Integration of marketing communications has been a hot topic for the past 25 years.

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The concept of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is still one that is largely debated among theorists and practitioners. Some argue it a passing fad and others a constructive and positive evolution in marketing theory and practice. Adhering to the latter perspective, Lars Buer, chairman of the Berghs School of Communications in Stockholm, insists that, "integrated communications is not only an operational necessity, it is a strategic imperative for sustainable success" (Walsh, O'Donnell & Osgood, 2004, p…

Introduction


"'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). ...
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