Integrated marketing communication: from tactics to strategy

Olof Holm (Stockholm University School of Business, Stockholm, Sweden)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Publication date: 1 January 2006



The emergence of integrated marketing communications (IMC) has become a significant example of development in the marketing discipline. It has influenced thinking and acting among all types of companies and organizations facing the realities of competition in an open economy. From the beginning of the 1990s IMC became a real hot topic in the field of marketing. Four stages of IMC have been identified, starting from tactical coordination to financial and strategic integration. However, the majority of firms are anchored in the first stages and very few have moved to a strategic level. One conclusion is that there are barriers to developing IMC from tactics to strategy. The main purpose of this paper is to identify obstacles to further developing IMC.


A review of relevant literature during the 1990s and a study of four large Swedish companies.


Results show that decisions concerning IMC are rooted on the advertising agency level and have failed to appear on management level, whose communicative ability has remained insufficient, mainly due to obsolete tradition.


Indicates a need for international research and a reconsideration of educational programs regarding management, marketing and marketing communications.



Holm, O. (2006), "Integrated marketing communication: from tactics to strategy", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 23-33.

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