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Towards a new definition of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)

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Since the inception and formal conceptualisation of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) in the late 1980s, the concept continues to gain widespread attention and interest among academics and practitioners around the world. However, a review of the literature on IMC over the past decade suggests that contentions on definitional and theoretical issues still remain unsettled. IMC proponents acknowledge and recommend that more extensive research in the field is needed to further consolidate its theoretical foundations. In this article, some IMC definitions are reviewed and analysed by examining their merits as well as inadequacies. A new definition of the concept is then proposed, suggesting three distinctive attributes, or pillars, of IMC as a contribution to the theory building on IMC.
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Towards a new definition of
Integrated Marketing
Communications
(IMC)
Jerry
Kliatchko
Uniuersity of Asia and tlte Pacrfic, Philippines
Since the inception and formal conceptualisation of Integrated Marketing
Communications
(IMC) in the late 1980s, the concept continues to gain widespread
attention and interest among academics and practitioners
around
the world. However, a
review of the literature on IMC over the past
decade suggests
that contentions
on defi-
nitional and theoretical issues still remain unsettled.
IMC proponents
acknowledge and
recommend that more extensive
research in the field is needed to further consolidate its
theoredcal foundations.
In this article, some IMC definitions are
reviewed and analysed
by examining their merits
as
well as
inadequacies. A new definition of the concept
is then
proposed,
suggesting three distinctive attriburcs, or pillars,
of IMC as a contribution to
the theory building on IMC.
Background
More than a decade after its inception as a concept of marketing commu-
nications, Integrated Marketing Communications
(IMC) is still subject to
varying terminology, bearing
names such as
'new advertising',
'orchestra-
tion',
'360
branding',
'total
branding',
'whole
€gg',
'seamless
communica-
tion','relationship marketing','one-to-one marketing','integrated
marketing' and 'integrated communications' (Kliatchko 2002). But no
matter what it is called, this
new
approach
to business and
marketing
com-
munications
planning has become an irreversible
prevailing
tendency
among academics and industry practitioners.
Rather than being considered as a revolution in marketing thought,
IMC emerged as a natural evolution in marketing communications,
brought about by drastic
changes in at least three main areas:
the market-
place,
media and communications, and consumers.
These changes
have
International
Journal
of Advertising,
24(l), pp.
7-34
@ 2005
Advertising Association
Published by the World Advertising Research Center, www.warc.com
INTERNATIONAL JOU
RNAL OF ADVE
RTISING, 2005,
24(I)
been driven primarily by advances in information technology, and have
caused
a major
shift from the mass marketing,
product-centred
theories of
marketing popularised
in the 1950s
and 1960s,
to the more customer-cen-
tric, database-driven, interactive
and measurable
approaches of integrated
marketing communications
(Schultz 2003a).
Schultz and Kitchen (2000a)
opine that four elements impel the changes
in today's
marketplace
and,
therefore, the practice
of marketing
and
marketing communications - dig-
italisation, information technology,
intellectual properry
and communica-
tion systems.
Clearly, the methods,
practices
and ways of thinking about marketing
and communications
prevalent
in the era of mass marketing and mass
communication
have
given way to the new realities affecting the market-
place and communications landscape of the twenty-first century
(McKenna 1988, 1991, 1997; Achrol 1991; Clancy & Shulman 1991;
Webster 1992; Tedlow & Jones 1993; Blattberg et al. 1994; Hunt 1994;
Lazer er al. 1994; Reitman 1994;
Schukz et al. 1996; New ell 1997; Peppers
& Rogers 1997, 1999a, 1999b; Pavlik 1998; Zyman 1999; Schultz &
Kitchen 2000a:
Schultz 2003a, 2003b).
IMC literature: different voices
In 1991, Northwestern Universiry in cooperation with the American
Association
of Advertising Agencies
(4As)
and the Association
of National
Advertisers in the United States, conducted the first national survey
among consumer
goods
advertisers on the subject of IMC (Caywood &
Ewing 1991).
The study sought
to understand
the concept of IMC, to
examine the extent to which IMC is being practised
by major US adver-
tisers,
and to understand the importance
and value of traditional advertis-
ing agencies
in a marketplace
where IMC has
grown in importance.
This initial study on the understanding and practice
of IMC was fol-
lowed by several others, not only within the USA (Duncan & Everett
1993; McArthur & Griffin 1997;
Schultz & Kitch
en 1997;
Gould er al. 1999)
but also across
cultures
including,
among others: New Zealand(Eagle
et al.
1999);
a multi-country study from the UK, USA, New Zealand, Australia
and India (Kitchen
& Schultz 1999); Thailand (Anantachart
2001);
South
Africa (Kallmeyer & Abratt 2001);
the Philippines (Kliatchko 200D; and
Australia
(Reid 2003).
8
TOWARDS A NEW DEFINITION OF IMC
A review
of the IMC literature shows that, for the most
part,
authors and
scholars in the field of marketing communications
have not reached
an
agreement
on the general
concept and scope of IMC. Kitchen and Schultz
(1999)
claim that since the early 1990s, with the exception
of the US, there
has been little progress
in understanding
IMC beyond the 'one-sight',
'one
sound'view. Over the past
decade, various
scholars
have
examined
the many facets surrounding the IMC concept as demonstrated in the fol-
lowing citations.
Duncan and Everett (1993)
claimed that since IMC is both a concept
and a process,
there is difficulry in arriving at a definition of IMC.
Nowak
and
Phelps
(1994,
p. 51) observed three broad concepts of IMC,
which were mainly found in practitioner-based
literature. The first was the
'one
voice' concept where integration was seen as having a 'clear
and con-
sistent
image,
position, message and/or theme, across all marketing com-
munication disciplines or tools'. Second was the 'integrated'
marketing
communications
concept, which focused particularly on advertisements
that not only strengthened brand image but also influenced
consumer
behaviour. The third was the 'coordinated'
marketing communications
concept, which emphasised
the coordination among the
various
marketing
communications tools, such as advertising, sales
promotion
and public
relations, with the aim of producing
holistic communications campaigns.
Brown
(1997)
also enumerated several other
views
reflected in the IMC
literature on what IMC is or should be:'attitude
of mind', 'one
spirit',
'one
strategy','synergy','equal status','merging disciplines','stakeholder
emphasis' and'marketing orientation'.
Beard
(1997)
argued that aside from a lack of agreement on IMC defi-
nitions, the issue of viewing IMC as both a concept and a process
is also
unsettled. Nevertheless, he singled out two principles
of IMC that have
appeared consistently in his review of the literature:
'campaign
messages
designed
to speak with one
voice'
and
'campaign
messages
attempting to
elicit a measurable, behavioural consumer response'.
