The purpose of this paper is to examine the view of integrated marketing communications (IMC) by social marketing practitioners. Specifically, the paper furthers the discussion how a symbiotic relationship between IMC and social marketing can lead to both practical improvements of health-related social marketing campaigns, as well as theoretical advancement of the IMC construct.
Based on semi-structured, in-depth interviews with practitioners, the authors provide exploratory evidence for support for IMC within the social marketing community and highlight potential differences and similarities when transferring IMC from a commercial to a social context.
Three main differences emerged when transferring IMC from a commercial to a social context. These include differences of customer-centric approaches between commercial and social marketing, the need to weigh out the application of IMC to the charity brand or the use of IMC at a behavioural level and, finally, different complexity levels of desired behaviour as a mediating factor.
As with all qualitative data, the findings may not be generalisable beyond the interview participants and organisations studied.
Many practitioners expressed that they liked IMC as a concept, but they lacked guidance as to the application with a social marketing context. This paper contributes to providing this guidance and establishing a body of knowledge how IMC can be applied in a non-commercial setting.
The paper contributes to the practical development of guidance how the largely commercially applied IMC construct can be modified to be used in a social marketing context, while correspondingly highlighting how IMC needs to evolve to grow beyond purely commercial application.
Dahl, S., Eagle, L. and Low, D. (2015), "Integrated marketing communications and social marketing: Together for the common good?", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 226-240. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-07-2012-0031Download as .RIS
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