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PGBM56 Global Integrated Marketing Communications

Critical Evaluation of the Contribution of Current Integrated Marketing Communications Theory and Practice Executive Summary In the prevailing business era, the integrated marketing communication model…

Critical Evaluation of the Contribution of Current Integrated Marketing Communications Theory and Practice
Executive Summary
In the prevailing business era, the integrated marketing communication model is of paramount importance for a business undertaking as it can help it to establish its brand name and have a competitive edge against its industry rivals. A reputed chocolate confectionery brand has been selected in the report namely Orion Confectionery. The objective of the report is to understand how the chocolate business undertaking uses the integrated marketing communication model for the purpose of strengthening the brand presence in the dynamic market environment.
The report has been used to design the strategic integrated marketing communication model that would be used by the South Korean chocolate company to promote itself in the Chinese market setting and the United Kingdom market setting. The focus is on the entire brand communication model that would help it to reach the target market audience. The core aspects that have been highlighted in the report include the concept relating to the integrated communication marketing model and its effectiveness in the dynamic market environment. The role of the IMC model in the confectionery business context has been presented along with its positive contribution to the global market context.
Introduction
In the 21st century, integrated marketing communication (IMC) is one of the most popular business jargon which businesses are taking very seriously. According to Philip Kotler, the integrated marketing communication refers to the combination of various communication tools that are used by a business concern or a marketer to present their consistent and clear message in the broad market setting. The IMC is an indispensable tool that is extremely useful for both small business concerns as well as larger business concerns.
This marketing technique is used for various reasons including delivering a consistent message in the market and creating the maximum level of the marketing effect by using synergy. The 4Cs of the IMC model that helps a business concern to boost the brand name in the dynamic and competitive market setting are the coherence element, the consistency, the continuity and the complementary nature (Sales and Marketing for “You”, 2018).

The Orion Confectionery business is a reputed chocolate brand that was established in South Korea. Over the years, the brand has shown a sustainable and decent performance in the competitive market setting. The report basically presents the integrated marketing communication approach that the businesses entity must implement in order to promote the confectionery brand in China and the United Kingdom. In order to make its presence felt in the global market context, the combination of the communication tools must be wisely used so that the business can have a two-way and interactive communication with the target market audience. The Orion Corporation came into existence in 1956 and since all these decades it has introduced a wide variety of products such as chocolates, cookies, crackers, gums, and candy. One of the most popular products of Orion Confectionery that is known in different parts of the globe is “Choco Pie”. In the year 2015 alone, the brand had sold about 60.67 billion South Korean won of chocolate items in the market setting (Statista, 2018).
One of the main marketing elements that have assisted the business undertaking to showcase a steady and strong performance in the dynamic market environment is its robust marketing communication model. The market performance of the confectionery brand has been presented in Appendix 1 (Statista, 2018). The report has been structured to throw light on the various integrated marketing tools and techniques that could be used by the Korean chocolate confectionery business to promote itself in the Chinese market in the U.K. market setting. Even though the business has its presence in the highlighted markets, it can use the integrated marketing communication tools in a creative and interactive way so that it can reach different consumer segments in the most effective and efficient manner.  The objective is to capture how the integrated marketing communication techniques such as advertising, public relations, campaigns, social media marketing, direct marketing, and many other creative and interactive communication tools can be used by the business in order to have a stronger presence in the intensely competitive market setting.
Integrated Marketing Communication Practices
Integrated marketing communication has always been an essential marketing mix element for all the business entities that operate in the market setting (Fill & Turnbull, 2016). But in the current market scenario, it is highly crucial for all the business entities including Orion Corporation to interact with the market audience and other stakeholders of the business undertaking. Some of the most popular and effective IMC tools and practices that are widely used by business organizations in the current times are the advertising technique, sales promotion, direct marketing, personal selling, public relations tactics and digital marketing (Orion.fi, 2018). Due to the rapid changes that have taken place in the technological setting, there is a rapid rise in the digital marketing model.
