Measuring the Effectiveness of Integrated Marketing Communication Campaigns
Measuring the Effectiveness of IMC Campaigns
This essay is about the measures used in monitoring the effectiveness of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) campaigns. An introduction about the IMC is presented at the first part to give a background to the reader. On the middle part, specific measures for each of the seven main elements of modern promotion is discussed to give recommendation on what measures is to be used in the case of Adidas. The reasons behind the choice are also given, as well as the budget to be allotted for the said evaluation. Further uses of the said evaluation results are also presented, to end the discussion.
The Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)
IMC is considered to be the major communications development of the last decade of the twentieth century. Most organizations even proclaim it as the key competitive advantage of marketing. The Integration of Communications, like anything else, attempts on combining, integrating, and synergizing the different elements of the promotional mix. Its goal is for the messages to look, sound, and feel alike to the consumers, despite the differences of the mixture of mechanisms used in relaying the messages to its consumers.
IMC emerged and grew as a result of different factors. First is the movement of the marketing budget below the line, moving away from the mass media advertising. Second are the media explosion and its accompanying fragmentation. Third factor is the demassification and splintering of the market. Fourth is the emergence of the niche and unitary markets, as well as its greater segmentation. The revolution in the information technology, which is still sweeping the world, is the fifth factor. The sixth to eleventh factor are the following: (6) More development of, easier access to, and usage of huge consumer databases that effectively underpin marketing communication of all types; (7) The importance of reinforcing consumer loyalty thru relationship marketing; (8) The importance of building and increasing a brand’s image based equity; (9) The recognition of the brand as the primary driver of corporate success; (10) The development and diffusion of digital technology; and lastly, (11) The spread of multinationalization and globalism, supported by economic and political means.
IMC was here, although the emphasis was on making it effective, rather on what it was. In the year 1990s, a set of studies, most of which are with ad agencies, showed and proved that IMC, in fact, is really effective. It increased the impact of communications, made the creative ideas even more effective, and provided greater consistency on communication. In addition, it also improved the client return on communication investment.
Therefore, another definition for IMC is
that it is a new approach to marketing communications planning being driven by
technology, customers, consumers, and by the organizational desire of allocating
its finite resources properly. IMC is still an emerging discipline and
integration. It is considered as the transition between the old historical
product-driven, outbound marketing systems versus the marketplace of the
twenty-first century, characterized as being the new information-driven,
interactive consumer focused.
The Seven Main Elements of Modern Promotion
The seven main elements of the modern promotion relates to the IMC concept. Each element has to be consistently coordinated and juxtaposed thru the different medias, in order for consumers to perceive the messages as one message. This is irrespective of the form or media used. The only important element is for communication, via any or all of the promotional mix elements, which then need to be integrated.
Advertising can be a powerful tool within the overall marketing communications mix. It is a dynamic and constantly evolving sector, faced with numerous challenges brought about by the new competitive world of technology. And due to this fact, new means of evaluation for its relative value of contribution towards the overall effectiveness of its communication needs to be found.
There are many available techniques in assessing the effectiveness of the advertisement on communicating its intended message, even before the ad is actually shown to the public. Pre-testing is one, in which it identifies the effectiveness of a given advertisement, although it does not guarantee its success in the marketplace. Adidas can implement this, as this is the most common measure used by companies. It will further save the company through the avoidance of huge spending on unproductive advertisements.
Promotion campaigns can be evaluated through a number of methods and measurements. First is the analysis of the sales data and information from the registered purchases. Comparisons between the pre-promotion period, promotion period, and the post-promotion period can also be conducted, as well as the evolutions in sales, market shares, trial, repeat purchases, increased penetration on market, differences by region, etc. In addition, redemption rates can also be calculated for the coupon campaign. Consumer surveys, on the other hand, is a way to test how and to what extent does the consumer recalls, likes, and intends to benefit from the coupons, extra volume, or premiums. It also measures how promotion campaign affects the brand image, as well as the longer-term buying intentions and behavior of its consumer. Experiments can also be designed to pre-test the variety of promotion schemes. This can be done thru variations of incentive value, type of incentive, and the distribution and/or advertising media used in finding the most effective among the different types of promotions. Lastly, a sales force feedback can be utilized to give the manufacturer an idea about the impact of trade promotions. All of these measures can be used by Adidas since they have enough budget for it, and it has a lot of advantages on their part. The final choice regarding the combinations and the specific allotment for each, now depends on the management‘s discretion.
