Course: MSc Global Human Resource Management

Unit:- Business Research Methods

Role of Integrated Marketing Communication in organizational growth and competitive positioning

Section 1: Comparing two research methodologies

1.1 Research problem

In the 21st century, every kind of business industry is focusing on improvisation of their existent marketing strategies and initiations for getting better growth and outcomes. The concept of integrated marketing communication is largely adopted by the organizations. Immense and rapid growth in digital applications and information technologies are facilitating industries to bring positive evaluations over their marketing strategies and communications with customers and stakeholders. Such changes in organizational marketing and communication aspects are bringing positive changes to their existing brand image and sales. It seems organizations are prioritizing their integrated marketing communications for better reach to a maximum number of customers and increasing customer loyalty towards the brand. Such positive initiations not only offer an edge to the competitive market but also ensure better growth opportunities.

The research study focuses on the role of organizational integrated marketing communications (IMC) in its growth and competitive positioning. The study is conducted based on several research questions such as listed below.

- What is the basic concept of integrated marketing communication?
- What kind of IMC tools are preferred by the organizations?
- What are some benefits of adopting IMC in organizational business?
- What kind of challenges are faced by organizations during adopting the IMC?

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1.2 Selected Key Readings
The section in the study tries to describe literature review aspects about the topic, where certain descriptive and theoretical aspects about the study objectives are to be discussed such as the below such as below.

Integrated marketing communication
Integrated marketing communication (IMC) can be considered a strategic aspect preferred by organizations where they try to market their brand in more creative ways and keep communicating with the customers over time to search for better improvisation, improvement, and change requirements. IMC brings evolutionary changes over organizational marketing practices, where multi-channel attributions are preferred for reaching to maximum possible customers and conveying the key focus and mission of the brand to them. Further IMC allows organizations to keep tracking the responses of customers over time. It not only offers better marketing strategies but also assists organizations in maintaining long-term relationships with customers, investors, and stakeholders.

Integrated marketing communication tools/methods
Modern-day business entities would like to utilize advanced technologies and applications for communicating with customers more efficiently. Organizations would like to deploy several IMC tools or methods for enhancing their marketing and public affairs activities. Those methods are considered Advertisement, Personal selling, sales promotion, direct marketing, social media campaign and marketing, mobile marketing, Sponsorship, public Affairs, public relations and investors relations. IMC has a key focus on reaching to maximum number of customers and maintaining long-term relationships through conveying brand mission, vision, and implications. Those IMC methods would play a key role in meeting business marketing and promotional activities resulting in positive business outcomes.

Benefits of organizational IMC
Every business implication is initiated for getting positive changes and facilitations over existing business operations. Modern-day business industries are posing huge competition from an ever-evolving market, where most of the initiations are tried to be implemented over its marketing and promotional activities. IMC has certain benefits over organizational businesses which are demonstrated through improved business results, Enhanced brand image on local and global scales, better cost efficiency, Improved overall business efficiency, Incorporated diversity, Increased morale, Maintained focus, Maximized return on investment, Better customer acquisition and retention and Edge over market competition and lots more.

Challenges in implementing IMC
Organizations are also posing some challenges and limitations in bringing such changes over their existing marketing approaches in terms of integrated marketing communications. One industry would pose several challenges in deploying and maintaining IMC such as listed below.
• Over reluctance over organizational upper management.
• Restricted ideas and lack of creative considerations
• Lack of resources including financial, technological assets, and technical experts.
• Unclear leadership results in a clear gap between organizational IMC initiations and mainstream operations.
• Rapid changes in business scenario and competitive global market landscape.

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1.3 Two appropriate research methodologies
A specific research study has been conducted to evaluate the role of integrated marketing communication in organizational growth and competitive positioning. Certain research approaches and methodologies are required to be followed during the study as they can be carried out properly and get sufficient and relevant data evidence. Two research methodologies can be followed for the study in terms of qualitative and quantitative research methodology. Those methodologies hold certain differences in terms of targeting data resources and providing data evidence against the research objectives. A basic comparison among those research methodologies for the research context can be discussed below.

