Making an Integrated Marketing Communication Effort

Making an Integrated Marketing Communications EffortIntegrated Marketing Communication (IMC) is “the concept under which a company carefully integrates and coordinates its many communication channels to deliver a clear, consistent message”, according to the marketing guru Philip Kotler.

If a company fails to integrate its marketing effort, it can lead to conflicting messages – and this adds up to a confused and inconsistent image, which can create a feeling of anxiety and distrust among the audience. Since the majority of companies are starting to move their marketing efforts online as well, it is therefore important to keep this field in line with the offline activities.

When establishing a presence on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., these platforms need to be integrated in the overall strategy of the company and be in alignment with the image of the business. The keyword here is consistency. In addition, useful information – and of course creating dialogue – is a part of maintaining customers and creating an even broader network.

In this context, there are some specific keywords that you can keep in mind and give some thought before pitching in on different social networks. Pulling your communication efforts together is a crucial element, so keep in mind these 4 C’s of IMC:

Make sure you are always sending out the same message. Don’t contradict yourself! That can make you lose credibility.

Be aware of your entire communication process through different channels. All information should be a part of your overall strategy to ensure alignment.

As well as coordinating messages to be consistent and coherent, you must also keep in mind that every channel needs to be monitored – and this should be done on a regular basis to keep up continuity.

Lastly, you need to think of how your communication effort come together, so that when the complementary synergy you create overall can exceed any effort.

Keeping these keywords in mind, you’re one step closer to building stronger relationships with your customers. You just need to take your time, and maintain a constant and thought-through effort.

Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.