We will also come across few interesting examples of brands which have changed the definition of Integrated Marketing Communication. We interviewed people who are closely associated from the advertising and social media Industry and also surveyed corporate people from the industry taking their views into consideration. We have mentioned Interesting case studies of Catbird and Toyota, two corporate giants In their respective industries, about their crisis and rising above all the adversity by exploiting its MIMIC strategies.

Introduction to MIMIC Fundamentally speaking, Integrated Marketing Communications (MIMIC) refers to the recess of integrating and coordinating the various communication elements commonly known as the 'promotional mix". The promotional mix consists of advertising, sales promotion, events and experiences, interactive marketing, personal selling and public relearns. Over two decades MIMIC has evolved tremendously making it possible to reach every corner of the planet. Companies with their innovation have managed to explore Its marketing communication through so many mediums.

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The best ones include HULL promoting Lifebuoy at Gumbo Meal, which is believed to be the largest congregation on earth where all big marketers try to sell their wares and cost their brands. This was an outstanding effort by Hindustan Milliner of Imprinting with "Lifebuoy SE hath diode aka? " on riots, a staple Item served with every Indian meal and the only way to eat it, is with your hands. The Traditional Marketing Communication Plan Doesn't Work! The classic marketing plan is built around two elements: the situation analysis and the detailed tactical plan.

The situation analysis is an In-depth review of the business. It Includes information on customers and competitors, a review of key trends in the industry, an analysis of recent business results and an assessment of technological changes. It can go on and on. The detailed plan provides all the specifics; it includes all the the plan frequently is organized by function; there will be an advertising section and a promotions section and a pricing section. The class marketing plan ends up being a rather lengthy, solid and impressive document.

Many are over two hundred pages long. I recently reviewed a marketing plan for one product, for one year, in one country. It was 259 pages long, single spaced. The problem is that the traditional marketing plan is completely unsuited to the challenges marketers face today. It is simply too long, too data heavy and too detailed. Reviewing all that is known about a business is a hopeless task in today's environment; there is an infinite amount of data. A long, complex marketing plan creates a number of problems. The fist one is quite simple: many people won't read the plan.

Few individuals have time to read a one- hundred-page document. A second and more profound problem is that the marketing plan usually lacks focus; there are so many tactics and details that the big ideas get lost. The most serious issue is that the plan is difficult to change; it is anything but concise and nimble. It is impossible to quickly update a 200 page racketing plan to respond to changing conditions. People will often ignore a long and complex plan when things get busy; they will simply focus on executing, frequently without any real coordination or larger view. This is not optimal.

A NEW MODEL After having interviewed dozens of marketing executives, we have learned that the basics of creating an effective MIMIC campaign are simple and consistent across industries. Regardless of the industry, a good MIMIC campaign has to be clear and convincing. Ultimately, anyone creating an MIMIC campaign needs to sell it. Indeed, one of the reasons for creating an MIMIC strategy is to get support for the commendations. For this to happen, the plan has to be clear; the audience has to know what is being presented. The plan also has to be convincing and explain why the recommendations will actually work.

An MIMIC campaign should be built around three things: goals and objectives, strategic initiatives, and tactics (COST). Marketing executives can use this simple framework to transform their MIMIC campaign. DIFFICULT TIMES We all talk about difficulties and hardships in the companies. Now what exactly do we mean by it? The turbulence can be better explained in the next four words: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Knowing our present economic situation it is no doubt that the world is facing crises, with inflation and poverty on rise 'selling has become tough but not impossible.

It is during these situations when true value of MIMIC can be realized and known. The difficult times implies when there is: Slowdown in the economy Company's financial position is perturbed Sudden failure of the newly launched product Strike, lock-out, labor unrest, management dispute Unforeseen circumstances like natural disasters Sustaining in the dynamic business environment is never easy; customers can be hangers mean that companies can't stand still; the only way to succeed is to constantly be looking for the next big innovation.

