integrated marketinga business approach which stresses the need to coordinate all functions, departments and personnel in a firm and to harness their endeavours towards a common goal of attracting and retaining customers (see MARKETING CONCEPT).
Integrated marketing stresses how the activities of all functions and personnel in a firm have marketing implications. For example, the manner in which the firm operates its credit control procedures could win or lose customers, or customers could be put off by a poor delivery service.
Whether integrated marketing is effective depends to a large extent upon the position held by marketing in a business's ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE:
- if marketing is regarded as just one of a number of business functions alongside production, finance and personnel, insufficient integration will occur;
- if marketing includes all subfunctions from other departments which affect customers – credit control, customer service and distribution, then a fuller degree of integration will be attained;
- if a company fully accepts the marketing concept then marketing will be classed as the principal function, with all other functions (production, finance, personnel) being subordinate to it.