Research Insights 11.3 Integrated Marketing Communications

Configuring the Marketing Communications Mix

Source: Ots, M. and Nyilasy, G. (2015) Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC): Why Does It Fail? Journal of Advertising Research, 55, 2, (June), 132-45.

Abstract: Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is accepted widely as a multi-stakeholder strategic business process for brand communications. Yet, much less is known about the failures of its practical implementation. The current research provides a novel explanation for such failures. A two-year ethnographic study was conducted with a large Swedish retailer and its IMC partners. The objectives were to reveal potentially divergent managerial mental models and to understand the consequences of such divergence on IMC implementation. The authors' findings uncovered four basic mental models, which, in turn, revealed four aspects of IMC implementation dysfunction: miscommunication, compartmentalization, loss of trust, and decontextualization.


This article provides an interesting view of IMC’s implementation as a reason for its failure. The authors identify four aspects of IMC implementation dysfunction: miscommunication; compartmentalization; loss of trust; and decontextualization.