Marketing communication is an essential tool in the current business setting where information flow is a crucial determiner of organizational successes. The paradigm of marketing communication has been defined as a management process through which a business engages with its different audience to publicize the firm and its products or services. In this process, the business might use several tools to get a response from consumers in the form of behaviors and attitudes, which is helpful in modeling products based on consumers' demands. Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is a process of coordinating all the internal and external activities to align organizational marketing strategy (Kerr & Patti, 2013). Therefore, IMC is a broad concept focusing on keeping organizational marketing and communication efforts coordinated and consistent to create brand awareness, favorable attitude, brand loyalty and attain sales objectives (Kokemuller, 2017). Over the last few decades, the fast food industry has significantly grown making it one of the most competitive economic sectors, especially in America. Consequently, for Campbell Soup Company to remain relevant in the dynamic industry, they had to take into consideration the most suitable IMC tools to communicate with the target markets. Advertising, sales promotion, public relations and personal selling are some of the IMC tools, which have been effectively applied in the Company.
Advertising is one of the tools of IMC used by businesses to communicate to prospective and present customers in a world with so many sounds, words and images competing for attention from the audience. It refers to any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of services, goods, and ideas by an identified sponsor. In the modern era of large-scale production, adverts are not only beneficial to sellers but also to potential buyers who are interested in learning more about a firm, its product or services, and place of availability (Kerr & Patti, 2013). Initially, radios, television, and newspapers were the most common means of advertising and were preferred due to their ability to reach a wide range of audience as compared to other marketing strategies. However, the change in technology has enhanced interactive advertising in different media platforms making it one of the most sought means of promoting brand awareness in the market.
For years, Campbell Soup has been relying on traditional advertising tools to promote the sale of its iconic soup and impressive portfolio brands. However, the stiff competition in the fast food industry and advancement in technology has resulted in a rapid shift in consumer behavior and expectation obliging the company to develop new market strategies to adapt to the changes. The company has embarked on online marketing to cultivate a whimsical and humorous personality to attract more young customers. As a result, Campbell Soup are using Campbell's Go, Facebook page and has been collaborating with Buzz Feed to appeal and convey the personality of the business and their products to the target audience (Lacy, 2012). The digital marketing campaign aims at igniting youths who are mostly using much of their time online in to influence their choice and make them frequent buyers of Campbell Soup canned products.
By integrating traditional and digital advertising tools, Campbell Soup are reaching a wide range of both potential and existing customers. Some of those people who are not frequent viewers of television or listeners of radio stations can gather more information from online social media. As a result, the company has been creating a favorable attitude towards its brands among customers leading to increased sales. In efforts to improve advertising effectiveness, Campbell Soup might consider investing in ads banners, which would reach more internet users.
Public relation is another IMC tool and involves managing spreading of information between a business and the audience by gaining exposure and taking active roles on matters of public interest. The strategy is meant to create consciousness and manage the nature of publicity a firm receives. Public relation, therefore, focuses on establishing and maintaining a positive public image of a business in the society (Kerr & Patti, 2013). As a result, organizations and businesses have been taking active roles in communal activities through fund-raising sponsorship in special events and community services. The conventionally public relation was considered as a supportive activity rather than a promotional process. Nevertheless, today it is an integral part of marketing and promotional strategies to various companies.
Campbell Soup Company remains committed to giving back to the society through several programs such as Women of Campbell and Campbell Soup Foundation among other activities that bring them closer to the public (Barrett, 2018). As activists of diverse and inclusive culture, Campbell Soup engages their workers on Fridays in Women of Campbell program, which is one of their trademark activity. The program is meant to promote career development and networking opportunities helping women advance in their careers. Likewise, Campbell Soup Foundation offers financial support to local organizations inspiring positive change in the community (Barrett, 2018). The sponsorship was meant to encourage healthy living and development in Campbell neighborhood.
