Integrated Marketing Communication


Tool No. 3: Integrated Marketing Communication

Integrated Marketing Communication

Description of the tool

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) can be described as a process used to unify communication efforts in order to deliver a consistent message/image, across different channels, that remains relevant over time to the public . It examines who the target audiences are and how, where and when to communicate in order to engage them. An IMC plan, well designed and tailored to each context, could help ecomuseums to strengthen long-term relationships with their publics (community members, visitors and other stakeholders). This would allow a greater participation in their activities, and also the promotion and safeguarding of their cultural and natural heritage.

The general model of IMC can be divided into four main stages: research, planning, implementation and monitoring/evaluation. The process of implementing an IMC plan can be simplified and adapted to the particular contexts of ecomuseums. It is necessary to take into account the ecomuseum’s available resources (human, financial, material, etc.) and its surrounding environment (political, economic, social and technological). There are several ways to reach each target group: direct contact, website, social media, events, press releases, public relations, advertising, etc. For some ecomuseums, in rural areas with a small and elder population, direct personal contact could be the best approach. For others, in urban areas connected to the digital world, social media could be an advantage.

The aim is to deliver coherent messages, through appropriate channels, in order to reach and engage its audiences. Here we propose steps to develop and implement a tailored IMC strategy by ecomuseums, also indicating some resources to apply this tool.

Guidelines to apply the tool



  • Based on the research analysis, map the ecomuseum’s stakeholders and indicate: their levels of power/influence, key interests/issues, and best ways to reach them (channel and frequency).
  • Define communication pillars: the most relevant topic areas (up to three) for both the ecomuseum and its stakeholders.
  • Define objectives for the IMC plan that areSpecific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) .


  • Define key messages for each pillar, in line with the defined objectives and stakeholders, that get Attention, hold Interest, arouse Desire and obtain Action (AIDA model) of the audiences.
  • Use a Mix of Communication Channels and Tactics (paid, owned, earned and shared media) that is at the ecomuseum disposal and most appropriate to reach each target group.
  • Develop contents (adapted to each channel/tactic and target group), related to the key messages, that inspire and foster conversations with and between stakeholders.
  • Schedule strategically when to deliver each communication effort.
  • Budget each tactic to ensure that their implementation is financially realistic.


  • Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and means of verification, for each objective, communication pillar, and communication effort.
  • Evaluate and control the KPIs, against initial objectives, to measure impact and adjust the strategy accordingly if necessary.

Support materials

The “HERITAGE-PRO” project, funded by the European Union ERASMUS+ Programme (2018 – 2021), developed interdisciplinary training for professionals towards sustainable management and preservation of cultural heritage. One of its training modules, the “Effective Communication in an Interdisciplinary Environment”, cover different communication areas thatmay help ecomuseums’ professionals to implement their communication objectives.

The online learning platform Course Hero, has training modules on IMC that can be helpful in “Determining IMC Objectives and Approach” and “Defining the Message”.

Scientific Coordinators