Marketing leaders, in particular, are almost always under the gun, and have to balance driving sales in the short run with building strong businesses and brands that will thrive in the long run. There are three factors, however, that make this a particularly challenging time for marketing leaders: --The first factor is the explosion of data. Simply put, marketers today have more information than ever before. As the cost of technology has fallen, the sheer quantity of data has grown dramatically. A Google search on almost any topic will yield several million hits.

In many businesses, it is possible to get sales information minute by minute, city by city and item by item. This explosion of data is a wonderful thing in many ways, but it is also a problem; marketers have to find a way to process the information and make sense of it. This is far easier said than done. The tidal wave of information can be simply overwhelming. --The second factor is the growing number of marketing tactics from which to choose. Twenty years ago, marketers had only a few different television networks to work with and a limited number of publications.

Today, there are hundreds of television networks and millions of web sites. Choosing between them is difficult; it is simply impossible to understand and analyze all the options. --The third and most significant issue is the slumping world economy. The economic decline in late 2008 and early 2009 has shocked virtually every business leader and economist; the fall has been quick, sudden and deep. Companies that were rock solid eight months ago are now teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

Companies that remain strong are nervous about a future that seems almost impossible to forecast. In this environment, marketers need to move quickly and focus relentlessly on driving results. This is not the time for interesting programs and nice-to-do events. This is the time for tight, well-considered actions that will have an immediate impact on the business. Marketers who don't drive short-term results are not likely to survive the coming waves of layoffs. Sustained Growth: The sustainable growth rate is a measure of how much a firm can grow without borrowing more money.

After the firm has passed this rate, it must borrow funds from another source to facilitate growth. The sustainable growth rate of a firm is the axiom rate of growth in sales that can be achieved, given the firm's profitability, asset utilization, and desired dividend payout and debt ratios. Sustainable growth models assume that the business wants to: 1) maintain a target capital structure without issuing new equity; 2) maintain a target dividend payment ratio; and 3) increase sales as rapidly as market conditions allow.

Since the asset to beginning of period equity ratio is constant and the firm's only source of new equity is retained earnings, sales and assets cannot grow any faster than the retained earnings plus the additional debt that the retained earnings can support. The sustainable growth rate is consistent with the observed evidence that most corporations are reluctant to issue new equity. If, however, the firm is willing to issue additional equity, there is in principle no financial constraint on its growth rate. Indeed, the sustainable growth rate formula is directly predicated on return on equity.

Some instances... 1. 1 . Volkswagen promoting their brand introduced talking advertisement through an audio rendering of the print commercial. Volkswagen, no stranger to unconventional advertising targeted to create awareness of the brand and drive traffic to horrors. 1. 2. The producers of "Aaron" movie spent 520 million on the film's promotions, which involved a nine-month publicity campaign, brand tie-ups (like with Horrific, McDonald's, Godard, HCI and many more) merchandise, video games and viral marketing. 1. 3.

The brand, "Vanilla Coke" was targeted at the metro youth was different. It was different in taste, promotion, package, price etc. Vanilla Coke was promoted in retro style. The brand had Ivies Oberon, the then Plywood flame endorsing the brand in an unusual style. Ivies sported the retro look with typical combination of Elvis style lulus Shame Kapok style in an Old Lamb Scooter screaming Wake It failed because . The campaign was not targeted at the right segment. This campaign had its fair share of critics also. The brand was priced at a premium over the ordinary coke.

This may have discouraged the TAG from checking out the brand. 2. Extraordinary MIMIC drive and thus Catbird earned its generic name for 'chocolate'. Caduceus after it's restructuring and repositioning, continue its successful advertising campaigns through its different tag lines and TV commercials taking Catbird to the topmost position in the Indian market. 3. Low/Moderate MIMIC efforts Kayaks Tablet" introducing in India did not make any impact since there was moderate level of MIMIC activity and because of various reasons, the product was off the market before even entering. . Low MIMIC engagement and yet the Product is successful. A brand like Departure doesn't use too many channels of MIMIC, but holds a substantial position in the Indian market Statement of Problem Management of MIMIC during turbulent times, is critical for sustained growth Literature Review "At the heart of the integrated marketing communications (MIMIC) approach, is the careful coordination of marketing communications components.

