It's easy to fall into the trap of 'what we want to do to the consumer' instead of focusing on the benefits to them. Understanding IMC helps maintain that consumer focus. From my degree I learned the importance of data and analysis. For example, the first time I encountered decile analysis was as a student at Medill. By using that tool to analyze the entire General Mills portfolio, I was able to uncover valuable insights.
Effect of the recession on marketing efforts at General Mills
Everyone has to eat, and the recession has forced people back into the home (instead of eating out). But consumers are still hurting. We're focusing on the value of our products for consumers by providing solutions such as helping to plan for leftovers, coupons, and turning meals into family time.
The post-recession marketer
You need to focus on goals and what works. It's also important to have break through ideas that differentiate you and connect with the consumer in a compelling way. There will probably be hyper competition post-recession and those that have their game on now will be able to create a long term advantage.
Advice for new IMC graduates
Be curious and don't be afraid to ask questions. Share your ideas and don't be part of the status quo. The people that are able to do this are the most successful in an organization.
-- Marina Molenda and Stacy Cohen