Eagle et al. (1999),
in a study among marketers and ad agency execu-
tives
in New Zealand, tackled among other
issues
the 'new' versus
'noth-
ing new' paradigms in relation to the IMC concept. One of their
conclusions is that IMC is not just a management fad but is in fact a fun-
damental change in the practice
and perception of marketing and com-
munications among advertising agencies and clients.
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Cornelissen and
Lock (2000)
and Cornelissen
(2001),
howeveq
seem
to
uphold the contrary opinion and
have revisited the issue on the validity of
the IMC concept. They suggest that IMC is but one more
among
many
management fashions
propagated
by so-called
gurus
and that it is theorec-
ically underdeveloped and ambiguously defined. Schultz and Kitchen
(2000b)
rebut such claims and explain that IMC is still in a'pre-paradigm
stage of development'
and that its value will become more evident as fur-
ther research and experience
is
obtained through
the years.
Kliatchko
(2002)
opines that IMC may be considered
'conceptually
old
but operationally
new'. It is conceptually old insofar as two fundamental
principles
surrounding the IMC concept are concerned, which are
neither
new nor exclusive to ic: the principles
of integration or coordination
itself,
and consumer orientation.
It is, however,
operationally
new because
tech-
nology today has made it possible
for marketers to put integration and cus-
tomer
focus into actual
practice
and not merely
pay
lip-service to them.
Phelps and
Johnson
(1996)
explained the difficulty of identifying which
IMC measures
to use
when
assessing
research
studies
on IMC application
in organisations,
due to the lack of a clear understanding of the IMC
concept.
Hutton (1996)
posited
that IMC can help redefine the purpose
of mar-
keting communications towards a
more humanistic
approach to marketing
relationships.
Hartley and Pickron
(1999)
introduced what they call the mindscape of
marketing communications. This 'mindscape',
composed of corporace
communications management, marketing communications management,
and consumer contact management, refers to the various activities
in the
marketing communications mix that allow for a way of thinking towards
making the various elements work together.
Issues affecting the organisational
integration between agencies and
clients and its role in effectively implementing IMC programmes
have
also been examined by Gould et a/. (1999).
An important milestone in the conceptual development of IMC was
introduced
by Schultz and Schultz
(1998),
where they proposed
a shift in
focus from marketing communication tactics and operations to viewing
IMC as a 'business
process'.
This perspective,
they believe, covers the
present
as well as the fucure
scope of IMC as
it has
developed through
the years.
10
TOWARDS A NEW DEFINITION OF IMC
In addition, Schultz
(2003b)
advocates
what he calls the 'next genera-
tion IMC', a concept that addresses the new requirements
of consumer-
focused organisations in the new marketplace, involving the acquisition,
maintenance,
growth
and migration of customer
groups,
and their income
flows over time.
Peltier et al. (2003)
highlight the growing importance
and potential of
the interactive nature
of the new media and its role in generating
interac-
tion with customers through
the 'Interactive
IMC' approach they
propose.
Issues
on the measurability
of IMC programmes
have also been a focus
of discussion among academics and
practitioners
since the early stages of
the development of the IMC concept.
Jeans
(1998)
highlighted
that, in a
workshop
organised by the Institute of Practitioners
in Advertising, the
delegates underscored the importance of integration
and its direct relation
to market
share.
There were concerns, however, about whether the effects
of integration
can be quantified and how it can actually
be achieved.
A study
conducted by Low (2000)
showed that implementing IMC may
be strongly related to better marketing results in terms of sales,
market
share and profits for an organisation. More recently,
Schultz (2003a)
pro-
vided an overview of the developments in IMC thinking through the
years,
including
the growing
demands for marketing and marketing com-
munications managers to be accountable
for marketing communications
investments.
Schultz and Grindem
(200?)
also
proposed
the appointment
of a chief performance
officer (CPO) in organisations to directly oversee
the efficient implementation
of brand communication
programmes
to
boost sales, market share and
profit margins, among other things.
Despite the lack
of agreement on the definition of IMC even up to the
present
(Dipasquale
2002),
and the varying
opinions on the understanding
and practice
of it, the study conducted by Kitchen and Schultz
(1999)
shows that both academicians
and practitioners
regard IMC as the major
communications development of recent history. In fact, research studies
on IMC since
the early
1990s
to the present
show that
industry
practition-
ers continue to see the value and benefits of an integrated
approach to
marketing communications.
As shown in various studies (Duncan & Everett 1993; Schultz &
Kitchen 1997; Kitchen & Schultz 1999; Anantachart200l; Kliatchko 2002;
Spickett-Jones et a|.2003),
among the benefits brought about by IMC are:
the
reduction
of media
waste and a
more
positive
effect on client budgets;
11
INTE RNATIONAL IOURNAL OF ADVE RTISING,
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improved coordination, centralisation
and greater
consistency of market-
ing communication
programmes
(Duncan & Everett 1993; Moriarty 1994;
Schultz
& Kitchen 1997;
Schultz & Schultz 1998; Kitchen & Schultz 1999;
Anantachart200l; Kliatchko 2002);
and
increased
message impact and cre-
ativiry, flowing from a focused and well-defined strategy (Schultz &
Kitchen 1997;
Kitchen & Schultz 1999; Anantachart200l,2003;
Maskulka
et al.2003; Spickett-Jones et a|.2003).
The advancements in technology have also benefited IMC in a very
crucial
way.
Not only has technology
provided new and innovative
chan-
nels
of communication, it has
also
made the availabiliry development
and
management
of databases an indispensable
tool in managing
customers
today (Schultz
& Schultz 1998).
A most important advantage
of the IMC
approach
is greater
focus on more specific and well-defined target markets
(Schultz & Kitchen 1997; Kirchen & Schultz 1999;
Calder & Malthouse
2003).
Because
of technology, the IMC approach
can
more
accurately cap-
ture empirical behavioural
data on consumers, employ valuation tools
and
techniques, and differentiate customers beyond merely economic criteria
(Schultz
& Schultz
1998).
Finally, the benefits of integrating the use of various marketing com-
munications
disciplines, and
in particular
public relations, have
also been
discussed and recommended by academics
and practitioners
(Moriarry
1994; Kitchen & Moss 1995;
Gronstedt
1996;Caywood
1997;Harris 1998;
Hutton 1999\.
Needed: a deeper understanding of IMC
As the previous
citations indicate, it is not uncommon to encounter differ-
ent articulations
of the definition, principles and applications
of IMC.
What is immediately evident is that there is very little agreement
on the
concept. Among the points of difference reflected in the review of the
IMC literature, the following may be identified:
o disagreements on definitional issues
and scope of IMC
o difficulties arising from the view that IMC is both a concept and a
process
o contentions on whether IMC is merely a fad or a management fashion
t2
TOWARDS
A NEW DEFINITION OF IMC
o debate over measurement methods used in evaluating IMC
programmes.
o controversy over turf battles and on who leads the integration
process
o conflicts on agency-{lient relationships,
organisational
structures and
compensation
issues.
