The research centers on the Nike’s athletic footwear and seeks to establish how the organization has utilized the concept of integrated marketing plan as a tool for marketing its products. The research will begin with introduction of the Nike’s athletic products and will outline other similar products by other companies. The research will demonstrate the extent to which Nike athletic footwear utilizes an integrated market plan. Further, the research will analyze the concept of the integrated marketing plan, outlining its various elements such as consumers and costs. Specifically, the research will try to show how a relevant integrated marketing plan will fit into the marketing strategies of the Nike’s athletic footwear. The attempt of this research is to pinpoint features of the Nike’s integrated marketing plan, which is thought to be the factor that has tremendously contributed to the success of the company. Further, the research seeks to establish the integrated marketing plan process at play regarding Nike. Therefore, the research tries to analyze the meaning of integrated marketing and its several elements that are at play.
Marketing Plan for Nike Athletics
Nike is the world’s leading vendor of athletic footwear with a world’s market segment of about 38 percent. Globally, the company’s products are traded in about 150 countries. Nike runs retail stores locally and in the global market. Nike’s line of products consists of more than 150 different kinds of shoes. Apart from the company’s wide variety footwear promoted under the flagship Ip Company’s brand, Nike also sells footwear under the All Star and other subsidiary companies. The company relies on heavy marketing to fuel its growth both in the United States where it operates approximately 22,000 retail shops and in foreign markets. The company has relied over years on aggressive marketing to outdo its close competitors that include the Germany athletic footwear company Adidas, which previously was the leader in the United States. Other Nike competitors include Puma and Reebok. Adidas and Puma are its main competitors in European countries.
Integrated marketing plan stresses on the need to improve consistency in the brand messages that are distributed across conventional channels of promotion and employ several methods of marketing to complement each other. Integrated marketing is all about new approaches to promotion in the current competitive globe market. Being different from old-fashioned advertising, integrated marketing communications have raised the bar for businesses to benefit directly from their operational activities and practical methods. In Nike Company, the use of integrated marketing in its athletic footwear products will be of great significance in advancing the marketing plan of products. Owing to the current fragmentation of the media technology, integrated marketing is gradually becoming a critical promotion tool for most companies. Integrated marketing is critical for companies and just how well it places itself in the communication platform and on the world chart.
Integrated marketing is the currently debated topic with most of the debate focusing on what integrated marketing is rather than how to implement it efficiently. Given the propagation of channels used to reach end users, the issue of how integrated marketing functions in practice is becoming multifaceted. Concentrating on depth rather than breadth of channels, basically involving target customers within a smaller number of collaborative channels, may eventually be better for increasing product relevance and attention. Integrated marketing has been defined by the American Association of Advertising agencies as a comprehensive marketing undertaking that forms the basis for consumers to communicate and build relationship with consumers in the market either directly or indirectly. The communication happens between a product and a customer and also between customers. Importantly, these contacts provide customers with a “feedback voice” that enables them to involve more intensely with brands in a progressively immediate-reaction culture. Integrating organization’s product into customer’s experience and daily life can be further helpful in the long run rather than ensuring a forceful multi-channel incorporated external promotion crusade. Some of the reasons as to why concentrating more on depth vs. breadth of contacts via more involving internal and customer “voices” are significant in increasing integrated marketing and include:
• Word-of-mouth promotion has always been and will be substantial in winning over customers’ perception and consumptions. Organizations now have the capacity to engage in word-of mouth promotion as a result of the use of technology such as social media, blogs, and other sites.
• Listening is as significant as talking and customers and employees want to be both heard and significantly understood if they are encouraged to share updates via a wide range of digital media.
