Modern society currently relies heavily on communications. Even brands and organizations need to connect with their target markets now more than ever. Communications allow bonds between relevant stakeholders to be created and strengthened through effective strategies.
Some communications platforms still heavily in use today include print, radio, mobile phone, television, and the Internet. As most of us use these and encounter content on these platforms on a daily basis, you would be amiss to not maximize your brand presence across all touchpoints.
One way to ensure effective communication across all relevant media touchpoints is through Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). IMC ensures that your brand’s messages are conveyed through different channels and remain consistent, cohesive, and relevant to your audience. These messages, received through a combination of promotional tools and media, would be understood easily and, ideally, comprehended the same way.
Some might not see how vital it is for every organization to employ communications and communications strategies, so let’s explore a few reasons:
1. Communications help inform the organization’s audience
Communications bring important, relevant information to the organization’s intended audience. With the right and latest information, people can plan their days (or even future months) and make decisions, from what new product they should try to what they should do in a crisis to secure their safety.
For brands and organizations, effectively utilizing IMC means keeping their audience updated with promotions and news regarding their products and services.
Informing your audience about developments that might cause them inconvenience also falls in the realm of proper communications that can make or break audience trust. Telco companies like Globe and PLDT/Smart, for example, send text messages to their users and create social media posts days in advance to inform of scheduled maintenance periods. While the maintenance can cause some trouble, users would at least be able to prepare and find other options, better than being caught unaware.
2. It aids in building brand trust
Keeping your audience informed and ensuring your brand messages are unified also aid in establishing and reinforcing brand trust and brand image. This can compel your market to continue supporting your brand.
Good communications can demonstrate how organizations care for its audience and market. With IMC, your business can show how you’ve taken different customers’ channel preferences in mind to make sure the message gets directly to them. Users may be more inclined to trust companies that have shown a history of considering consumers’ concerns by informing them early, as opposed to being informed on short notice or not being informed at all.
3. It is vital for receiving constructive feedback
A special, important feature of several communication channels, especially online ones such as social media or websites, is the provided ability for users to publicly respond to organizations’ posted content and send private messages.
We can easily see this through everyday interactions on platforms like Facebook. A single click on a post and a little scrolling can lead us to see what people think of the post’s content, whether they find it helpful, amusing, annoying, or even harmful.
These tools, through reactions/likes, replies, direct messaging, and accessible metrics, can help brands and organizations see what their audience may think of current services, campaigns, and/or products during, or even before, the early stages of their implementation. In turn, this can help organizations make improvements to these products and services. Two-way communication like feedback is truly indispensable for brands.
4. At the heart of it, it helps brands communicate directly with your market
Another popular feature of digital communication channels is direct messaging and/or phone calls, enabling users to voice their inquiries and concerns in detail. This is also utilized by IMC through direct marketing, where information is sent through direct communication.
This is also widely used across different social media platforms, considering how easily accessible it is. In fact, a 2016 survey reveals that 90% of participants preferred using social media to communicate directly with brands and organizations. The same survey also suggests that when organizations and brands respond to direct inquiries or reach out to them, 70% are more likely to use the service/product, and 65% would have brand loyalty.
Direct marketing through these channels also guarantees that messages reach your target market, translating to the higher success of campaigns, products, and/or services. These would also offer more personalization, encouraging the customer to be more involved in the conversation and form a bond with the organization.
5. It avoids the risks of conflicting information
Effective utilization of communications and IMC can also help avoid the dire consequences of conflicting and incorrect information.
Information, as mentioned earlier, is needed to create plans and make educated decisions. With conflicting information due to miscommunication or a lack of communication altogether, an organization’s audience ends up getting confused, consequently leading to a possible variety of negative outcomes.
Sending conflicting information can also lead to a loss of credibility and trust in the organization. We can see this as some kind of a “Boy who Cried Wolf” situation; people are less likely to believe a source they have already considered unreliable, even when the messages being sent are factual and correct. This can have the organization’s audience feel like they aren’t valued, drawing them to competitors.
Considering all these, it’s easy to see how important it is for information to be communicated effectively and correctly and for organizations to utilize efficient communications strategies such as IMC. Having professionals on board can help keep this process straightforward so that your business can focus on what it was truly meant to do.
IMC can help communicate your message in a way that is unified, clear, and convincing through a variety of tools. NGP-IMC can help you meet your integrated communications needs through personalized, purposeful, and effective communications strategies.