How to do: IMC Planning

First of all what is IMC

It is shorthand for Integrated Marketing Campaign.

There will be people who will try and convince you saying that you only need to do social media marketing, others that advertising is all that is needed and so on.

But in reality there is never a one-stop shop when it comes to sending out your marketing messages. You will have different stakeholders, buyer personas and members of the decision-making unit. You may have channel partners (distributors / resellers) that you need to market too as well.

Different messages, same overall message

So, you need different messages to different audiences with different delivery methods, but there also needs to be commonality so that they obviously hang together as one campaign. That could be done via a graphic identity – certain characters appear whether on the web, tv advert or printed piece – think Compare The Market and their meerkats.

It could be a strapline, for example if you have a solution that makes paperwork compliance easier for a new exporter then you may have a strapline of Export Without Fear. For the finance team that is without fear of fines or incorrect tariffs which are larger. For the operations team that is without fear of delays at borders. For the government it is a tool that helps to improve the balance of payments and helps them to discourage fear of the unknown for companies thinking about exporting.

So that strapline can be used across various targets and stakeholders and across many different marketing methods.

How to do the actual planning

  1. Know what your budget is and what your objectives are from the campaign – how do these two fit against each other
  2. Decide the campaign commonality. There are some B2B companies that have a theme of the year so that everything that they do hangs off the top-level theme. Finding that commonality is often the most time-consuming bit – but get it right and it will make your life easier in hitting your objectives. Do not overcomplicate it, the best campaigns are the ones that appear so obvious – but how many times do we overlook the obvious in our lives? Examine what are the day-to-day issues are that your offering solves for each of your buyer personas or elements of your DMU. When you go through these you will have several issues, but which is the most frequent, which gives the best options for characters, tune (think Intel notes) or strapline.
  3. Draw up a calendar of activities – which social platform, when, what adverts and when, any direct mail, any e-mail, when are the key PR elements being issued, any events that form part of the campaign, the sales enablement tools that are needed and when.

Example marketing calendar:

Simplified IMC calendar

  1. Make sure that you have the relevant marketing automation nurturing programmes in place before the campaign starts.
  2. Schedule regular reviews to see if the campaign needs tweaking at all – is it being too successful? Is it falling flat on its face? Do the channel partners get it – if not what to do about that?
  3. At the end of campaign have a frank debrief so that the next campaign is even better!

If you need any help with your campaign planning just drop us a line or give us a call.

 

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