Development of Integrated Marketing
The concept of integrated marketing has been developing each day. The concept of integrated marketing is changing with developments in technology. Currently, with increasingly fragmented digital channels, there is a need to change the old meaning of integrated marketing to take care of depth vs. breadth of channel use. Deeper incorporation amongst a small number of channels such as mobile and realizing steadiness of depth through consumer dialog tools, instead of attaining promotion breadth across numerous channels, can let customers “take the reins” and choose how deeply involved they want to be with the product. Eventually, this method can result in a more reliable feeling for customers and an ultimate buy down the road. In reality, the main objective of integrated marketing is to reach consumers and investors with constant messages, expression, and feel through channels. Creating awareness and concern for brand’s features and stimulating consumers to take action are important. A more tightly woven marketing structure can give better results compared to an individual campaign or promotion program, making the whole better than the sum of its portions. Fruitful integration of promotion channels that include TV, email, radio, and print media is meant to produce better revenues on investments and build a long-term product value. Nonetheless, an integrated marketing plan has turned out to be more complicated as a result of proliferation and use of digital methods that have enriched the level of interactive communication.
Components of Integrated Marketing
Being a multinational company, Nike targets customers across the world. Some of the things that influence customers’ perception of an organization include the following ones arranged in the order from what influences the most to the one that influences the least:
• What people say about a company;
• Online reviews;
• Online search reports;
• New sources;
• Company’s website;
• Awards and positions;
• Company leader’s communications;
• Social networks.
Most organizations have embraced the concept of depth vs. breadth in the integrated marketing plan. Nike is an example of a company that has embraced the concept in totality. Nike has nine maxims and one of them is “The Customer Decides” and they have brought this into practice via the Nike+ program. The program enables customers to monitor their everyday exercises and take part in a community where contenders can challenge one another and even train practically with coaches to attain scheme, which has been used to involve customers through online and digital integration and, in doing so, inspiring consumers to keep Nike in their deliberation when purchasing new sports tools. Nike’s strength can be seen from the perspective of its integrated marketing communications activities in a way of sponsorship that has promoted the company’s business. Nike has been on the lead in the marketing undertakings. Sponsorship, approval by of star sportspeople, and linking their communication to the utmost ready setting that is freely reachable to customers in the market have led to the coffer of the organization.
Since the foundation years, the company has emphasized all methods of advertising and communication realms. It would be appropriate to say that IMC of Nike is way beyond the border of a new age promotion endeavor.
Promotion in the framework of integrated marketing communication and its promotion strategies and action program is a precaution embarked on by Nike to convince and influence customers and purchasers via communication in all existing forms. According to the scholastic point, strategies linked to integrated marketing communications can be seen as the variable of integrated marketing communications mix, which includes
· Cyber Marketing;
· Direct Marketing;
· Personal Selling;
· Sales Promotion;
· Public relations.
Strategies used by Nike are also the same. According to reports in the media, Nike now has come to the era when it comprehends the significance of viable marketing and promotion.
One example of Nike’s marketing communication includes its statement such as “if you have body, you are a sportsperson”. Such kind of communication has a long process to go and to register straight with most sportspeople and customers across the world. Moreover, communication such as “Nike: Just Do It” likewise registers massively with supporters across the world.
Digital media and its application are widely known to be at the heart of Nike’s IMC. The company has a website where the media are widely used. When analyzing the feature of Nike’s strategies and action program linked to marketing, it can be seen that Nike’s strength has been demonstrated via spontaneous content and visuals that appeal to buyers. The growth of Nike’s marketing has taken a short time because the ‘swoosh’ sign has been chosen as a logo.
Nike admits that high costs are of utmost importance when it is connected to marketing. Directors of the company also feel that depending on TV commercials costs many dollars for the business as it involves paying advertisers a lot of money. The company’s annual marketing budget is about $2.5 million. It is a lot of money by any reason; nevertheless, there is the viability when going forward with such a budget linked to promotion and all forms of integrated marketing communication. The value of budgeting is a measure taken by Nike that is intended towards worldwide reach.
