By now, you should have done considerable research on your product/service on which your IMC Plan will be based, including research on the current marketplace into which your product/ service will be promoted. A definition of your Target Market and other key areas should also have been completed at this time.
Your Week FOUR Assignment is a Draft of key information around which your IMC Plan is to be developed. By submitting this, you are letting your instructor understand in greater depth the product/service you will be introducing and the work that you have done to date towards a successful FINAL Draft that will be submitted in Week SEVEN. Your Week FOUR Draft tells me that you know where you are going and how you plan to arrive at that destination. Yet, the actual format that your FINAL Draft (due in Week SEVEN) will take is predicated on the format and information found in a separate document, i.e., the MKTG522 IMC Plan Key Content Considerations. Thus, your Week FOUR Draft educates the instructor on your efforts to date and key information that lets the instructor know that you are on top of things.
You can submit your Draft in bullet/outline format, but ensure that you have answered the questions to which you are asked to respond below. Some of your content may also be in essay format. Bullets are encouraged to keep your Draft simple. You should be able to do this in 4-5 pages, at the max, not including your COVER PAGE and REFERENCES. The intent is one of providing crisp information that communicates to you and to your instructor that YOU know the direction of your IMC Plan. Do NOT submit a document of 10-15 pages that, essentially, would be seen as your completed IMC Plan. You must also include inline (intext) citations where appropriate and include the references at the end in APA format. To learn more about proper APA format, including the APA running HEADER atop each page, go to http://owl.english.purdue.edu.In this Draft, you should include the following sections that will eventually make their way into your FINAL Draft that will be submitted in Week SEVEN. Be sure to SUB-TITLE each section!No Executive Summary is required for your Week FOUR Draft.
A. Introduction Here you want to provide, in ESSAY format, an overview of your IMC Plan. Your Introduction will be short (one page, double-spaced, should suffice – 12 Point Times New Roman). Tell the reader around what product/service is your IMC Plan is focused, the marketplace in which the product/service will be promoted (How is this marketplace doing? Trends? Competition? Growth opportunities for revenue and profit? Yes, scholarly RESEARCH is necessary.)
B. IMC Communication and Marketing Objectives (Quantify)Identify the brand and the principle objectives of the campaign and quantify where possible. You will have two kinds of objectives: marketing objectives and communications objectives. Examples of each will be share in the threaded discussion, but to simplify, this will be helpful. Marketing objectives are measurable goals in number, percentage, and by a date. Provide measurable objectives that your marketing efforts are designed to accomplish, e.g.,· Increase product sales from $11.5M to 13.2M by 31 December 2017· Gain 38% of the market share (vs. current 36% market share) by 30 November 2017· Sell 140,000 units of our company’s three key products by 30 June 2017· Move from #5 to #4 producer within the industry of ‘widgets’ by 31 March 2018Communications objectives are measurable goals and focus specifically on communicating a message and how effectively this communication occurs so that it is RECALLED by the target market (as ascertained by follow-up marketing research). In effect, we have a MESSAGE and we want to measure the new percentage of the target market that recalls that message. An example of an IMC communications objective might be:· Increase from 26% to 45% the percentage of our target market of women, ages 25-45, with some college, and who have children, and who reside in the greater Chicago area, including seven surrounding counties, who NOW recall that “Tide Liquid gets out stains best” by 31 March 2017.Recognize that if you are bringing a new product or new service to market, your audience awareness is essentially “0%”. Thus, your IMC communications objective might be to “Increase from 0% to 45%….”Yes, you can make up the percentage number. What is important is that you HAVE a percentage number that you wish your target market (essentially, a slogan) to NOW recall. This section can be covered in about one-half page.
C. Market Analysis
A detailed analysis will provide the specific details for decision-making:
a) SWOT – You will find excellent insights relative to what comprises a SWOT analysis in the “MKTG522 IMC Plan Key Content Considerations.” Provide your SWOT in bullet form, with each bullet one line, two lines at most. A SWOT is not submitted in essay format.
b) Segmentation and Targeting — You will find excellent insights relative to what comprises the target market in which you will promote your product/service offering in the “MKTG522 IMC Plan Key Content Considerations.” Ensure that your target market description includes both demographics (gender, age, income, education, etc.) and geography, at a minimum. NOTE: If your product/service around which your IMC Plan is based would be national in scope, your instructor recommends that you focus, instead, on a specific geography, e.g., Atlanta. The assumption is that your IMC Plan’s characteristics for Atlanta would generally be applicable to other metropolitan areas around the country. To write an IMC national plan would require research and the creation of documentation that would be too lengthy for this eight-week term.
c) Positioning – “Positioning” is what you want your target market to immediately think when they hear your company’s product or service BRAND name. What words do you want to have pop up in their mind upon hearing/seeing your BRAND? That is what you want to describe here. Indicate those words, e.g., “prestige” “luxury” “economical” “effective” etc. This would be no more than one-quarter of a page, double-spaced.
d) Product/Service – Describe this so that the reader understands WHAT this product or service does and the problem that its usage will solve for the target market that you have described.
e) Marketing Channels – Describe the channel structure that your company will use to make its product/service available to the ultimate consumer or business that you are targeting. Will you sell direct? Via a retailer? Will there be a wholesaler involved?