Furthermore, much of what has been written about IMC so far has
focused more on the elements, tactics, tools,
procedures
and applications
of IMC, and on the various advantages and
opportunities
it can bring to an
organisation.
There remains,
however, a vast area
of research
that has to be under-
taken
in attempting to formalise
and build an IMC theory. The emphasis
of
most works
has clearly been
placed
on the practice
and implementation
of IMC. While its applicacion
is of great
interest, especially
to marketing
and
marketing
communications
professionals,
it is nonetheless
primordial
to
reach
a theoretical
understanding of the
general
concept of IMC before
further
emphasis
is placed
on how it is developed,
applied,
implemented
and evaluated.
Even
if the emphasis
of most
studies
has
been
placed
on the application
of IMC. there still remains a dearth of research
that could ascertain the
extent and depth to which IMC is actually
practised
in organisations. To
date, a few cases on actual brands
may be cited, such as Saturn, Xerox,
Federal Express,
Hewlett-Packard
(Gronstedt 2000) and Tylenol of
Johnson
& Johnson
(Deighton 1996). Even in these
cases, the application
of IMC has not been applied as extensively at all levels
of implementa-
tion,
as described by Schultz and Schultz
(1998)
in their analysis of IMC
application.
Finally,
Schultz and Kitchen (1997) also affirmed in an exploratory
study of IMC in US advertising
agencies that the
literature
on IMC to date
has focused
largely on applying it rather
than on understanding its basic
principles
and theories.
They concluded that theory
building on IMC, and
the development of a more relevant
and acceptable
IMC definition, are
crucial
for
furthering the growth
and
practice
of IMC in organisations.
13
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2005,
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A look into the definitions of Integrated Marketing
Communications
Five definitions of Integrated Marketing Communications
are presenred
and briefly discussed in this article. These definitions were selecred on
the basis
of their apparent
acceptabiliry among academicians and practi-
tioners
who have
done exploratory
work on IMC, as
reflecred
in the vari-
ous citations and references
contained in their works. Three definitions
come from the pioneers
of IMC from Northwestern Universiry, such as
Schultz, one definition by Duncan, and the contributions
by Nowak and
Phelps.
IMC definition by the American Association of Advertising
Agencies
(1989)
The first formal definition of IMC was developed at Northwestern
Universiry in 1989.
This definition was
used in a survey
of major
advertis-
ers and advertising
agencies in the US,
joinrly sponsored by the American
Association
of Advertising Agencies (4As), the Association
of National
Advertisers,
and Northwestern Universiry (Schultz & Schultz 1998).
A
review of the literature
indicates
that this
4As
definition has
been the most
widely used since 1989
up to the presenr,
and the most often
cited by aca-
demics and practitioners,
even if it has not been universally endorsed
(Duncan & Everett 1993; Nowak & Phelps 1994; Belch & Belch 1995;
Baldinger 1996; Duncan & Ca)rwood 1996;Lloyd 1996;
Petrison
& Wang
1996; Phelps & Johnson
1996; Russell
& Lane 1996; Beard 1997;
Brown
1997;
Caywood 1997;
Shimp 1997;
Burnett & Moriarry 1998; Grunig &
Grunig 1998; Harris
1998; Koekemoer 1998;
Schultz & Schultz
1998;
Sirgy
1998; Wells et al. 1998;
Eagle et al. 1999;
Gould et al. 1999; Kirchen &
Schultz 1999; Anantachart
2001;
Kallmeyer
& Abratt 2001;
Peltier
et al.
2003).
This definition states
that integrated
marketing
communications is:
A concept of marketing communications planning that recognizes
the added
value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of
communication disciplines - general advertising, direct response,
sales
promo-
tion, and public relations - and combines these disciplines to provide clarity,
consistency, and maximum communication impact.
t4
(Duncan
& Caywood 1996)
TOWARDS
A NEW DEFINITION OF IMC
This definition emphasises
the need for a synergistic
marketing com-
munications
plan that uses
multiple tools
of marketing
communications
other
than traditional
advertising,
and capitalises
on rhe srrengrhs
of each,
with the goal
of achieving maximum communication
impact.
It highlights
the importance
of having
one communications
strategy
or plan
as the uni-
fying element and the integrative
factor
of the various
rools
or disciplines
employed, and of achieving greater synergy thar would otherwise be
absent if the tools were
to be used independently
withour
supporuing
and
reinforcing
each
other (Brown 1997).
This definition further
implies
the creation
of a 'one
spirir', 'one
voice',
'one look' effect by coordinating
effectively the various
disciplines
at a
strategic
level to achieve
clariry and consisrency
of image in all messages
delivered
through the various communication
tools (Nowak & Phelps
1994;
Brown 1997).
Moreover,
it implies
the creation
of a 'seamless'
and
'classless'
marketing
communications
field, where
the walls
that used to
separate
the various
tools are now broken down and where all communi-
cation disciplines
are elevared
to have
equal srarus
without prejudice
to
any
of the
tools. This in turn brings
about the merging
of these various
dis-
ciplines
to work together effectively without losing the identiry and the
individual
differences
and strengths
of each discipline
(Brown 1997).
The multi-country
study on IMC among
advertising
executives
con-
ducted by Kitchen and Schukz (1999),
however,
reveals
that rhis defini-
tion presents
certain inadequacies.
Respondents
claim the definition
lacked
certain elements,
such
as measurability
and
quantification
analysis,
drive for results, consumer
orientation,
aspects
of creativiry,
cost-effective-
ness,
cost-efficiency
and interactivity.
Duncan and Caywood
(1996)
have
also earlier
noted similar
weaknesses
of this definition,
such as the exclu-
sion
of consumers
or prospects
and how effectiveness
might be achieved.
There are
at least three major
implications
thar may be deduced from
the limimtions
of this
definition. First,
the emphasis
pur
on the
advantages
that may be derived from employing a combination of a variery of com-
munication
tools further accentuates
the limited understanding
and pre-
vailing
notion among
industry
pracririoners
that IMC is concerned
merely
with the effective use
of mukiple communication
disciplines.
Second, the
absence
of references
on consumers,
prospects
and
other relevant
publics
in the definition
seems to ignore
the centraliry
and due importance placed
by IMC on them, as the very essence
thar differentiates traditional
15
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)
marketing
approaches from IMC. The relevant
public is at rhe crux from
which thc whole IMC process
and planning
model emanares and devel-
ops.
Third, for IMC to be morc
widely accepted
and
practised,
measure-
ment issues cannot
be de-emphasised. Tho financial models and valuation
tools proposed
by IMC scholars
(e.g.
