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The Handbook of International Advertising Research by Hong Cheng

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23

Integrated Marketing Communication Research

Its Limited Past and Huge Potential

Don E. Schultz, Ilchul Kim, and Kyoungsoo Kang

Introduction

The history of integrated marketing communication (IMC) is not long compared to that of advertising (ARF, 2012; Moriarty, 1996; Scott, 1985; Starch, 1914), public relations (Goffman, 1971; Grunig & Grunig, 1992; Kitchen, Brignell, Li, & Jones, 2004; Ledingham, 2003), and other allied communication fields (Direct Marketing Association, 2012; MSI, 2012). Although the development and practice of IMC is barely 20 years old, it has exerted a major impact on many areas of marketing and marketing communication.

Interestingly, during this brief period, IMC has developed almost as many detractors (Cornelissen & Lock, 2000; Wolters, 1993) as advocates (Duncan & Everett, 1993; Eagle, Kitchen, Hyde, Fourie, & Padisetti, 1999; Gould, Lerman, & Grein, 1999; Kitchen, 2005). So, although the defined area of IMC is relatively new, there has been enormous scholarly interest in it. Why, how, and in what ways the integration of marketing and marketing communication might be achieved have been discussed by various marketing authors for several years (e.g., Duncan & Everett, 1993; Han, Kim, & Schultz, 2004; Low, 2000). It was not until the late 1980s, however, that IMC grew into a self-standing academic field enriched by related research and teaching (Caywood, Schultz, & Wang, 1991; Duncan & Caywood, 1996; Schultz, Tannenbaum, & Lauterborn, 1993).

The development of ...

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