Direct marketing is one of the communication tools in which its effectiveness can be easily measured. The purchasing trends, as well as the differences between the buying behavior of customer segments and even individual customers, can be tracked in detail, using the database information as its basis. And, if integrated with the information on timing and the measured effects of marketing campaigns, it can answer a series of interesting questions. This includes questions on the buyers’ purchasing frequency and the specific item he is inclined to buy the most, as well as the budget allocated for that purchase. It can also answer questions regarding the effects of their latest sales promotion campaign, as well as matters on customer base and the like.
The number of responses in relation to the number of direct mails sent, or the number of orders relative to the total response can be calculated within days or weeks after the campaign. Similar thing can be done with the telemarketing campaign or direct response ad. Thru the counting of the number of orders, calculation of their monetary value, and analysis of the customers that placed an order, the assessment of the result of the mail order catalogue campaign is made possible. Pre-tests can also be done prior to the execution of the campaign. One of which is the list testing, where the mail is sent to a random sub-sample of the database that the marketer intends to use. Another is the offer made, which is one of the key success factors in a direct marketing campaign. In addition to this, the creative execution, as well as the copy of a mail or direct response ad, can also be tested. There is also the need for the assessment of the optimal frequency of direct marketing campaigns for various target groups. This is in response to the problem against the loss of valuable opportunities.
Marketing Public Relations (MPR)
Standard measurements such as recall, awareness, comprehension, or measurements on attitudes can be used whenever proactive MPR is implemented. Take this as an example: after a major MPR-originated news story has appeared, recall of the story and its key points (coupled with correct brand identification) could be measured. After the running of the MPR activity, measurements on the attitude changes towards an organization or a particular product, can now proceed. However, similar to the advertising, there are certain time lags between the MPR activity and the actual sales.
The effectiveness of sponsorship campaigns are the most difficult in terms of its measurement. Despite that fact, there is still the need for its measurement. One way of measuring its effectiveness is thru the exposure of the target groups relative to the sponsor’s brand. This can be done by the registration of the frequency of the exposure of the sponsor’s brand to the members of the target groups. Next is the measurement of the communication effects of the campaign. The main goal here is to gather relative facts, like how many people are aware of the brand before and after the event, and the like. Feedback of participating groups can also be sought by interviewing the event participants. Lastly, examination of the development undergone by the sales and market shares, is another way of the assessment of the sponsorship campaign’s effectiveness.
One of the basic types of measurement for this is the asking for feedback at the website. This can be done by leaving a contact e-mail address or insertion of a form specifically designed for feedbacks. Second are to conduct online or offline surveys. Although more complicated compared to the first, it can gather a lot of information about the customer, like his status, attitudes, satisfactions, and intentions. This information can also be further use for optimization of the website, in terms of information content, service, navigation characteristics, ease of interaction and transaction, as well as the building of customer relationships. Log-file analysis is also useful in terms of tracking and analyzing the behavior of the web surfers. Cookies, on the other hand are used in analyzing website traffics. The effectiveness of online advertising and sales promotion can also be measured thru the number of click-troughs generated, number of interactions effectuated, or the redemption rates of e-coupons.
A Recency-Frequency-Monetary Value (RFM) model is used to measure the effectiveness of relationship marketing. Three indicators are monitored for each customer, using this approach. They are the time elapsed since the last purchase, the frequency of the placing of orders by customers, and the average amount of money spent by a customer per purchase. For each variable, a number of categories can be defined, as well as the target group, using past experiences together with the response rates of different categories, as their basis.
If the $1 million budget is allotted for the IMC campaigns alone, then it is reasonable and just to spend the whole budget for that purpose. Besides, the benefits of the said measures are advantage for the company’s part. They can further use the evaluation results for other purposes, like as a basis for the improvement of their service, as well as to remain competitive in the market industry.
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