This article provides a conceptual framework and models to
help marketers and academics better understand integrated marketing communication
(IMC) programs in the context of today’s new media environment, so that they
can design and implement more effective and efficient IMC programs.
With the challenges presented by new media, shifting media
patterns, and divided consumer attention, the optimal integration of marketing
communications takes on increasing importance. We offer insights and advice as
to how traditional and new media (e.g., search, display, mobile, television,
social media) interact to affect consumer decision making. With an enhanced
understanding of the consumer decision journey and how consumers process
communications, we outline a comprehensive framework to improve the
effectiveness and efficiency of IMCs.
The ever-present challenge of creating IMCs is even more
difficult in today’s business world and calls for new tools and new theories.
We argue that this integration challenge can be met more easily through the use
of a conceptual framework that analytically considers consumers’ most pressing
“brand-related information needs” at different points in their decision
journeys and then matches the particular media and messages that are strongest
in their ability to meet each of those different specific needs.
Toward the goal of crafting a well-integrated marketing
communications plan, we suggest that marketers should employ a set of two
communication models as part of a comprehensive IMC framework:
A “bottom-up” communications matching model that identifies
the communication options with the greatest ability to satisfy consumers’
brand-related information needs at different stages of the consumer decision
A “top-down” communications optimization model that helps
marketers evaluate the overall design or make-up of an IMC program.
“Integrating Marketing Communications: New Findings, New Lessons, and New Ideas,” by Rajeev Batra & Kevin Lane Keller
For every communication option under consideration or
currently being used, marketers must assess the following:
What is the direct (“main” or independent) effect of the
communication on consumers? What does it make consumers think, feel, and do?
What does the communication uniquely contribute that
complements other communications?
In what ways, if at all, does the communication interact
with other communications and enhance their effects? How does the communication
improve the ability of other communications to affect consumer knowledge and
Questions for the Classroom
How does the consumer today use information from various
sources to decide what brand to buy?
Do the information needs they have differ at various stages
of their decision-making process?
If yes to (2), what types of media are most appropriate and
effective at these different stages?
Rajeev Batra and Kevin Lane Keller (2016), “Integrating
Marketing Communications: New Findings, New Lessons, and New Ideas,” Journal of Marketing, 80 (6), 122-145.
Rajeev Batra is S.S. Kresge Professor of Marketing, Ross
School of Business, University of Michigan (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kevin Lane Keller is E.B. Osborn Professor of Marketing,
Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College (e-mail:
The AMA / MSI Special Issue of Journal of Marketing
Volume 80, Issue 6, November 2016
V. Kumar, Kevin Lane Keller, & Katherine N. Lemon
Christine Moorman and George S. Day
V. Kumar and Werner Reinartz
Katherine N. Lemon and Peter C. Verhoef
Michel Wedel and P.K. Kannan
Rajeev Batra and Kevin Lane Keller
Cait Lamberton and Andrew T. Stephen
Dominique M. Hanssens and Koen H. Pauwels