Integrated Marketing Communications


In this event, we explore the nature and meaning of integrated marketing communications in driving profitable growth and contributing towards stakeholder value, including consumers, channel partners, employees, suppliers and, ultimately, investors.

Like many new management concepts to emerge from academics, consultants and practitioners, the core logic of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) is difficult to refute. In a nutshell, the messages an organization wishes to communicate externally, particularly those conveying their core brand values, should be coherent and consistent regardless of the media (‘route to mind’) employed.

Such media include advertising, the sales force, exhibitions, sponsorship, point-of-sale, packaging, public relations, word-of-mouth, trade fairs, web sites, social networks, social media etc. As ever, the logic of this simple management principle is easy to describe but enormously difficult to apply in practice. For example, it is very common, particularly in large organizations, that completely different departments have been created to focus on each of the aforementioned media and, ironically, they often don’t communicate internally particularly well between themselves.

This problem is compounded by the involvement of third parties such as advertising agencies and other purveyors of a wide range of marketing services.

We will explore these marketing communications (marcomms) and organizational challenges as core themes throughout the event alongside an evaluation of core marcomms tools, frameworks and processes. While we cover a broad cross-section of the latter, we also pay particular attention to new forces in communication media, for example, entrance to the advertising industry of companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Among other impacts, the use of new analytics (eg, behavioural responses to marcomms investments) and business models (eg, ‘pay-per-click’ advertising) have dramatically shifted the competitive landscape in an industry (marketing services) experiencing transformational change in this unprecedented digital age.

Digital Media
Digital Media refers to the use of e-commerce and internet-related technologies for the distribution of products and services from supplier to consumer. ‘e-tailing’ (for example, Amazon, e-bay) typically (but not exclusively) still requires the physical distribution of products through traditional supply chain & logistics systems once a purchase is made, for example, consumer electronics, clothes, food etc…

In other product & service categories goods are indeed physically distributed on-line, for example, music, movies via streaming (eg, Netflix, Amazon), books (eg, Kindle), travel services (eg, Expedia), financial services (take your pick!) etc. Digital Media should NOT be confused with communications media (eg, advertising, sales promotions, publicity etc.), although there are many cases where the two marketing mix decisions are converging – we will explore this in some detail throughout the event.

Indicative Content

    • Aligning marketing strategy, the marketing mix & IMC
    • Buyer behaviour, customer focus, brand positioning & IMC
    • Pursuing the ideal: delivering IMC strategies
    • Customer relationship management: IMC strategies for customer profitability
    • Managing the communications mix: advertising & sales promotion
    • Managing the communications mix: public relations, sponsorship & exhibitions
    • Managing the communications mix: alignment with key account management (KAM) & negotiation strategies
    • Innovation strategies and IMC: the adoption & diffusion of innovations in emerging, established and international markets
    • A structured & systematic approach to IMC: strategy and operations
    • IMC in the digital age & the struggle for control
    • Contemporary marketing methods from an IMC perspective, including Marketing 3.0, viral marketing, smartphone marketing, guerrilla marketing, ambush marketing, suggestive marketing, influencer marketing etc.
    • Service industry IMC: communicating intangibles
    • Evaluating marketing communications investments: a financial perspective
    • Managing organizational reputation: a leadership perspective
    • Organizational design for effective and efficient marketing communications: an organizational behaviour perspective

Learning Outcomes

The Primary Objective of this Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) event is to provide participants with a comprehensive overview of key challenges in marketing communications in the contemporary ‘information age’ and to provide them with the analytical, technical and professional competencies to create and/or contribute to the preparation and implementation of comprehensive IMC programmes. A related goal is to explore the linkages between the theory & practice of IMC strategy and operations within the broader context of strategic marketing management.

To achieve this, participants will develop the competencies to:

    • Build upon their knowledge and experience of market segmentation and brand positioning principles: digital & traditional communications context
    • Be able to undertake a comprehensive competitor and differential advantage analysis with reference to multiple ‘routes to mind’: IMC management audit
    • Have the ability to create and manage successful IMC strategies
    • Be able to analyse and enhance IMC performance
    • Understand the components of IMC strategy (traditional & digital), IMC project planning and IMC management
    • Have the ability to drive IMC mapping and optimization strategies
    • Apply the principles of IMC management using proven methodologies, tools and frameworks
    • Understand the need for organisational effectiveness to ensure successful IMC management implementation
    • Justify IMC investments using traditional and innovative investment appraisal techniques


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All content © Colin Edward Egan, 2020