Quantitative research methodology
Quantitative research methodology generally focuses on dealing with statistical, numerical, and analytical data evidence and further coming to conclusions against the research questions. In the specific research methodology, researchers prefer to collect data from both secondary and primary data resources and prioritize numerical data evidence. Further data patterns and insights are tried to be collected from the raw collected data. For the specific research topic, researchers aimed to understand how IMC has impacted organizational growth and competitive positioning. For this purpose, researchers would like to access numerical statistics and datasheets indicating organizational sales, market base, customer base, profit, expenses, and lots more. Consideration of such business-related numerical data would indicate whether IMC has a positive influence over organizational growth and market positioning or not. For the research work, primary data is collected from a total of 150 participants working in different industries operating globally.

Application process
The quantitative research methodology allows researchers to focus mostly on the numerical, statistical, and analytical data evidence. The role of IMC in organizational growth and competitive marketing can easily be understood through a brief analysis of numerical data collected about changes in organizational sales, return, customer base, market positioning holding, and lots more due to the implementation. Further data about the topic has also been collected directly from the employees and managers working in different industries where IMC is followed. Additional statistical and analytical data about the topic would have been collected from several secondary data resources such as case studies, newsletters, organizational websites, business balance sheet, financial statement and lots more.

Contribution to theory
Quantitative research methodology allows researchers to follow certain theoretical considerations, where realistic and factual numerical data is preferred for coming to the research conclusion. Such research methodology is quite suitable for large case studies, where sufficient data evidence can be acquired. Further, the method prefers to collect realistic data directly from the participants. As the study relies mostly on realistic data evidence, hypothetical data aspects are tried to be avoided in maximum cases.

Gaps and further analysis
Quantitative research methodology is preferred as the best option for any kind of research study, as it prefers realistic numerical data directly from the participants and further analyzes that data to come to a conclusion. A statistical approach is preferred to collect data through interviews and surveys and further represent in proper ways. The process is quite time-consuming and requires enough skills from the researchers. For the specific research study, the role of IMC has been preferred where researchers aimed to consider multiple industries. Collecting research-related data on such a large scale is quite challenging. Further, the research work should ensure enough ethical consideration during the representation of the business-sensitive data. In the case of collecting data from secondary resources, ensuring credibility and accountability of the data resources is quite challenging.

Researchers would further proceed in the methodology with proper planning and structural approach. Proper considerations should be taken regarding the research concerns and gaps. Further researchers would hold skills and competencies in collecting large amounts of statistical and analytical data about the topic.

Pros and Cons
Quantitative research methodology is preferred as the most suitable one for large-scale research works. Quantitative research methods focus mostly on realistic and numerical data evidence whereas analytical works have a certain contribution to the research study. The research methodology offers enough advantages and a few drawbacks such as listed below.
• Efficient evaluation of the data collected directly from the respondents.
• The in-depth idea about how IMC is impacting directly to the organizational growth and competitive market placing.
• The role of IMC in organizational business opportunities is discussed effectively.
• Sufficient statistical data evidence is provided against the research objectives.
The cons of the quantitative research methodologies for the research work can be listed below.
• Time taken process
• Require proper access to sufficient and relevant data respondents.
• Researchers require some sort of skills and competencies for collecting and analysing large amounts of numerical data.
• External aspects would pose a key barrier to the study.
• Over-dependency on the respondents, their perspective, and review of the topic.

Qualitative research methodology

Qualitative research methodology is one of the key research methods preferred by the researchers where they generally focus on non-numerical data as the research evidence. The process is quite simple as descriptive data are mostly preferred. Because of the preference for non-numerical data, no such complex analytical data work is required here. Hypothesis-based approaches are preferred over the research topic.

Application processes
Qualitative research methodology is well well-known and demanded research methodology, where descriptive and non-numeric data evidence are preferred to be collected from the data sources. For the specific research topic, researchers preferred non-numerical data from both primary and secondary data resources. Most of the data is collected directly from the respondents through surveys and interviews. Further, most of the qualitative data is collected from secondary data resources such as journals, case studies, websites and lots more.

