Based on your faculty member's feedback on Part 1, review Part 2 of Plan Template. Make sure you provide an analysis of each area on the slides and proceed with the following topics.
11. Overall message design strategy of the new annual plan.
12. Message content
13. Message structure
14. Message format/executional format
15. Media channels (most likely will need a combination of personal and non-personal and traditional and non-traditional communication channels)
16. Message source
17. Feedback metrics associated with marketing communications objectives in part 1
Integrated Marketing Communications
University of Maryland University College
This document is confidential
IMC Plan Power Point Template
An integrated marketing communications (IMC) plan is created annually and it focuses on the 4th P of marketing (Promotion).
The audience for this presentation will be key people inside the organization (top managers, marketing , communications, & sales team, web master, etc.) and external hired communications teams (advertising, media, public relations, and direct marketing agencies, etc).
The facts used in this plan must be researched using credible sources. All sources need to be referenced and identified using APA or MLA style.
The plan will be developed in 3 parts:
1. Part 1 covers the current marketing strategies used by the product & sets the communications objectives for the new year.
2. Part 2 covers the IMC strategies and feedback metrics you recommend.
3. Part 3 is more detailed and tactical. It includes the budget, the promotional mix and how overall plan will be evaluated. In addition, since it is the last submission, part 3 should also have all the parts of the final plan including the Executive Summary, a complete Table of Contents and Bibliography, plus an Exhibits you developed when working on the plan.
How to use this template
Use this template to develop your IMC Plan. You can either:
1. Copy these slides and use them as guides to develop your own format. However, all the topics must be covered.
2. If you use this template, keep the headings, but remove all the directions and tips for a professional presentation.
Customize your project with your own graphics and artwork, or just use this template.
Check out the Effective Power Point Presentation Tips in your Marketing Toolbox under course resources.
Add additional slides if you need more space to effectively present key information. But use the numbering system already in the template.
IMC Plan Project Objectives
By completing this project you will be able to:
Demonstrate knowledge of basic marketing & IMC principles and strategies
Apply marketing communications principles to a product/service/market situation
Develop/improve Power Point presentation skills
Demonstrate critical thinking, research and analysis skills
Demonstrate information literacy skills
Suggested Initial Approach to the IMC Project
Research & select your product/service & get faculty approval.
Identify the external research sources you need for your plan from the UMUC virtual library. Contact the librarian if you need help finding specific sources,-library is open 24/7.
Check out the product website and competitor websites; visit the store to see where your product/service is sold. Keep a file on the product’s communications & study their approach & content.
Analyze your selected product’s marketing communications’ messages, media used and public relations programs and social media used.
Participate in class discussions on the plan topics and pick up additional tips.
Tips for Developing the IMC Plan
Stay current with text readings, and class discussions.
Refer to following resources: “Launch! Advertising and Promotion in Real Time” class text; Principles of Marketing by Kotler & Armstrong-310 class text; Tips for Effective PowerPoint Presentation” and Glossary in UMUC Marketing Toolkit.
Don’t wait until the week the project is due, it will take much longer to do an effective job.
Refer to grading criteria in the syllabus to ensure you have devoted enough emphasis to those items with higher point values.
Edit! Be sure your concise presentation looks professional and addresses all the issues in the syllabus and this template. Also remember to double check all spelling and grammar before submitting because it is expected that marketing communicators use correct English
Ask questions early and often!
Expectations for External Research
Finding perfect information is not realistic; budget time spent on research carefully. Contact UMUC librarian for research ideas. All your external information should be gathered within the first 3 weeks of class. Be sure to identify each source.
Look for sources that provide additional product, media, and competitor information, industry trends and other readily available data. Note: it is not required that you pay for any research data or subscription services.
Expect to make educated generalizations and always include some rationale for your conclusions.
Expect to use endnotes to verify information and a bibliography, both in an acceptable citation style, e.g. MLA, APA. Refer to UMUC’s Writing Center for proper citing rules.
Expert 90 percent of the plan’s sources should be academic sources, not Wikipedia, Facebook and Google searches.
Delete all these introductory slides when you submit your parts 1, 2 and 3. Start with your own title slide.
Your IMC Plan Presentation will start with the next slide
Course name/number, section,
semester (Note: this plan is confidential should appear on the title slide.)
(Your Product Name)
Prepare this slide last and submit it with the final plan at the end of the semester.
Contents of this slide should include:
Summary of the key findings of your analysis, including new communications objectives.
Briefly state your promotion mix recommendations for coming year.
