Don Schultz quote on IMC

This quote from Don Schultz is the perfect summary of Integrated Marketing Communciations (IMC). Then again, he did invent the concept.

“Integrated Marketing Communications… ensures that all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked together… At its most basic level… it means integrating all the promotional tools so that they work together in harmony.”

I’ll admit it. I came across this quotation – hell, the entire concept or IMC – years after I’d been using what I used to call a micro-strategy planning spreadsheet that culminated in all the comms channels we would or could use.
It was gratifying to see I was following a strategy other folks thought was a good idea too.

IMC is common-sense in many ways, but it’s not done. We’ll promote this today. Like this. Then tomorrow, we’ll promote that. In a different way. IMC is harder to implement if you have multiple people/teams handling your comms: web, email, social, etc. And when they’re spread over time. Or geographies. Do they all conform?

People don’t set out to be inconsistent or unintegrated. But unless there’s a check sheet, a process, that stops you being inconsistent, it happens anyway. Think of IMC as a stylesheet like you have for web pages and documents; headings, capitalisation, spacing before headings, size of images, etc. That’s how IMC applies to SMEs as well as enterprises.

You especially have to consider IMC if you’re spreading your campaigns across multiple channels. Take a look at Analytics Partners data about the benefits of multi-channels.

Mark Ritson puts it a different way. He says a + b > 2a or 2b. He means doing a and b is more effective than doing twice as much a or twice as much b. I’d add ½ a + ½ b <= a or b. I mean that if you split your budget too small it has no effect in any channel. The trick is knowing what’s “too small”.