Today, more and more business entities are making a genuine attempt to promote their business offerings on the virtual platform and reach a wide number of customers in a cost-effective manner. Appendix 2 highlights the most preferred IMC mechanisms that are creating value for business undertakings in the competitive market setting (Orion.fi, 2018). In the recent times, it has been observed that the modern marketing tools that work on the online platform are complementing the traditional marketing communication model so that the business firms can reach far and wide segments of the broad market environment.
In China, the Orion Corporation has a strong brand presence in the operational market setting but still, it faces tough competition from the locally operational firms. Similarly, the business has its facility in the United Kingdom market but there is the need of the business to have an interactive relationship with the existing customers as well as its potential customers that exist in the foreign market environment (Orion.fi, 2018). The IMC practices that can help the business to strengthen the brand image and the market performance have been captured in this section of the report so that the business could have a strong chance against the other chocolate confectionery brands that exist to the U.K and the Chinese market setting (Orion.fi, 2018).
IMC model of Orion Confectionery
In order to promote the chocolate business in the market context, the Orion Confectionery concern uses both the traditional and the non-traditional marketing techniques so that it can reach the maximum number of market audiences. A holistic IMC approach has helped the business to have a sustainable and profitable existence in a highly competitive market environment for the past 50 years (En.orionworld.ru, 2018). In order to reach the market audience, it believes in establishing direct and transparent communication with the existing customers as well as potential customers. Due to the robust communication that is ultimately established in the process, the offerings of the business including the confectionery items and the snacks are exported to over 60 nations all around the globe. The robust marketing and communication model of the business undertaking has played a vital role to help the brand to improve the taste and the quality of its confectionery items in the holistic market setting (En.orionworld.ru, 2018).
In order to strengthen its brand position in the Chinese market, it has established a Chinese name known as “Haoliyou” which means a good friend. This is a very smart marketing communication approach that gives the brand a positive edge against the foreign participants that exist in the operational market setting. Due to this Chinese name, many Chinese customers are unaware of the fact that the Orion Confectionery business is actually a South Korean confectionery brand that operates in their nation (Kwon, Kim & Choi, 2018, p 6). The brand has used its communication and marketing model as a weapon to establish a strong personal relationship with the target audience. Similarly, for the other market audience including the ones that belong to the U.K. the brand uses its English name i.e. “Orion Confectionery” to ensure the consumers are familiar with its offerings. In addition to these elements, it uses both the traditional communication model as well as the non-traditional communication model to reach the specified target audience (Kwon, Kim & Choi, 2018, p 6).
Traditional Marketing approach
The business has always relied upon the traditional marketing communication model to reach the target market audience. Some of the most effective and popular traditional marketing communication tools that are widely used by Orion Confectionery to reach the audiences that exist in the broad market setting include flyers, newspaper prints, television commercials, newsletters, and radio advertisements. These traditional marketing techniques play a critical role in the dynamic market setting to reach all kinds of customers in the market (Carroll, 2015). The application of conventional marketing tools plays a vital role to reach various customers whether they use advanced forms of technological tools or not.
The Orion Confectionery business undertaking owns 10 television channels and it is a major investor in the film industry. These strategic elements strengthen its reach on the market and help it to strengthen the level of brand awareness (En.orionworld.ru, 2018).
Non-traditional approach
In the digital era, the business undertaking has made sure to enhance its presence on the virtual platform so that it can have an interactive and personal relationship with its target customers from different parts of the globe. The brand has an official website that can be accessed by people from all around the globe. The official site contains details relating to the business history, product offerings, and many other details relating to the confectionery business undertaking. In addition to the website of the business, the business has a robust social marketing model that helps it to interact with the global market audience. It has a page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and various other interactive social media platforms that help it to interact with the market audience. The non-interactive approach revolves around the interaction that takes place with the customers who are the most important stakeholders of the business undertaking.
In order to promote the brand and its offerings in the U.K. market setting and the Chinese market setting, the business must continue using the traditional and modern marketing communication tools so that it can reach all the corners of the globe and it can share the consistent brand message with its target customers (Luxton, Reid & Mavondo, 2015).
