Contemporary marketing efforts of businesses require the creative use of multiple channels that will allow connecting with a consumer and delivering a message about the brand. Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is a combination of all communication channels available to the company and the use of them as an advertising method. This paper will review the IMC tactic of Amazon and provide several recommendations for improvement.
The main goal of IMC is to create a relationship with the consumer, which is why it is also referred to as relationship marketing. According to Blakeman (2018), the main goal of IMC is to combine the creativity and the strict requirements of product advertisement, meaning that marketing creativity must be combined with the business objectives. In the contemporary world, companies such as Amazon can use a variety of IMC tools and outlets, as well as collect data to analyze their campaigns. Although it is difficult, businesses should use IMC to have control over the message that their consumers receive.
Since Amazon is a digital company, it has the advantage of being able to collect data regarding consumer preferences and use IMC to tailor the message they aim to convey to a specific audience. One example is the homepage of their platform, where Amazon places different products and messages based on the user’s previous activity (Quiroz, 2018). Other outlets that Amazon uses is emails, which are also customized based on the products that a person has purchased before from Amazon.
Amazon has used search engine optimization (SEO) as part of its marketing, together with content marketing to attract traffic from search engines. Additionally, the brand uses social media and PPC campaigns to promote its advertisements, for example, the most recent “No Kidding No Worries” campaign (Chandrasekar & Vethirajan, 2020). In regards to cooperation with influencers, Amazon has partnered with bloggers in the past to give them books for a review (Quiroz, 2018). As a result, bloggers use their platform to tell their audience about the product they may be interested in, the review, and the link to it from Amazon’s website. In general, Amazon uses a wide variety of digital marketing tools and direct marketing to create a custom offer for its consumers.
Transparency about the products and their quality is another important aspect of Amazon’s image. For example, Quiroz (2018) states that Amazon dedicates specific attention to public relations, mainly by providing users the freedom to discuss Amazon’s products. Consumers can write honest reviews about any item, and the company does not delete negative reviews. This result is a sense of transiency and trustworthiness, adding to the positive image of this brand.
Similarly, users on other platforms post about Amazon’s products on their social media, websites, and blogs, generating additional traffic for the company. Here, an important aspect is that Amazon does not aim to delete or influence negative reviews in any way. This may be connected to the fact that Amazon is a platform for products and services, and the company itself does not manufacture any items or publish books, which allows it to serve as an independent means of connecting buyers to product owners.
More traditional IMC venues include press releases for investors, where Amazon leverages storytelling. Mainly, Amazon incorporates parts of press releases it has issued in the past to show that the company adheres to its promises, creating a positive brand image (Quiroz, 2018). Therefore, Amazon uses a mix of different communication channels while supporting the freedom of consumers to express their opinions about products sold on Amazon’s platform.
Effectiveness and Recommendations
Arguably, Amazon’s IMC tactics are effective because the company has been successful for many years, attracting a large number of consumers to its platform. The company appears to be using the majority of IMC tools. However, some aspects, such as a focus on word-of-mouth instead of a more targeted strategy, can lead to difficulties when managing Amazon’s brand image. According to Chandrasekar and Vethirajan (2020), “Amazon has been mostly marketed by word of mouth advertising,” which can be considered a challenge from IMC perspective since the business has little control over the message that the consumers receive (598).
While in most cases, word-of-mouth information relates to deals, for example, being able to buy a book at a lower price or being able to rent it instead of buying, negative experiences can be transmitted in this way as well. One way of addressing this is by creating challenges or promotions that encourage users to share their positive experiences with Amazon, for instance, on their social media.
Overall, this paper examined Amazon’s IMC tactics and their effectiveness. The company uses a variety of digital outlets – emails, targeted advertising, custom homepage, and cooperation with bloggers as part of its marketing. These tactics are effective because Amazon is able to customize the offer to individuals and provides freedom for critiquing or praising the products. The recommendation is to dedicate more attention to the word-of-mouth and management of this channel to ensure that the message that Amazon wants to deliver to customers is correctly transmitted through this channel.
Blakeman, R. (2018). Integrated marketing communications: Creative strategy from idea to implementation (3rd. ed). Rowman & Littlefield.
Chandrasekar, S. & Vethirajan, C. (2020). A study on digital marketing – A case with spesial reference to Amazon.com. Studies in India Name Places, 40(12), 594-606.
Quiroz, M. A. (2018). . Medium. Web.