Difference Between IMC and Marketing (With Table)

Advertising, Marketing, Promoting, etc., are the pillars of a business to perform well. A company usually focuses on these steps more than the product that is to be promoted. But in layman’s terms these may seem a bit confusing, for instance, the terms Marketing and IMC, seem strikingly similar but are intrinsically different.   

IMC vs Marketing   

The main difference between IMC and Marketing is that IMC stands for Integrated Marketing Communications and is a management concept that involves all the processes and series of steps that will successfully promote the product, whereas Marketing is a single action or single step that is used to promote the product.   

IMC or Integrated Marketing Communications contemplates of series of steps including Marketing, Advertising, Sales Promotions, etc., thus involving all the aspects of overall marketing and promotion of the product. It also includes customer relationship managing by active communication with the customers. As the name suggests IMC integrates all the aspects of marketing and promotion and displays it to the consumers as a whole package.   

On the other hand, Marketing is usually a single action or strategy, or business tactic that assists in promoting a product. Marketing is actively used in all businesses ranging from small scale to large scale and it helps to formulate strategies that help to develop new markets. It works on the principle of consumer attention and satisfaction so that the consumer feels no regret after owning the marketed product.  

Comparison Table Between IMC and Marketing  

Parameters of Comparison    



Defined As  

Combined use of various Marketing Channels    

The action of Selling and Promoting a Product  


1P- Promotion    

4Ps- Product, Price, Place, Promotion.  


Club various Marketing Strategies to connect to people  

Generating Sales  

Focuses on    

Delivering Impactful messages to the consumers  

Creating Awareness about the Brand  


Coordination of Tools, Avenues, Sources  

Analyzing the needs of consumers, Promotion, Sales, etc.    

What is IMC?  

Aforementioned, IMC stands for Integrated Marketing Communications is a concept that involves all the aspects and strategies of marketing and communications. None of the aspects in IMC works in isolation. It is a club of all concepts related to marketing.  

When a company is ready with a product the next step is usually promotion and marketing. There are various strategies to promote a product one of them being IMC. IMC is also known as the modern-day marketing concept. As the name suggests IMC brings together various communication methods to convey the message to make them aware of the product and to invite many customers.   

These methods include public relations, direct marketing, sales, advertising, etc. The only aim of IMC is to create a good brand and consumer relationship. Sometimes owing to the IMC the brand also modifies the product by accepting customer feedback.   

The idea of IMC is to identify the needy consumers and listen to their appropriate requests and then approach the brand with the consumer requirements and ultimately provide the customers with what they need thus establishing and managing hassle-free public relations.   

IMC is also defined as a business action including all the marketing strategies with the idea of connecting to places and people. It primarily includes the integration of communication tools, sales, avenues, sources of a particular brand/ organization. The tools of IMC typically include Brand Management, Advertising Design, Advertising Management, Consumer Promotion, etc. Nowadays IMC also actively includes Internet Marketing/ Digital Marketing to increase the impact on consumers.   

What is Marketing?

As mentioned above, Marketing is the action of selling a particular product including its active promotion. Marketing not only involves actively encouraging their consumers to buy the product by establishing a relationship with them but also making sure that the loyal consumers stay with the product/ brand/ organization.   

Marketing differs from brand to brand although the strategy remains the same. The strategy includes formulating a target market for the specified product, some brands target only a certain market while some others target the entire market thus increasing the opportunity and space for the product to be sold.  

Once the target is set, the next step involves the brand actively modifying the product and placing it to the consumers to satisfy the particular target market. This step is known as product placement and it primarily includes the satisfaction of the set target market by providing a logical solution to their issues.  

Marketing can be used in every business ranging from small-scale handicrafts to large-scale like footwear companies. Marketing helps to display the value of the brand to the consumers thus establishing an active Brand- Consumer relationship. It also makes sure that the arrived consumers stay for other products of the brand and not for just one product. Marketing is also essential to develop new markets for a single brand.   

Marketing Strategy typically includes 4Ps – Product, Place, Price, Promotion. These serve as the four wheels of a car, even if one of them doesn’t work in sync with the other aspects then the message will not be properly delivered to the consumers and the product sales will suffer hugely.   

Main Differences Between IMC and Marketing  

  1. The main aim of IMC is to integrate various marketing and communication strategies to deliver a constant message to the consumers whereas the main aim of Marketing is to promote the sale and services in a particular market.   
  2. IMC focuses majorly on Promotion while Marketing mainly focuses on 4Ps- Product, Price, Place, Promotion.  
  3. The primary objective of IMC is to integrate various aspects to create a strong impact on consumers on the other hand the objective of Marketing is the generate huge sales for the said product.  
  4. IMC has a narrower scope and mainly focuses on promotion whereas Marketing has a wider scope.   
  5. IMC establishes a good consumer brand relationship whereas Marketing not only establishes the relationship but also strives to maintain it.   
  6. The main tools and facets/ components of IMC include Brand Management, Design and Internet Marketing, etc., while Marketing includes comprehending a target market and promoting for that particular market.   


From the above-mentioned points, it is clear that although IMC and Marketing seem to be overlapping, they carry subtle differences which make them unique. Nevertheless, in this competitive world, both IMC and Marketing are certainly vital for a business to work. Usually in a successful business IMC and Marketing work in harmony to bring in the best results.   

Nowadays, IMC is slightly more preferred due to the involvement of Internet Marketing and also due to better public relations but Marketing is also vital in large scale businesses. Both IMC and Marketing run parallelly in a business. IMC is usually considered as the sub-element of Marketing.   


  1. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/13563280610643525/full/htmlfullSc=1&fullSc=1&mbSc=1&fullSc=1 
  2. https://api.taylorfrancis.com/content/books/mono/downloadidentifierName=doi&identifierValue=10.4324/9781315890005&type=googlepdf