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European Union

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Modern communication methods such as satellite TV, radio, and Internet made the world virtually a global village. Consumers and business customers worldwide are becoming increasingly accessible. Thus the competition is increasing in an enormous rate. There are no borders for the business and products and customers can get the product from any part of the world.

To build a lifetime relationship with the customers, corporations need to develop relationship with a lifetime customer and lifetime strategies. And to do so, they require relationship-marketing skills. Many business firms, including suppliers of marketing communication services as well as their clients are now adopting an integrated marketing communication method. They are increasingly adopting an integrated approach to their communication activities.

In the past companies often treated the communications elements as virtually separate activities. But current marketing philosophy holds that integration is absolutely imperative for success.


Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is more than the coordination of a company's outgoing message between different media and the consistency of the message throughout. It can be seen as an aggressive marketing plan that capture and uses an extensive amount of customer information in setting and tracking marketing strategy of an organisation. Or it will be sponsoring special events in order to give specific message to their customers.

Wright (2000, pp 44) argues IMC as communicating with stakeholders both as internal and external channels for organisation. Internal stakeholders can be including employees and their family members, middle and senior management, trade unions, shareholders and board of directors. External stakeholders will include customers and consumers, intermediaries, suppliers, local communities, pressure groups (Greenpeace), city financers, journalists, local and national governments. He also supports that "marketing is about integrating the internal resources of the organisation and creating products and services that will match and satisfy the identified needs of the customer." He advocates marketing communication as "developing a valued brand, pricing at an agreed level, making it available in the right distribution channel and then using the correct method to communicate benefits and place of purchase".

Sir Terence Conran (Conran Restaurants), has aimed to create not only high quality and friendly ambience for different niche markets in London but also created a life style by using minimalist designs of venues and contemporary menu offers in his restaurants. The signature itself is important, as the overall atmosphere of a restaurant is a part of the dining experience for many consumers. Among the premium chain restaurants, which are offering entertainment, music, dancing and comedy as well as food prepared by a celebrity chef, all are key elements of the unique selling point. Many premium chain restaurants have a unique ambience created y the exceptional food offer, while for others the decor and site help provide a special experience. Examples of the last type in London include The Oxo Tower and Quaglino's. The experience itself is now so important that it is increasingly popular these days for customers to want to pay extra to dine in popular places at popular times.

Why do we obsess on choosing the brands or to consume specific corporate names? Because brands or trade names are the proofs of set of standards or briefly lifestyles. On the other hand brands started to decide the way of our lives without any doubt. What we drink, wear, listen, use has been decided from brand names, which is the result of capitalism. Eventually eating out has been influenced from brand names as well. This social activity will be described as, "Eating out is a way of marking social distinctions" (Tomlinson and Warde, 1993). We are choosing specific venues because they are popular, trendy or sometimes we want just to be seen in these places to show off. The food and service has started to lose its importance than it used to be because this social activity has changed its concept.

Besides, according to Belch and Belch (2001) marketing strategies of many organisations are changing its scope of promotion with different mediums. The most common mediums such as Internet, direct marketing, sales promotion, publicity and public relations are becoming popular tools of contemporary business strategies. Moreover Belch and Belch (2001, pp 11) describes IMC as "new advertising, orchestration and seamless communication" as a new concept.

Furthermore Belch and Belch (2001) point out the main influences about the strategic change in marketing communications as;

1) Companies have started shifting their advertising strategies from expensive methods to "consumer and trade-oriented sales promotions" because of its cost-effective advantages. It could be seen in price promotions such as "buy 1 get 1 free" or value packages instead of expensive media advertising.

Also introduction of new advertising techniques for instance event marketing, sponsorships, direct marketing, sales promotion and the Internet have provided new marketing communication strategies for companies.

2) Introduction of new technologies brought great communication abilities between manufacturers and retailers by using checkout scanners or computer based ordering and stock control facilities. Moreover manufacturers can able to plan their production levels according to sales and demand figures from retailers and arrange their sales promotions and ordering schedules.

3) The popularity of cost-effective database marketing has influenced many companies in order to keep contact with their previous customers to sell more new products by using telemarketing, direct mail and direct-response advertising.

4) Also the role of advertising agencies expanded because of variety of communication tools being introduced with less expensive options.

5) The growth of Internet has effected the business environment as it is used to be done. The interactive medium gave great competitive edge to many companies, which are taking an account on communicating with customers and rest of the stakeholders.

(Belch and Belch 2001, pp13 - 14)

Integrated marketing communication is a strategic business process used to plan, to develop, to execute, and to evaluate coordinated and measurable



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