In these programs, Campbell Soup not only creates a positive reputation in the society but it also promotes brand awareness by offering to the participants some of its products. It also educates the community on healthy eating habits, which has been a significant area of concern mainly in a developed nation where fast foods have substituted nutritious dishes and family meals. As the company has managed to increase its sales volume and consumption of its products by serving the same society it operates. Nevertheless, with increased cases of obesity and other fast food-related diseases, Campbell can take some of these programs not only to launch campaigns but also to promote healthy dietary. They can also issue pamphlets, brochures, and other published articles to emphasize the issue to the society.
Sales promotion consist of coupons, premiums, contests, games, mail-in offers and rebates among other programs included as part of marketing communication mix. For instance, vouchers are widely used to encourage buyers to select a specific brand over other substitutes. The sales promotion initiative promotes an increase in sales where consumers are convinced to make a repeated purchase. On the other hand, rebates are mailed to product manufacturers, and consumers can benefit from lower prices. Sampling is another way of allowing consumers try new products with intentions of reducing consumer's apprehension and creating brand awareness. Likewise, premiums are part of sales promotions mix that incentive consumer to purchase a product with a tangible benefit (Kerr & Patti, 2013). Most of these initiatives are meant to create brand awareness and favorable attitude towards offered products, which is significant in attaining sales objectives.
Campbell Soup has been using sampling mostly in some of the events it sponsors to give potential customers a taste of their products. For instance, this has been happening in Super Bowl event where it offers samples of some of the newest flavors in branded food trucks (Campbell's Chunky Soup, 2014). The company has also been donating some branded cans of soups to food banks across America, which is part of their marketing strategies. The company has been offering discounts on some of their products, especially during seasonal holidays to appeal to consumers.
However, although Campbell Soup has managed to reach new market targets especially to those people attending some of their sponsored events the company has not exclusively exploited benefits of sales promotion. As a way to increase its effectiveness in sales promotion and retain consumers Campbell should have to initiate and publicize loyalty programs where it rewards consumers who make repeated purchases. In fact, this has been one of the most popular applications in other industries and has yielded long-term profits.
Point of sale displays (POS)
Additionally, Campbell Soup can implement point of sale display in their efforts to reach to broader market. The company target market is people of all ages and use of POS, especially when in public places would appeal to a large number of consumers. When a customer sees the unique display or where POS are used to issue coupon or discounted services, there is high likelihood such strategies could attract more buyers and create brand awareness. Consequently, some would turn out as long-term clients increasing the sales volume. Therefore, integrating POS in the advertising mix would enhance other IMC tools used by Campbell Soup Company especially when targeting people in recreation centers and other public facilities.
In conclusion, IMC enable marketers to reach their target market conveniently and to synchronize different forms of persuasive communication to attain marketing objectives. Therefore, IMC has been used in large scale to create brand loyalty and awareness, favorable attitude and achieve business sales objectives. Today marketing initiatives incorporate multiple methods harnessed by the provisions of IMC to get the most out of the existing marketing mix. Therefore, due to their effectiveness in implementing IMC tools, Campbell Soup Company has persisted as one of the leading fast food firms globally.
Barrett, K. (2018). Meet Our 2018 Foundation Grantees | Campbell Soup Company. Campbell Soup Company. Retrieved from https://www.campbellsoupcompany.com/newsroom/news/2018/04/02/meet-our-2018-grantees/
Campbell's Chunky Soup to offer Sampling at Super Bowl XLVII. (2014). Campbell Soup Company. Retrieved from https://www.campbellsoupcompany.com/newsroom/news/2014/01/31/campbells-chunky-soup-to-offer-sampling-at-super-bowl-xlviii/
Kerr, G., & Patti, C. (2013). Strategic IMC: From abstract concept to marketing management tool. Journal of Marketing Communications, 21(5), 317-339. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13527266.2013.786748
Kokemuller, N. (2017). What Are IMC Objectives? Biz fluent. Retrieved from https://bizfluent.com/info-8526492-IMC-objectives.html
Lacy, L. (2012). Campbell Soup Trying to Attract Millennial with Digital Content - Click Z. Click Z. Retrieved from https://www.clickz.com/campbell-soup-trying-to-attract-millennial-with-digital-content/42805/
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