This research will examine the role of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) in the process of brand development. It will closely study, Nokia, as a corporation that has effectively established and maintained a positive brand image by employing the IMC tools. It will start by defining IMC and its importance, illustrate the role of the marketing strategy in Nokia, and show how Nokia has used the IMC tools such as advertising, sales promotion, internet websites, event sponsorship, direct marketing, personal selling, public relation and publicity in running its business. Pictorials, tabulations, and data will be used to highlight the performance of Nokia concerning its competitors. The study will conclude with a summary of its findings and recommendations.
Integrated Marketing Communication is a management idea adopted to make all marketing communication parts, such as sales promotion, advertising, direct marketing, and public relations, function as a unit rather than in isolation, according to its definition. IMC's primary objective is to maintain consistency in the broadcast of messages and the complementary use of media to cover as many contact points as possible, such as word-of-mouth marketing, the Internet, and new media. This kind of marketing is based on the utilization of traditional and online marketing channels. Online channels include e-marketing programs and campaigns, such as pay-per-click, email, and affiliates, as well as the most recent online channels for blog, podcast, and internet television (Belch, 2003). Offline channels, on the other hand, include periodicals, newspapers, billboards, televisions, radios, and public relations.
The significance of IMC to businesses is that they can be assured of more customer touchpoints. What this means is that apart from accessing the brand through traditional means such as newspapers, there will be many other options for accessing it such as the internet and after-sales service. IMC also intends to tailor its mode of advertising to reach a broad audience, including children.
Entrepreneurs, sports fans, pet owners, and a great number of others. In addition, this form of advertising guarantees that customers will view the advertisement and remember what it addressed. This is evidenced by the fact that firms such as Nokia Australia are investing more in advertising because they anticipate strong consumer responses. In addition, by posting an advertisement online, business owners can ensure their continued existence even after business hours.
The history of IMC has come a long way despite the hurdles of integrating it in businesses when it was still a new concept in the industry. In the 1990s, Integrated Marketing Communications was developed as a mission to establish consistency across all marketing communications sectors and media (Spotts et al, 1998). In the year 2000, it became apparent that IMC awareness needed a platform in order to be implemented into diverse organizations (Renzie, 2008).
Process of Integrated Marketing Communication and Brand Development
All companies that require future success and growth will need to build a strong brand that will withstand the fluctuations of the market. For a corporation to construct a powerful brand, it must comprehend how it will provide, create, and communicate the brand's message to clients with high expectations. To communicate the brand's value to customers, the company will need to adopt a strategic approach to marketing communications and control of the resources and costs paid during the brand-building process.
Integrated Marketing Communications has been an effective marketing tool for brand promotion and development (Reid, 2002). Cross-functional planning, data-driven targeting, and strategically consistent communication are the three most critical IMC strategies (Brad, 2005) that should be utilized in the brand-building process. This marketing approach relates brand performance with integration level and for managers dealing with global brands, such as Nokia, IMC seems to be an efficient concept for application in building of its brands. There are various ramifications that arise with this concept but they can be managed with a thoughtful approach.
Promotion, one of the P's in the marketing mix, utilizes a variety of communication tools. All of these tools will operate more effectively if they are interconnected than if they are used alone. This will be strengthened when vertical, horizontal, external, and internal integration occurs concurrently with data integration. Horizontal integration is implemented across business and marketing mix functions.
(Bisel & Keyton, 2008). On the other hand, internal integration is all about internal marketing while external integration leverages external partners like public relations agencies to present a similar, unified, integrated message. The study of Australian markets is a good illustration of this point.
The following diagram illustrates the IMC instruments.
IMC of Nokia
Nokia Corporation is a Finnish multinational corporation. It was founded by Frederick Idestman in 1865 ( Kumar et al, 2009). The company started as a cable, pulp, and paper manufacturing. Nokia has offices in India, Korea, Germany, Hungary, Finland, and Japan, and its industries include footwear, energy generation, and paper goods, among others. Statistics reveal that Nokia is the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer since 1998 with a market share of 32% in 2009, and a sales volume of 210 million units in the year 2008 (Kurmar et al, 2009). (Kurmar et al, 2009). In 2011, it was anticipated that mobile phone production in Australia would increase from 51 million units to 110 million units (Kurmar et al, 2009).