The contribution of effective IMC model to organizational success
The promotional model that is used by business concerns is an important element of the marketing mix. For the past decades, an integral component of the promotional model is an integrated marketing communication. In the hyper-competitive market setting, the IMC has become an indispensable tool that helps brands to strengthen their brand image in the dynamic market context. It can be said that a farsighted and effective marketing communication model can help a business to survive and have a profitable existence in an intensely competitive market environment (Iimcal.ac.in, 2018). The case of the Orion Confectionery concern can be taken as the best example. Due to the two-way marketing communication model that it has implemented, it has been able to understand the exact eating needs of the customers and accordingly it has upgraded the overall quality of the confectionery items including pies, chocolate bars, gums, and other snacks. For example, the strong IMC model that has been used by the firm to promote the “Choco pie” has been highly effective. The IMC model has made it a household confectionery item not only in South Korea but also in the U.K and the Chinese market (Iimcal.ac.in, 2018, p 1).
The role of Integrated Communication Marketing (IMC) is highly critical in the current market setting as it helps a brand to convey its message to a large section of the global audience. Its role is highly critical to creating brand awareness for any business undertaking including the Orion Confectionery concern.  The businesses that adopt a holistic integrated marketing communication model are not only able to promote their brand name among the specific target audience but they are also able to develop a strong sense of trust among the existing customers and the potential customers (Karjaluoto, Mustonen & Ulkuniemi, 2015).
In the current marketing era, the IMC is of paramount importance for all the business concerns that function in the competitive market setting in spite of the nature of the industry in which they function and the size of the entity. The IMC model is a fundamental necessity that helps business concerns to establish a healthy relationship with the target customers and thus earn their loyalty in the process.
Level of Integrated Marketing Communication being practiced by the Orion business
Over the past decades, the Orion Confectionery concern has been able to survive in a profitable manner and expand its business operations in different parts of the globe due to the use of an effective and suitable integrated marketing communication model. With the changing time and the changing market environment, the business undertaking has brought about the appropriate changes in its communication and marketing techniques so that it can have a competitive edge against the other confectionery players in the dynamic market environment (Šerić, Gil-Saura & Ruiz-Molina, 2014). It relies on both the conventional and the non-conventional marketing mechanisms so that it can share the brand message with different customer segments. With the advent of technology, the brand has made its presence felt on the online market platform. It has opened its business pages on different social media platforms so that it can have direct interaction with the customers or potential customers and thus bring about the necessary changes that can enhance their overall satisfaction level in the process. Even though the marketing context has undergone a dramatic change in the past few decades due to the evolution of the technological environment, the business still makes the optimum use of the traditional marketing techniques so that the customers that do not use digital platforms will not feel left behind. Over the years, the business undertaking has tried to establish an emotional connection with the target customers in the market so that the confectionery offerings will be much more than a product that is offered in the market setting (Šerić, Gil-Saura & Ruiz-Molina, 2014). The perfect combination of the modern and the traditional marketing approach has helped the business to have a transparent and communicate with the target customers over the years which have made them loyal towards the confectionery brand.
The skills and knowledge needed by those working in IMC
In the current era, when the marketing communication approach has undergone a dramatic change due to the introduction of the digital marketing platform, there are certain skills and expertise that are needed by the marketers in order to have a robust interaction with the target market customers. The professionals that work in the Orion Confectionery firm to strengthen the integrated marketing communication approach must have the foresight to design the business message that focuses on the confectionery needs at the global level. In addition to this, there is the need to form an emotional connection with potential customers irrespective of the nation to which they belong (Kwon, Kim & Choi, 2018, p 11).
Even if the customers belong to different cultural contexts or national contexts, their basic expectations from a marketer are the same. They expect to get high-quality products at a reasonable and affordable rate. Since the Orion Confectionery business functions in a food-based industrial setting, it is highly important for the marketing department, especially the ones responsible for the IMC approach to have an honest conversation with the target customers about the nutritional value or content in the confectionery items (Kwon, Kim & Choi, 2018, p 11).
