A Comparative Study in Business Communication. Integrated Marketing Communication, Total Business Communication, Koukoku
Beginning in the seventies two countries, one European – Italy -, the other Asian – Japan -, have developed two schools in the field of business communication. The first regarded the concept of ‘total business communication’, the second concerned the concept of ‘koukoku’. The two schools have complex points of contact between them. At the same time, in the United States the growing integration, at the theoretical rather than the operative level, of business communication activities – hence the concept of ‘integrated communication’ – led to the initial formulation in the eighties of the concept of ‘integrated marketing communication’. With it the birth of a school that was to disseminate this concept, first of all in an English-speaking environment, and to promote its further evolution through intense research activities. This evolution, as also happened with the other two schools, started from the territory of communication and came to involve the whole firm and its governance as well as the concept of the brand, specifically considered at the institutional level (corporate brand). The school of ‘integrated marketing communication’ (IMC) appeared as the evolutionary expression of the American school, which has been dominant worldwide for the past century. The other two appeared as emerging schools, based in countries which had accepted and applied the principles and methods of the American school in the field of business communication in the decades before and after World War II, but they had also come up against some of its limits. Given this scenario, it seemed interesting to the authors to return to the basic concepts of their different schools, to explore their origins, compare their characteristics and set out their distinctive features – also with reference to the dominant school –, as a way both to better understand the reasons behind the development of these different schools in the field of business communication and to draw some conclusions for the future.
The Concept of Engagement: State of the Art and Developments in Japan digital
It’s safe to say that “engagement” has become somewhat of a buzzword. In English, it conveys the notion, “building relationships and bond between brands and people”. But is this an universal interpretation? Or is it a plastic word? Plastic words, like the malleable material that easily changes shape with heat, are industry terms that easily transcend borders allowing various interpretation according to the context (Poer Keen, 1995). Until recently, the word, “engagement” has chiefl y been used as “customer engagement”, a marketing term to explain active consumer involvement and action in relation to media, brand, program contents, etc. Lately, the term has won more focus being deemed the new advertising performance index to replace GRPs in TV and impressions in online advertising by ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) and other advertising industry bodies. Meanwhile, since 2005, the topic of holistic approach in reaching the consumers on all contact points from mass to digital media has been building its presence in the American industry literature. With this came the growing expectation of the advertisers for IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) and at its core was “how to connect with consumers (engagement)”. In other words, the approach to engagement is based on the recognition and practice of the holistic initiative. Therefore, when we talk about engagement, we need to identify both the concept and the practice. This paper aims to identify the premise that understanding the fundamental concept of engagement will make apparent the essence of advertising and marketing to potentially regenerate the advertising practice.
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