What is Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)
Becoming a professional communicator isn’t as straightforward as it was in the past. With the rise of social and digital media, this means different audiences are interacting with brands in more than one way. Ultimately, “communication” means something different today than it did 20 years ago in the brand-consumer relationship. This is where the use of IMC puts a brand ahead of its competitors.
Integrated marketing communications, or IMC as we like to call it, simply put is when all the different communication tools of an organization are united in sharing the same message. A longer definition created by the WVU IMC faculty is "a strategic, collaborative and promotional business function through which a targeted audience senses consistent, persuasive and reinforcing brand messaging."
In other words, IMC is your public relations, your advertising, your marketing, your social media and your internal and external communications all saying the same thing. This creates consistency every time someone interacts with your brand.
How to Make an IMC Campaign
Now that we know what IMC is, you may be wondering how to create an IMC campaign. With so many aspects to IMC, it may seem hard to pin down, but like all good plans, start with the most important thing — research.
Research is your first step to success. This will tell you what your brand needs and who they should be talking to. To do this, you can use your company’s data that you have access to, or you can use the internet and apply what you learn to what you already know about your company. Once you know what you need and who you’re talking to, you can move on to steps like:
- SMART objectives
- Budget plan
- Picking your channels of communication
- Ensuring each element is of the same message
With this plan, you can create an IMC campaign for any brand or organization.
Careers in IMC
So now that you’ve learned what IMC is and how to create a campaign, let’s take a look at some job titles and positions in the world of integrated marketing communications. There’s a wide range of careers possible for IMC graduates from entry-level to senior positions, so here’s just a sample:
- Marketing Manager
- Data Analyst
- Account Executive
- Social Media Manager
- Marketing and Events Coordinator
- Creative Director
- Media Planner
- Brand Manager
- Director of Marketing and Communications
- VP of Marketing
- Chief Marketing Officer
No matter where your career takes you, a degree in IMC sets you up for success by teaching you about multiple areas and specialties, and it provides you a skillset that allows for career transitions and pivots along the way. Ready to get started? Check out our M.S. IMC program to learn more.
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Meet the Author
Marketing and Events Graduate Service Assistant
Emma is a marketing and events graduate assistant in the Marketing Communications Online Programs through the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is a graduate student at WVU and involved in PRSSA and AWSM. She could always talk about what she made in her kitchen for this week and her favorite sports! Bitten by the travel bug, she loves to travel whenever she has a few days to take an adventure.
Marketing Communications Today is a collection of resources for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Learn industry insights through the Marketing Communications Today blog, podcast, as well as Integrate Online.Subscribe to get the Latest Trends in Your Inbox