"'Integrated communications' are like a band. The different communications instruments - advertising, public relations, database marketing, media specialists, sponsorship, interactive, event marketing and the rest - are like different musical instruments: piano, trumpet, trombone, violin, clarinet, percussion and the rest" (Fletcher, 1998, p. 22).
Other terms that have been used to describe IMC are "one-stop shopping," "orchestration," "seamless communication," "whole egg," and "the new advertising" (Duncan & Everett, 1993, p. 30). These terms signify the integration of specialized communications functions that previously have operated with various degrees of autonomy. Duncan and Everett argue that the basic concept of IMC is synergy, in which the individual efforts are mutually reinforcing with the resulting effect being greater than if each functional area had selected its own targets, chosen its own message strategy, and set its own media schedule and timing (Duncan & Everett, 1993). ...
um, and Lauterborn (1993) define IMC as "a new way of looking at the whole, where once we only saw parts such as advertising, public relations, sales promotion, purchasing, employee communications, and so forth. It's realigning communications to look at it the way the customer sees it - as a flow of information from indistinguishable sources" (Schultz, Tannenbaum, & Lauterborn, 1993, p. 15).
This brief overview shows how various researchers define IMC and how definitions can vary. Of these, the most common definition found in the existing research is the one set forth by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, and used by Peltier, Schibrowsky and Schultz (2003), and stated above. Variations in definitions have, quite possibly, contributed to differing perspectives on IMC. Quite simply stated, insofar as a definition refers to both the meaning and the uses of the construct, each definition is arguably the outcome of a specific perspective and influences the generation of particular attitudes towards IMC.
As indicated in the preceding, there are diverse definitions of IMC and, quite unsurprising, alternate definitions have contributed to the debate over the discipline itself. Indeed, some question whether the management approaches and practices prescribed by IMC theory have actually found any endorsement in practice (Cornelissen, 2001). Cornelissen (2001) analyzed the rhetoric and teleological reasoning that forms IMC theory, concluding with the claim that there is not a substantial amount of empirical research on marketing communications management and IMC so there is no way to prove or disprove the supposed superiority of IMC over traditional mass marketing communications. He suggests further research be conducted on historical marketing