Setting Objectives for the IMC Program

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One reason so much attention is given to advertising objectives is that for many companies advertising has traditionally been the major way of communicating with target audiences. Other promotional mix elements such as sales promotion, direct marketing, and publicity are used intermittently to support and complement the advertising program.

Another reason is that traditional advertising-based views of marketing communications planning, such as DAGMAR, have dominated the field for so long. These approaches are based on a hierarchical response model and consider how marketers can develop and disseminate advertising messages to move consumers along an effects path. This approach, shown in Figure 7-7, is what professor Don Schultz calls inside-out planning. He says, "It focuses on what the marketer wants to say, when the marketer wants to say it, about things the marketer believes are important about his or her brand, and in the media forms the marketer wants to use."25

Schultz advocates an outside-in planning process for IMC that starts with the customer and builds backward to the brand. This means that promotional planners study the various media customers and prospects use, when the marketer's messages might be most relevant to customers, and when they are likely to be most receptive to the message.

A similar approach is suggested by Professor Tom Duncan, who argues that IMC should use zero-based communications planning, which involves determining what tasks need to be done and which marketing communications functions should be used and to what extent.26 This approach focuses on the task to be done and searches for the best ideas and media to accomplish it. Duncan notes that as with a traditional advertising campaign, the basis of an IMC campaign is a big idea. However, in IMC the big idea can be public relations, direct response, packaging, or sales promotion. Duncan suggests that an effective IMC program should lead with the marketing communications function that most effectively addresses the company's main problem or opportunity and should use a promotional mix that draws on the strengths of whichever communications functions relate best to the particular situation.

Many of the considerations for determining advertising objectives are relevant to setting goals for other elements of the integrated marketing communications program.


Figure 7-7 Traditional advertising-based view of marketing communications

Advertising through the media

Attitudes Knowledge Preference Conviction

Attitudes Knowledge Preference Conviction

Purchase behavior

Acting on consumers


Belch: Advertising and I IV. Objectives and I 7. Establishing Objectives I I © The McGraw-Hill

Promotion, Sixth Edition Budgeting for Integrated and Budgeting for the Companies, 2003

Marketing Promotional Program Communications Programs

The promotional planner should determine what role various sales promotion techniques, publicity and public relations, direct marketing, and personal selling will play in the overall marketing program and how they will interact with advertising as well as with one another.

For example, the marketing communications program for the San Diego Zoological Society has a number of objectives. First, it must provide funding for the society's programs and maintain a large and powerful base of supporters for financial and political strength. The program must educate the public about the society's various programs and maintain a favorable image on a local, regional, national, and even international level. A major objective of the IMC program is drawing visitors to the two attractions (Exhibit 7-9).

To achieve these objectives, the San Diego Zoological Society and its advertising agency developed an IMC program. As can be seen in Figure 7-8, this program employed a variety of integrated marketing communication tools. When setting objectives for these promotional elements, planners must consider what the firm hopes to communicate through the use of this element, among what target audience, and during what time period. As with advertising, results should be measured and evaluated against the original objectives, and attempts should be made to isolate the effects of each promotional element. Objectives for marketing communications elements other than advertising are discussed more thoroughly in Part Five of the text.

Determining Imc Objectives

Exhibit 7-9 The San

Diego Zoo attempts to attract visitors through advertising

Ifyoutake^aminuteto^look back atFigurel-4 on page Establishing and Allocating 26, you will see that while the arrows from the review of the marketing plan and the promotional situation analysis the Promotional Budget to analysis of the communications process are unidirectional, the flow between the communications analysis and budget determination is a two-way interaction. What this means is that while establishing objectives is an important part of the planning process, the limitations of the budget are important too. No organization has an unlimited budget, so objectives must be set with the budget in mind.

Often when we think of promotional expenditures of firms, we think only about the huge amounts being spent. We don't usually take the time to think about how these monies are being allocated and about the recipients of these dollars. The budgeting decisions have a significant impact not only on the firm itself but also on numerous others involved either directly or indirectly. The remainder of this chapter provides insight into some underlying theory with respect to budget setting, discusses how companies budget for promotional efforts, and demonstrates the inherent strengths and weaknesses associated with these approaches. Essentially, we focus on two primary budgeting decisions: establishing a budget amount and allocating the budget.

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Advertising With Circulars

Advertising With Circulars

Co-op Mailing means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It's kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared same market base.

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  • murron shaw
    How does website marketing fit into san diego zoo's objective based promotional strategy?
    7 years ago
  • stephan
    What are the objectives IMC program?
    3 years ago
  • david
    What is setting objectivein IMC?
    8 months ago

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