Interactive IMC: The Relational-Transactional Continuum and the Synergistic Use of Customer Data

James Peltier
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

John A. Schibrowsky
University of Nevada

Don E. Schultz
Northwestern University

Debra Zahay
Northern Illinois University


INTRODUCTION

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) has received significant recent interest in the advertising and marketing communities (cf. Gould, 2004; Kim, Dongsub, and Schultz, 2004; Kitchen, Brignell, Li, and Jones, 2004; Swain, 2004). IMC assesses the integrated role of diverse communication media and how the merger of these media can enhance the overall effectiveness of buyer-seller relationships (Kliatchko, 2005). Not only has IMC impacted the way marketers communicate with customers and prospects, its extension into an "interactive" marketing realm has placed great value on bringing together multiple data touchpoints, media, and messages (Peltier, Schibrowsky, Davis, and Schultz, 2002). However, the mass communication nature of IMC is no longer sufficient for developing buyer-seller relationships in today's data-driven and customer-oriented world of marketing (Peltier, Schibrowsky, and Schultz, 2003), particularly with regard to how best to tailor and deliver marketing communications that maximize a "return on marketing investment" (Cook and Talluri, 2004; Swain, 2004) and how multiple touchpoints can enhance an organization's selling efforts and customer retention strategies (Reinartz, 2005).