Integrated Marketing Communications Plan

Integrated Marketing Communications Plan for Season 9 of The Walking Dead on AMC The Walking Dead is a popular one-hour drama about to start its ninth season. The show has enjoyed success in terms of attracting viewers, particularly the highly coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic (Bertollino, 2017). The show is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont for AMC that is based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard (The walking dead, 2018). This genre may not be everyones idea of escapist entertainment but it proved highly popular for the first seven seasons it ran, posting ratings of 3.0+ and even the low 4s, with as many as 7 or 8 million viewers per episode. However, season 8 was somewhat of a disappointment, as ratings declined significantly (Adaliana, 2018; Otterson, 2018)). The essential problem here is how to build ratings back up. Marketing principles tell us that all companies and products have two primary sources of consumersexisting users/buyers and prospectsand companies must work at keeping existing consumers while finding new ones (Kotler & Keller, 2016, pp. 140-141). Problem: current viewers are no longer watching in the numbers that they once did. Various reasons have been given for the decline in viewers. See, for example, Murrays article in Rolling Stone (2018), Tassis in Forbes (2018), and especially Webbs piece for Americas Spotlight (2018). While the programs problems seem to stem from the first of McCarthys 4 Ps, Product (1960), content problems are not the focus here. Instead, given that the product itself may well be flawed, the intent of this case problem is to determine what P-4 (promotion) activities or tools from the integrated marketing communications tool set can be used to try and increase viewership for season 9. As a starting point, you need to determine a promotion budget. This type of information is proprietary and will not be publicly disclosed by AMC (or other networks), so we need to see what data are available related to promotional spending for television programs in a more generic, less granular form. Fortunately, we know that Netflix spends an overall average of $2.8 million for each of its roughly 700 programs each season. Of course, some programs will get more funding than others. We also know that Netflix outspends other television program networks (Lynch, 2018). For purposes of this case, use the Netflix as a kind of baseline and then set a budget figure that can be defended with additional research that establishes how the target audience(s) can be reached effectively. Media Options When companies are looking at ways to transmit messages to their intended audiences, they have an array of integrated marketing communication tools they can employ. Kotler and Keller in chapter 20 discuss mass communications, which includes advertising, sales promotions, events and experiences, and public relations (2016). They then follow up in chapter 21 with coverage of digital media, including online, social media, and mobilethese are often referred to as new media (What is new media marketing? Connecting with a modern audience, n.d.) While all these media options are available, no company can afford to devote enough financial resources to pursue all of them for the same brand in the same campaign, especially when one considers that advertising alone can include a number of options: network television, spot television, cable, streaming services, network radio, spot radio, mobile radio (Pandora, Spotify), magazines, newspapers, and out-of-home media (billboards, transit, etc.). Promotion for The Walking Dead must choose which media vehicles and how much of the total media budget each selection should receive in support. The Internet provides a number of easy-to-access websites that provide ballpark figures for various advertising media sources (Aland, 2016; Aland, 2017; Bus ads, n.d.; Kanapi, 2018; Kobliski, 2006; Shewan, 2018). For events and experiences, if you wish to include these, you will need to research how much other companies/brands have spent on such promotions. The Bizzabo blog provides a good guide on the elements you must consider, along with a sample ballpark budget (Kim, 2018). Source: MarketingCharts.com | Data Source: Ecoconsultancy / Adobe Long description for image: Chart detailing 2017 digital marketing plan budgets. ReferencesPreview the document Assignment Instructions Watch at least one episode of the show. You do not need a TV to do this. Just go to the networks home page at https://www.amc.com/shows/the-walking-dead/season-9 and pick any available episode to watch on your computer or notepad or smart phone. In the Executive Summary you must tell me which season and episode(s) you watched. Make a list of as many types of integrated marketing communication tools that AMC has used in the past to promote this program. Provide at least one link for samples that you find. Evaluate the choices AMC has made, based on the principles we have been studying in the course. Suggest your own media plan that includes a pie chart showing percent of total budget for each media category and a table showing each of your media choices, total cost for each, and total anticipated audience reach and frequency (separately). Provide a narrative defense for your choices. You must include at least five different media and no more than eight. Write a summary or conclusion at the end. Requirements Submit your paper in a Word document by the assigned due date. The paper should be double-spaced with a 12 point font and 1 inch margins (APA style). Your pie chard or table must be given a separate page in the appendix. The case report needs to be 5-9 pages not including the pie chart/table, cover sheet, and reference section. Rubric

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