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Integrated Marketing Communication: Defining the Foundation

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) can be defined as "[E]very contact between the brand and the market" (Percy, 2018). This statement seems like a blanket but truly expresses that every communication that is sent (internally and externally) is communications working together to support a brand/business.

What makes up IMC?

There are endless components that can be defined however, the top categories can be seen as public relations, digital marketing, promotional marketing, direct marketing, and advertising (Spark, 2020). In tandem with IMC components, they are the outcome and perception that a business (or brand) has acquired and built through its many communication channels to its consumers/public (Percy, 2018). In short, the brand speaks for itself. Choosing just one component for a foundation can seem a challenge in the ever-changing world with technology and the possible communication channels.

Brand Foundations: Digital Marketing & Public Relations (Publicity)

The top two components that are most important in today's time are digital marketing and public relations as they are the who of the brand. Everything around us is becoming digital. While there are parts of the world that are without the "smart" technology that we have in America, these are growing foundations around the world.

Digital Marketing VS Public Relations
Digital Marketing VS Public Relations - Image by AW Digital Marketing LLC

Looking to the future, having a strong sense of digital marketing and knowing the digital market will eventually be a vital and crucial role in a business to operate and some to even perform. Digital marketing allows for the brand to create its image and awareness of the products/services that are available (Shah, 2020).

Going hand in hand comes public relations and how a company is perceived by its consumers. If a brand presents a positive image and reputable business it can build customer retention/trust, easier to attract new consumers, and develop long-time customers (BCC, 2019).

Why is the Brand Image the Foundation to Integrated Marketing?

While advertising, direct marketing, and promotional sales help bring customers in the door, digital marketing and public relations are what define the foundation of how developing any campaign could/should be communicated in those components. Without knowing who the brand is they will not be able to create a consistent message across all channels that represents who the brand is throughout all of the communications.


BCC. (2019, May 29). Why a Positive Brand image is Important For Your Business Retrieved from BCC:

Percy, L. (2018). Strategic integrated marketing communications. Taylor & Francis Group.

Shah, A. (2020, September 8). How Digital Marketing Can Help Boost Your Brand Image Retrieved from Business 2 Community:

Spark. (2020, October 20). 5 Tools for Integrated Marketing Communication 2020 Retrieved from Spark:

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