions separately. They failed to recognize the significance of coordinating and effectively communicating the functions to portray a consistent image in the mind of consumers.
In 1980’s strategic integration of the promotional functions started gaining importance. The companies began to move towards the process of integrated marketing communication (IMC). By adopting this, companies can avoid duplication, develop effective communication programs and gain from the cooperation among promotional tools,
One of the major reasons for the growth of IMC approach is constant change in the world of advertising and promotion. Major characteristics involved in such a change are rapid growth in field of database marketing, a shift of power from manufacturer to retailer, a shift from traditional advertising to other forms of promotion. Consumers are therefore, unable to overlook the amount of efforts invested in marketing a product through IMC. It improve the company’s ability to reach the right group of audience, at the right place and time and most importantly with the right message.
The Marketing Communication mix comprises of 8 major mediums for effective communication, which are described in the below chart:
(Marketing Communications, Brand Equity and Sales, 2016)
Let’s look at the case of a commercial brand of Telefonica UK Company- O2
MORE ABOUT O2
O2 is a leading digital communication company. It provides utmost customer satisfaction for any mobile provider. The customer base is huge, over 23 million. It runs 2G, 3G, 4G networks across UK, in addition to that it also operates O2 Wi-Fi and owns 50% of Tesco Mobile. It has more than 450 retail stores. It provides sponsorship to the England rugby team since 1995, teamed up with AEG to sponsor the Millennium Dome and now is the most popular entertainment venue in the world and teamed up with Live Nation and Academic Music Group to rename some of the UK’s iconic music venues.
THE O2 CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR ‘BE MORE DOG CAMPAIGN’
It was claimed to be only one big campaigning idea despite of many fine ads in UK.
O2 focus was on expanding the brand towards fresh digital products and services. It started with the prospect of inclining the customers to be more open-minded, passionate and excited about the new things that technology has to offer. To infect the nation with positivity and playfulness was the motto behind the movement. Embracing new things with passion, to throw yourself in head first and to be just a little bit more, dog was the message behind the campaign.
This campaign went viral on TV, outdoor antics which was backed by large social campaign which targeted at celebrating the dogs of internet and attempting to convince the cats of our attitude.
The video below, takes a cat- as cat is known for being more disinterested and lethargic and it shows her choice to be more like a dog, by showcasing passion and zeal at an utmost unbelievable level. The cat reappeared at the launch of Refresh- contract that lets you get the latest phone whenever you desire to, TU Go – application that let you use your O2 number in order to make and receive calls and texts over Wi-Fi from various smart devices.
(O2: Be more dog commercial [HD], 2013)
So, what was the thinking behind the ad?
The thinking was that, by “being more like a dog”, people will be open to more technology and service. The three- word slogan “be more dog” worked in O2’s favor.
This ad has given a theme and philosophy, relevant touch point which was applied across all marketing communication. It has given a personality to the brand to connect to all category of consumers and build positive relationships.
What else is O2 working on?
O2 also promoted free texting for new customers between 7pm to 8pm. They developed it around brand idea of happy hours. The promotion worked well because O2 started with a brand idea, rather than just a creative execution. This was further driven by consumer insight which assisted in driving communication planning.
A Word of Possibilities- world’s initial voice activated website
Sound showers in UK media designed to increase TV ad awareness. it created ‘stop in your track’ moments by using directional sound functionality at high football sites (outdoor) and retail outlets.
Augmented reality TV screens across retail stores which conveys the story of O2 Money, think big and priority moments to provide an opportunity to customers to learn about new things at intense level.
The big budget animated campaign during 2015 Rugby World Cup, received criticism. O2 is not concerned about criticism, it is bringing back its ‘Wear the Rose’ campaign for 2016 nation’s competition. It was the most successful digital campaign run, (Gareth Griffiths, O2)
O2’s communication draped the whole company in the brand idea. It lead to creation of customer focused plan which was of genuine interest and drove positive association with the brand. Understanding that putting out messaging and promotions through diverse touch points in the same period creates confusion. This was a major factor assisting their integrated marketing communication strategy.
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