Antecedents and consequences of integrated marketing communications (IMC): testing a theoretical model from firms' and customers' perspectives in Spain and Belarus

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


The Thesis consists of three interrelated parts, which study Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC): the antecedents and consequences of the IMC concept from the company point of view, the IMC concept as a mediator and factors influencing on its implementation effectiveness, and, IMC based on the customer perception. Enhanced by advancement in technologies, the growth of competition and uncertainty in the market, the concept of IMC evolved from a simple instrument of tactical coordination to a dynamic marketing capability. Its evolution and deeper involvement in managerial processes determine the need for the review and better understanding. Based on the dynamic capabilities theory, IMC, when combined with the right strategy, can bring a competitive advantage to the firm and positively affect its performance. However, previous researchers suggest that companies may face barriers while implementing the IMC. First, endogenous factors, enclosing the effects related to internal business management. Second, exogenous factors, related to the external environmental effects. Additionally, taking into consideration the existence of a direct relationship between the strategic antecedents of IMC and company performance, we suggest the mediation effect of IMC. Finally, in spite of the customer-centric approach to the IMC concept, researchers have been mainly focused on analysing it from a managerial point of view, overlooking the understanding of customer opinion about IMC. Thus, we address three interrelated objectives. Chapter 1 focuses on analysing the strategic antecedents of the IMC concept and its consequences for company performance (customer, marketing, financial) under the moderating effect of the economy type. Chapter 2 aims to analyse the existent moderating and mediating effects in the IMC theoretical model. Chapter 3 studies IMC customer-based perception, its strategic antecedents and consequences on post-purchase customer behaviour (satisfaction, word-of-mouth recommendations, repurchase intention) from an inter-country perspective. To test theoretical models, we conduct companies and customer surveys in Belarus and Spain. Drawing from institutional and cultural dimensions theories, for the data collection process we selected two economical and culturally different countries, a transition economy (Belarus) and a developed economy (Spain). The data analysis suggests that market orientation positively influences on IMC in both transition and developed economies, but the effect of technology orientation on IMC is only significant in the developed economy. IMC directly affects customer and market performance, but the direct effect of IMC on financial performance is not significant in any of the two economies analysed. The moderating effects analysis shows that company size and manager's profile moderate the relationships in the theoretical model, whereas the economic system does not. The moderating effect of the organisational structure is only significant in the developed economy. In addition, in a transition economy, IMC mediates only the relationships between market orientation and customer and market performances. In a developed economy, both marketing and technology orientation have indirect effects on company performance through IMC. The results of customer survey analysis suggest that technology orientation positively affects the IMC customer-based perception, but customer orientation has no effect. However, customer and technology orientations have indirect effects on post-purchase behaviours through IMC, but only in Spain. Furthermore, IMC positively affects customer satisfaction, which in turn positively influences WOM and repurchase intention. However, WOM has no impact on repurchase intention. In addition, the cross-cultural comparison reveals differences, indicating that only in a more market-oriented economy as Spain IMC affects WOM and repurchase intention. These relationships are fully mediated by customer satisfaction in Belarus and partially in Spain. Implications of these findings for researchers and managers are further discussed, as are the limitations.
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJoan Llonch Andreu (Director) & Maria Del Carmen Alarcon Del Amo (Director)

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