IMC - A UK Ad' Agency Perspective
This paper concerns Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) in terms of its theoretical background, and by providing initial findings from an exploratory study of IMC within a judgement sample of UK advertising agencies (total estimated billings - £3.5billion). We consider arguments put forward by academics and practitioners in relation to what IMC is perceived to be, and whether it offers significant value to ad agencies and their clients in the dynamic marcoms marketspace leading toward the next century. Research findings show that IMC is not a short-term managerial fad, nor is it just a re-formulation of existent praxis. Instead, IMC offers a clear response by advertising agencies and their clients driven by a constellation of factors: new forms of information technology (including development and usage of databases), media fragmentation, client desires for interaction/synergy, and global and regional coordination. The paper concludes by stating that IMC is a fundamental, probably irreversible, shift in both the thinking and practice of ad agencies and their clients as reflected by advertising executives. IMC is driven by technological development customers, consumers, and by organisational drive to properly allocate finite resources to the key element of creating exchanges - marketing communications.