While integrated marketing communication might seem like a complicated business term, when you break it down into its parts, you find that it’s not difficult to comprehend. Basically, IMC is a way of getting all the various components of your business to work together to develop and promote a salable product or service.
There are four basic types of integrated marketing communication: external, internal, horizontal and vertical. By taking these different elements together to form a marketing strategy, your business will be able to achieve whatever goals you’ve set for it in an efficient manner.
External marketing integration takes place when your company deals with outside sources. These sources can be advertising/marketing agencies or public relations firms. If you’re developing a product or a service, keeping the lines of communication open with the people you’re going to use to get your message out to the world is important.
Internal marketing integration means that you strive to keep your employees excited about any new developments that the company is involved in. Naturally, if you’re going to introduce a new product, you won’t want the workers to reveal details prematurely, but by generating excitement among your own people, that excitement gets transmitted to others outside the company.
Horizontal integration is important when it comes to actual development of the product or service. You’re going to want your distribution team talking to your production team and the production team talking to your financing team. By making sure that the lines of communication stay open, you’ll find your business flowing more smoothly than if certain groups are kept out of the loop.
If you focus on vertical integration, you’ll find that the product or service that you’re working on will fit in with the corporate policy and structure of the company. By making sure that the product or service is aligned with the company's mission, you should have a leg up on developing a seamless production plan.
Finally, when you take all of the different types of integrated marketing and have your product developed, you’ll have the information you need to present your product to customers. By engaging in advertising, and through the judicious use of public relations, you’ll be able to apply sales tools to create a successful product campaign.