Integrating web marketing to Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)

It was in the 1990's that IMC started getting popular in marketing. The Internet was just getting started and social media was in the distant horizon.By the early 2000's  organizations particularly in consumer products started figuring out IMC between their packaging,billboards,TV ads,magazine and newspaper ads and Point of Sale materials. The time has now come to integrate web marketing efforts with the off-line marketing efforts. And not just for consumer product organizations but for all types of organizations that need to communicate with prospects,customers,suppliers,shareholders or any other stakeholders.

The idea of having the same colors on the soap package and the ad on the bill-board is old and it is exactly the same thing that organizations need to do between their websites and physical artifacts. You don't need to paint your building the color of your website page, but an active consideration of how to convey the same message across your web presence and physical presence is something that all organizations should consider.

So should you lead with changes on the website or with the direct mail and bill boards? For efficient execution it's probably better to start with the website,social media pages and follow with other physical content. This way the firm repainting the bill boards can just log on to the website and know what the purpose is and the same with the printer trying to get the direct mail piece together. Best of all,branches (of say a bank) can have posters that reflect the look and feel of their website.

It's really easy to change the look and feel of the colors and logos on your website but for global organizations there may be millions of physical touch-points like retailers,branches that might be difficult to reach. So it's important to be careful with the change of the look  and feel of your  website just so that your physical materials get a chance to come into sync with the website.

The fun part of digital marketing is that it is only the look and feel that needs to be consistent with your off-line communications. Content is king in the digital world and more detailed your material,more current and exciting your material ,more engaged is your audience. So when the customer,supplier or stakeholder actually visits you in say a retail store, the poster has only to remind them for they would have already done their research online and might actually do research from their smart phones while at the store! Contact StratoServe.

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