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INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

a critique

The following is taken from chapter 3 of the third edition of Digital Marketing - a Practical Approach

Although some academics - and maybe some practitioners - do not agree with me, I have difficulties with the discipline of integrated marketing communications (IMC). The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines integrated marketing communications as 'a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time'.

I agree that this is a reasonable ambition, but would argue vociferously that to be effective all marketing communications must be integrated - indeed, all marketing must be integrated, not just the communications. Yes, have marketing efforts observed to ensure they are coordinated (the marketing CEO/manager's job?), but is IMC a distinct discipline - i.e. one that is taught as a programme in universities? I say no, it is part of the strategic marketing management, but it is not an element of marketing in the way, for example, advertising, branding and - dare I say it - elements of digital marketing are. A strategic marketing manager has to be aware of all facets of marketing (though not necessarily an expert in them all), and yet I see IMC books, training and education programmes cover all aspects of marketing communications (MarComs), including PR, advertising and digital, as if they were part of IMC and distinct from the likes of PR, advertising and digital as elements of strategic marketing.

I feel that it is inherent that all digital marketing (every aspect of which is part of the organization's communication with its existing and potential customers) should be coordinated - integrated, if you will - and so this book does not require a section on how to manage the various elements of digital marketing. That's the role of a digital marketing manager.

How to cite this page:
Charlesworth, A. (2018). Integrated Marketing Communications - a critique. Retrieved [insert date] from AlanCharlesworth.com: https://www.alancharlesworth.com/integrated-marketing-communications-a-critique.html

This page was first published in December 2018 ... but it may have been updated or amended since then.
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