'IMC is dead. Long live IMC': Academics' versus practitioners' views

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this research is to establish whether academics and practitioners are similar in their perceptions of what Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is and the role it has to play in today's dynamic landscape. This objective is achieved first by examining the IMC literature to establish the main themes that underpin the construct and to identify the topics that have been most discussed over the past 10 years. These findings are then utilised to perform a content analysis of 10 essays that were published by Campaign magazine in December 2010 by high-profile practitioners under the heading of ‘What's Next in Integration’. The findings indicate that there are differences in the perception of academics and practitioners on IMC, mainly in the area of internal audiences and its strategic role within an organisation. These findings are of interest to academics, clients, and agencies, as these areas of misunderstanding may be acting as a barrier to IMC implementation. This research identifies significant differences in how IMC is perceived by academics and practitioners in the advertising industry. This identification is important because organisations can only benefit from IMC fully if there is a common understanding across clients, agencies, and academics of what it is and how it works. Misunderstandings can create barriers to full implementation, and it is the responsibility of the industry as a whole to address this and enable meaningful dialogue to take place and progress to be made
Original languageEnglish
Article number13-14
Pages (from-to)1464-1478
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number13/14
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Dec 2011


  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • advertising agencies
  • branding
  • content analysis
  • internal communications


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