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This study was informed by the necessity of research in the impact of integrated marketing communication on brand building. A study of the transition of Zain to Airtel. The theory that was used during this research is the learning theory which postulates that exposure of certain models or message to a particular audience which was applied to this study. It was also observed that the audiences of Airtel were able to imitate or act in accordance to the message in which they are exposed to Airtel. Survey method was used in this study. Three hundred and ninety nine questionnaires were also administered to respondents during this research. The data collected were analyzed using the chi-square analysis. Research hypotheses findings reveal that integrated marketing communication is an effective tool for brand building even during brand transition. The respondents from the sample population size were randomly selected audience in which it has created a platform for recommendations to be made. Based on the findings in this research, the researcher recommends that IMC messages should be carefully put together, in terms of central theme, media planning and usage. Also, recommended that an integrated marketing communications should be applied in brand building, a combination of Advertising, Public relation, direct marketing, event sponsorship, sales promotion and personal selling is required in brand building.




1.1. Background of the Study

A critical part of brand building is communication and the most effective and productive way of managing this effort is through a concept called Integrated Marketing Communication IMC.

Due to societal changes over the past fifty years, todays organizations are being forced to adjust their brand/marketing strategies. Not surprisingly, many have turned to integrated marketing communications IMC. Why Old assumptions about the role of advertising promotion and media have fallen by the way side because change remains the only constant thing in the world. Thoughts about how branding and promotion should be organized have been upsidedown. And organizations, marketing executives and the media are scrambling to accommodate their new roles, ever since, integrated marketing communication IMC has been part of business. Clow amp; Baack 2004 define IMC as the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues and sources within a company into a seamless programme that maximizes the impact on consumers and other end users at a minimal cost.

In addition, Arens 2004 defines integrated marketing communications IMC as:

The process of building and reinforcing mutually profitable relationship with employees, customers, other stakeholders, and the general public by developing and coordinating a strategic communications programme that enables them to make constructive contact with the company/brand through a variety of media or other contacts

From the above definitions, it can be deduced that IMC unifies all communication effort from an organization to produce an identifiable source brand in the minds of its audience while some observers think that so long as a company is involved in a variety of promotional activities e.g., advertising sponsorships, public relations etc, it is practicing IMC. But this is not the case using IMC means looking at the whole where there were once only parts. If calls for realigning communications and seeing constant flow of information from a single and identifiable source. An effective IMC process comprises the following steps:

Identify the target audiences: This requires a well throughout market segmentation and targeting process which may includes secondary and/or primary market research.

Determine the communication objectives: This can range from generating brand awareness to countering the competition.

Design the message content: This is an absolutely critical component. Effective messages can make or break a promotional effort.

Select the means for communications, whether advertising, public relations, direct marketing sponsorship etc.

Define the mix of media, budget and priorities

Measure the effectiveness of the efforts.

IMC and Brand Building

Based on the foregoing, the brand building aspects are the focus of this study. As consumers are bombarded with a variety of products to meet the same need, branding provides a way for consumers to reduce their decision making to consider only those.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

With increased competition and saturation in the market, coupled with the growth of other promotional channels such as event sponsorship and advertising, the budget share of other relevant tools of integrated marketing communication IMC has continued to dwindle.

In a recession, some tools of integrated marketing communication IMC are the first to feel the burn. Most financial managers believe that integrated marketing communication IMC activities cannot be measured in profits; therefore, it is a waste.

Also, some critics believe that integrated marketing communication is not effective in brand building. Ries and Ries 2002 asserts that advertising which is one of the tools of IMC may not be effective in brand building they posit that it lacks credibility to build brands.

This study therefore, intends to evaluate the impact of integrated marketing communication in the branding of Airtel and to measure the effectiveness of that campaign.

1.3. Objectives of the Study

The objective of this is to assess how integrated marketing communication has been effective in branding and transition of Zain to Airtel. The specific objectives are:

1. To explore how much awareness Airte, has been able to create due to integrated marketing communication IMC.

2. To examine the publics perception of the Airtel brand.

3. To explain in what ways, has integrated marketing communication IMC been able to impact on peoples attitude towards Airtel.


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