Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, part-time lecturer
Abstract: The main goal of the paper is to present a ‘revisit’ to the integrated marketing communications (IMC) concept, based on the key changes in the communication environment with the emergence of online media (incl. social media and online trade platforms). The author reviews the opportunity of IMC to serve not only as a ‘side’ element in the sales process but to guide it, simultaneously acting as a means of communication, a sales channel and a data-gathering tool for the effectiveness of the synergic system (communications and trade). The highlight of the paper is the detailed study of the potential to put the brand into the center of IMC as a complex and universally functioning marketing and cultural construct. Brand owners can use IMC as an engagement tool. Engagement, in terms of psychology, is closely related to emotional decision-making. Therefore, the brand concept aspects reviewed are closely related to the IMC – the brand represents an integrated system, in which consumers can decide on following different journeys to a brands of their choice.
Keywords: integrated marketing communications (IMC), brand, market mix, advertising, social media.
Rhetoric and Communications Journal, issue 38, January 2019