Seven Steps to Marketing Excellence: Step Five - Communications

David Byrd : Raven Call
David Byrd
David Byrd is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer for Raven Guru Marketing. Previously, he was the CMO and EVP of Sales for CloudRoute. Prior to CloudRoute, He was CMO at ANPI, CMO & EVP of Sales at Broadvox, VP of channels and Alliances for Telcordia and Director of eBusiness development with i2 Technologies.He has also held executive positions with Planet Hollywood Online, Hewlett-Packard, Tandem Computers, Sprint and Ericsson.
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Seven Steps to Marketing Excellence: Step Five - Communications

The Seven Steps to Marketing Excellence are:

  1. Strategy
  2. Product
  3. Markets
  4. Brand
  5. Communications
  6. Lead Generation
  7. Sales Qualified Leads

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)


Integrated Marketing Communications ensures that all forms of communications and messages are carefully linked together. Done well it integrates digital and direct marketing, social media, advertising, PR, events and sales promotions. IMC ensures messaging consistency is presented to prospects and customers by all elements of the organization. However, IMC should not be confused with end-to-end or comprehensive marketing strategy and planning.

A comprehensive marketing plan will include the same activities as an IMC plan. But following questions may be unanswered:

  • What is being tweeted today? Does the tweet support our SEO focus? Is it mentioning our resent promotions? Is the tweet supporting our new partners or mentioning either their competitors or ours? What about our other social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc.)?
  • Is our SEO manager up to date with our product offering? Has he seen or had input into our most recent advertising campaigns? Are we highlighting our latest content?
  • Are our latest graphics (logo, templates (presentation, letterhead, white papers, etc.), email signatures) distributed and used by the entire organization?
  • Has the most recent messaging been distributed and adopted in our internal and external communications?

A comprehensive marketing plan has each of the above activities in place with conscientious personnel faithfully executing their assigned tasks each day. An integrated marketing plan has that plus the processes in place to ensure consistency and proper direction of each activity.

There are five levels or areas of integration which should be mastered if IMC is to be achieved: 

  • Horizontal Integration occurs across the marketing and business functions such as engineering, production, sales and marketing.
  • Vertical Integration means marketing communications must support the business objectives and mission of the management team.
  • Internal Integration requires keeping staff informed and motivated about new corporate messages, product developments, advertisements, promotions, strategic partners and so on.
  • External Integration requires informing advertising and PR agencies, distribution and indirect sales partners of a single seamless cohesive message.
  • Data Integration is accomplished through an information system which collects and shares relevant marketing, sales and customer data across different departments.

Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications

IMC can create competitive advantage, boost sales and profits and orchestrates communications to leads and prospects by moving them through the various stages of the buying process. It has more impact than a disjointed myriad of messages and has a better chance of cutting through the hundreds of commercial messages circulating through the target audience’s media.

Finally, IMC saves money and time as it eliminates conflict and duplication of graphics, digital imagery and collateral.

Raven Guru Marketing has real experience in implementing IMC and is a strong proponent. However, it is essential that organizations perform the upfront work of segmentation and positioning to be develop a successful IMC strategy.

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