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Issues In Marketing Communication

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 2336 words Published: 16th May 2017

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With in the Marketing world, Major current issues in the field of marketing communication are forced towards integrated activity. There are various reasons for this fundamental change; the marketing methods are similar as it was decades ago, which are no longer competitive in businesses and lost their principles, such as stable focus on new product, promotional pricing strategies etc. This paper will look at some of these views in context to continues development of integrated marketing communication and implementation of its strategies for organizations in 21st century.

According to (Schultz, 1999) argues that ‘Integrated marketing communication is a evolution of mass market media advertising towards targeted direct marketing and describes further that it appears to be natural evolution of traditional mass media advertising, which has renewed as a result of new technology’ (Michael J. Baker, 2003, p397).

The integrated marketing communication is a process which integrates everything that a company or its people and brands do with targets and publics on purpose and in general make efficient use of marketing communication tools(Paul Copley, 2004, p12), As integration has been practiced from years and its objective is to solely focus on communication elements. According to Smith 1993 cite (Paul Copley, 2004) states that integrated marketing communication with careful planning drives towards cost effectiveness and creates marketing communications synergy which reinforce a consistent image.

Kotler et al, (2001) suggested, ‘Marketing models are more than developing a good product, pricing it attractively and correctly. Companies communicate to potential stakeholders; members of public and to reach target market and marketers should creatively employ various forms of communications, as more and more companies are trying to grab consumer’s attention’.


There is much debate around about defining the, Integrated Marketing Communication and various scholars have proposed alternative definitions.

American association of advertising agency defines, ”Integrated marketing communication as a concept of marketing communication planning, which recognizes the added value of comprehensive plan and it evaluates the strategic roles of communication disciplines i.e. general advertising, direct response, sales promotion, public relation and combination of these discipline provides a clear picture of integration message (Kotler et al, 2006, p463).

According to (Philip J. Kitchen et al, 2004) “Integrated Marketing Communications seems to pass through conjectural storm as to its meaning and certainly it is simply to build promotional mix elements together to create, ‘one-voice’ phenomenon”.

However, the motive of debate is to recognize the values of consumer needs are the centre point of all marketing communication activities. In other words it is a process, which shifts from functional activity of creating marketing communication campaign to an attitudinal focus in which consumer’s needs are at the heart of all marketing communications planning (Michael J. Baker, 2003, p399).

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Marketing Communication Revolution

‘Marketing communications is the way by which the company tries to inform, persuade and remind consumers in a direct or indirect way, about the products and brands that company sells’ (Kotler et al, 2006, p444). Over all it represents the brands and establishes Communication bridge, which build relationship with consumers. Marketing communication performs various functions, which allows the companies to link their brands to other people or brands and also contributes to brand equity by establishing the brand image in the mind of consumers.

Marketing communication identifies various mechanism designed to inform or to persuade consumers and technological development, increasingly accessible media with market saturation is creating a complex situation. According to (Kitchen, 1994), “The traditional forms of marketing communication are giving away to continuous multi media techniques in a form of modern leviathan”. Important to note that, According to (Burrell, 1988) citied in (Kitchen, 1994) that “Today’s world is in a stage of growing incidence of change where human life is affected by various elements of pollution i.e. post modern society and industrialization is responsible. Despite the consumer is taking various measures to avoid, they are still inevitably exposed to high level of promotional communication, which is potentially a conceptualized form of pollution and is extremely damaging”.

Critics have linked that this potential pollution is not adequately recognized in the academics and this potential form of pollution is avoidable, where possible by consumers but at large level it is perhaps not avoidable.

Development of Integrated Marketing Communications

Various studies has been undertaken in past to understand the factors, which are encouraging the implementation of Integrated Marketing Communications and its development process.

According to (Kitchen and Schultz, 1999, 2000) cite (Kitchen et al, 2004) states that, as far as communications is concerned, Integrated Marketing Communications is certainly a major communications development in the last decade of 20th century. Regardless of the fact that history of it approaches and contribution is very recent in nature.

Integrated Marketing Communication merge and synergize elements of communication mix, as the strengths of one are used to equalize the weakness of others and “Much organization actively participates in integration of communication regulation under the umbrella of one strategic marketing communication functions” (Kitchen et al, 2004). For example: Publicity and advertising provides support to each other which form superior impact in cost effective manner.

The task of developing marketing communications campaigns is becoming contradictory and it is no longer a task of individual. The marketer’s must seek and co-ordinate the input from various sources as many companies higher advertising agency, public relation consultancy, a sales promotion company and which ensures that all these contributors work towards common objectives and delivers correct message to consumers, as it is increasingly challenging task now days (Michael J. Baker, (2003), p409).

Kitchen, (2005) explains that in marketing disciplines from many years an inside-out approach of marketing communication has been practiced, though logic is of outside-in approach and it was only last year of twentieth century, when the marketers has considered it seriously.

