Integrated Marketing Communications is described as “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 and combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency and maximum communications impact” (Belch and Belch, p.22 ).
Integrated Marketing Communication in explained by Lee (1996, p.34) as ‘a new way of looking at the whole, where once we saw only parts such as advertising, public relations, sales promotion, purchasing, employee communication, and so forth, to look at it the way the consumer sees it – as a flow of information from indistinguishable sources’
Iacobucci and Calder (2003, p. ) specify the difference of integrated marketing from the traditional marketing by the fact that the main focus of the integrated marketing is on on-to-one marketing, relationship marketing or database marketing.
This idea is supported by Schultz et al (1993, p.) who claim the main attention of integrated marketing to be on communication.
The benefits of the Integrated Marketing Communications is listed in MMC Learning (online, 2010) as the following:
• Integrated Marketing Communications initiates and maintains communication with customers. This leads to the increased level of customer satisfaction and the consolidation of image for the company;
• The level of customer loyalty can be increased significantly through the use of Integrated Marketing Communications due to the strong bond between customers and the company it creates.
• Increased level of profitability can be resulted by the use of the Integrated Marketing Communications due to the fact that the latter increases the overall efficiency of the company.
• Messages sent to the customer through Integrated Marketing Communications are usually more consistent and this increases its credibility
• Duplication of marketing and other efforts are eliminated in Integrated marketing Communications, therefore company funds are saved consistently.
Smith (1998, pp. 168-1690 lists the following principles of Integrated Marketing Communication:
• Integrated Marketing Communication starts with activity and the perception of the customer;
• The integration of the business strategy with the needs of the customer is undertaken by Integrated marketing Communication
• The coordination of business communications are undertaken by and within Integrated marketing Communication mix
• Dialogue with the customer is created by Integrated Marketing Communication.
Pelsmacker et al (2004, p.57) refer to the term of ‘synergetic effect’ when explaining the communication integration task of Integrated marketing Communications.
Belch, EG & Belch, M, 2006, An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective, McGraw Hill, London
Iacobucci, D & Calder, BJ, 2003, Kellogg on integrated marketing, John Wiley and Sons.
Lee, JA, 1996, Cultural Analysis in Overseas Operations, Havard Business Review 106-14.
Marketing Communications, MMC Learning, Retrieved may 05, 2010. Available at: http://www.multimediamarketing.com/mkc/marketingcommunications
Pelsmacker, DP, Geuens, M. & Bergh, VJ, 2004, Marketing Communications: A European Perspective, 2nd edition, Harlow: Prentice Hall
Smith, PR, 1998, Marketing Communication: an integrated approach, London: Kogan Pages Limited