Hosting a Thanksgiving meal is an intricate process. With multiple dishes and specific requests from family members, it takes a lot of planning to create the meal of the season. While you work hard in the kitchen, you may notice that your dinner preparation looks a lot like some of your IMC/DMC homework…
Parts of an IMC Campaign as Your Thanksgiving Feast
The Table Setting: Planning
Everyone has a specific job when it comes to setting the table, whether it be designing the centerpiece or simply placing silverware. To have the best set up for your Thanksgiving dinner, a plan of who is in charge of what needs to be in place. The table setting is like the initial project planning stages of an IMC campaign. Clients provide specific requests, then account managers delegate tasks and deadlines. Careful planning ensures everything can be delivered to the client, or hungry relatives, on time and while it’s still hot.
Meal Planning: Research
Whether it’s surfing Pinterest, or paging through old family cookbooks, planning your Thanksgiving meal takes a lot of research, like the background for your campaign. Research should be hyper-focused, based on the desires of your consumers, or your family members who are picky eaters. Utilizing credible resources, you are bound to find information and recipes that will guide the creation of a standout menu.
The Plates: Budget
The size of your plate defines how much food you can handle in one serving, much like how an IMC campaign is confined to the limitations of its budget. Planning out how much space, or money, will go to each tactic is critical to success. Overextend your budget, or overfill your plate, and your entire plan could spill over and need a massive cleanup effort. Avoid needing a crisis communication plan and budget according to the resources, or plate space, available.
The Turkey: Insight
The main dish. The turkey is much like the insight derived from your research. It's the center of your meal, to which you base the rest of your menu decision. IMC campaigns derive an insight from research to drive the rest of your tactic planning, much like how you cook your turkey can determine your sides.
The Bread: Owned Media
Stuffing, rolls and so many more options, how you serve your bread is up to you. You can serve your bread in any way that you like, much like how you can control your owned media platforms. Everyone always goes for a side of bread, like everyone uses social media, so don’t be afraid to use multiple platforms or have rolls and stuffing!
The Potatoes: Paid Media
Potatoes are an extremely versatile food. Based on your target audience, or family preferences, you can change the recipe to connect with their tastes. This is similar to how you must tailor each paid media pitch to the specific interests of different outlets. Mashed, baked or fried, at the end of the day, the dish is still potatoes, just like your pitch should always be about your brand at its core.
The Cranberry Sauce and Gravy: The Creative
This portion is where you can turn your basic Thanksgiving meal into an explosion of flavors. After you’ve established staples, completed the research and planned your menu of objectives, add something extra to your efforts. For a thanksgiving meal, cranberry sauce and gravy give the chef creative freedom to add new flavors to classic dishes. In an IMC campaign, creative strategists get to take hard data and turn it into entertaining, eye-catching messaging by adding their flare to consumer insights.
The Pumpkin Pie: Evaluation and Measurement
Dessert, arguably the best part of a Thanksgiving meal. The coffee is poured, and the pie is cut, making this the best time to reflect fondly on the massive meal you just ate and the company surrounding you. The pumpkin pie is the campaign evaluation. Whether it’s a consumer survey or asking a family member what their favorite part of dinner was, this is where we collect and review feedback.
More About Emily:
Emily Zekonis ( @EmilyZekonis) is a graduate student studying Integrated Marketing Communications with an Area of Emphasis in Management. She is from the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania. She holds a BSJ in Strategic Communications with an area of emphasis in Public Relations from West Virginia University. Follow along with her graduate adventures on the Marketing Communications Today blog.
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