Schultz
& Walters 1997; Schultz
1998; Schukz
& Kitchcn 2000a)
ought to be explored and applicd
more
fully to further strcngthen the potential
of IMC programmes
to drive
greater
accountability and contribution
to achieving busincss results.
Definition by Don Schultz, Northwestern University (1991)
Two years
later, in 1991, Don Schultz
and his colleagucs
at Northwestern
tlniversity proposcd
another definition of IMCI.
This definirion
stares:
INIC is the process
of managing
all sources of information
abclut ir
product/serv-
icc to u'hich a custollrer or prospect
is exposed which behaviclrallv moves the
consumcr tow-ard a sale and maintains
custolner lovaltr,'.
(I)uncan & Cayu'ood 1996)
This definition introduces othcr dimensions of IN'IC that had nor been
articulated in the earlier dcfinition. For examplc, Duncan and Caywood
(1996) opine that this definition focuscs on rhe cusromer or prospecr,
which is at the very heart of thc INIII concept. 'fhcrc is also an implicit
emphasis placed on nurturing a relationship between the brand and the
customer. Moreoveq it highlights the nccd fcrr
behavioural responscs from
customers or prospects
for an IN{C campaign to be cffcctir.'c.
Atrention is
likewise given to 'all sources
of information' about a brand, which is no
longer
just limitcd to advertising,
public rclarions,
and so on (tl-rosc
that
can bc controlled and initiatcd by the organisation in coordination with its
communications agencies), but includes all possiblc conracr points
between the brand and the consumcr.
This definition, howevcr, lcaves
our the fact thar IMC is also a concepr
and not just a process.
It also seems to miss
out the elements of stratcgic
thinking and measurability in thc INIC planning proccss.
l6
TOWARDS A NEW DEI.'INII'ION OF IMC
Definitions
contributed by Tom
Duncan
(1992
and 1994)
Tom Duncan's first definition was introduced in 1992 when he viewed
IMC as:
The strategic
coordination of all messages
and media used by an
organization
to collectively influence
its
perceived
brand
value.
(Duncan
& Caywood 1996)
This definition supports the view that IMC seeks to achieve a synergy
through the coordination
of all messages and communications rools
employed by an organisation
and its communication
agencies. A study
on
IMC conducted by Low (2000)
used this definition by Duncan
as a basis
for the interviews
he conducted
among 15 senior marketing
managers in
the US. Having asked
each interviewee
to define IMC, he found that all
15 managers
defined it as a management
pracrice.
His study
also showed
that
the most common
element in the responses
was the coordination
of
marketing
communication tools. Low claims rhar this finding
furrher sup-
ported
his
adoption of Duncan's definition.
Duncan
and Ca1'wood
(1996),
however,
posit
thar chis definition limited
the messages and media used to those
that rhe brand and its agencies
sought to deliver. Duncan then revised
chis definition in 1994 as follows:
IMC is the process
of strategically
controlling or influencing all messages
and
encouraging
purposeful
dialogue
to create and nourish
profitable
relationships
with customers and other stakeholders.
([)uncan and Cayvood 1996)
Duncan
and Cay'wood
(1996)
explain that this revised
definition focuses
on building relationships
with all stakeholders and moved away from a
merely
attitudinal
to a behavioural
change or response by saying
that IMC
'creates
and nourishes
profitable
relationships'. This has also expanded
the concept
of the target market to include,
aside from consumers and
prospects,
all employees, regularors
and other parties
thar may have a
direct involvement in the organisation. Moreover,
this definition has
placed
considerable emphasis
on creating long-term
effects by fosrering
customer relationships
and not merely
crearing short-term impact.
The inclusion of the phrase'controlling
and
influencing
all messages' in
this definition, however. may be misconstrued.
While control and
T7
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24(r
)
influence of messagcs
is dcsirablc and nccessary
it nuy neverthclcss mis-
lcad others into the traditional markcting thinking that most, if not all,
markcting communications
messallos
lre under thc control of markcters.
As previously
cited by Duncan and Oaywood (lc)c)6),
this samc concern
\\'as
a major considcration
in rcvising l)uncan's 1992
dcfinition. In this
rer,'ised
r.crsir)n,
howel'cr, the use of thc term 'control' may still iniply a
one-way vicwpoint clf controlling only those mcssagcs that markcters
sought t<r dcliver. As Schultz et o/. (1996) point or.lt, thc outsidc-in prcr-
spectivc that INIC takcs highlights thc f-act thert
mcssages
may bc both
controlled and uncontr<lllcd, and therebv requiring thc managemcnt of
both favourablc
and undcsirablc communication coming from all possiblc
sourccs,
with some of it bcyond thc control of markctcrs.
Another downside of this definition is its failure to mcntion or spccify
rhe mcans or channcls of communication to bc cmploycd in order tcr
obtain thc goal
of 'cncourrrging
purposcful
dialoguc'.
While thc channels
may be implied in thc concept of 'dialogue', it sccms approprietc to
explicitly state it in a dcfinition. In contrast to thc 4As definition citcd ear-
lier, which highlights thc r.'aricty of communication disciplincs, the
absence of any referencc to communication channcls in Duncan's dcfini-
tion dou'nplays an inhcrcnt conccpt in INI(I nf cxamining closcly thc rel-
e\rant contact points and most eff-cctivc channcls of reaching out to
multiple targctcd markcts.
Furthcrmore, thc aspccts of mcasurability and cvaluation of INIO pro-
grammes
are also not mirde explicit in this definition. Similar to an carlier
obsen'ation on the -lAs dcfinition, mcasuring and cvaltrating INIO pro-
llrammcs arc among thc top conccrns
of markcting communication pro-
fessionals, as evidenccd by various studics conductcd on INIC in thc prast
(c.g.
Duncan & Everctt 19c)3;
Schtrltz & Kitchcn 1997; Kitchcn & Schultz
1999).
Conceptualisations of IMC by Nowak and Phelps
(1994)
Nowak and Phelps did not
proposc
a straightforward
dcfinition
of IN,IC.
Hovi evcr, they sought to contributc bv conceptualising the notion
of INIC
through
what thcv termcd as thrcc broad
'conccptulrlisirtions',
u'hich they
found in most practitioncr-based
literaturc on IN{(l (Nowak & Phclps 1994).
Thcsc conccptualisations are'onc-voice' markcting communiclrtions,
18
TOWARDS A NEW DEFINITION OF IMC
'integrated'
marketing
communications
(i.e.
advertisements), and'coordi-
nated'
marketing communications.
One-aoice marheting commanicatioas is integration that creates
'a clear and
consistent
image, position, message,
and/or theme across all marketing
communication disciplines
or tools'. Integrated
communicatioas
refers
to the
creation
of both a brand image and a behavioural response that emanate
directly from marketing communications materials such as advertise-
ments.
Coordinated marfreting communicatioas associates'integrated' with
the concept
of 'coordination'.