The objective is to ensure all components communicate collectively in one voice to strengthen and reinforce the main organizational or brand message (Trance Shims, 2007 edition). The MIMIC concept has been seen as a significant marketing management issue due to the perceived effectiveness of organizations integrating various marketing targeted audiences (Kettle 2000; Schultz & Kitchen 1997).

The crux of the MIMIC is to coordinate all the components comprising an organization's marketing communication carefully in order to assure that they all speak collectively in one voice, thereby amplifying and reinforcing the core organizational message(Wells et al, 000: Payne and Holt, 2001) The crucial link between corporate identity and different forms of communication has been explored by writers in both the corporate identity area and the communication area.

For example, Mind(1997) wrote that communication strategy is about integration; the development of coherent plan based on the reality of the corporate identity and that creates relevant image that can help an organization meet its broader objectives. Writing from a marketing perspective, Schuman et al, (1996) argued that marketers should integrate all communication efforts to ensure realistic messages consistent with all functions, consistent among long term goals such as corporate image, and consistent with short term goal such as specific campaign objectives.

Communication marketing strategy is, indeed used to reach all stakeholders and focuses on corporate level of communications not on the offerings of the organizations. Corporate marketing involves the marketing of the company as a whole, rather than any specific offering or brands offered by a company (Wee-He, 2008). The activities and goals of profile strategy are referred to as rapports communications as they deal more or less exclusively with the corporate entity (Fill, 1999). Blamer, (2005) argues that it is not always appreciated that corporate communications is necessarily different from marketing communications activities.

Objectives and Methodology The objectives of this study are as follows: To study the importance & management of MIMIC for an organization To study the marketing strategies adopted by the organizations during turbulent times To analyze the marketing communication company's approach towards their clients Research methodology Primary data: Online survey (Sample size: 100) Two Telephonic Interviews Secondary Data Web research Various Marketing Journals, Books and Magazines Telephonic interviews A couple of telephonic interviews done by us, which gave us more insights about the topic: 1. Mr..

Gregory Fernando (Manager: Social Media Training at Social Wavelength, Iambi) I) How do you approach your clients when they want to market their failed product on Digital Media? 0 Well the process goes something like this: The root cause analysis is done for that specific product. Meetings are done with the of the failure as well as Social Media Monitoring is done to know about the current tuition in different social media platform, if any. The objective is to find the negative factor about the brand, or organization and develop a detailed communication strategy to convert that image into a positive one. T) Sir, is there any brand you working on, currently, which doesn't have much credibility in the market? We are working on Taking- Wireless Broadband and Internet Service Provider. They haven't used social media marketing yet and are planning to work on new customer acquisition. Iii) In Social media marketing, is there any difference between BIB and BBC companies while choosing the social media platform? Yes, it differs for BIB and BBC companies. Linked and Twitter is used for BIB and Backbone and other websites for BBC companies. 'v) How much time is usually required for re-branding of any failed product? It differs from the size of the industry. But generally for an FMC known brand it takes 2-3 months and for an unknown brand, around 6 months or probably more than that. 2. Mr.. Nikkei Rabble (Director of Strategic Brand Planning at Lowe Lint's, Iambi) 1) In difficult times such as slowdown/recession, how does the marketing of a company work? 0 Our First reaction to a business slowdown is to cut expenses and advertising. There is pressure to keep costs under control and maintain liquidity during a credit crunch make marketing and communication.

