What is Integrated Marketing Communications and why is it important to marketers and academics?

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Integrated Marketing Communications is the coordination (or integration) of marketing tools focusing on communication with customers about a company’s brand.  It is based on having a Master Marketing Plan centered around situation analysis, marketing objectives and budget.

IMC is very important for marketers.  It is crucial for a company to have an integrated strategy so that customers get a standard message about the brand no matter how they interact with it.  For example, television commercials should coordinate with magazine advertising, product packing and in-store displays.  Consider if a product had one type of packaging on a commercial and another in the store.  Customers would not be able to find it as easily.

For academics, the focus of IMC might be on how consumers react to advertising campaigns.  Psychology and organizational behavior are two fields that provide research and theories which marketers use to target consumer behavior.