IMC stands for integrated marketing communications. This is a broad marketing concept that focuses on keeping a company's marketing and communication efforts consistent and coordinated. So, any messages the company delivers through any kind of media should reinforce a consistent brand image. Effective IMC goals are specific, measurable, quantified and have a stated time frame.
One of the most common and early IMC objectives is brand awareness. Before a company can sell specific products and services, it has to create brand awareness among its target market, to let it know about the brand and its meaning. A brand-awareness objective might state "Increase brand awareness by 10 percent within three months."
Once a company establishes brand awareness, its next major step is to persuade customers to buy its products. As an IMC objective, persuasion may include creating a favorable brand attitude or a high intent to buy among customers. A company may assess general attitudes toward its brand before and after a marketing campaign to see if they improved. It could also study the intent of customers to buy after a campaign. An attitude goal might state "Have 15 percent of the market indicate an intent to buy the product within three months."
Ultimately, the long-term objective of most companies is to develop and maintain loyal relationships with its customers. Well-established companies commonly set IMC objectives for brand loyalty, such as increasing the customer database by 20 percent overall or increasing existing customer base revenue by 10 percent within six months. The purpose of these IMC objectives is to extract more business from core customers.
Each of the aforementioned IMC objectives is generally referred to as communications objectives, or longer-term goals. Sales promotions drive business and revenue in the short-term. They might, for example, include building a customer base, clearing out excess inventory or generating cash flow. Sales objectives are often simpler to measure, making them popular with directors that want easy-to-quantify results.