Identify any corporate policy items that will be impacted with new recommendations.
Table of Contents
Prepare this slide 3 times and submit:
Part 1 Table of Contents
Parts 1 and 2 Table of Contents
Final Plan – submit full table of contents
Part 1 Current Marketing Situation Product Marketing Strategies ___________________________ This part should focus on “what currently is” based on your research, not what strategies you want in the new year. Much of the information in this part will be from marketing concepts learned in a Principles of Marketing course. Refer to the Marketing Toolkit posted in Course Resources.
Pointers for development of Part 1:
Do not include a history of the company, remember the audience for this presentation are part of internal & external team to help execute this plan.
Do not approach this as a term paper, this should be a concise, easy to read presentation using graphics to effectively present important information.
Use accurate marketing terminology.
Part 1.a. Product Description Concise Marketing Overview of the Product & its role in the Market
Consumers buy solutions, not product features. The IMC’s main purpose is to communicate the product’s value in solution terms to specific target audiences. Clearly describe:
3 specific levels of the product (core, actual description and augmented)
Customer need the product serves (physical, social or individual)
What type of product it is (convenience, shopping, specialty or unsought)
Part1.b. Product Description Current Product’s competitive position
Note: Use the SWOT Analysis & Competitive Analysis worksheets attached to the end of this plan to help you with this section. It should:
Identify the product’s market share (Hoover.com is a good source, but frequently hard to find, so just be close and provide your rationale)
Name competitors, their pricing, kinds of advertising used, etc.
Identify their vulnerabilities relative to your product.
Identify if product is a market leader, nicher, challenger, or follower.
Part1.c. Product Description Value Proposition
What is the product’s current value proposition? Is it more for more, more for same, more for less, and your rationale.
What is the products set of benefits that it delivers to satisfy consumers’ needs?
How does the product differentiate itself from its competitors
How does it try to develop lifetime value for its target audiences?
Part1.d. Product description Primary target market characteristics
Remember the more a marketing communicator knows about a target audience, the greater chance the message will be heard in targeted media (refer to chapter 6) The target audiences should be:
At least 3 targets that meet the following criteria: accessible, measurable, profitable and distinguishable.
Identify type of market targeting strategy currently used: undifferentiated, differentiated, concentrated or micromarketing.
Part 1.e. Product description Target Market Buyer’s decision process
This information is very important because it indicates how much information a consumer needs before they purchase the product. For example, a car is requires more in-depth information (brochures, web, etc.) than Coke. Which choice used:
Complex buying process
Dissonance-reducing buying process
Habitual buying behavior
Variety-seeking buying behavior
Part 1.f. Product Review Brand Strategy of the product/service
This topic analyzes how the firm brands the product. Discuss the following issues:
Is the product a national brand that already has brand equity, is it a new brand or no brand equity?
Is the product part of a product line, if so, what else is included in the product line?
Is the brand adequately represented in the packaging, such that the primary target market can identify the positioning strategy?
Part 1.g. Product Review Type of product/service lifecycle & benefits/features analysis
The stage the product is in is very important to the marketing communicator because it provides clues to how much advertising investment should be made in the product. Analysis should include:
Which of the 5 lifecycle stages is the product currently in and your rationale.
Identify the benefits and features of the product to the target audiences.
What adopter category are your target audiences in (innovators, early adopters, early mainstream, late mainstream or lagging adopters and your rationale.
Part 1.h. Distribution Review Current supply chain members and their roles
An important part of adding value and maintaining relationships with customers is the product’s supply chain and their roles.
What is their distribution strategy (intensive, selective or exclusive)? How is the product distributed?
Describe or diagram the channel system for primary target only.
You may need to discuss more than one channel system. For example, may have a direct to customer channel, and one or more indirect channels to the final customer.
Part 1.i. Distribution Review Value delivery network analysis
Be sure to discuss how each member adds (or doesn’t add) value for the final consumer. Discuss whether you product is distributed via a:
Conventional distribution channel
Vertical marketing system (VMS)
Corporate or contractual VMS
Horizontal Marketing System
Multichannel Distribution system
Also discuss whether their distribution strategy is selective, intensive or exclusive
Part 1 Communications Objectives and Issues First year communications objectives
Marketing communicators need to know where the target audiences are currently and what stage should they be moved to. Communications objectives need:
At least 3 broad measurable communications objectives needed (ex. Increase product knowledge from current % to what % by when)?
Identify the buyer readiness states of the primary target audience (awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction or purchase).
