Anda di halaman 1dari 19
Conceptualizing the Integrated Marketing Communications’ Phenomenon: An Examination of its Impact on Advertising Practices and its Implications for Advertising Research Glen J. Nowak, Ph.D. and Joseph Phelps, Ph.D. An increasing number of marketersare integrating the results-oriented methods of consumer sales promotion and direct response advertising with the image/awareness capabilities of general advertising. This integration has blurred the boundaries between traditionally independent marketing communication disciplines and, more importantly, fundamentally restructured many of marketing and advertising communication. In hopes of stimulating scholarly interest in the integrated marketing communications phenomenon, this article identifies the underlying tenets of integrated marketing or advertising communication philosophies; offers a conceptual framework for understanding and addressing integrated marketing and advertising communication issues; and delineates the advertising-related research opportunities that exist as a result of the integrated phenomenon. This examination indicates the integrated phenomenon has impacted marketing communications at an advertisement as well as campaign level, and created a need for empirical research and theoretical development in four advertising domains. Introduction The demassification and splintering of consumer markets combined with increased media costs and options have challenged conventional marketing wis- dom and traditional marketing communication prac- tices. On the marketing side, the mass merchandising, philosophies of major brand and packaged-goods com- panies are being displaced by technology and market-driven perspectives that employ “micromarketing,” “databases,” “one-to-one target- ing,” and “consumer-initiated” communication (Coogle 1990; Hoke 1990; Podems 1988; Schlossberg, 1992; Walley 1989). These concepts, traditionally as- sociated with mail-order firms, catalogers, and direct, marketers, often involve using detailed consumer pro- files stored on computers to target customers and pros- pects in an attempt to maximize selling efforts (Rapp Glen J. Nowak, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at the College of Journalism, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, Joseph Phelps, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor in the Advertising and Public Relations Departmental the College of Communication, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Collins 1990, 1988). Conversely, many traditional direct marketers are attempting to increase sales and market shares by adopting practices often associated with “general” (i.c., brand or packaged-goods) adver- tisers, For some, this has meant expanding distribu- tion into retail stores and other outlets (Rapp and Collins 1988), while for others this has meant paying, more attention to long-term image than to short-term, sales (Jenkins 1984) Similar changes have taken place with respect to marketing communications. Growing numbers of marketers, skeptical about the often ambiguous re- sults of mass media advertising, are placing greater emphasis on consumer sales promotion and direct response advertising (Goerne 1992; Landler, Konrad, Schiller and Therrien 1991). Traditional advertising communication models and their emphasis on medi- ating consumer responses (e.g, awareness, knowl- edge, or attitudes) are giving way to behavior-ori- ented models that emphasize audience segmentation, customized persuasion, purchase incentives, and ad- vertising accountability (Light 1990; Nelson 1991; Rapp. and Collins 1990, 1988; Roscitt and Parkett 1988). Mar- Tburnal of Current Issues at Rescrc in Advertising, Volume 16, Number 1 (Spring, 1998) Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising keters who rely on behavior-oriented marketing com- munications, however, are finding that focus has draw- backs also. Many, for instance, have found heavy reli- ance on direct response advertising or consumer sales promotion dilutes brand equity by making price or purchase incentives the key determinant of brand choice (Goerne 1992; Landler et al. 1991). Regardless of whether itis brand or packaged-goods advertisers incorporating direct response advertising or consumer sales promotion practices, or direct re- sponse advertisers using image or brand advertising techniques, the end result is a fundamental restruc- turing of the “rules” of marketing and advertising communication. The walls between the major mar- keting communication disciplines, namely consumer sales promotion, direct response advertising, and “brand” or “image” advertising, are collapsing, and marketers’ interest in “integrated marketing and ad- vertising communications” is expanding (Rapp and Collins 1990, 1988; Roman 1988; Stephenson 1989) ‘There is increased marketer demand for multi-disci- plinary campaigns (Clancy 1990; Reilly 1991), for ad- vertising strategies that accomplish communication and behavioral objectives concurrently (Bowman 1987; Kobs 1988; Peltier, Mueller and Rosen 1992), and for creative executions that simultaneously generate awareness, promote market positions, encourage im- mediate behavioral responses, and build consumer databases that can be used to foster long-term cus- tomer relationships (Nelson 1991; Rapp and Collins 1990). Although these developments have prompted two academic institutions (j.e., Northwestern Univer- sity and the University of Colorado) to begin gradu- ate programs in integrated marketing and advertis- ing communications (Hume 1991b), the advertising world has responded with caution and doubt (Baker 1992; Cohen 1991; Landler et al. 1991). The excitement of some over what has been labelled “new advertis- ing” (Sloan 1992) has been countered with claims that relatively little has in fact changed (Rotzoll 1991). Si larly, few academic advertising scholars and research- ers have taken seriously marketers’ interest in inte- grated marketing or advertising communications Only one published academic article has explored defi- nitional issues (Peltier, Mueller and Rosen 1992), while the only assessment of consumer responses to adver- tisements that contain both image and direct response elements is found in Woodside and Motes’ (1980, 1979) tourism advertising studies. The tenets of an integrated marketing communications perspective and the ad- vertising research issues associated with such a per- spective have yet to be examined, The purpose of this article is thus two-fold. First, to call advertising scholars’ attention to the impact the integrated marketing communications’ phenomenon has had on advertising strategies and tactics. Second, to stimulate those involved in the study of advertis- ing and consumer behavior to investigate the theo- retical and practical issues that arise from “integrat- ing” traditionally independent marketing communi- cation disciplines—direct