This refers
to the coordination of all mar-
keting
communications tools such as advertising,
public relations and
direct marketing. The goal is to produce a holistic campaign to achieve
synergy that both develops awareness and builds brand
image,
at the same
time
evoking a behavioural response
from the target audiences.
While the conceptualisations
presented
by Nowak and
Phelps
provide
some explanations to the understanding of the IMC concept,
they prima-
rily dwell on the most basic notions of the concept - that is, one voice,
coordination
of marketing
communication tools and eliciting behavioural
responses
- and fail to transcend
these fundamental ideas.
Definition by Don Schultz and Heidi Schultz (1998)
Schultz and Schultz
(1998)
proposed
a new definition
of IMC, which in
their
opinion captures the current as well as the future scope of IMC as
they have
seen
it develop.
This definition
is
based on the studies of IMC
that have
been conducted in the past as well as on the experiences of
organisations
that have implemented the IMC approach. Schultz and
Schultz
(1998)
defined
IMC as
follows:
IMC is
a strategic business
process
used to plan,
develop, execute, and evalu-
ate coordinated, measurable, persuasive brand communication programs over
time with consumers, customers,
prospects,
and other targeted, relevant exter-
nal
and internal audiences.
Schultz and Schultz
(1998,
p. 18) claim that what differentiates this def-
inition from others
is the focus it gives
to the business
process.
This defi-
nition seems
to encompass the entire spectrum of concepts associated
with
IMC. While it implies most, if not all, of the concepts that have been
cited
previously
in earlier definitions, it further enriches them with the
19
INTERNAI'tONAr,
JOt
r
RNAI, OF ADVI' R'l'rSrNG,
200.5,
2.1(
1
)
inclusion of concepts such as 'business process', 'evaluation' and
'measurability'.
The use of a strategic approach
provides a clear and consistenr
concept
for a given brand promotcd by an organisation
and minimises the risk of
constantly
changing that brand conccpr,
with the goal
of building lasting
relationships
with consumcrs.
Schultz and Kitchen (2000,
p. 5) further
comment on this definition by saying that:
This dcfinition first focuses
on stratcglr
- a strategv of communication
that
is
clearly rclated
to corporate mission, values,
and needs, but relarcs
cqually tcl
brand
mission,
values, and needs. At both levels
executives w.ill necd to
develop rcsonancc
and consonance in tcrms
of brand
identitl'.
This definition also expands the undcrsranding
of the term brand
com-
munication programmes
from its traditional view (i.c. advertising,
public
relations, and so on) to all othcr contact points between the organisation
and its brands and the consumcrs
or prospects.
Finally, the phrase
'relevant internal and cxtcrnal audience' suggests
that IMC programmes seek to address all publics relevant ro thc organisa-
tion and arc not solely limited to markcting communication
programmes
focused on consumers.
IN'IC
thinking bclicvcs in nurturing positive
rela-
tionships
with, and addressing
thc nocds of, all stakeholders,
bcginning
with those from within thc organisation as well as all cxtcrnal audiences.
In a qualitative
study (through in-dcpth interviews)
conducted by thc
researcher
among (lEOs and seniclr executives of ad agcncies and market-
ing directors of client organisations
in Manila (Kliatchko 2002),
he sought
to examinc how IN'IC was understood, acccptod and practised by the
respondents in their organisations. Among other issucs and concerns
addressed in the study, thc respondents
u'ere asked to rcact to the IMC
definition of Schultz and Schultz
(1998).
The author chose this definition
for thc study since it was the most rcccnt dcfinition available during the
tin-re the research was conducted. Nforeovcr, thc Schultz and Schultz def-
inition has
also not been used
cxtcnsively
in recent
studies on INI().
Findings of the str-rdy shou' that both agency and clicnt rcspondents
found thc dcfinition correct and holistic. Most rcspondents particularly
agreed with the inclusion of such terms as 'strategic', 'mcasllrablc'
and
'over time'. However, almosr all of the respondents
claimed that thcy
found thc dcfinition too long,
rather
gcncric
and unclear on the immedi-
ate benefits of the IN,{C conccpt.
20
TOWARDS A NEW DEFINITION OF IMC
While the Schultz and Schultz
(1998)
definition appears
to be more
comprehensive
in scope
than those previously posited by other scholars,
one drawback of this definition is that the immediate value, benefit,
uniqueness and specific difference of IMC is not immediately captured
and
made
evident.
The generic
and obscure
phraseology
risks the possi-
bility of it being easily interchanged
or substituted by other
notions
or con-
cepts once the IMC label is detached from the definition itself.
A new IMC definition by Jerry Kliatchko
A review of the five IMC definitions cited suggests that the conceptuali-
sation of the IMC construct has developed considerably since its initial
formulation and articulation in the late 1980s. It has
expanded
and evolved
from the
one-voice, coordinated, and consistent notion to a more strategic,
consumer-oriented and measurable
approach to brand communication
planning.
A summary
of concepts
introduced by the various authors, and
the emergence of their definitions over time, is shown in Thble 1.
Table 1: Emergence
of IMC
definitions over time
Auftor/year Concepts
introduced
Anerican Association of . Coordination and
consistency of messages and communication channels
AdvertisingAgencies
(4As) (1989) ('one
sight, one
sound')
. Use of a variety of communication disciplines
to work in
synergy
based
on
a comprehensive
plan
o IMC
as a concept
Don Schultr
(1991) . Inclusion of consumert
prospects
. Behavioural responses
. Nurture relationship
and customer
loyalty
o IMC
as a process
Tom Duncan
(1994) . Profitable
relationships
. Expanded audience scope fiom
customes to other
stakeholders
llorak & Phelps
(1994) . Reinforced
notions of consistency, coordination and behavioural response
Sdlult & Schult
(1998) . Strategic business
process
. Expanded notion of brand
communication
. MeasurabiliU
. Specified more
explicitly the muhiple markets
- inclusive of external and
internal audiences
2l
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING, 2005,
24(I)
Cathey and Schumann
(quoted in Anantachart
2001)
claim that in their
analysis of IMC definitions, three main ideas seem
to recur:
(1) definitions
accentuating the audience;
(2) definitions concentrating on message
and
media integration;
(3) definitions revolving
around the evaluation of outcomes.