Issues impacting the objectives attainment
This is the where you need to identify any issues that need to be addressed before these communications objectives can be achieved. For example:
Timely approval of budgets
If creative materials need pre-testing, you need to identify when results are needed, etc.
This concludes Part 1
Be sure to go back and develop your Table of Contents
Be sure to edit your work, follow the tips for effective Power Point Presentations
Be sure to include your endnotes and bibliography for this part.
Check your work against the grading rubric
Upload your Part 1 to your assignment folder by the due date listed in the course schedule and double check to be sure it is the version you want to send.
Part 2 IMC Strategy Recommendations
Goal #1 of Part 2 is to provide direction on the overall creative message design and structure. This is called the Creative Brief and discussed in detail in chapters 8 & 12.
Goal #2 is to provide recommendations on broad media channels to use.
Goal #3 is to identify the feedback metrics that you recommend using to measure the effectiveness of the plan.
Part 2.1 Communications Strategy Recommendations -Overall Message Design
What is the key “Big Idea” you want integrated in all the messages?
What is the key promise and supporting reasons why.
What call to action do you want used, example: go to website URL, phone #, etc.
What are the mandatories, or constraints that need to be included in the messages; such as logo, tag lines, warning labels, drug interactions, etc.
Part 2.a. Marketing Communications Strategy Recommendations Message Content
This is where you say what you want to say about the product, for example:
What specific product information is critical
What differentiates this product from its competitors
What appeals should be used (emotional, rational, sex, ethical, etc.)
What buyer readiness stage is your target audience in
What disclaimers need to be used (put this detailed/legal information in the Exhibits
Part 2.b. Marketing Strategy Recommendations Message Structure
Provide strategic direction on how to deliver the key message to the copywriter and art director. You are not writing copy for the ads; that is for the creative team, for ex:
Use one or two-sided arguments
Draw a conclusion or leave it to the target audience
Whether to present the strongest argument first or last
If you want comparative messages used, need to provide competitors & products.
Part 2.c. Marketing Communications Strategy Recommendations Format/executional framework
2-parts to this analysis need to be provided:
Identify what formats the ad message should be in (30 or 60 sec. tv spot, full page or partial ads, etc.)
What executional framework you believe will work best (lifestyle, scientific, testimonial, demonstration, slice-of-life)
Part 2.d. Marketing Communications Strategy Recommendations Media Channels
The integrated marketing communications perspective stresses careful strategic blending of many media tools to be sure that the message touches the target audience in the same way wherever this interaction takes place-refer to ch. 9
Use personal, non-personal media or both
Use traditional, non-traditional media or blend
Identify what media your direct competitors use. (Point is not to copy them, but to be aware of what they use and why)
Identify what media mix to use and why. (this should be broad, for ex. Public relations; because you will get more detailed in Part 3, for ex. Media event, press release, etc.
Part 2.e. Marketing Communications Recommendations The Message Source
Offer direction on whether it should be a celebrity, man/woman on the street, etc. and why.
What source characteristics do you want, such as; trustworthy, credible, expert, etc.
What kind of voice talent do you want used, if you specify radio, YouTube, etc.
State if you want a spokesperson who has never been used by a competitor,etc.
Part 2.f Marketing Communications Recommendations Feedback Metrics
A single communications campaign can cost millions. To meet the growing demand for accountability; research and media experts have developed accurate evaluations for advertising effectiveness. (refer to ch.5)
Specify what internal and external measurements should be used
Identify the timing of the metrics & if they should be pre & post
This is also where you would share what metrics were used before and the results, but you are not responsible for it here
End of Part 2
Be sure the Endnotes and Bibliography have been up dated.
Review for any editing errors
Double check to be sure all the required content is provided
Part 3.1 Promotion Mix Tools, Budget Rationale and Plan Evaluation
Refer to chapters 7, 9, 10, 11
Part 3 is going to be more detailed and tactical as you recommend what specific media will best reach the target audience and the overall budget to implement it.
This part will also summarize how the final plan will be evaluated and its timetable.
This slide needs to summarize the overall tactical promotional mix and rationale for it.
Part 3.2 Overview of Promotion Mix Tools and rationale on how they support the objectives
You need to identify how you plan to integrate the promotional mix messages to reach your identified target audiences and achieve your communications objectives.
Don’t forget to identify how you plan to reach the “middle market” between the company and the final consumer. For example; trade promotions, sales incentives, or dealer promotions.
What role do you recommend the corporate web site has in the promotional mix?