Over the years, the Korean business has carried out its marketing activities to present and promote the healthiest and tastiest confectionery items that are offered in the market by the brand. In the current times also, the brand must use the same marketing and communication approach so that it can create the best possible value for the organization as well as the market audience. The business undertaking must exploit the strong distribution channel in order to promote the offerings in the market and highlight the core features of the confectionary items.
The current level of skill and knowledge by the IMC professionals working in the Orion Confectionery concern is pretty decent and this is evident from its strong global presence. But in order to promote the brand and its offerings in China and the U.K, they need to keep a tab on the various communication channels that are arising in the dynamic market environment. The thorough analytical approach can help them to make the best possible use of the different innovative communication networking systems that can be used to establish a personalized communication and conversation with the target market audience. Such an approach can further strengthen the message that it shares with the global market audience.

Recommendations
The marketing communication approach that is adopted by a business undertaking keeps on evolving and changing based on the changes that take place in the market communication model in the macro setting. A couple of decades ago, no one would have realized the power of the digital marketing tool but today this communication model acts as an indispensable instrument that helps a business concern including the Orion Confectionery firm to share its consistent business message with a large section of the market audience (Forbes.com, 2018).  In this section of the report, a number of recommendations have been presented that could be implemented by Orion Confectionary for the purpose of improving its marketing communications practices within the entity.
An interactive communication network is a fundamental necessity that could make sure that the message flows among the involved parties. In order to make the setting interactive, it is necessary to use various tools and techniques for the purpose of communicating and interacting. Inside the business undertaking, one-on-one interactions could be planned in form of individual meetings and other workshops so that the employees would get a platform to share their views and opinion on the business and its functional aspects (Forbes.com, 2018). Similarly, in order to strengthen the communication with the external stakeholders, especially the customers, the firm could hold interactive sessions where they could share their personal; “sweet moments”. The same could be posted on the social networking pages of the business entity. Such communication tactics would strengthen the overall communication approach internally as well as externally.
The Orion Confectionery business could design an application or software for its employees as well as the customers that could be used to share the customer feedback and encourage them to share new recipes relating to the chocolate bars and the snack items. This highly interactive approach could be implemented to strengthen the brand name and the overall brand awareness of the business undertaking. For Chinese customers, the app could be introduced in the Chinese language and for the customers from the U.K. market setting; the “English” language could be used by the confectionery business entity.
These recommendations would be highly useful for the Orion Confectionery brand as it would not only strengthen the IMC model and the overall communication with the external stakeholders i.e. the customers but it could also strengthen the communication model internally. These interactive tactics would strengthen the relationship between the business entity and the customers and their loyalty could be strengthened in the process. These IMC tools could be effectively used by the business concern for the purpose of promoting itself and its market offerings in the U.K. market as well as the Chinese market.
Conclusion
In the modern era, all business undertakings need to establish a form of communication with the target market so that the potential customers can be aware of its presence and the offerings that are being made in the broad market environment. The report fundamentally focuses on the Orion Confectionery brand that intends to promote its business offerings in China and the U.K. In order to makes its presence felt in the foreign market environment and have an edge against the local and the international players a number of recommendations have been presented in the report so that a strong and transparent communication model could be established by the business concern.
In order to expand the business operations in the global setting, businesses need to rely on the integrated communication model (IMC) so that two-way communication can be possible that can help the business entity to identify the exact needs and requirements of the target audience in the market. The various elements that have been captured in the report show how the IMC model has become an indispensable component for the organizations of the current times. Without a strong IMC model most likely the business undertakings would perish within a short span of time. Orion Confectionery is a popular chocolate brand that is known in far and wide sections of the globe. In order to survive and sustain in the highly competitive market setting, it must strengthen its IMC model and use innovative marketing communication so that it can promote the brand offerings in the U.K market and the Chinese market. The core concepts and principles relating to the IMC model have been highlighted in the report. The IMC model of Orion Corporation has been presented so that the business could make suitable changes in its marketing communication model which could constructively impact its market performance in China and the U.K.
References
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Šerić, M., Gil-Saura, I. and Ruiz-Molina, M.E., 2014. How can integrated marketing communications and advanced technology influence the creation of customer-based brand equity? Evidence from the hospitality industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 39, pp.144-156.
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