In examining the five definitions included in this research,
some
points
of convergence and divergence may be identified among the concepts
22
Figure 1:
Convergence/divergence
of IMC
definitions
s /'y,'
sD /DUS|ness
i / Process
I/ Expanded
\
/ notion of \
/ brand \
'communication
Measurability
IUse of a
variety
of
communication
disciplines
IInclusion of customert
prospects
and
stakeholders
II tMC as a
process \
IINurture customer \
relationships
and loyalty \
I Behavioural
responses
Strategic
approach to planning \
| ,oordination/consistencv of
/ messages and channe[s \
Legend
ALI
= all
authors
4As
= American Association ofAd Agencis
D5
= Don Schultz
ID = Tom Dun6n
NP=Nowak&Phelps
55=Schuhz&Schultz
-t--,,-l
t-*"fi]
F;;l
F;;l
F;;l
F;;-l
F;-l
+
I
-:
e
o,
+
+
I'OWARDS A NEW DEFINITION OF IMC
introduced by the various authors
(see
Figure l). At the base
of the pyra-
mid, all the authors converge
in articulating the concepts
of 'coordination',
'consistency'
and the 'need
for a strategic approach to marketing commu-
nications
planning'.
Moving up towards the other end of the pyramid,
the
points
of convergence begin to taper off as the authors diverge
on various
concepts surrounding
the nocion of IMC. For instance, only Schultz
(in
1991), Duncan
(in 1994), and Schultz and
Schultz
(in 1998) seem
to con-
sistently converge on che
ideas of 'nurturing
customer
relationships and
loyalry',
'IMC as a
process'
and the 'inclusion
of customers,
prospects
and
other stakeholders' as their definitions developed
through time. At the
peak
of the pyramid,
only the definition
of Schultz and Schultz
(the most
recent
definition
included in this study) differs from the rest
of the defi-
nitions where they explicitly
posit
the ideas of 'IMC as a business
process',
the expanded
notion of 'brand
communications'
and the aspect of 'meas-
urability'in
IMC.
It is important to note, however, that the points of convergence
were
derermined by the explicitness
with which the authors
articulated certain
concepts in their definitions
of IMC. The fact that some authors
were
silent on
some concepts such as measurement,
for example, does
not mean
they were not necessarily concerned about
that aspect in their conceptu-
-
alisation
of the IMC construct.
After analysing the five definitions in this study,
the researcher opines
that the IMC definitions
to date have
not been
able to sufficiently capture
the embodiment of its essential characteristics,
with the exception
perhaps
of the one
proposed
by Schultz and Schultz
(1998).
The researcher
posits,
however, that the definition of Schultz
and Schultz still needs further
refinement to avoid ambiguous and generic
interpretacions of the IMC
concept as
the researcher's
previous
study revealed
(Kliatchko 2002).
Based on the author's research and examination
of current
literature on
IMC, he proposes
a new definition, which he believes embraces
the
essence and
inherent distinctive elements
of the IMC concept.
It directly
emanates
from
the framework
proposed
by Schultz and Schultz
(1998)
but
expresses,
in his view, the nature and essential
qualities
of IMC with
greater precision
and clarity.
Kliatchko's definition states:
IMC is the concept and process
of strategically managing
audience-focused,
channel-centred, and results-driven brand communication programmes over
ume.
23
IN'fERNAT'IONAr,
JOLTRNAL
OF ADVl.tRt'tSING,
200s, 21(t)
This definition is
made up of four basic elements:
(1)
IN{C is borh a
con-
cept and a process;
(2) IN4C requires thc knowledge and skills of strategic
thinking and busincss
managemcnt;
(3) IMC is hingcd on and distin-
guished by rhree essential clements or pillars - audience-focused,
channel-centred, and results-driven;
(4) IMC involves an cxpanded view
of brand communications. -fhe following sLrbscctions
discuss these
elements in dctail.
IMC as a concept and process
As a concept, IMO is a notion or conscrucr
thac demands a way of thinking
- a mindset and an attitudc - towards a holistic and strategic
approach to
brand communications planning. IMt-l is also a process - that is, it
involves a dynamic scries
of progressivc
and interdependcnt steps, such as
database building and management
of consumer information,
developing
and planning messages to bc delivered using a variety of channcls, and
cvaluating and mcasuring synergistic
brand communication programmcs.
Strategic management of IMC programmes
INIC furthcr entails the knowlcdgo and skills of strategic managemcnt,
such
as
planning,
directing
and controlling
- both the proccss
itself
and the
c'n[ire brand communication programme over timc, to cohesively
and
integrally tie in with the overall corporate vision, and business objcctives.
Planning and executing an IN{C programmc demands a global and com-
prehensive
vicw of the company's
totirl business and situares
itself within
that context. Thc management of brand communicarion programmcs in
rclation to the whole business operation
of an organisation presupposes
some managerial exigencics. Some of thc managerial conccrns that need
to be addrcsscd
in implementing IMC programmos
include involvcment
of top management, organisational
structllrcs,
creation of a'culture of mar-
keting' as part of thc organisation's
corporate
philosophy,
cross-functional
rraining of staff,
and financial considerations.
Furthermore, IN{C thinking docs not limit its influcnce solely ro thc
markcting communications function within the organisation since it
involvcs
all orher aspects
of the business. Without necessarily intcnding to
broaden the scope of marketing conmunications roo far, IN'IC suggests
24
t
I
t
I
TOWARDS A NEW DEFINITION OF IMC
that
marketing
communication
plays
a central
role within an organisation
since
the exercise and application of this function influences and produces
consequential effects on all other areas
of the business
operation.
In this
sense, an integrated
approach to planning and executing marketing com-
munications
programmes would necessarily encompass and take into
account all other areas of business operations.
In consonance
with the strategic approach
proposed
by Schultz and
Schultz
(1998),
the use of the term strategic in this definition underscores
the
importance
of a holistic approach
to planning and execution of mar-
keting
communications ois-i-ais merely tactical approaches. This view
maintains
that
IMC planning
and implementation is much more
than
sim-
ply
coordinating marketing communications tools
or creating
a one-voice,
one-look brand image or the merging of formerly separate areas such as
advertising,
public relations, and so on. As the power continues to shift
from
the manufacturer to the consumer in today's
marketplace,
communi-
cation should not be considered merely as a support or a tactical activiry
but as a strategic management
tool seen
in terms of investments, returns,
and
how it contributes to business results and the success
of the organisa-
tion as
a
whole
(Schultz
& Schultz
1998).
Distinctive
attributes or pillars
of IMC
What differentiates
this definition from previous
ones is the articulation of
three essential
and distinguishing elements of IMC, which encapsulates
the
various
principles surrounding the concept. These distinctive attrib-
utes, or what may be called the
pillars of IMC, are (see
Figure ?): audience-
fwased,
channel-centred
and
results-driaen.
While these three terms, or pillars,
ue nothing new and may have been used to describe
various
facets of
IMC,
nevertheless
they have not been stated and
put together
in a defi-
nition such as this.
l.lMC
is audience-focused: multiple markets
The first pillar of IMC is that it is audience-focused. This term signifies
and
highlights
the centraliry
IMC gives
to the relevant
public (consumers
and non-consumers) for whom the IMC programme is intended. As
Schultz and Shultz (1998) emphasise,
a corporation's
relevant public
25
Figure 2:Three
pillars
of the IMC model
Audience-
focused
Multiple
markets
ffi Channel-
centred
Multiple
channels $*t Results-
driven
Financial
measurement
wwww
Strategic management of
brand communication
programmes
I N'l'l.l RNA I'l()N'\1, JOt.
