When I started college in 2016, I had no idea what I wanted to study or what I wanted my future career to be. I considered majoring in Business Marketing, but felt that my specific, creative skillset would not be effectively utilized in the business school – after all, I’d have to take multiple Statistics courses. While jumping from major to major during my Freshman year, I stumbled upon a program in the Department of Communication that I soon discovered to be the future of marketing.
Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is a marketing process with the modern, seemingly omnipresent consumer in mind. Today’s consumer differs from audiences of the past in a couple of different ways: they have a shorter attention span, access to a myriad of digital and physical mediums and are constantly bombarded with branded content. Here at Babcox Media, we utilize IMC to meet the audience where they are – whether that’s through magazines for the old-school, print-loving audience, podcasts for the audio learners in the group, or various social media platforms for the newest generation of consumers. Without IMC practices, any one of these consumer demographics could be left behind, potentially losing a key opportunity for revenue growth.
For us as marketers, brand managers and content creators, adopting an IMC approach means re-evaluating the way we produce content. Gone are the days that content is painstakingly written, edited and sent out to print a couple times a month. Today, while the written form remains a force to be reckoned with through email newsletters and blogs (such as the one you are reading right this very moment!), many audiences prefer quick video content released frequently, thanks to YouTube and TikTok.
While in a perfect world, we could target every member of every audience using blogs, social media, articles, podcasts, webinars, etc., resources are finite. In order to determine which platforms are stimulating the most growth, and are therefore worth our precious time, energy and money, IMC uses data analytics (I couldn’t get away from Statistics even though I tried) to prioritize channels of marketing. I am including this analytical aspect of IMC to provide additional proof of the collaborative nature of the field … an integration of creative endeavors. Video production and design works in tandem with engagement metrics, trend-spotting and strategic planning to create the ultimate form of modern marketing. With this integration, the consumer doesn’t have to search long to learn and digest the most important information. By using consistent and relevant messaging across channels, the consumer knows they came to the right place and can find whatever information they’re looking for.
As an Integrated Marketing Communications student, I took courses in branding, video-production, journalism, public relations, graphic design and consumer research. The variety in thought and discipline reflected in our curriculum perfectly encapsulates the core values of the field: creativity, collaboration and innovation. Try including IMC endeavors in your next marketing campaign to see how it can improve the performance of your content and marketing strategy.