Contribution to theory
Qualitative research methodology has a prime focus on descriptive and non-numerical data resources. Researchers equally prioritized both primary and secondary data resources for collecting sufficient data evidence about the topic. A hypothesis-based approach is mostly preferred over such kind of research approach, whereas researchers have clear access to realistic data elements. For the specific research study, researchers focus on the organizational data related to their marketing approaches, marketing campaigns and lots more. Though researchers do not prefer any hypothetical aspect for the specific research study, it would be better with the considerations.

Gaps and further analysis
A qualitative research approach has been preferred for the specific research topic, where secondary data resources are mostly preferred for collecting data evidence. For evaluating the role of integrated marketing communication over organizational growth and competitive edge, researchers preferred to follow previously worked cases. There are certain concerns in such dependency on secondary data resources such as the data credibility, and accountability. Additionally, organizations generally don't prefer to publicize such marketing data directly influencing their competitive positioning. Researchers faced certain limitations in collecting sufficient data about the particular business. Researchers had to rely on the review of the respondents, where the amount of qualitative data was either limited or irrelevant.

Further researchers would prefer hypothetical aspects, especially for collecting qualitative data evidence. Such a research method requires thorough and brief consideration of literature-based data, where researchers would have enough ability to extract valuable and relevant data insights from such resources.

Pros and Cons
Qualitative research methodology is quite efficient for research studies that are quite familiar to the public. As the research topic is quite general in modern-day business, it would get a certain edge to collect enough relevant data evidence. Despite such considerations, qualitative research methodology or approach holds several advantages and drawbacks. Researchers also experienced similar pros and cons while conducting the study in qualitative ways. The advantages of the qualitative research methodology can be listed below.
• It requires relatively less time for research conduction and data collection
• Researchers get more data resources for the research approach.
• The approach does not require many analytical and statistical aspects.
• Findings data evidence in the method is quite simple, faster, and efficient.

Similarly, researchers faced a few challenges during research work through qualitative research methodology such as listed below.
Qualitative research methodology focuses mostly on descriptive and literature-based data, where researchers should have enough skill to extract valuable insights from raw data sources. The qualitative research approach prefers a hypothetical-based study, where a lack of such consideration would pose certain challenges in finding relevant data evidence. Data accountability and credibility are essential concerns in such kind of research work. Researchers need to maintain proper ethical considerations during the use of such qualitative data in the research report. Researchers found certain limitations in getting enough qualitative data about the organizations and their marketing strategies.

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Sector 2: Instrument and conclusion

2.1 Instrument

A specific research study has been carried out to evaluate the role of integrated marketing communication in organizational growth and competitive positioning. Modern-day organizations understand the usefulness of advanced technologies and applications, where information technologies and digital applications are deployed in different organizational areas. The use of technology can be seen largely in organizational marketing strategies. Such immense use of technology allows every kind of organization to deploy the concept of integrated marketing communications. It seems organizations are investing a lot in their marketing strategies. The concept of IMC has a large impact on existent organizational marketing activities, where it not only facilitates promotional activities but also improves communication and affairs with customers and stakeholders. Researchers are aiming to understand how such an IMC concept is directly affecting organizational businesses and their global expansion possibilities. For the research purpose, researchers preferred to answer a few predefined research questions about the advantages and drawbacks of IMC along with several methods applied over their existent business processes.

The purpose of the research study is to collect sufficient data evidence about the topic and further find the proper justification for the research question with the data evidence. Researchers tried to overhaul IMC's consideration of every kind of business industry, where a larger landscape about the research topic would be found. It is essential to follow certain research methodologies so the study can be conducted in a proper way. For the study, researchers prefer both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. The quantitative research methodology allows researchers to focus on numerical and statistical data about organizations which reflects the impact of IMC directly on the organizational business opportunities. On the other hand, qualitative research methodology allows researchers to prioritize literature-based non-numerical data. For the study, researchers preferred both primary and secondary data resources.

