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Integrated marketing communication – from an instrumental to a customer-centric perspective

Manfred Bruhn (Department of Marketing and Management, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland)
Stefanie Schnebelen (Department of Marketing and Management, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 10 April 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite decades of scientific and practical experience in the field of integrated marketing communication (IMC), little is known about the role of IMC in the era of new media. The purpose of the present paper is to undertake a first step to close this gap by proposing thought-provoking impulses for customer-centric IMC. This is done by discussing central premises of customer-centric IMC in terms of the changed conditions on the media markets, its challenges and principles and its implementation issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a conceptual approach to customer-centric IMC by deriving new lines of thinking from a review of existing literature relating to the concept of IMC.

Findings

The paper positions customer-centric IMC as an important advancement of IMC. It shows that the most important new lines of thinking which could be adopted as strategic components of customer-centric IMC are relationship orientation, content orientation and process orientation. The paper thus suggests that customer-centric IMC is a balancing act between a company’s own branding activities and the integration of customer-centered issues.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper resides in a detailed conceptual discussion of new insights into a customer-centric IMC. In contrast to existing work on IMC, this paper threads together the existing perspectives on IMC (inside-out and outside-in) to highlight the potential role of IMC in the era of social media (customer-centric IMC) by adding an outside-out view to the concept of IMC.

Keywords

Citation

Bruhn, M. and Schnebelen, S. (2017), "Integrated marketing communication – from an instrumental to a customer-centric perspective", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 51 No. 3, pp. 464-489. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-08-2015-0591

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited