Integrated Marketing Communications
University of Colorado at Boulder

The CU IMC Graduate Program

Integrated Marketing Communication. Major corporations and their partners have adopted it. And according to Advertising Age, a recent survey called it the single most important influence on strategic decision-making today.

IMC has an increasingly central role to play in today's marketplace, because it offers companies a way to strategically coordinate messages and establish a meaningful dialogue with customers. In short, IMC provides organizations with a strategic method for both establishing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders. And that's essential for marketing success in the twenty-first century.

The Drivers of IMC
The marketplace is changing. What was once a single audience has fragmented and companies have to establish and maintain brand relationships with a variety of groups of people-customers, as well as other stakeholders, such as employees, investors, suppliers and distributors, local communities, and the media.

Organizations now have to communicate with these groups using a wide variety of media. Consequently there are more kinds of messages than ever before and inconsistency can become a company-wide problem. That is why IMC is also needed to coordinate communication consistency.

Because the mass media now have considerably less importance than they have had in the past, dialogue is becoming increasingly critical in this marketplace. That means that companies can no longer rely only on one-way communication targeted to large groups of customers. To be successful now, organizations must not only be able to target messages to individual customers, but also to listen and respond to all their stakeholders. That means they must know who these people are, and the key to that is database-driven communication.

Relationship-building dialogue also creates organizational challenges. As Tom Duncan, founder of the CU IMC program insists, "You can't be integrated externally until you are integrated internally." So cross-functional organization is another key to IMC.

IMC is critical to brand relationship programs, because it provides the skills and new ways of thinking that are necessary if organizations are to create and successfully manage dialogue with customers and other key stakeholders.


*IMC Director Search*


For questions about the program, email the faculty, and for application information email the Graduate Secretary.

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