Integrated Marketing Communications: Practice Leads Theory

In the last 20 years, the integration of marketing functions has moved from theory to practice. Its specific applications may vary from market to market—indeed, from enterprise to enterprise—but integrated marketing communications (IMC) programs have become standard for marketing organizations, agencies, and the academic community.

Integrated Marketing Communications: Practice Leads Theory

Philip J. KitchenUniversity of Hull, UK and ESC Rennes, France

Ilchul KimDongeui University, South Korea

Don E. SchultzNorthwestern University


The uses of integrated marketing communications (IMC) are widespread and varied. Throughout the world, a variety of concepts, approaches, methodologies, and applications exist around the mean that academic agreement is difficult. Yet, in spite of the continuing theoretical confusion, a large numbers of agencies and marketing organizations continue to deploy “integrated marketing” or “integrated marketing communication” programs. In a 2004 study, 89 percent of nearly 300 U.S.-based marketing decision makers reported...

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