1. Introduction 简介
Recent years, especially the period that has started since the maturing of the electronic media and the proliferation of the internet, have seen widespread and far-reaching changes in forms of communication. A number of changes in the global business environment, including factors like market splintering, greater segmentation, information technology and globalisation, have led to the emergence of a new concept in holistic communication. Known in management parlance as Integrated Marketing Communication, (IMC) experts feel it to be integral to the improvement of competitive advantage in marketing. (Pelsmacker and Kitchen, 2004)
IMC is a marketing practice intended to ensure the working together of all components of marketing, for example, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, electronic, 121 and direct marketing in a unified manner, rather than separate and disparate forces, with little in common with each other.
Marketing communications comprises five broad categories, namely personal selling, advertising, public relations, direct marketing and sales promotions. Each has its own set of pros and cons and can be accomplished in a variety of ways. However, the key is to look at the available options in a comprehensive way and to ensure consistency throughout the selected media. (Vargas, 2005)
The creation and nourishment of a unified message in all elements of marketing is integral to its concept. Driven by a need for integrating communication components, and the organisational exigency of large advertisers, the rapid growth of IMC has led many advertising agencies to take it up as a primary service area.
This report aims to examine the different elements involved in Integrated Marketing Communication, and recommend a plan for its implementation for Haagen Dasz, Inc. (HDI) The report is structured into sections that take up the concept of IMC, the strategies adopted by HDI to communicate its messages until now, and possible ways to adapt and change them in light of alterations in the marketplace, as well as in the modes of communication.
2. Integrated Marketing Communication 整合营销传播
Communication, an integral component of all relationships relates to the exchange of information, concepts, ideas and emotions. These exchanges occur through a range of communication avenues, each of which makes its own contribution to the total exchange process. Marketers, steeped in communication theory, were quick to realise this phenomenon and adopted numerous ways to communicate with their customers, e.g., newspapers, hoardings, radio, television, and progressively direct mail, as well as the internet. “Marketing communications is 'the process by which the marketer develops and presents an appropriate set of communications stimuli to a defined target audience with the intention of eliciting a desired set of responses'.” (Vargas, 2005) Marketing has a number of distinct avenues, namely advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing, personal selling, and in recent times, internet marketing. Each of these avenues works towards achieving specific objectives and great synergies come about when used in mutually reinforcing modes. In the eighties, most marketing experts saw each of these avenues as separate and deserving of different treatment. The concept of integrating all these separate components into one umbrella usage first gained currency in North-western University’s Medill School of Journalism”, through the efforts of Don Schultz.
(IMC is) a concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes the added value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communications disciplines (for example, general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, and public relations) and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communications impact. (Schultz et al., 1993)
Most experts were quick to understand the innate common sense behind integrating these different sub streams of communication and using them to convey one unified message. One major reason for this was due to the realization that different marketing communication tools had very dissimilar attributes, for example while the ability of advertising to reach a large audience is large it proves to be quite ineffective in delivering personal messages. Similarly, personal selling can be very effective in delivering personal messages but is not effective in reaching large audiences. Direct marketing, on the other hand, can deliver personal messages, and reach reasonably large audiences. Differences like these characterise the various attributes of different communication tools, namely, (a) the ability to deliver personal messages, (b) the ability to reach a large audiences, (c) the level of interaction (d) the level of credibility and (c) costs, in total and per unit. (Integrated Marketing Communication, 2007)
In addition to this factor, the use of IMC increased because of the many shifts that took place in the advertising industry. Advertising focus shifted from being reliant on media to other forms of communication like specialised media, promotions and mailers. The market shifted from the domination of manufacturers to the influence of retailers and control of consumers. Advertising also shifted from being general towards becoming databased and advertising agencies became much more accountable for marketing success. The introduction of IMC also led to the creation of a number of benefits that included increased impact of communication, improved effectiveness of creative ideas, greater consistency in communication and better returns on communication investment.
Even though marketing experts have come to recognise the benefits and efficacy of IMC, a number of unlikely obstacles continue to hinder its growth. Many companies have different teams of people working on different elements and it quite often proves to be difficult and highly challenging to produce communication with very similar messages for different types of media, considering that they have different uses and objectives. “For example, television ads are generally used for awareness generation, print to educate, and outdoor and radio to keep the message top-of-mind. In reality, the goal of all advertising, including packaging, is to sell.” (Young, 2006) Apart from this issue, a number of other obstacles also hinder the implementation of IMC strategies.
Moriarty (1994) considered the cross-disciplinary managerial skills the biggest barrier to IMC, while Duncan and Everett (1993) reported that egos and turf battles were primary obstacles to integration. Eagle and Kitchen (2000) identified four groups of potential barriers to IMC success in their study of New Zealand advertising agencies and the marketing industry: power, coordination and control issues; client skills, centralization/organizational and cultural issues; agency skills/talents, overall time/resources issues; and flexibility/modification issues. Schultz (2000) saw structure - the way the firm is put together - as the most challenging problem of integration.
Very obviously, successful implementation of Integrated Marketing Communication at Haagen Dazs will have to take account of these likely obstacles and ensure that they do not interfere in the process.
3. Assessment of the Current Position of Haagen Dazs 哈根达斯目前状况的评估
Haagen Dazs is a pioneer in marketing and in conveying different messages in appealing ways to its consumers. The company, since its inception, has never hesitated to adopt a contrarian attitude and has gone against conservative thinking with great success. Its history of unique and different messaging started with the adoption of its name, which though it had no real connotation, gave an impression of exotica and cold Scandinavian companies. Packaging containing maps of Denmark served to reinforce this impression, a feeling carried to this day. (Chakraborty and Govind, 2006) The first break with accepted marketing thought came when Haagen Dazs introduced small portions of superior quality, extremely creamy ice cream at significantly more expensive prices. Its first forays in advertising were restricted to strictly word of mouth communication and the product depended upon its distinctively rich quality to do the talking. Over the years, through changes in ownership the company has remained strongly committed to the concept of producing thick, rich, and creamy ice cream, and constantly reinforced its advocacy of the good life, of enjoyment, physical pleasures and sensuousness.