RNr\1,
Ol.'
AI)\IE R'l'ISIN(;. Z(X).5,
2-+(
I
)
inch-rdcs both cxtcrnal and intcrnal audicnccs. E,xtcrnal audicnccs may rcfer
to customers, consumers,
prospects, government and other cntities olrt-
sidc thc organisation,
rvhilc intcrnal audicnccs rcfcr to thosc u,ithin tl-re
organisation, such as
cmployccs, managcrs
and mcmbcrs of thc board of
dircctors.
Building and strengthening
positivc relationships
with an orgiln-
istrtion's intcrnalaudicncc is vital as it fostcrs in tl-rcm a scnsc of lovaltv and
busincss
or,l.ncrship. Oonscclucntl-v, scnior manrrgcment would then be
able to more
easily encourage a stronger sense of bclonging, and the attitude
of being stew-ards and gLrardians
of the conrpany's
products
and services.
Thc nsc of thc tcrm rturlicnrz rathcr than consumcr is dclitrcratc, as lt
gives prominence
to the fact
therr
INI() progrrrmmcs
rlre not directed solely
to consumers as some hal'e suggcstccl
((irunig & (irunig 1c)98), but to all
rclcvant publics
of an org:rnisation. In this scnsc,
to bc audicncc-focuscd
means IN{O programnes are directcd at tl-re rnulriple nrarl:el.s u,ith ll'hich an
organisation
interacts. An audience-focused organisation deals r,r,ith
its
r,ar-
ious
publics
or stakcholdcrs at anv givcn timc in thc coursc
of pcrfrrrming
thc clif-ferent aspccts of its llrsiness opcratrol-rs.
26
TOWARDS
A NEW DEFINITION OF IMC
To be audience-focused in IMC presupposes
that the entire process
of
ing integrated
brand communication
programmes
places
the tar-
audience
(both
internal and external) at the core ofthe process
- data-
building, customer valuation, objectives and strategy formulation,
development, creative executions, media planning
or message
systems, and measurement
and evaluation
methods
- in order
to
cffectively
address their needs and wants through meaningful dialogue
by establishing long-term and profitable
relationships with them.
. In the effort to establish relationships, an audience-focused orientation
tlso demands that consumers or prospects are treated with respect,
ding cheir digniry as
people,
and not merely as objects for profit. The
centraliry
given to consumers and prospects
also implies establishing a
market-oriented
organisational structure within an organisation
instead
of
dre
traditional brand management set-up.
The identification of multiple markets in planning
IMC programmes
differs
in perspective
from the traditional advertising
planning approach
where campaigns are directed solely to one market,
rypically
the consumer
(Moore
& Thorson 1996). The identified consumer segment is usually
defined by broad demographic and psychographic
descriptors.
The IMC multiple-market approach, on the other hand, is highly
focused
on identifying relevant and valued audience
groups
for a given
brand. An infant milk brand, for example, may need to target not just
mothers
(as
the primary consumer
segment) but paediatricians
as
well, as
they
act as important influencers
and decision
makers
to a large
extent,
cspecially
for first-time mothers.
Both audience
groups
(mothers
and pae-
diatricians)
will then require distinct,
yet integrated, marketing communi-
cations
strategies as
part of an overall IMC plan.
ll.lMC
is channel-centred: multiple channels
The second
pillar of IMC is thac it is channel-centred. To be channel-
centred
involves an integrated approach to planning and managing the
coordinated use
of appropriate
and
multiple channels, disciplines or tools
of communication
(e.g. advertising,
public relations, direct marketing,
sales
promotions,
internet) as well as all other sources of information and
brand contact
points,
in order to reach
and connect
with target audiences.
27
INTE RNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVE RTISING,
ZOO5,
24(I)
Using the same example of the infant milk brand cited earlier, the mul-
tiple-channel IMC approach
suggests that traditional tri-media advertising
may be an appropriate channel to reach
the mothers, while direct market-
ing may be a suitable channel to communicate with the paediatricians.
With the expanded
notion of brand
communications in IMC (Schultz
&
Schultz 1998), communication channels today refer to a myriad of possi-
bilities - traditional media (radio,
TV print), non-traditional media/below-
the-line or through-the-line communications, elements of the marketing
mix, and various functions in the business
process
within an organisation
- that need to be managed and coordinated strategically,
resulting in a
powerful and synergistic
brand communications mix.
Also inherent in the IMC concept is media neutraliry
in planning
media
channels
or the message delivery system.
All channels of communication
are treated equally,
with no biases for any one medium, since
it is the audi-
ence or target consumer,
not the interest of the marketer or communica-
tion agency,
that is driving the planning and selection
process.
The strategic approach
to planning integrated brand communications
utilises the zero-based
planning method. This means that budget alloca-
tions are determined based on the marketing communications
objectives
that need to be achieved, instead of being constrained by budgets
imposed by management.
While limited financial resource
is an
issue most
companies
have to contend with, the IMC approach
strategically examines
how these resources can be maximised to attain the desired
results.
lll. IMC is results-driven: financial measurement
The third pillar of IMC is that it should be results-driven.
IMC pro-
grammes should be measurable and accountable
for business results
through a process
of customer
valuation of the identified markets, and by
estimating
return on customer investments
(ROCI). These financial esti-
mates are then verified and evaluated at certain
points over time, to track
the effectiveness of IMC programmes.
The financial
measurement tools employed in IMC reinforce its orien-
tation towards measuring behavioural
responses rather than attitudes and
communication effects (e.g. brand awareness), and measuring outcomes
(the financial
returns in terms of income flows from consumers)
instead of
outputs
(what is sent
out, what media is bought, etc.) of the total brand
28
.I'OWARDS
A NTJW DEFINI'I'ION OI.- IMC
communication programme
over
time (Schultz
& Walters
1997). Value
is
thus
given to what is received
in rerurn
(ROCI), nor on what is spenr
for
marketing
communication
efforts
(Schulcz
& Walters 1997).
This particular
element of the definition
clearly indicates
the benefit
or
fundamental
value
of IMC programmes - they are meanr
to contribure to
the
bottom line,
the business
results of corporations.
It is also
vital
to emphasise
that thc complete IMC process - from
plan-
ning to evaluating
and measuring
its effectiveness
and results
- is done
over
time; that is,
with a longitudinal
vision.
Observing
and tracking
rhe
impact
of IMC programmes
and the behavioural responses
and
effects on
target
audiences
over time, provides
a morc solid foundation
on which
future programmes
mighr be based.
