Question & Answer: Discuss the role that IMC assumes in the marketing mix. That is, how is this element of the mix…..

Discuss the role that IMC assumes in the marketing mix. That is, how is this element of the mix coordinated with pricing, distribution, and product functions? As the media environment changes, explain how this impacts the role of advertising and promotion. Why is the IMC process different than it was, say, 20 years ago? Discuss the difference between benefit and demographic segmentation. Give examples of companies employing each. Is it possible for a company to employ both forms of segmentation simultaneously?

Expert Answer



The role of IMC is to develop a cohesive and effective marketing program including all the elements of the marketing mix. Note that each of these elements is multidimensional which includes a number of decision areas. Likewise, each much contribute to the overall IMC objective. When it comes to the products, they are the bundles of benefits to the consumers. Consumers look beyond the physical attributes, brand, or the company behind a product. The bundle of benefits will conform to IMC objective only when each part of the bundle (e.g. quality, packaging, branding, serviceability etc.) contributes to the IMC. All are coordinated to present an image or positioning of the product that extends well beyond its physical attributes.

Price is the amount a customer is willing to pay for the product. From the IMC point of view, the price of a product/ service must be in line with the imagery of the product. For example, a high price should always go with high quality. High Quality – Low Price and similar strategies will always denigrate the IMC efforts. On a similar notion, brands spending more on advertisement and promotion should position themselves in the premium price segments.

Distribution refers to the marketer’s decision regarding the availability of the products for the consumers. From IMC perspective, again it should be integrated with the other two elements of IMC – price, and product. When a product is identified as high quality/ high brand value, never it will be marketed in places which are known for low price destination (e.g. Walmart). In addition, the channel elements contribute directly to the communication process — for example, grocery store displays, point-of-purchase merchandising, and shelf footage. The distribution channel in a well-integrated marketing program serves the purpose of a reminder advertising. The consumer sees the brand name and recalls the advertising.


Media is in the heart of a digital revolution that emancipates news, information, and advertising from the technological constraints of print and broadcasting infrastructures. The networking of information and digitization have transformed the integrated marketing communications into a massively different set of practices for connecting the consumers and brands. Digital media brings about an infinite reproduction of content, user-generated content, consumer networking, and a development of media from news and entertainment to any technology that can digitally interface with the consumers or potential consumers. The role of media in IMC practices shifts from the execution of message strategies into an extension of consumer perception. Many of the core principles of IMC – data-driven decision making, consumer insight, cross-media integration and communications with multiple stakeholders – signify an enhanced framework for communication management in a digital world.


Consumers buy products due to some of their preferred attributes as they satisfy specific needs and wants of the consumers. Marketers can segment the customer base on the basis of these attributes sought in this products. Such type of segmentation will be termed as Benefit Segmentation. For example, the toothpaste market may use benefit segmentation on the basis of people’s preferences of the ingredients and tastes of the products. Demographic Segmentation, on the other hand, refers to the grouping of the consumers on the basis of demographic variables such as age, sex, family size, education, socioeconomic condition and so on. For example, IKEA, after finding that 70% of its customers are women, has started modifying their stores to more women friendly nature. This types of decisions can only be made when the company uses demographic segmentation. Companies may use both type of segmentation if product lines are different among which one shows variability in terms of demographic variables and other in terms of needs.

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