Part 3.3 Promotion Mix overview Promotional Budget
Need to identify the budgeting method you plan to use –refer to chapter 7
Need to identify the overall promotional budget in dollars.
Need to identify how you want the budget allocated and your rationale.
Don’t forget budgeting for external research (if planned), sponsorships, website promotions, public relations and production costs for the plan.
Part 3.4. Promotion Mix Tools Promotion Mix Strategy
Discuss how you plan to integrate the paid advertising, personal selling, sales promotions, etc. Note: in some products mass advertising tools will be the central focus. In other products, advertising will be used to support a sales force and trade promotions only.
Do you plan personal, non-personal or both
Plan for a push, pull or combination & why
What is the promotional timing, for ex, fall for gift season, slow seasons to simulate sales, etc.
You need to demonstrate you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the various recommended media .
Part 3.4.a Promotion Mix Tools Advertising Objectives
Refer to chapter 8.3. The objectives are for paid promotional tools only.
Need to be stated in measurable terms. For ex, objectives could include what % and how often do you recommend the messages reach the target audiences
If sales promotions, what % coupon redemption do you recommend & why
Also need to indicate the timing measurements.
Part 3.4.b Advertising Objectives Message Themes
Effective advertising message are very important in today’s costly & cluttered media environment. You need to:
Define key elements of message (what do you want to say)
Define emotional tone (how to say it)
Define production goals (what the ad will look like)
Note: you are not writing the product copy, but you are to provide strategic direction to the copywriters & art directors.
Part 3.4.c. Media Strategies & Plan
Name the specific media vehicles, including social media and other digital tools, such as; Google Search, Facebook, etc.
Determine audience reach, frequency and other relevant measurements.
Media timing for the product; such as fall and winter months for cold/flu meds, spring and summer for new car intros. Also remember targeting certain months can save on media budgets.
Part 3.4.d. Public relations strategies and other tools
The goal of public relations is to build good relationships and enhance the image of the firm with the advertiser’s publics, namely consumers, stockholders, legislators, and employees. However, since public relations messages are not paid media placements, marketing communicators can’t control their use.
Recommend what tools you want; such as press releases, media events, publicity or crisis management, etc.
Refer to chapters 9 & 10.
Part 3.4.e Personal Selling Objectives and Strategies
Personal selling involves direct interaction between the company rep and the customer. Remember, that in the case of grocery products, etc. the grocery buyer is the consumer.
Recommendation for sales incentives, contests, and support materials, and brochures, etc.
Part 3.4.f Direct Marketing, E-active, & Online Objectives and Strategies
These media are an increasingly important part of the overall marketing communications program. Need to:
Identify what direct marketing media (refer to sales communications delivered directly to individual customers thru e-mail, direct mail & telemarketing) to use, timing, etc.
Identify online, mobile, buzz marketing, and the web changes needed, such as; a web landing page, etc.
Recommend what social media to use, including online product reviews & blogs, refer to chapter 10.
Part 3.5 How to Evaluate Plan
Accountability is increasingly important because why spend the money to advertise if it is not accomplishing your communications & advertising objectives(refer to chapter 14). How & when do you want the entire plan evaluated:
Return on Investment (ROI)
What final measurement metrics to use (coupon redemption, new customers etc.
Pre & Post evaluation of creative messages, etc.
Tracking and click-though rates on website
Be sure to use proper citation format.
Need to cover all 3 parts of the plan.
Refer to the excellent reference tools found in the UMUC virtual library to be sure of people citation format.
Be sure to use a proper citation format or you will lose points.
This slide is optional, but it is a good place to include:
Worksheets (SWOT, competitors, etc)
Detailed Creative Brief including legal product language, etc.
Logo and tagline treatments
Corporate trademarks, PMS colors, and how they should be shown in communications materials.
End of Part 3
Make any changes recommended in your professor’s feedback on Parts 1&2.
Incorporate Parts 1 and 2 into a final, cohesive plan.
Include the Executive Summary and full Table of Contents.
Edit carefully and check your work against the grading criteria in the syllabus.
Upload into your assignment folder by the due date.
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business to one agency, hire a separate firm to handle its public relations, and have still another
conduct sales promotions.
Most major agencies today practice the integrated marketing approach in some way, often by
starting new divisions to handle areas they didn’t tackle before, or buying (or allying with) smaller,
specialized shops that are already experts. The client is ultimately accountable for managing its
agencies in a way that supports its overall communications vision. For example, SS+K worked with
msnbc.com’s search agency 360i to support the integrated branding campai
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