As with everything in life, the way in which marketers communicate is changing. The newest generation of consumers are forcing marketers to transform their old methods of communication to fit new trends in communication. The combination of the old and new communications models used by marketers today is referred to as the integrated marketing communications model.
New Marketing Communications
There are three main factors that have changed from the past that are urging the adoption of a new marketing communications model:
- Changing consumers
- Changing marketing strategies
- Advances in communications technology
A fantastic example of a company that has seen a major resurgence in sales due to the adoption of an integrated marketing mix is Old Spice. I will be referencing the company throughout this post as I have composed a group presentation on Old Spice and the Integrated Marketing Communications Mix.
As the generations proceed on, the identities of the consumers are also adapting. Consumers are becoming more informed and concerned about the products they are buying, which makes marketers’ jobs all the more difficult. As opposed to the past methods of “relying on marketer supplied information, [consumers] can use the Internet and other technologies to find information on their own” (Kotler & Armstrong, 2012). With the excess of information that consumers have accessible to them, it is easy for them to form their own marketing messages. For example, while gathering information for my group presentation, I found it very easy to access information the both positively and negatively defined Old Spice as a company. With the vast array of information that is easily accessible through the Internet, I as a consumer was able to form my own personal message about Old Spice that the marketers for the company may not have wanted me to form.
Changing Marketing Strategies
Due to the ability to directly target certain segments of the public, marketers are moving away from the mass marketing tactic. Instead, marketers are focused on forming direct connections and relationships with their customers to ensure that they are targeting the consumers who will buy their products.
Advancing Communication Technology
Finally, the most impactful change to the marketing communications model is the changing technology that is available and appropriate for marketers to use. The increase of use and innovation in technology is forcing marketers to step up their game and also giving them the opportunity to more easily transmit their messages.
As a company that was founded 1938, Old Spice has seen every technology trend that there is. With a need to revamp its marketing tactics to accommodate the new consumers and trends, Old Spice took to social media campaigns, and the creation of its customized Facebook and Twitter pages. The increase in social media advertising has lead to deeper connections with consumers and a new generation of consumers who spend their free time blogging, Tweeting, and updating their status.
Although the presence of television marketing was not new, the company revamped their advertisements to bring in a new target market who value quick and ridiculous commercials such as this one:
Before the company adopted the obscure commercials I always thought of Old Spice as a deodorant for my father and grandfather. Increasing their presence in the social media and internet commercial atmospheres transformed Old Spice from an “old man’s brand” to a new and hip brand of hygiene products that all of my friends (and myself) use due to the use of different forms of marketing technology. The new advertising technologies form connections with the consumers that encourage them to become their own advocates of the brand.
Integrating Marketing Communications
As previously stated, Integrated Marketing communications (IMC) is the culmination of many different communication channels to deliver messages that consumers interpret as clear, consistent, and compelling. Solely focusing on the old or new methods of communication will drive marketers to limit their audiences, whereas a combination of the two can reach a diverse consumer base. One of the most challenging aspects of a marketer’s job is to ensure that all of the channels convey the same message about the company and the products that it is offering. Below is a graphic that shows the promotion tools that are used in IMC:
Old Spice maintains consistency in the message that is portrayed in all of their promotion tools. The television commercials and print advertisements are obscure, quick, and often ridiculous. Similarly, the custom Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and company website are colorful and very crowded maintaining the same consistent image for the new approach the company is taking. The companies Public Relations revolve around sporting events that also promote its manly image. Also, its sales promotions convey a similar image as they consist of the “Holiday Swagger Gift Set” and similar bundles that help support its ability to turn a man into the man they want to be. After wandering my way around all the websites and even going to stores to look at the actual products themselves, I was able to pull the same message from every method Old Spice uses: Wearing Old Spice makes you smell like a man. Old Spice takes into account every avenue that I, as a consumer can get my hands on.
A further explanation of how Old Spice adapts to the communication process and develops effective marketing communication with the consumers can be viewed in the group presentation that my group members and I put together.