May 29, 2024

The difference between Integrated Marketing Communication and Integrated Strategic Communication.

Although integrated marketing communication and integrated strategic communication may sound similar, and share many roles in common, they are not the same, in fact they take on two completely different processes and strategies.

Both roles come from traditional marketing strategies where the primary focus is the transaction of a product and service and doesn’t put much thought to anything else. Also, in traditional marketing strategies there is one-way communication, and the producer tells the customer what they need.



Integrated Marketing Communication vs Integrated Strategic Communication

Integrated marketing communications (IMC) differs from traditional marketing strategies in that, instead of focusing on the product or service, it puts a greater emphasis on the customer and understanding their needs. The primary goal in IMC is to build a strong relationship with the consumers to better comprehend and fully understand their necessities. By doing this, you can build a relationship with the consumer and satisfy their needs. As a result, customer loyalty is achieved.

Integrated Strategic Communication (ISC) takes this to another level, and instead of centering just on the consumer, it takes into consideration all of the organizations’ stakeholders. ISC aims to build strong relationships for the organization, both internally and externally, by integrating and unifying all communication. These communication efforts not only help benefit the organization and all its members, but the consumers and clients as well, since both parties are better understood.


Similarities between integrated marketing communication and integrated strategic communication:

These two strategies share similarities in their goals and objectives for an organization. Some of these include:

  • Both focus on the customer’s or clients’ needs and wants.
  • Both are a two-way communication process.
  • Both aim to achieve strong relationships.


Main differences between integrated marketing communication and integrated strategic communication:

The main difference between the objetives and the strategies are:

  • Integrated marketing communication focuses on integrating and unifying all the marketing efforts in an organization to be able to deliver a similar message to the public.
  • Integrated strategic communication focuses on integrating communication not only in marketing but in all other departments and sectors of the organization.


Venn Diagram of the similarities and differences between integrated startegic communication and integrated marketing communication


Implementing these strategies for your organization will not only help build strong internal and external relationships, but it will also help build credibility, improve brand awareness and reputation, protect you from many crises and business disasters, as well as save you a lot of money. Here you can read more on the benefits and the importance of integrating a communication strategy. 

If this is something you are considering implementing for your business, take a look a look at this blog posts where we explain in detail the key role and services offered by a communication consultancy and how these can be extremely beneficial for your organization.


Source:  Ristino, R. J. (2013). Integrated Strategic Communication: Influencing and Changing Public Opinion and Behavior. Charleston: CreateSpace independent Publishing Platform.

Tags: integrated marketing communication, integrated strategic communication, marketing strategies, PR definition