As well as all the advertisements are low at that time. We routinely argued that leaders who succumb to that temptation put the long-term growth of their companies at risk. 2) In difficult timing such as crisis like Catbird and Coca cola had in that situation how is the advertisement done? 0 In crisis the advertisements are high. They tighten their belt and put their all efforts to show them that they are the best. And also they improve their product and he new specification which gets added to their product as well as new campaign, these all things they show by advertisements. ) In retail sector which media is used for advertisements? 0 In retail all advertisements are high through Digital, Print, PR but the TV are very low in retail. 4) In FMC which media is used for advertisements? 0 In FMC all media is get used like PR, print, digital, personal selling, sales promotion 5) In Pharmacy sector which media is used for advertisements? 0 Mostly in pharmacy sector advertisements are low but they prefer print media or personal selling rather than any other media.

Data Collection Method and Sampling: For Primary Data- Contacted ex-alumni of our college working in marketing department in various sectors Sample size: 100 Sample Size FMC 21 16 Banking 12 Market Research 10 Retail 15 BIB Automobile 5 Online research funnel Email Sent with Survey Questionnaire to the target group Email Delivered to the target group Survey Responses This online research funnel is all about analyzing the process of getting actual responses. Data Analysis Pie Chart: Interpretation: The above pie-chart shows responses in % from various sectors 1 .

Should Companies focus more on MIMIC in today's business environment (economic risks)? 0 Yes 2. Do you agree that, with the right Communication tools you can build better relation with the customers? 0 Yes 0 No 3. Do you think for business growth, MIMIC helps in new customer acquisition? 0 Agree 0 Disagree 4. Do you think Managing MIMIC is very critical in turbulent times? I) Strongly agree it) Agree iii) Disagree 5. If your organization going through economic slowdown; in that case which would be the most cost effective communication tool do you prefer? ) PR I') TV iii) Print Media iv) Digital Marketing v) Sales Promotion vi) Other (please mention) I) Do aggressive Marketing t) Reduce Marketing expenses ill) Focus on specific channels How Catbird managed crisis with Integrated Marketing Communication (MIMIC) l. The best case study to explain MIMIC of the company in its turmoil is none other than Catbird in Maharajah's, India. The Crisis is all about in eight outlets across Maharajah's, worms were found in some chocolate bars of Catbird Dairy Milk, Actuary's bread-and-butter brand selling 1 million bars a day and an icon of 'chocolate' in India.

Enquiry was instituted by the Food and Drug Administration and negative media publicity spread like wildfire. The extensively graphic media coverage De people to believe that every bar could be contaminated. Consequently, sales volume dropped, retailer cooperation lessened and employee morale dwindled. All in all, the company's credibility suffered extensive damage. Reason behind this crisis, after a thorough investigation of the entire supply chain, it was found that the problem originated at the distribution end. Apparently, at the retail outlets the infested bars were placed next to open unpacked items susceptible to worms.

However, although the problem was not of its own making, Catbird did take responsibility for the lack in educating retailers on storage and hygiene. Using MIMIC elements to overcome from this problem, The Company began its multi-pronged campaign on key print, broadcast and electronic media, to regain its lost credibility and almost reestablished the category. Message strategy was decided to convey that the root of the problem was as the distribution end, that any food item could face similar infestation, and yet Catbird would take initiatives to check the problem.

Catbird also roped in Amanita Backchat, Plywood's luminary icon as its brand ambassador since the celebrity was hugely popular and reputed for his integrity, qualities that Catbird needed to re-associate with the brand. A rationally and emotionally connecting television commercial, again starring Backchat, was also aired nationally. The star gave a firsthand account of his visit to the Catbird factory, assuring people about the quality of the chocolate. In another version of the ad, he also emphasized the safety of the product for children.

Public Relationship Campaign- the Company launched Project Visas, a three-pronged program that addressed the trade, consumers, media and employees. The project incorporated the following measures: For Trade a retail monitoring and education program was munched that performed quality checks at over 50,000 retail outlets and educated regarding 'Facts about Catbird' was also published nationally in 55 trade publications informing channel members about remedial measures being taken by the company. Posters and leaflets on the issue were also distributed to retailers, encouraging them to share them with consumers.