response advertising, con- sumer sales promotion, and brand/image advertis- ing. To achieve these objectives, this article: 1) identi- fies the underlying tenets of integrated marketing or advertising communications philosophies; 2) offers a conceptual framework for understanding and address- ing integrated marketing and advertising communi cation issues; and 3) uses the direct response advertis- ing literature to illustrate the advertising-related re search opportunities that exist in the integrated mar. keting communications’ arena. Public relations, an- other discipline employed by marketers, also has in- fluenced and been affected by the integrated market ing communications phenomenon (Haroldsen 1992; ‘Newsom, Carrell and Hussain 1992), but those devel- ‘opments will not be explored here. Defining Integrated Marketing Communications Like the advertising industry, academic advertising and consumer behavior theory and research has fo- cused on brand and image-oriented advertising, and tended to ignore other forms of marketing communi- cations on the assumption they are not prominent nor pervasive enough to warrant study (Blattberg 1987) In the case of integrated marketing communications, two perceptions bolster this belief. First, there is little consensus as to what integrated marketing or adver- tising communication is or means. Second, unlike media advertising, no reliable index exists for track- ing advertiser spending on integrated marketing or advertising communications. Understanding the scope and magnitude of the “integrated” phenomenon thus requires reviewing current conceptualizations as well as identifying the changes in marketing communica- tion spending and strategies that occur when market- ers aclopt an integrated marketing communications perspective Spring 1994 Current Conceptualizations of Integrated Marketing Communications Interest in, or even use of, an “integrated” perspec- tive has not yet answered the question “What is inte- grated marketing communications?” The chairperson of Northwestern University’s new integrated adver- tising/marketing communication program, Stanley ‘Tannenbaum, has said: I don’t think there’s any consensus of what inte- grated marketing is and how it works, but there's a tremendous amount of interest in (the idea). We're going to be searching for a definition of integrated marketing communications that’s deeper than just ‘speaking with one voice in all communications. (Hume 1991b) To date, however, at least three broad conceptualizations are found in the mostly practitio- ner-based literature: “one voice” marketing, commu- nications; “integrated” marketing communications (ie,, advertisements); and “coordinated” marketing, communications. ‘One Voice Marketing Communications: Often charac- terized as “seamless” marketing communication, this, view suggests that “integration” involves maintain- ing a clear and consistent image, position, message and/or theme across all marketing communication disciplines or tools. A common strategy or “singular identity” is decided upon at the outset of a campaign, and that strategy unifies consumer sales promotion, direct response advertising, brand/image advertis- ing, and even public relations efforts (Reilly 1991). According to Synder (1991), full integration is achieved, when all disciplines are involved in creating a “single positioning concept for the brand that drives all com- munications” (versus just being asked to coordinate creative executions). Under this perspective, the guid- ing image, position, message or theme matters more than disciplinary boundaries. In other words, once given the guiding strategy, it would be desirable, but not necessary, for a marketer's advertising, public re~ lations, or sales promotion agencies to work together on implementation. Most likely, each agency would. independently develop and implement whatever strat- egies and tactics it believed necessary to effectively disseminate the overall position or message to target, consumers. Often, it is the marketer's responsibility to ensure “one voice” results Integrated Communications: This conceptualization is micro-oriented in that it revolves around the notion that marketing communication materials, particularly advertisements, should simultaneously establish or develop an image and directly influence consumer behavior (Kobs 1988; Nelson 1991; Peltier, Mueller and Rosen 1992; Roman 1988). Under this perspec- tive, the advertisements, commercials, and/or creative executions used in a campaign try to simultaneously attain communication and behavioral objectives. In essence, this view emanates from the belief that brand/ image advertising, consumer sales promotion, direct response advertising, and public relations are not mutually exclusive disciplines and that incorporating elements of each into communication materials “may. jointly maximize their unique strengths, while mini- mizing their weaknesses” (Peltier et al. 1992). Brand/ image advertising, for example, is often believed to require large budgets and relatively long time frames, while consumer sales promotion and direct response advertising are thought to be relatively ineffective when it comes to establishing a long-term brand im- age or position (Nelson 1991). This integrated market- ing communications perspective, however, would mandate advertisements that strive to include or re- tain the artistry and flair of brand/image advertising, while simultaneously including the response devices, (eg, phone numbers, mail-in forms, explicit offers, purchase incentives or premiums) traditionally found only in consumer sales promotions or direct response advertising (see Peltier et al. 1992 for a detailed re- Cornet Marcting Common Campaigas‘The third conceptualization associates “integrated” with “coordinated.” Under this view, integrated market- ing communications means coordinating marketing, communication disciplines or instituting steps that result in better coordination between advertising, sales promotion, direct response, and public relations func- tions and/or agencies (Schutlz, Tannenbaum and Lauterborn 1992). Unlike the “one voice” perspective, the various disciplines are not necessarily working, under a single, unifying brand positioning. In fact, multiple positionings based on multiple target au: ences are more typically the norm (Rapp and Collins 1990). The emphasis is thus on producing “wholistic campaigns that draw upon brand /image advertising, consumer sales promotion, and direct response ad- vertising in order to do “whatever is necessary to identify, contact, activate, and cultivate individual consumers and increase market share” (Rapp and Collins 1990, p. 41). Marketing communications are therefore “integrated” to the extent they create a “syn- ergism” that, at a campaign level, develops aware- ness, images, or beliefs while boosting behavioral re- sponses beyond those that would be attained with a