In the age of globalization, every organization is aiming to expand its market base in the global landscape. In most cases, such initiations are taken from organizations through better investment and involvement in their business marketing and promotional strategies. The concept of IMC is largely accepted at business levels for enhancing their marketing and customer relation initiatives. Researchers would like to access such relevant data from different secondary data resources. Additionally, survey work was carried out with over 130 employees with different designations from different departments of different business industries currently operating in multiple countries. At the same time, an interview session has been carried out with 15 managers from different business industries. The key purpose of such a study is to extract their feedback about the IMC implementation and its impact on business growth and market positioning. Both quantitative and qualitative data are collected from the respondents which would assist a lot in getting enough supportive data evidence against the research topic and objectives.

2.2. Conclusion

Modern-day organizations understand well the value of a customer in their business growth, whereas better and continuous implementations are made over organizational marketing strategies. Only evaluation in marketing strategies would not be sufficient for business growth, where proper customer affairs, customer relationships, and customer support are equally required. Thus, the concept of integrated marketing communication has been introduced and accepted largely by organizations. IMC not only allow organization towards better marketing initiations but also forces them to keep following the customer over time. IMC offers a strategic marketing approach to organizations where brand promotion can be done along with better maintenance of customer relationships.
Researchers tried to conduct the research study based on a few predefined research questions about the advantages and challenges of organizational IMC initiatives. The concept of IMC is quite common in modern-day organizations. 4th industrial revolution promoted more technological implications over different organizational areas, which also facilitated organizational existent marketing activities. For the research purpose, researchers preferred to follow both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. Relevant data evidence is tried to be collected from several secondary data resources as well as through interviews and survey works. Survey work has been carried out over a total of 130 employees and 15 managers of different business industries. The research work is not limited to any specific industry, where different business industries are taken into consideration for the research purposes. However, researchers pose several limitations in conducting both types of research approaches. Further researchers would follow hypothetical approaches to get more relevant qualitative data evidence. It is quite clear that organizational marketing strategies are evolving so fast with the ever-evolving and rapid changes in technological implications. Similar studies on a large scale and advanced technological considerations would offer more data evidence about the research study in the future.

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Section 3: Research dissemination

3.1 Relevance and audience

Any research study is initiated to answer research questions with enough relevant and credible data evidence. Researchers generally prefer both primary and secondary data resources for collecting relevant data evidence. Somehow secondary data resources require proper considerations regarding data credibility, accountability, and truthfulness. In most cases, researchers rely on their research work over a certain number of audiences somehow interconnected to the research topic or concern. That's why consideration of research respondents is crucial for not only getting enough data outputs but also for exploring some new findings about the research topic.

The specific research study aims to evaluate the role of IMC in organizational growth and market positioning. For research purposes, survey and interview works have been conducted with over 130 employees and 15 managers respectively. Both qualitative and quantitative data collected from the respondents are essential for supporting and justifying the research questions with sufficient data evidence. In that matter, researchers need to consider those researchers and their feedback relevant and credible enough for the research topic. IMC implementation in organizational business is quite an internal matter of organization, where true exact information can only be collected through the individuals associated with the organizations having IMC approaches. Thus the feedback from those selected respondents should be considered relevant for the research work.

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3.2 Communication of research
For the research purpose, survey and interview sessions have been arranged with the employees and managers of organizations that operate globally and implement IMC in their business operations. Respondents are communicated over digital platforms and virtual applications. Both qualitative and quantitative data collected about the topic are collected from the feedback of those respondents. The research work poses certain limitations in arranging a physical meeting with the respondents, whereas proper communication with them over virtual applications become essential. The research study and its findings are largely dependent on the respondents and their feedback. Organizational IMC is a time taken process, where the research work has been conducted for long 3 months. Proper research communications matter a lot in such type of research work, where continuous communication with the respondents and getting relevant feedback from them would offer enough support to the research work. Further research work would be initiated on a larger scale for better data findings and research outputs. For those instances, maintaining proper research communication is also essential enough.

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