As the ecosystem of the marketing mix steadily grows, so does the need for control, structure and holistic marketing. Every part of the mix need to have a reason for being there, and play along with the other media. You cannot have dislocated and isolated "satellites hovering about" with no rhyme or reason, or contribution to the overall marketing investment. So to maximize the effect of the marketing mix, you need to put a planned and firm strategy in place to win the war for your target groups attention and love. Integrated Marketing Communication, or IMC for short, is the tool you need for this.
The definition of IMC defined by the AAAA
IMC is an approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign, through a well coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other. As defined by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, integrated marketing communications recognises the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion and combines them to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.
To be able to have a sound and strong presence of your brand, you need to have a common thread or a running theme throughout your interactions with the clients or customers. Sponsorships and events need to be a part of this theme, so you can use the power within your sponsorship commitments to further strengthen the presence of your campaign and your brand.
If you want to harness the strength of a sponsorship, whether it is a one-time event or a long-standing partnership, you need to integrate the sponsorship and its activation into your marketing mix, and measure it the same way you would any other marketing tactic.
Every channel has its role to play, and they all play a crucial role in maximising potential return on investment. You need to utilise each of the media and channels unique strengths, and mitigate their weaknesses. If you create a holistic IMC-orchestra where every channel has an unique instrument but play together in harmony, it will most surely show dividends in your marketing impact reports.