Catbird also linked the trade with response cell through a toll-free number and an email id to let them contact the company directly. The media was also explained the company's point-of-view, given updates about actions initiated by the company, and encouraged to share them with consumers. The company instituted a media desk and diligently answered every media query, friendly or not. The company's managing director urged media to assure consumers that Catbird was safe to eat, but that consumers exercise the usual care in purchasing a chocolate that they exercise in purchasing a food item.

Furthermore, it also promised to implement packaging changes within two months to ensure against poor storage. Actuary's MD and key spokespersons had one-to-one sessions with 31 media editors as part of an 'Outreach' program initiated in November 2003. Employees were also briefed about actions taken through meetings with senior managers and email updates from the MD. Product Safety Communication January 2004, the company launched a new double packaging that wrapped even the smallest 13 GM chocolate in an aluminum foil, heat-sealed for complete protection from all sides and further encased in a follow pack.

The over-engineered pack, the first of its kind in India, cost the company a fortune, but fulfilled the company's promise to media and consumers. The new packaging was launched amidst much fanfare in a media conference. Amongst the material distributed in the conference ere a comparison kit allowing evaluation of old and new packs and a video release with packaging and factory shots for television coverage. To reinstate confidence among sales people and to motivate them, another audio-visual with a message from the ambassador Amanita Backchat was shown in a string of sales conferences.

Outcome of Company's MIMIC Effort as a result of the integrated campaign, Catbird won over the invincible media and got extensive media coverage that highlighted the company's perspective instead of pointing a finger at it. Surveys revealed a positive change in consumer perceptions and an increase in their likelihood to buy. Further, not only did Actuary's sales recover from the crisis plunge, but also grew by 20% in 2005. Conclusion: Through timely and consistent marketing communications Catbird succeeded in solving a daunting business crisis.

With a 360-degree communications approach that targeted various audiences, Catbird could quickly control and off-set the negative word of mouth it had received. By integrating a variety of tools like press release and conferences, consumer advertising, trade advertising, point-of-purchase communications, packaging initiatives, email communications and the like, all sousing on the same problem, Catbird could communicate a unified message and get audiences to appreciate the efforts it had taken to minimize instances of future occurrences.

Case study on "How Toyota executed MIMIC strategy to recover from crisis" Three the end of 2009 and start of 2010. Toyota initiated the recalls, after reports that several vehicles experienced unintended acceleration. The first recall, in November 2009, was to correct a possible incursion of an incorrect or out-of-place front driver's side floor mat into the foot pedal well, which can cause pedal entrapment. The second recall, in January 2010, was begun after some crashes were shown not to have been caused by floor mat incursion.

This latter defect was identified as a possible mechanical sticking of the accelerator pedal causing unintended acceleration, referred to as Sticking Accelerator Pedal by Toyota. The original action was initiated by Toyota in their Defect Information Report, dated October 5, 2009, amended January 27, 2010. Following the floor mat and accelerator pedal recalls, Toyota also issued a separate recall for hybrid anti-lock brake software in February 2010. Toyota had announced recalls of approximately 5. Million vehicles for the pedal entrapment/floor mat problem, and an additional 2. Million vehicles for the accelerator pedal problem. Approximately 1. 7 million vehicles are subject to both. Certain related Lexus and Pontiac models were also affected the next day; Toyota widened the recall to include 1. 8 million vehicles in Europe and 75,000 in China. By then, the worldwide total number of cars recalled by Toyota stood at 9 million. Sales of multiple recalled models were suspended for several weeks as a result of the accelerator pedal recall, with the vehicles awaiting replacement parts. In 2012, a new associate committee was formed to look into associate issues.

The committee made a number of recommendations and received approval for a sizeable budget to create "Gestures of Appreciation" events for associates to enjoy and come together throughout the year. The launch of the program proved to be a fun event in itself complete with a large lunch and a DC spinning music. Toyota leaders encouraged associates to stay and enjoy the day rather than rush back to their desks. Toyota used its Social Media and took lessons from Dell's and Storage's social media command centers. 6 percent of Toyota Today readers are dealer sales associates.