Some critics that, ‘Integrated Marketing Communication has swept around globally and become a watch cry, not only in marketing communication literature but also become an integral part of marketing and in corporate communication strategies’. (Kitchen et al, 2004).

Is Integrated Marketing Communications Beneficial?

The various studies has been undertaken to understand the benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications and study reveals the great numbers of benefits and are not limited to individuals. Linton and Morley (1995) suggested a clear list of Integrated Marketing Communication benefits to organizations which includes ‘Creative integrity, consistency of messages, unbiased marketing recommendation, Better use of Media, Greater marketing precisions, Operation efficiency, cost savings, high-caliber service and easier working relations’ ( Copley, 2004, p13).

Similarly, Kitchen et al (1999) also identified the benefits and can be derived from Integration marketing communications process and suggested seven potential benefits, which includes ‘increased impact, creative ideas, greater communication consistency, increases importance of one brand personality, helps eliminates misconception, greater client control over communication budget, provides clients with greater professional expertise’ (Michael J. Baker, 2003, p408). More over the most vital benefit is the delivery of better responses and accountability for communications process. There are critics on that if consumers are benefiting or not, but there is no specific evidence of consumers benefiting and if not then it means the benefits of integrated marketing communication has not been passed on (Copley, 2004, p13).

In summary it can be conclude that Integrated Marketing Communication is cost effective, it also saves the time and reduce workload of individuals when it assembles different agencies together for strategic planning towards common objective.

Implementation of Integrated Marketing Communication

Now days many companies employ communication expert, who are aware of communications tools and they coordinate with management to change the picture of brand image in consumers mind. More over the complex situation arises when various global companies employ advertising agencies located in another location and serves different division, which results in awkward communication and image diffusion (Kotler et al, 2006).

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However, in current scenario a handful companies has improved their integrated offerings, to facilitate one stop for shopping. The key advertising agency has acquired the promotion agencies, website developers and public relation consultancy, many international players acquires one agency for all their communication work. For example, ‘IBM has acquired Ogilvy for their advertising needs to achieve branding, which results in integrated and effective marketing communication way in cost effective manner’ (Kotler et al, 2006).

Duncan, (2002) cites Kitchen, (2005) argues that Integrated Marketing Communications is a different from other customer centric processes, where communication is base and center of all relationships, as it is ongoing circular process that generates brands value in form of sales, revenue and brand equity.

Implementation of Integrated Marketing communication results in stronger message consistency and greater sales impact. It forces the management to re-think about every possible way in which customers comes in contact with organization. Hence, implementation of ‘Integrated Marketing Communication improves the organizations ability to reach right customer, with right message at right time and in right place’ (Kotler et al, 2006).

Barriers in Integrated marketing Communications

Despite of various benefits and advantages of Integrated Marketing Communication has barriers too. Several factors can be identified as a barrier in integrated marketing communications i.e. time scale, lack of management know how and creativity etc. Further to this many authors revealed various barriers and the factors affecting integrated growth.

According to Baker, M.J. (2003) there are several barrier identified in integrated process, which involves both are of internal and external in nature and in addition to it elucidate the short term effects. Possibly the most key barrier in integration is the right approach in budgeting, as often the individual departments are responsible for budgeting. The financial and retail sectors are the two significant examples, which adopted the Integration approach successfully.

Copley, P. (2004), argues that the lack of clear definition of Integrated Marketing Communication is a potential barrier in its development and there is an ongoing debate to understand Integrated Marketing Communication clearly.

Some critics that, ‘agencies have not done enough job of putting all tools together with different teams which were involved in communication campaigns’. (Kotler et al, 2006). However it is observed that the biggest obstacle in effective Integrated Marketing Communication process is lacking of agencies in coordinating with communication team and it also proved to be deficient in designing and evaluating such process.

Integrated Marketing Communication in 21st century:

The Journal of Strategic direction (2006), explores that the traditional methods of marketing are changing rapidly and there is a need of marketing strategies to be adopted, to stay ahead of competitors and to reach the wants of consumers. More over this change is occurring due to emergence of IT and online tools, Consumers wants and needs has been increased since the IT has developed in this 21st century.

As per Baker M.J. (2003), with the fragmentation of media channels the face of media has changed drastically in past few years and some debates that in this sophisticated environment the traditional methods of marketing is dying.

In this 21st century consumers has a wide choices in the market to choose from and with IMC it is possible to reach the consumer with less efforts in terms of workload by considering the cost of the process. In general Integrated Marketing Communication benefits each individual who are directly or indirectly associated with it.

The Future

As Integration marketing Communication has a potential stronger message consistency


This paper has recognized the potential of Integrated marketing communication and

When organization decides what marketing strategy any organization should follow, then the primary task is to build profitable relationship with target customers. However the organization has many options in guiding their marketing strategy in terms of which philosophy should underpin the strategy. Many large organizations employ the marketing concept- by knowing the needs/wants of the target market and delivers satisfaction better than the competition (Armstrong et al, 2009).


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