Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Shintaro Okazaki
Chapter 22: The Importance and Relevance of Integrated Marketing Communications: A Global Perspective
Philip J. Kitchen and Marwa Tourky INTRODUCTION In the past decade, the concept of integrated marketing communications (IMC) has swept around the globe and become an apparently integral part of the marketing, and even the corporate communication strategies of many companies (Kitchen, 2005; Schultz et al. 2011). IMC is considered a major factor affecting the outcomes of marketing strategy, and can help companies position products/services/brands, reach target markets, and effectively build brand image whether in a national or international context (Hsu et al. 2009) owing to synergies created from interactions between instruments of the marketing or promotion mix (Naik and Raman, 2003; Prasad and Sethi, 2008). All modern organizations, businesses as well as not-for-profit, use various forms of marketing communications functions, tools or instruments, led by advertising in the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector, to promote their offerings and achieve brand financial and non-financial goals (Shimp, 2008). An accelerating and ongoing integration of political, economic, cultural and technological developments has enabled companies to operate globally and adopt international advertising strategies (see Okazaki and Taylor, 2006). Meanwhile, the recent financial tsunamis sweeping over the global economy have helped companies focus on what matters most – retaining their existing customers. Ongoing polemic in the global arena concerns standardization versus localization of advertising. This topic has been extensively debated in the international advertising literature and seems to be of perennial interest (Melewar et al. 2009). A standardized approach assumes that advertising content and strategy created at home can be effectively implemented in other markets, in translation...
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