Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe, review and critique the concept of integrated marketing communications (IMCs) and to suggest ways forward conceptually and managerially. Design/methodology/approach – This paper critically reviews the emergence, growth and current status of IMC. Findings – As the authors consider IMC diffusion in business practice, its generic acceptance in terms of theory and obstacles or difficulties standing in the way of further developments, this leads to positioning IMC more ably, strengthening its theoretical foundations, critiquing its contribution so far and assessing conceptual and managerial issues. Research limitations/implications – As a critical review, the authors draw upon data from wide variety of academic IMC research. However, there is an identifiable specific need for in-company empirical research. Practical implications – Where IMC is applied in a strategic way, with a view to creating synergy among the different marketing communication elements to achieve short- and long-term returns, the approach can be and is associated with greater consistency among messages and functions, and leads to cost savings, easier working relations between different departments, better utilisation of media and promotional mix elements, together with greater efficiency and enhanced returns. Originality/value – The value of the paper lies in its detailed review of the literature, IMC’s significance in terms of conceptualisation and business practice, and underlines the need for further in-company research.
Journal of Business Strategy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 20, 2015
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