Integrated Marketing Communication & Social Media

Instructor: April Ray

April has taught college communication courses for over eight years and has a master's degree in Media Communication.

In this lesson, we will identify what integrated marketing communication (IMC) is and how businesses can use it effectively. We will also take a look at how social media can be utilized in an IMC plan.

Low Sales

You are a retail manager at Pebble Paradise, a popular clothing store. You have noticed that the store is beginning to struggle. The customer shopping does not seem to be increasing when the store is showcasing sales and deals. As the manager, you cannot understand why consumers in the region are not coming to take advantage of the sales. You make a call to consult with the company regional manager regarding this issue, and he schedules to meet with you right away.

Integrated Marketing Communication

When the regional manager meets you at the store, he identifies the need for integrated marketing communication (IMC). He defines IMC as the use of many forms of communication to reach a target audience. He insists that IMC is more than just using the traditional forms of marketing communication. Recall that traditional marketing methods, such as coupons and mailings, are still being used, but as the manager, you begin to see that it would be necessary to add different methods of communicating with the clients to raise sales. The regional manager reassures you that using multiple forms of communication to market Pebble Paradise clothing to a variety of consumers will boost sales. He particularly focuses on using social media, an Internet-based networking communication tool, to communicate products and sales to consumers. You begin to wonder, 'What is social media, and how can I use it for the store?'

IMC Chart

Using Social Media in Marketing

You ask the regional manager how social media can be used by Pebbles Paradise for marketing purposes. He presents possibilities of using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote the Pebbles Paradise brand. He informs you that using common social media tools will allow you to connect with the consumers in a familiar way. Social media connections will help shoppers recognize and bond to the brand using one of their favorite technological communication tools. He then begins to outline several strong benefits of using social media in an IMC plan for the store.

Social Media

Advantages of Social Media Marketing

The regional manager continues to identify several benefits of using social media to connect with customers. 'Consumers already use many of these social media tools, so it allows us to connect with them using technology they are already using,' he states. Additionally, he reveals how social media will allow Pebble Paradise to connect with not just one consumer, but with whoever shares like interests. He reports, 'Social media connects people with similar interests. When someone hits 'like' or responds to one of our social media posts, their friends will see it. This makes it more likely that we can spread the word to others about our brand.' As he continues, he outlines another benefit of using images in Pebble Paradise social media marketing posts. One of the best ways to promote a clothing line is through images of the products. As he finishes, you realize that social media allows any brand or business to directly and quickly communicate sales and deals to consumers. As he wraps up the meeting, he says, 'The use of social media in an IMC is beneficial to any business marketing campaign, but it is important to consider other effects as well.'

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