Top management's
involvement
is
crucial in this regard,
as the drive for
business
results from
marketing
communications
continues
to occupy
con-
siderable prominence
in the corporare
agenda of twenry-first-cenrury
organisations.
The interrelacionship
among the threc pillars of IMC, as shown in
Figure
3, is consistent
with the IMC planning
models
proposed
by Schultz
Figure
3: Inter-relationship
of IMC
pillars
29
r
IN' t'ERNA I'lONr\1,
JOT
RN/\L Ot" r\l
)\'E,
l{'l'lslN(;. 200.s, 2-l(
l )
et a/. (1996) and Schtrltz and Kitchen (2000a).
'l'hc identification of
multiple and relevant markcts
(audicncc-ftrcus
approach) springs from an
inforn-ration
bank of customer and prospect
databascs. Finding and iden-
tilying markets (consunrers
and non-consumcrs) to targct frrr
a gir.,cn
brand
dcmands utmost prccision
for an INIC crrmplign to succccd.
Oncc markcts arc idcntified, it w'ill thcn bc possiblc
to cxaminc the
most cffectivc contact
points
or multiprlc communication channcls
(channcl-
ccntrcd) to employ in cstablishing rclationships u,ith
circh
idcntiflcd mar-
kct. []ndcrstanding thc markcts being dealt u'ith and thc rclcr.ant
channcls to which thosc markcts arc exposcd, will rcsult in mrlrc
targcted
and strategic markcting communiclrtron
programmes.
Thc I\lC aprproach cvaluatcs thc cf'fbctivcncss
of thc intcgratcd pro-
grammc bascd
on thc incomc florvs
(rcsults-drir.cn)
thc organisltion rccoups
from the identifled markcts, through
il proccss
of n-rarkct valuation and meas-
urcmcnt of thc actual rctllrns
cln thc invcstmcnts
nlaccd
on thosc markets.
Expanded
view of brand communication programmes
in IMC
'l'lre rrse of thc term ltranr/ rotnnunirtrion in this dcfinition concurs u,ith
tl-rc cxpandcd undcrstanding and mcaning prroposed
by Schultz and
Schultz
(1998).
It goes
beyond thc traditional notion of limiting brand
or
markcting communications to advcrtising, cvent markcting, PR, direct
markcting, and so on. Rathcr, it cncompasscs all othcr frlrms of communi-
clltion, mirrketing cleurents, activitics and functions that influcncc the
rclatior-rship bctvu'ccn the audicncc rlr rclcvar-rt public,
ancl rhc organisrrtion
and its brands.
'fhis new dcflnition of INI(l encompasscs all thc othcr conccpts
sur-
rounding thc notion of INI(l arriculatcd by prcvious
authors inclLrdcd in
this studti F'igurc
-l shou's
hou'the conccpts introdLrccd in past
dcflnitions
arc consistcnt with thc clcmcnts of thc ncu' defir-rition.
Conclusion
Thc author's rcr.ielv clf the IN'l(l litcraturc
suggcsts thxt dcfiniticlnal issues
surrounding
thc INIO conccpt continuc to bc dcbatcd by acadcmics and
practitioncrs
in inclustn'. Frrrthcr rcsclrch on thc conccptualisation and
30
.I'OWARDS
A NEW DEFINIT'ION OF IMC
principles
of the IMC construct is needed before a more solid theoretical
'foundation
of the concept can be reached.
This
paper
has surveyed existing definitions of IMC, and discussed the
merits
and
apparent inadequacies of each. A new definition of IMC was
proposed
highlighting more
clearly
the distinctive
attributes, or pillars,
of
the concept.
These three attributes are: audience-focused, channel-cen-
tred
and
results-driven. These attributes,
or pillars,
encapsulate and syn-
thesise
more cohesively the various
principles surrounding the IMC
concept
and
process.
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(2003)
In the eyes of the beholder: a comparison of Thai marketers'
and advertising
practitioners' perceptions
on integrated marketing
31
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34
... At the same time, IMC is a widely used and widely debated concept on the one side. Despite the numerous studies on IMC, there are various research views, and there has been no consensus on the definition of the concept and scope of IMC (Kliatchko, 2005;Madhavaram et al., 2005;Schultz & Schultz, 1998;Swain, 2004). ...
... On the other hand, Schultz and Schultz (1998) emphasize IMC as a business process and define the actions, objects, and goals of IMC, which is a more comprehensive definition. Kliatchko's (2005) definition emphasizes IMC as both a concept and a process and stresses the importance of brand communication and long-term strategy. Subsequently, Kliatchko (2008) removes the conceptual formulation, emphasizes the audience-oriented character, and specifies IMC's target, content, medium, and outcome. ...
... Kliatchko's (2005) definition emphasizes IMC as both a concept and a process and stresses the importance of brand communication and long-term strategy. Subsequently, Kliatchko (2008) removes the conceptual formulation, emphasizes the audience-oriented character, and specifies IMC's target, content, medium, and outcome. ...
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... Review papers or conceptual reviews or theory focussed articles (Barczak, 2017;Kozlenkova et al., 2014;Stewart & Zinkhan, 2006;Hulland & Houston, 2020;Palmatier et al., 2018) do not provide and analyze first-hand data, instead provide integration of literature (Gilson & Goldberg, 2015;Goodwin, et al., 2004;Nicolaisen & Driscoll, 2014 approach should be initiated to involve the whole organization into IMC as a market deployment mechanism, enabling optimization and achieving superior communication effectiveness . As Kliatchko, (2005) argued, though the conceptualization of the IMC paradigms had developed substantially, it had not adequately captured the epitome of IMC's essential characteristics at that time. Moreover, the authors are in agreement that the commonalities and key components in IMC concerned managing selling communication in an exceedingly holistic and strategic manner. ...
... Moreover, the authors are in agreement that the commonalities and key components in IMC concerned managing selling communication in an exceedingly holistic and strategic manner. In an exceedingly practical nous, it tries to combine, integrate, and synergize elements of the communication mix as one and to offset the weaknesses of others to make a unified message and should not be developed in isolation Kliatchko, 2005). Some authors caredfor IMC from a workplace perspective and spoken managing the standard promoting communication combine (advertising, sales promotions, public relations, and sales promotion) in an integrated fashion instead of separate practices, and to possess a generalized data with all communication tools for marketers. ...
... The IMC approach estimates the efficiency of the integrated program supports the financial gain flows (result-driven), retrieves through a method of market valuation and measuring of the particular returns on the investments placed on the markets (Kliatchko, 2005). Once markets are identified, it will then be attainable to look at the foremost effective contact points or multiple communication channels (channel-centred) in establishing relationships with every identified market. ...
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Chapter
“Sponsorship: Practices and Benefits in Emerging Markets” details the strategic sponsorship activities and mechanisms that can be implemented to communicate with customers and other stakeholders.
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