Over the past weeks we have delved deep into the world of integrated marketing communication. The point of an IMC is to combine strategy, online marketing and offline marketing to reach your target audience in an effective manner with a consistent tone and message. This relatively new type of marketing (references about integration go all the way back to the 1990’s) is becoming the standard by which all new marketing plans are being measured. However according to Steve Olenski a contributor to Forbes Magazine and marketing guru, CMOs are still not doing it correctly.
‘“The need to strive for greater integration is considered inevitable by many, although the means by which such integration may be achieved is uncertain.” Inevitable by many indeed yet so many, far too many, have yet to figure out the means to achieve it.’ –Steve Olenski
So what are these CMO’s missing? According to David Aldridge a writer in Direct Marketing News, “Integration is not a dreamland of endless possibilities with revolutionary marketing results at the end of a rainbow. It’s an ongoing process made up of many discrete but valuable steps, each contributing to the greater cause.” He effectively called integration a fantasy land. What is causing this disconnect?
It seems that some people are stuck in the past. Many older people especially higher ups in smaller companies view Integrated Marketing as a space they just can’t understand. A solution to this misinformation is simply education. There are many IMC and Social media experts around the country teaching seminars to these businesses so they don’t get left behind. Some examples are http://www.ana.net/training/show/id/IMCS-OCT11, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCy7T-aKlhI, http://isbm.smeal.psu.edu/professional-development/developing-next-generation-integrated-market-communications
With an ever increasing number of CEOs and CMOs starting to “get it” I have to wonder if the online marketing will start to become white noise.
Red Bull Extreme IMC, Jack Pennington
A marketing strategy that really seems to have changed an entire company and industry is that of the makers of the energy drink, Red Bull. The energy drink is the most popular in the world with sales of more than 4.6 billion cans in 2011. Red Bull has found success by transforming themselves from an energy drink company to a full on extreme sports publishing brand. The company sponsors the world’s largest extreme sports competitions ranging from skiing and snowboarding to motor-sports, wakeboarding and cliff diving. Last year Red Bull received worldwide attention for sponsoring an event where a man skydived from space. See the clip here:
Red Bull has achieved strong success because of its broad and encompassing IMC plan that is aimed at its target market of males aged 18-35. Red Bull utilizes what their marketers call “content marketing.” This means that they convey their message to young adult males by sponsoring and providing content that they think is cool. Besides holding extreme sports competitions, Red Bull also has its hand in art shows, music, and video games. They have hired rappers such as Eminem to represent them. Red Bull also owns close to 15 professional soccer teams throughout the world (including the MLS team New York Red Bulls) who prominently display the company’s logo as the team’s mascot.
Red Bull is a great example of how company’s are changing the way they market themselves. Red Bull has gone from being an energy drink brand to a leader in extreme sports and high profile event sponsorship. By focusing solely on the image of the brand and almost ignoring the drink in its marketing tactics, Red Bull was able to become a cultural icon of the energy drink and extreme sports.
I am personally a big fan of Red Bull because of all that they do for some of my favorite sports snowboarding and skiing. They provided Travis Rice the funding and opportunity to produce “Art of Flight” which is my favorite and one of the best snowboarding movies ever.