Study Notes: IMC Advertising, Public Relations, Digital Marketing

This is a note from Coursera course: Integrated Marketing Communications Advertising, Public Relations, Digital Marketing and more.


Week1 What is IMC? IMC Planning IMCBackground

1.Introduction to IMC

1.1 What is IMC?

Marketing communications actually extend far beyond advertising and include public relations, event promotions, sponsorships, sales promotions, digital marketing, content marketing and so on.

1.2 Understanding the Marketing Process

  • Understanding the situation in the market (5C: consumer, company, competitor, collaborator, context)
  • Understand Value
  • Create Value (STP” segmentation, targeting, positioning)
  • Deliver Value (4P: product, price, promotion, place0
  • Capture Value

2. Background Info Required for a Communications Campaign

2.1 Building Customer-Based Brand Equity


Customer based brand equity

2.2 Brand loyalty

Kristin Northelm provides three types of brand loyalty:

  • Functional choice
  • Rational involvement
  • Emotional involvement

2.3 Marketing Myopia

used in marketing as well as the title of a marketing paper written by Theodore Levitt. Marketing Myopia suggests that businesses will do better in the end if they concentrate on meeting customers’ needs rather than on selling products.

2.4 How to run a successful marketing communication campaign?

  • Understand the human being (target audience)
  • Mechanism behind your brand interacts with people
  • Tools (technology and digital)


3. Communication Agency

3.1 How to choose a marketing communication agency?

  • Creativity
  • Styling (talent)
  • Dimension (structure)
  • Quality of service

3.2 Structure of an Advertising Agency

  • Account department: account director, supervisor, secretary
  • Creative department: executive creative director, copywriter, art director, audiovisual producer, graphic producer
  • Traffic department: strategic marketing consultant, creative freelancer, digital and social network specialist…

3.3 What are the main skills required to work in an advertising agency?

  • Open-minded
  • Oriented to provide service
  • Have initiative
  • Teamwork
  • Have PR assets (be nice)
  • Have passion (because it is time-consuming)
  • Talent
  • Think out of the box
  • Knowledge of business
  • Leadership

Week2 IMC Planning process

1.Communicating with the Consumer

1.1 Consumer Information Processing

Consumer Information Processing

1.2 Steps of Effective Communication

  • Target audience
  • Objective
  • 3 questions (what to say, how to say, who should say)
  • Communication channel
  • Budget
  • Measure the outcome

1.3 Communication Objectives

  • Create awareness (basic & top of mind)
  • Disseminate info
  • Change the attitude
  • Change behavior (CTA)

1.4 Consumer Decision Making Process

  • Need recognition
  • Information seeking (internal and external)
  • Evaluation of alternative (total set-awareness-consideration-choice-decision)
  • Purchase decision
  • Post-purchase evaluation

1.5 How Advertising Works-AIDA and Hierarchy of Effects Models

AIDA: attention-interest-desire-action

1.6 Consumer approach to the buying process: FCB Grid

FCB Grid FCB Grid

2. Communication Budget

2.1 Determining Marketing Communication budget

  • Percentage of sales
  • Meet the competitor
  • What we can afford
  • Objective and task

Distribution of advertising budget

  • Continuous schedule
  • Flighting schedule
  • Pulsing schedule

2.2 Relationship between communication budget & sales

marketing sale

  • Threshold effects
  • Diminishing returns
  • Carry-over effects
  • Wear-out effects
  • Decay effects

2.3 How to convince senior executives on the marketing communication budget?

Business objection (long-term; short-term)

advertising-sales (ROI) connection

  • action-business
  • plan-problem

Week3  Advertising Management & Design

1.Advertising Design & Message Strategies

1.1Theoretical approaches to advertising design

MECCAS: “means-end conceptualization of the components of advertising strategy

product attribute–functional benefit–psycho-social benefits–personal values

1.2 Message Strategies: Cognitive, Affective & Conative


  • Generic
  • Preemptive (the first brand to claim the benefits)
  • USP
  • hyperbole
  • comparative

Affective: resonance, emotional

Conative: action inducing, promotion supporting

2.Advertising Appeals & Executional Frameworks

2.1 Advertising Appeals

Emotional, Fear, Humor

emotion appeal advertising

Rational, Sex, Scarcity (price discount, contest, sweepstake)

rational appeal advertising

2.2 Executional Frameworks

  • Animation
  • Slice of Life
  • Dramatization
  • Informative  (radio, print)
  • Testimonial (credibility)
  • Authoritative (authority, scientific evidence)
  • Demonstration
  • Fantasy

2.3 Spokesperson Selection

  • attractiveness
  • similarity
  • likability
  • trustworthiness
  • available(celebrities, CEOs, experts, and typical persons)

3.The Creative Brief

Brief include right, important, relevant information, such as objective, time, budget, data.


  • Brief reading session (account executive, account planner, creative director, copy and art director)
  • Objective–Idea (Creative director agree)
  • The creative team presents to the client (roughs, mockup, PPT…)
  • Production (client confirms)
  • Test before launch
  • Launch
  • Result after launch

Week4 Marketing Communications Mix

1.Some tools of the marketing communication mix

1.1 Sales promotion

  • consumer promotion(promotion-prone consumer, price-sensitive consumer, brand loyal consumer, brand preference consumer)
  • price offs (sales vs profit, brand image)
  • coupons
  • premiums
  • contest
  • sweepstake
  • product sampling

1.2 Public relationships, sponsorships & cause-related marketing

  • Publicity
  • Sponsoring an event (event audience vs target audience, news value)
  • Cause marketing

1.3 Alternative marketing

  • viral marketing
  • buzz marketing
  • guerilla marketing
  • product placement (file, video game)

1.4 Crisis management

company wrongdoings or company being targeted with unjustified or exaggerated negative news

  • be prepared and a crisis management team (lawyer)
  • identify the right spokesperson according to the severity of the crisis
  • monitor what is being said in social and traditional media
  • respond quickly
  • demonstrate empathy, honesty, and sincerity

Types of response

  • denying the blam
  • apology strategy
  • deflection strategy
  • impression management strategy

2.Digital Marketing

2.1 Digital Marketing & Social Media

digital marketing: umbrella concept (search, social, content…)

attribution: digital touchpoints–sale (google, facebook, email…)

ROPO: research online purchase offline

combination: mass media and digital marketing


  • technology
  • websites need to be responsive
  • effective and personalize communication
  • heavy websites and apps won’t survive,
  • interaction

2.2 SEO and Content Marketing

  • user search
  • competitor
  • keywords
  • qualified traffic

content marketing with paid search

3. Evaluation of IMC campaigns

  • to whom (target audience)
  • objective
  • what message
  • which vehicles
  • budgets
  • assess

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