In Nokia IMC Tools
Advertising, Internet websites, event sponsorship, direct marketing, sales promotion, personal selling, Public Relations (PR), and publicity are among the IMC techniques utilized by Nokia.
Nokia has used advertisement as a tool for marketing its products and it has done this aggressively by display stands, billboards, television, dummies, and posters. There is also a Nokia webpage. The commission is provided to its sellers for every Nokia accessory or phone that is purchased.
Nokia took a big breakthrough in its marketing strategy by building a website where it advertises it products and avails the website its phones for simple access. Customers who use discount coupons to purchase products from this website receive a discount.
This company is known for its strong Public Relation and for this multinational company to enhance the equity of its brand and maintain its brilliant image, it has continually come up with new events about its product, publicity of its new brands and offers and programmes that center around the company and its accessories.
Nokia's official website does not offer any direct sales options. Nokia does not utilize the direct marketing techniques of telemarketing or direct mail. However, it does use a direct method of marketing dubbed DEMO (Kumar et al, 2009) in which its phones and accessories are displayed to attract buyers' attention.
Nokia has utilized trade exhibitions, dealer incentives, and cooperative advertising to market and sell its goods. In addition to that, Nokia’s promotion mix uses AIDA as letters to stand for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action accordingly (Renzie, 2008). (Renzie, 2008). It aims to attract the customer’s attention, capture interest by using colorful features, convince customers that it is their desire to possess the product, make the customer take the action to purchase.
Corporate Event Sponsorship
Nokia has become one of the most prominent multinationals in the mobile phone industry as a result of the numerous events it has sponsored, including marathons to raise money for the needy, conferences, and other sporting events such as athletics and festivals. In the long run, the popularity of the company rises which is comparable to its sales and profit margin.
Nokia's management has utilized product reviews and company reviews to promote its latest products. Nokia made its devices accessible to clients by offering a range of high-quality services with its accessories, including imaging, games, business mobility, and internet services. Therefore this has been an efficient contributing aspect to its publicity and the publicity of its phones and accessories.
Relationship management and account management are applied in the personal selling of Nokia. Another personal selling strategy involves engaging in oral communication with the potential customer intending to sell the phone or accessory. Nokia has used personal selling as a strategy to cultivate a good relationship with their customers, as their primary focus is the customer in order to close a sale. It consequently guarantees that it has a strong sales staff that can be able to hunt for new consumers and engage with them in an efficient manner and therefore, sell the goods.
As shown in the table below, due to the company's rigorous IMC tools, it has achieved a significant market share in comparison to its competitors.
Company Handset share of the market
Role of IMC in Nokia
Orange, Vodafone, and Motorola, Nokia's competitors in the Australian market, offer global products similar to Nokia's, but they have not been able to penetrate the market as Nokia has. Nokia as a multinational has experienced issues with its branding such as counterfeit items. For instance, China posed a threat by producing counterfeit Nokia products. These kinds of competitors have attempted to reduce Nokia's market share. In summary, the IMC and marketing strategies of Nokia have made it possible for Nokia to be stable in the popularity of its brands. Actually, many buyers favor Nokia brands over Motorola or Orange products due of its longevity, affordability and excellent quality. In addition, Nokia's presence into rural areas in numerous nations, including Australia, has ensured that their brands stay popular and appreciated. IMC has also ensured that Nokia remains devoted to its customers, which is why customers have faith in its brands. The table below illustrates how Nokia is a rapidly growing brand and how popular it is among other multinational corporations, some of which employ IMC as a marketing strategy.
Change in Company Value between 2005 and 2006
Microsoft minus 5%
Mercedes – Benz +5%
In essence, the IMC strategy is important for a company, like Nokia, that is interested in penetrating the market aggressively by using IMC tools like advertising, internet websites, event sponsorship, direct marketing, sales promotion, personal selling, Public Relation (PR) and publicity. While Nokia has been cited as an example of a corporation that has effectively entered the market thanks to outstanding marketing methods, it is equally necessary to urge that it increase brand awareness in regions where it has not yet achieved market penetration. This essay has also demonstrated that for a marketing strategy such as IMC to be successful, the management must possess excellent management skills. Nokia has definitely handled this strategy in an efficient way since its performance in the market speaks for itself.
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