Section C should require a total of two-pages, double-spaced (NOTE: The SWOT can be single-spaced)
D. Communications Strategy Plans
NOTE: Sections D, E, and F suggest the thinking that you need to demonstrate as you prepare your Week FOUR assignment. You will present the gist of what you see in Sections D, E, and F to let the instructor know the direction in which you are headed. You do NOT need to go into specifics, as you see outlined below. Sections D, E, and F are designed to trigger your thinking as you prepare your content that will include such specifics for your Week SEVEN FINAL Draft of your IMC Plan.
For Week FOUR’s OUTLINE, one page should allow you to provide the instructor the gist of what you have in mind for your use of traditional media, non-traditional media, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, and personal selling… as appropriate for your means.
NOTE: Don’t rely on just social media. Not everyone in your target market is on Facebook, etc.
As a tutorial…Listed here are the typical options available that form the communications strategy mix – marketers must think about how they need to match competitors or provide novelty, each strategy requires a specific objective, a media strategy, a media plan, and a budget. Each communications strategy (e.g., a traditional media campaign involving a print ad in a magazine) requires:·
Specific Objective – What is the measurable objective you wish to accomplish via each media tool that you want to utilize?· Media strategy: Big idea, Message, Copy, Visuals — What is your rationale for using the media that you have suggested, e.g., why print ads in magazines? Why social media? Why radio? Etc.· Media Plan: Reach and Frequency – Look up the definitions for both terms in our text. How will your IMC Media Plan be designed to reach those in your target market? How frequently?·
Budget: How much will this cost? – You will need to do research for this. “Guessing” will not suffice. Allocate time prior to Week SEVEN to contact media that you would use in the metropolitan area that you have chosen. KNOW what it will actually cost you to utilize such media and over what window of time (“continuity”). Don’t “guesstimate” – your instructor can tell when you are “guestimating,” as he has a background in advertising sales.
a) Traditional Media
A paid for, mass-mediated, attempt to persuade, use to build brand identity, this is a big investment of dollars:· Television, Print (magazines/newspapers), Radio, Outdoor advertising (e.g., billboards)
As advertising became more expensive and the Internet grew – online communications have become a cost effective option with the added benefit of being measurable (closed-loop marketing) – this area has become highly specialized:· Search engine optimization (SEO) strategy: Google AdWords· Online advertising: Banners, reciprocal links· Social media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram…· Website
c) Direct MarketingDirect marketing evolved from the catalog business, which involved gathering customer information – this approach is database driven and is used to send personalized messages either by mail, phone, email or text messages, inviting a direct response. There is an important role for direct marketing in branding as it facilitates relationship building and customer retention. This is becoming integrated into a web campaign. Direct marketing might include:·
Emails concerning special offers·
d) Sales Promotion
Alongside traditional advertising, there are many options for communicating with customers and building positive associations with the brand – sales promotion is growing in popularity and can be incorporated into a direct marketing piece such as a postcard or email.
Sales promotion is instant demand stimulation, it creates a perception of greater value through contests and samples, it complements the longer term advertising campaign, it motivates trial use, and encourages larger purchases or stimulates a repeat purchase. Sales promotion is helpful when launching new products and new product samples can be attached to existing brands. Problems arise because frequent sales promotions alter price perceptions and encourage consumers to become “deal-prone”. Examples include:· Consumers: Coupons, price-off, gift with purchase, contests, samples, mail sampling, newspaper sampling, on-package sampling, mobile sampling· Trade/Business: Training, allowances, incentives, trade shows· Internet: New opportunities for contests and trial subscriptions
e) Public Relations (PR)PR is a communications function used to promote understanding between an organization and its various stakeholder groups. PR is a critical component of brand building and generates publicity for the brand, helps solidify the public’s opinion of the brand and defines the brand; seamlessly.
Public relations involves:·
Creating publicity; buzz, viral messages·
Building media relations·
Corporate communication (issues management, community relations, government relations, industry relations)·
Building employee relations·
Maintaining financial/investor relations·
PR deals with what is difficult to control; but a company can be prepared·
PR amplifies the effects of other communications strategies The tools of PR include:·
Interviews and press conferences·
Sponsored events To elaborate further on the Communications Strategy Section there are numerous options; marketers should consider a mix of the following depending on the problem being addressed – you may wish to provide additional strategies that you feel are more relevant.
E. Communications Schedule
Using a calendar that covers the timeframe of the proposed IMC Plan indicates when the specific elements of the communications strategy mix will occur – including:·
F. Budget and Evaluation
Develop a list of the planned communications strategy mix and estimate the costs of each component. Again, you will want to contact the Account Executives from those media that you elect to utilize in your IMC Plan. With many print publications, you MAY find their media kit online. Were this the case, you will save lots of time. Remember, however, that many newspapers advertise in terms of “column inches” and will provide you their price PER COLUMN INCH. A column inch is about 1-5/8” across. An ad that is six column inches wide by 5” deep is actually priced at 6×5 = 30 column inches. If the price per column inch is $31.75, you will find that the cost for this newspaper ad will run $952.50 to run the ad in one edition, e.g., June 6, 2017. The same ad run multiple times, e.g., once a week for ten weeks, will usually result in a lower cost PER COLUMN INCH.G.
Summarize and tie the overall plan to the IMC objectives, both marketing and communications objectives.
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