The Course Project:

The Course Project:
An Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Campaign Plan
The Course Comprises 4 Deliverables:

Week 1: Topic Proposal Form
Week 4: Course Project Outline
Week 7: Final Report
Week 8: PowerPoint Presentation

The 4 Key Objectives of this Project:
1. Demonstrate a good understanding of a typical marketing problem, through a clear identification of the problem and careful analysis
2. Application of marketing concepts associated with the marketing mix, branding and communications
3. Provision of implementation steps that are sufficiently clear and detailed for effective execution (- would your plan work?)
4. Presentation of your work in clear, compelling and relevant documents

The Course Project
The course project will involve you in developing an integrated marketing communications (IMC) plan for a brand of your choice. Integrating marketing communications entails identifying a brand message and then conveying that brand message through a series of touch points that are relevant to the target customer. The figure presented in the Week 1 lecture captures the steps involved in developing an IMC plan—the brand is the central concern around which the IMC plan is developed. Early in the process, we establish who the customer is, what the customer wants, where the customer is, and then we think about how we will reach the customer in the space they are in, with what message, and which media. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A MARKETING PLAN OR A BUSINESS PLAN – The IMC plan focuses on what we traditionally refer to as the Promotion P., and what we are now viewing as Communicating the Value.

Select a brand that you feel passionate about – you are going to live with it for the next 2 months. You might select a brand that you can see has an obvious problem that can be helped by an IMC – for example the brand may be organic but nobody that matters knows this – and as this is a growing market there may be considerable growth potential that could be realized with a campaign that creates awareness, interest, desire and gets action. Follow the process presented in the Week 1 lecture carefully. Give extensive thought to your topic proposal this can be downloaded from DocSharing, and complete this in week 1. Use the brand analysis document to gain an understanding of your selected brand. Work on gathering data and map out your ideas for the Week 4 deliverable the Course Project: Outline. The outline should help you determine what you know and where gaps still exist. This document will guide you through to successful completion.

Brand Analysis
Brand Problem:
Current New
Target Customer
Product/service offered:
Competitive advantage:
Brand name (e.g. Nike):
Brand term (e.g. Just do it):
Symbol (e.g. Swoosh):
Functional benefits (basic benefits relating to performance – e.g. Nike – a good quality shoe):
Emotional benefits (benefits that make the customer feel good – e.g. Nike – makes you feel fit and healthy):
Brand concept (essence of the brand – e.g. excellence in performance):
Brand Identity:
Physique – tangible form, sound, smell, color, feel
Personality – character
Relationship – what is exchanged, shared
Culture – the system of values represented by the brand
Reflection – what is the aspired image?
Self-image – what is the image of actual customers?
The Written Report
You should include the following sections in your written report:
Executive Summary
IMC Objectives
Market Analysis
Communications Strategy Plans
• Traditional Media
• Internet
• Direct Marketing
• Sales Promotion
• Public Relations (PR)

To expand, the content of each section should address the following:

IMC Objectives (Quantify)
Identify the brand and the principle objectives of the campaign and quantify where possible:
• Attract new customers
• Retain existing customers
• Branding objectives
• Marketing and corporate objectives

Market Analysis
A detailed analysis will provide the specific details for decision-making:
• Segmentation and Targeting
• Positioning
• Product/Service
• Customer Profile
• Marketing Channels

Communications Strategy Plans
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, these are described more fully below:
• Traditional Media
• Internet
• Direct Marketing
• Sales Promotion
• Public Relations (PR)

Communications Schedule
Using a calendar that covers the timeframe of the proposed IMC indicate when the specific elements of the communications strategy mix will occur – including:
• Launch dates
• Key events

Budget and Evaluation
Develop a list of the planned communications strategy mix and estimate the costs of each component

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.

Each communications strategy (e.g. a traditional media campaign involving a print ad in a magazine) requires:
• Specific Objective
• Media strategy: Big idea, Message, Copy, Visuals
• Media Plan: Reach and Frequency
• Budget: How much will this cost?
Traditional Media
A paid for, mass-mediated, attempt to persuade, use to build brand identity, this is a big investment:
• Television, Print and Radio

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

Direct Marketing
Direct marketing evolved from the catalog business, which involved gathering customer information – this approach is data base 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:
• Post cards
• Personalized mailings
• Emails concerning special offers
• Newsletters

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 compliments 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

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
• Crisis management
• Image building
• 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:
• Press releases
• Feature stories
• Company newsletters
• Press pack
• Interviews and press conferences
• Sponsored events

Your final report should be about 10-15 pages, please use the APA format for your paper and references. Keep in mind that you should use a professional writing style, this should be based on business English, and involve the correct use of marketing terminology. Use tables to summarize your information – a report is more likely to be implemented effectively if it is brief, but sufficiently detailed, clear and relevant. Remember to experiment with the Demand Metric Tools that are included in the Week 6 lecture, these may give you some ideas for organizing your campaign. For each of your communications strategy plans you should identify a specific objective, a media strategy, a media plan, and a budget. You are asked to provide the five typical options that form the communications strategy mix – marketers must think about how they need to match competitors or provide novelty, you may want to substitute a campaign for something different – check this out with your Professor.

The PowerPoint Presentation
Your PowerPoint presentation will be based on your final report and should include 10-15 slides. A professional PowerPoint presentation in marketing should be based on good quality content, your slides should be clear, and compelling – it is important to engage your audience and convey all of the important points that you have developed in your written report. Please include the artwork that you have developed – this is what your audience will want to see.
Good Luck and remember the acid test is – would this plan achieve the objectives that you outlined?


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