Integrated Marketing Plan
An IMC Touchpoint describes the point in which a customer is figuratively or literally touched in some way, via human contact, physical or sensory interaction, message or form of communication from an organization. In other words, a touchpoint is a point at which a potential customer or existing customer comes into contact with an organization or brand. Therefore collectively, touchpoints form customer experience.
It is essential for an organization to think creatively about what they are trying to accomplish through the campaign. Beyond just “pushing” a product through channel partners or “pulling” a customer in through advertising and awareness-building, non-profits should consider how the campaign will draw attention, make an impact, and invite target audiences to take action amidst a crowded marketplace. Exposure by itself is no longer sufficient to create awareness and loyalty; engagement and interaction are vital.
The AIDA Model
Each touchpoint should include a call to action aligned with the campaign strategy and goals. The calls to action should be appropriate to the AIDA model stage, the audience, and the tool being used.
- A represents attention or awareness, the ability to catch the eye of potential supporters and volunteers. It is important to have a good understanding of your target audience and access to good design to increase interest.
- I is interest when potential supporters want to further their understanding of your cause and become involved themselves. This can be reached by providing them with opportunities to support your campaigns and having a clear call to action.
- D represents desire. Your cause has connected with the supporter in a way that urges them to contribute. This desire is a combination of their sincere interest to provide for the campaign, and the affirmation they will feel for doing good which may or may not be rewarded. Creating equal giving to what you receive can reassure your supporters of their presence within the organization.
- A is action. Your audiences pursue your cause, whether it be volunteering or donating, it’s important to have the right resources for them to efficiently support your cause. Resources like having a working website, easily accessible communication outlets and an active social presence can reinforce continued support for your campaign.
This system helps guide marketers to refine their objectives and clarify what they want to accomplish with a target segment. As campaign objectives become clearer, marketers gain insight into ways of refining their marketing messages and deciding which tools they can use to deliver these messages effectively.
Marketers today have many different avenues for creating engagement opportunities focused on making a desired impact in the mind–and behavior–of the audience. An IMC Touchpoint is what’s going to create the reaction and call to action.
Different marketing communication methods lend themselves to particular stages of the AIDA model, push vs. pull strategies, and ways of interacting with customers.
- Advertising is particularly well-suited to awareness-building but is a costly option.
- Public relations activities are often for generating interest, educating prospective supporters and sharing stories that create a desire for the organization. Similarly, experiential events can create memorable opportunities to interact with the cause, organization, and community.
- Personal selling typically focused on at later stages of a developed organization, solidifying desire and stimulating action.
- Sales promotions, depending on their design, can be focused at any step of the AIDA model. For consumer products, they often focus on point-of-sale touchpoints to induce buying.
- Direct marketing can also be focused at any step of the AIDA model, depending on the design. It is often used to generate interest, providing information or an offer that motivates prospective supporters to dig a little deeper and learn more.
- Digital marketing offers a plethora of tools that can be deployed at any stage of the AIDA model. Paid digital ads, search optimization, and social media word-of-mouth all support awareness-building and generating interest. Blogs, newsletters, digital case studies, and customer testimonials can be powerful tools for stoking desire. How the website engages customers through the purchasing process is key to persuading prospects to become customers.
- Guerrilla marketing, like digital marketing, can be designed to impact any stage of the AIDA model. It is often used by newcomers for awareness-building, to make an impact in a new market. Marketers also use it frequently for engaging experiential activities that solidify desire and create an emotional bond with the consumer.
Within each of the seven methods listed above to employ a touchpoint, are a diverse number of tools to get your desired awareness. Here are some more examples:
- Display Ads (billboards, posters, flyers etc.)
- Online & Mobile Ads (banner ads, search ads, pay-per-click ads etc.)
- Media Relations
- Influencer/Analyst Relations
- Publications and Thought Leadership
- Events and Fundraisers
- Award Programs
- Crisis Management
- Sweepstakes or contests
- Loyalty programs
- Point-of-purchase displays
- Sales presentations
- Addressing objections
- Field selling
- Retail selling
- Door-to-door selling
- Consultative selling
- Reference selling
- Physical mail
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Instant Messaging Marketing
- Undercover, or stealth marketing
- Flash mobs
- Publicity stunts
- Treasure hunts
- Slam events
Determining the Promotional Mix
Once marketers have selected marketing communications methods, the next step is to decide which specific tools to employ, when, and how much. IMC programs are very powerful when they layer communication channels and methods upon one another—it’s an approach that amplifies and reinforces the message. Below is a list of tactics & tools to use for specific campaign strategies:
|Well-suited IMC Tactics, Tools
|Social Media, Events and Fundraisers, Guerrilla Marketing Efforts
|Word-of-Mouth Recommendations, Viral Sharing, Social Media
|Brand Community, Social Media, Events and Fundraisers, Sales Promotions, Viral Sharing
|Public Relations, Thought Leadership Activities, Personal Selling
|Case Studies, Testimonials, Comparisons, Free Trials, Samples/Swag
|Advertising, Thought Leadership Activities, Public Relations, Website, and Other Content Marketing
|Testimonials, Guerrilla Marketing, Events and Fundraisers, Advertising, Case Studies
|Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Personal Selling
This page contains material taken from:
Lumen Candela. (2016). Determining IMC Objectives and Approach. Retrieved from Lumen Learning: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/marketing-spring2016/chapter/reading-determining-imc-objectives-and-approach/