Demands for Nike’s brands are remarkable to note. Its reputation amongst its all competitors for that matter cannot be ignored as well. The research shows that its revenue for the year 2006 is estimated to be $5.7 million. The company’s promotion budget rose to $678 million in the year 2006. Therefore, it can be determined from the assessment that marketing through digital media, as well as advertising activities and sponsorship has been the major grosser for the business. The market demand for Nike’s brands has currently increased, which can be viewed in relation of its products and IMC in the form of digital communication devices that are used, for instance, websites and efficient content that is at play during the course of marketing and the like. Current developments demonstrate that Nike is more into viable advertising such as forming a mash-up by using their deep-rooted content to produce a new implication and to link with readers.
Therefore, what Nike has done is to limit its advertising costs, keeping consistency of contents, and using new digital media communication channels. For an increasing number of promotions, integration through a number of media is important. Integrating is all about linking a product reality with genuine human emotions. Nike’s Find Your Greatness is an example of a crusade launched to link with the Olympics. It utilizes the concept that prominence is not a thing for an elite sportsperson, but it is something that all people can desire to in their own way. It is an appropriate way to connect with Nike’s product truth – Just Do It – to physical people participating in unprofessional sports. A good idea like that can be used in channels of the company’s choice whether online or in TV advertising. Nike’s tactic has been to involve consumers through online and digital media. Sponsorship as used by Nike improves the company’s image and frequently creates public relations.
Integrated marketing is a concept that Nike has embraced for its convenience in products delivery. The digital platform creates convenience to customers to order products. Products do not need to pass through various channels for delivery.
With integrated marketing remaining consistent, the strategy utilized by Nike can bring about popularity of the footwear and other products. The company needs to stay consistent in message, voice, appearance, and feel on both traditional and digital platforms. Consistency means that the message should be uniform across all platform.Whether on Facebook, Instagram, or TV ads, the message emphasized should be the same. The most critical element is that consumers require and anticipate reliable experience throughout their touch points with organizations and products. Therefore, integration is not all about communicating same things in diverse channels. It is about taking an exclusive aspect of the product and tying it to buyer’s insight that is powerful and involving and that arises to life through any channel.
With the integrated marketing plan, Nike can coordinate their communications to build products and develop stronger consumer relationships, at the same time helping consumers meet their needs. Integrated marketing will assist Nike in coming up with an inclusive and premeditated outline of promotion and communication policy that is often supposed to offer a precision to messages, as well as simplicity and total effect of communicated messages on the whole. In the UAE market, Nike has currently launched sponsorship. Consequently, Nike’s presence in the UAE is gaining roots. With time, the company will reach its ideal best in the UAE market.
While a consistent, integrated, multi-channel product marketing crusade remains significant, organizations should consider involving consumers via deeper integration in a small number of channels instead of speeding promotion investments sparsely. Concentrating on depth vs. breadth may finally improve consumers’ engagements and increase marketing yield on investments. One way to kick-start this practice is to involve agency and promotion partners, as well as workers in suggesting ways to achieve this capability with these digital networks, but it is a good instance of listening to improve marketing efficiency. Technology is changing the way companies and people communicate. Integrated marketing is used by companies to deliver constant messages across all elements of promotion mix. As the media world changes, promoters may change the type of promotions they use so as to reach their target markets.
With changing social media, little money is budgeted for old-fashioned channels of communication and more money is allocated to new ways of communication. Notwithstanding the type of media used, promoters use integrated marketing communication to convey consistent messages to consumers. Integrated communications are becoming relevant with improved technologies and companies embracing it. Embracing the concept of integrated marketing plan means that the company maintains consistency in its marketing platforms. Consumers will be able to identify the company’s brand and are likely to remain loyal to it. Organizations need to clearly understand what integration is all about in order to successfully adopt the idea of integrated marketing. The foundation for any marketing effort that companies assume is to generate a value chain both internally and externally for its brand. Establishment of value chain therefore involves inclusive integration and practices of promotion channels that are whole across borders and to a particular extent use inclusive promotion devices and communication methods.
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