What is the difference between an advertising plan and an integrated marketing communication (IMC) plan?

Learning Objectives Covered:
Define and describe the six factors of a strategic plan.
Discuss how to create an advertising plan.

What is the difference between an advertising plan and an integrated marketing communication (IMC) plan? If you were to outline both documents you would see essentially the same six sections or factors in both documents. The following outline of an IMC campaign comes from Advertising & IMC: Principles and Practices (Moriarty et al., 2014, p. 535)

Situation Analysis
Background research
SWOTs: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
Key communication problem(s) to be solved
Key Strategic Campaign Decisions
Targeting and engaging stakeholders
Brand positioning strategy
Platforms and objectives
Message Strategy
Key consumer and brand relationship insights
Message direction
Strategic consistency
IMC Media and Contact Points
Multimedia and multichannel
Contact points, touch points, and critical touch points
Management and Campaign Controls
Evaluation of effectiveness
The difference between the two is in scope. An IMC plan is broad in scope and attempts to coordinate many different types of communication activities such as advertising, public relations, sales promotions, sponsorship, direct marketing, social media, etc. An advertising plan is narrow in scope and handles just one activity type, advertising. An advertising plan could be created to accomplish the goals and direction that are given within the bigger IMC plan.


Moriarty, S., Mitchell, N., & Wells, W. D. (2014). Advertising & IMC: Principles and Practice (10th ed.). Pearson Higher Ed.

Based on the information you have read this week regarding IMC campaign planning (see the Course Media page), write a 600 word paper. In it you will discuss each of the six steps found in an advertising or IMC plan. You must cite at least two references in IWG format.

Please proceed to the remaining items for week four when you are ready: