Implication of Integrated Marketing Communications

1.1 Introduction
Today, every enterprise looks forward to grow and expand in terms of size, profits, infrastructure, products, market share and customers. Co-ordination and integration among different units such as production, operational activities, finances and marketing are the main requisite in order to achieve overall corporate aim and objectives. It is very necessary for the organisation to be recognized for its products and services in the business and consumer market. Hence, marketing can be regarded as one of the important aspect in every organisation. Marketing can be defined as a process which involves identification, anticipation and satisfaction of customer needs in best possible and profitable way by the management (Smith and Taylor, 2004). However, it can be stated that it is very essential to communicate with the customer in order to acknowledge about company’s products and services. This can be achieved through integration of different channels such as advertisement, internet, exhibitions and direct marketing. These channels are termed as marketing communication tools. These different tools of marketing communication comprise different features, benefits and limitations. This research study will help in assessing the implication of integrated marketing communication tools in the Indian retail sector. Hence, it will help in evaluating different marketing communication tools available for the enterprise in order to influence the customer for the products and services available in the retail industry of India. This research study will provide a detailed explanation about the marketing communication process, models such as single, two step or linear; and tools such as internet, direct marketing and so on. It will help the reader to understand different characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of various communication tools available for the enterprise in order to correspond with changing consumer behaviour and market. This study will also describe about research methodology process and approach adopted by the researcher such as qualitative, quantitative or mixed for collection of data. Findings and analysis would be done by collecting data and information in retail sector, business and consumer market of India in order to draw a conclusion regarding implication of such concept and the most effective marketing communication model or set of different tools. This analysis will help the reader, retailer and researcher in understanding the best possible way of integrating different communication tools in the Indian consumer market.

1.2 Research Aim and Objectives: –
Research aim can be defined as a general statement which describes the reason for selecting a particular subject matter of the research (Collins, 2010). The main aim of this research study is to evaluate the implication of integrated marketing communication by the practitioners. According to Collins (2010), research objective can be defined as a definite statement related to the defined aim of the research. Hence, in order to achieve the above stated aim, certain objectives are formulated by the researcher which can be described as follow: –
To identify different marketing communication models and tools available to the enterprises.
To describe various features, benefits and limitations associated with every marketing communication tool.
To analyse the theoretical aspect on effective implication of integrated marketing communication.
To examine the retail sector, business and consumer market of India for the evaluation of implication of integrated marketing communication by the practitioners and to evaluate the most effective marketing communication model or set of different tools.
To recommend a justification about the different aspects that assist in choosing an appropriate set of marketing communication tools.
1.3 Significance of the Research
This research study would be beneficial for the reader in understanding the subject on marketing communication more rationally. It will describe the concept of implication of marketing communications in the real business environment, particularly in Indian retail sector. Use of required research methodology approaches and tools will help in collecting information and data for better analysis and study. Hence, this research study would be of valuable assistance to marketing department and overall management in the business to understand the significance and purpose of implying marketing communication tools in order to persuade a customer. It will help the reader, corporate management, marketing executives, and retailers in making a decision about the implication of marketing communication tools in the most effective way in the enterprise. This study will also recommend about the explanation about different aspects affecting in choosing the appropriate set of tools.
1.4 Structure of the Research
It is easier for the reader to understand a well designed and structured report study. A concise picture about the various contents of the research study is very necessary. For the above reason, the researcher has presented the following short outlook of each chapter in this research study. The above figure describes all the chapters categorized by the researcher in this research study to facilitate the conduct of this study in an improved manner.
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Marketing Communication
In the present business scenario, it is very essential for every enterprise to communicate with the customers, consumers or as a whole to the target market for the products and services provided by the company. Target market can be referred to the group of individuals to which an enterprise is intended to attract for its products and services. A set of four principles of marketing mix generally referred as four P’s – product, price, place and promotion is used to persuade the target market. Among these four elements, promotion includes set of various modes such as advertisement, direct marketing, internet and merchandising and so on. These modes of promotion assist the management in communicating to the customers regarding the products and services of the enterprise. The process of communicating with the customers in order to deliver message and receive feedback is termed as marketing communication (Koekemoer and Bird, 2004). It has become a very vital concept in the marketing field due to changes, growth and development in the business and consumer market.
2.3 Integrated Marketing Communication
Today, changes and development in political, social, economical and technological environment has lead to the emergence of new concept integrated marketing communication. According to Masterman and Wood (2006, p.14) “An integrated marketing communication can be defined as a programme which includes written, spoken and electronic interactions with stakeholder audiences.” This type of systematic planning through integrated communication facilitates the management in generating responsiveness, interest and participation in the enterprise, its activities, plans, personnel, products and services. It is very essential to integrate different marketing communication tools as it can be stated that today consumer is becoming more rational towards the products offered. Consumer market can be classified on the basis of different aspects such as class, religion, gender or locality. Communication through single database may create problems in delivering the accurate message to the customer (Smith and Zook, 2011). Hence, it can be stated that integration of different marketing communication tools has become very essential as every tool comprises its own benefits and limitations. Moreover, changes in consumer market and technological advancement has made it necessary for the enterprise to adopt integrated marketing communication tools in order to survive in such competitive business market.
2.4 Marketing Communication Process
Market communication process comprises marketer – who sends the message to the customer regarding products and services being offered by the company with the help of different tools such as advertisement, internet, promotions, direct marketing and so on. However, it can be stated that feedback is most important element for accurate and complete communication process as every individual has its own values, beliefs and perceptions. This communicating process can be illustrated with the help of the following figure: – Source: – Smith et. al. (1999, p. 27) From the above figure, it can be stated that appropriate analysis in terms of increase in sales and customer interest activities will help the marketer in analysing the effect of communication tool adopted by the company. 2.4 Marketing Communication Mix With the changes in the corporate sector, there is a tremendous growth and development in the marketing field in terms of communicating tools and techniques. Earlier, advertisement and promotions were considered as the only effective tools for communicating with the target market. Over the recent years, technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour has led to the increased usage of other tools such as internet, e-marketing, exhibitions and so on. These tools are termed as marketing communication mix which can be well represented in the following figure: –
Source: – Smith and Taylor (2004)
Every element of above stated marketing communication mix comprises its own features, benefits and limitations. Decision regarding adoption of a tool or integration of communicating tools is affected by different aspects present within and outside of the enterprise.
2.5 Factors Affecting the Decision regarding Adoption of Marketing Communication Tool
There are different factors which affect the decision regarding adoption of marketing communication tools such as organisational structure, management policies, financial restraints, market research, competitors, technology requirements, changes and trends in the consumer behaviour and market. These aspects must be considered while deciding about the adoption of communication strategies by the enterprise.
2.6 Theoretical Aspect on Integrated Marketing Communications
There is a remarkable growth in the marketing communication sector due to the development of information technological and other communication sectors. There is a massive development and innovation in communication tools in the form of event marketing, text messaging and so on (Kitchen et. al., 2006). There are different theories regarding use of integrated marketing communication in practice by the companies. According to Eagle et. al. (2007) practical implication of integrated marketing communication concept is undertaken during specific needs and conditions. Companies generally rely on old rigid rules of advertisement and promotions in order to communicate with the customers. On the contrary, Schultz (1995) states that this particular useful concept of integrated marketing communication is being widely used by the companies on regular basis along with the concept of advertisement. According to McArthur and Griffin (1997), advertisement and public relations are two most important communicating tools in the corporate sectors. Yarbrough (1996) states that integrated marketing communication tools are regarded as an option for improving the sales of an enterprise. It is not considered as advancement in the promotional activities of the marketing mix. Use of combination of communicating tools increases the overall cost of the marketing operations. Therefore, companies generally do not prefer such concepts (McLaughlin, 1997). On the other hand, research by Schneider (1998) shows that agencies are developing themselves in integrated marketing communication practitioners and also trying to minimize the overall budgeted expenditure in using a set of communication tools. Hence, it can be stated that there are different theories by the researchers regarding implication of integrated marketing communication concept in the business world. This research study will help to examine the implication of such concept in Indian retail market.
2.7 Indian Retail Sector and Consumer Behaviour
Indian retail sector comprises both national and international retail giants such as Reliance fresh, Big Bazaar, Pantaloons, Shopper’s Stop, Subhiksha, Allen Solly, Bharti-Walmart and so on. With the increase in competition in the retail sector, it has become very necessary for the retailers to influence more and more customers and also to retain old consumers with them. In the present modern world, consumers are becoming more demanding in terms of quality of commodities. This attentiveness has made the Indian customers to search for more reliable sources for buying such as well structured retail chains that possess an appropriate commercial settings and where the responsibility is well-defined. Indian consumer varies in terms of psychological, economical, social and certain traditional factors. There is a momentous growth and development in the country due to increased rate of literacy and other changes in the economic, political and social environment. Today, people prefer those marketing communication tools which provide them complete knowledge and understanding about the products offered and their feedback is valued. Previously, only advertisement and promotions were considered as prominent communication tools. But now in the present modern scenario, with the overall development in technology and education rate, other communication tools such as internet, exhibitions, merchandising, and direct marketing, e-marketing possess more and more significance among the consumers. Hence, this research study will help the retailers and readers in taking decisions regarding adoption of appropriate marketing communication mix according to the changing consumer behaviour, technological development, competition and overall economic and social changes in the Indian retail market.
Collins, H. (2010). Creative research: The theory and practice of research for the creative industries. Switzerland: AVA Publishing. Collis, J. and Hussey, R. (2003). Business research: A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. 2nd Ed. Palgrave Macmillian. Cooper, D. R. and Schindler, P. S. (2006). Business research methods. 9th Ed. McGraw-Hill. Eagle, L., Kitchen, P. J. and Bulmer, S. (2007). ‘Insights into interpreting integrated marketing communications: A two-nation qualitative comparison’, European Journal of marketing. 41(7/8): 956-970. Koekemoer, L. and Bird, S. (2004). Marketing communications. South Africa: Juta and Company Limited. Kitchen, P. J., Pelsmacker, P. D., Eagle, L. and Schultz, D. E. (2006). A reader in marketing communications. Oxon: Routledge. Masterman, G. and Wood, E. H. (2006). Innovative marketing communications: Strategies for the events industry. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. McArthur, D. N. and Griffin, T. (1997). ‘A market management view of integrated marketing communication’, Journal of advertisement research. 37(5): 19-26. McLaughlin, J. P. (1997). ‘Why is IMC taking so longBlame it on the clients’. Marketing news. 31(19): 27-30. Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2003). Research methods for business students. 4th Ed. England: Pearson. Schneider, L. (1998). ‘Agencies show that IMC can be good for bottom line’, Marketing news. 27(6): 12. Schultz, D. E. (1995). ‘Traditional advertising has role to play in IMC’, Marketing news. 29(18): 18. Smith P. R., Berry, C. and Pulford, A. (1999). Strategic marketing communications: New ways to build and integrated communications. 2nd Ed. London: Kogan. Smith, P. R. and Taylor, J. (2004). Marketing communications: An integrated approach. 4th Ed. London: Kogan. Smith, P. R. and Zook, Z. (2011). Marketing communications: An integrated approach. 5th Ed. London: Kogan. Yarbrough, J. F. (1996). ‘Putting the pieces together’. Sales and marketing management. 148(9): 68. Dissertation on

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