he market fragmentation and the increasing communication options in recent years have contributed to the clutter the world is experiencing today. This has lead marketers to integrate their marketing communication tools in order to break through the barrier of noise and reach the target market, “marketing overload is forcing corporations to shout even louder” (keller 2001). In 1993 Shultz, Tannenbaum and Lauterborn introduced a new concept called Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC). This concept has generated a great interest among academics and practioners, although research regarding its frequency and implementation is limited. IMC have been defined in numerous ways, all stressing the fact that IMC’s Task is to combine all corporate media and messages to project clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact in its surroundings. Percy (1997) defines integrated marketing communications as “the planning and execution of all types of advertising and promotion selected for a brand, service, or company, in order to meet a common set of communication objectives, or more particularly, to support a single positioning”. Smith (1998) highlights the importance of “ensuring that the brand positioning, personality and message are delivered synergistically across every element of communication and are delivered from a single consistent strategy.” (p. 166) Duncan and Moriarty (1998) draws attention to the concept of brand stewardship “…the marketing mix must be planned as an integrated whole by applying such ideas as consistency and integration….”. He implies that, while consistency is a coherent fit, integration is an active harmonious interaction among the elements of the mix.
IMC offers several different tools that can be used in order to communicate a marketing message. According to Smith (1998) and Smith, Berry & Pulford (1998) these tools are: personal selling, advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, public relations, sponsorships, packaging,...
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