Integrated Marketing Communications: A term frequently referenced, but unfortunately rarely seen manifested in the true sense of the word. This is often due to a combination of a silo based mentality, poor understanding of cross pollination opportunities and narrow skillsets of the various individuals in the marketing and communications mix.

However, if there is one place where the value of a true commitment to IMC is unequivocally showcased, then it has to be in the world of digital communications. The wonderful thing about the ever-changing landscape of digital, is that it allows for an endless amount of ways to utilise it for the benefit of a brand. Because of its open nature, digital communications makes it possible to utilise a combination of marketing as well PR tactics to reach a single objective. If used correctly, the complementary use of both marketing and PR tactics to reach a common goal can be a very powerful strategy.

So, what implications does this then have for companies planning their marketing and communications budget for digital? Rather than separating your digital spend into separate marketing and communications pockets, you should rather plan your budgets according to specific objectives, than can be reached by means of a combination of marketing and communications skillsets, implemented by one multi-disciplinary team (whether an in-house or external) to reach these objectives. Not only does this have massive cost saving benefits, but it also leads to a more unified and consistent digital presence for a brand, with marketing and communications initiatives being considered as complementary tactics that work towards aligned goals.

Here is an example of the approach in practice: If a client brief highlights an increase in qualified leads as an objective, then a combination of PR and marketing initiatives can be used to reach the objective: Sending out a highly targeted ePR release (i.e. electronic, rich media press release) that drives targeted traffic to the client’s website can be complemented by a targeted social paid media campaign, also driving qualified traffic to the client’s website.

For this approach however to work, it is extremely important that agencies start moving away from a structure of highly specialised resources. To effectively harness the benefits that come with an integrated approach to digital communications, agencies need to commit to developing resources in such a way, as to ensure that they have expansive experience in both marketing and PR skillsets. Epic MSLGROUP is not only aware of the massive benefits that lies in a truly integrated approach to marketing communications (in both the digital and traditional space), but has in fact developed an agency structure that focuses on serving clients with an effective multi-disciplinary team, utilising both marketing and communications skillsets to efficiently deliver on a wide array of objectives for clients.