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The NA-KD Truth About Influencer Marketing

Exploring influencer marketing through integrated marketing communication and the influencer’s role in strengthening a brand

Written by M. Dalstam, D. Holmgren & H. Nordlöf

Paper category

Bachelor Thesis


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Bachelor Thesis: Integrated marketing communication With the advancement of communication technology and the increase of communication channels, the nature of marketing communication is changing. As a result, today's consumers gain more control over receiving and influencing messages (Turner, 2017). For this reason, companies can no longer use a marketing communication tool to achieve marketing communication efficiency (Subramaniam & Nair, 2013). Integrated marketing communications (IMC) can be defined as “a strategic method that allows the integration of various communication channels to convey a consistent message” (Henninger et al., 2017). The goal of IMC is to coordinate different traditional communication tools with social media to optimize the impact of persuasive communication by providing more responsive and efficient communication methods (Turner, 2017). According to Kumar et al. (2016) The use of multiple types of communication activities will produce a greater effect than the sum of individual promotion efforts. Due to constantly changing market conditions, six marketing communication tools need to be coordinated so that the company can deliver a consistent message to the target audience. Advertising, direct sales, promotion, personnel sales, public relations and social media are marketing communication tools that must be strategically integrated. First, advertising is an element of IMC, consisting of a message and a media platform used to deliver the message to the audience. Advertising can be defined as "non-personal communication paid and identified by a specific sponsor" (Key & Czaplewski, 2017). Second, direct marketing can be described as a marketing communication tool used to achieve response through email, online display ads, and interactive consumer websites (Foroudi, Dinnie, Kitchen, Melewar & Foroudi, 2017). Specifically, direct selling aims to establish a one-to-one personal relationship with the desired target audience (Key & Czaplewski, 2017). Third, promotion can be interpreted as a marketing communication activity that can be used to persuade potential customers to buy products or services and generate brand loyalty. That is, the use of special offers, gifts, free samples, coupons and discount codes are examples of promotional activities (McKelvey, 2015). Fourth, public relations can be interpreted as "a form of communication management that aims to use publicity and other forms of free promotion and information to influence the value of the company, its products or services, or the value of products or services or organizational activities to buyers. 2.2 Branding Kotler (2000) defines a brand as "a name, term, symbol, design, or a combination of them, designed to identify the goods or services of a seller or a group of sellers and distinguish them from those of competitors Come". In addition, the brand establishes brand equity, which is beneficial to the company and consumers. Brand equity can be defined as "the added value that the brand gives to the product" (Nandan, 2005). According to Chernatony (2010), brands provide a clear manifestation of the difference between products and services. Given that today's consumers are faced with endless product and service alternatives available, brands are used to help consumers distinguish products and services from competing products (Nandan, 2005). Today's consumers gain greater control over receiving and influencing information, which leads them to search for product and brand information from other consumers rather than the company itself. Therefore, consumers may be seen as active participants in defining what the brand means to them, and have the power to spread information (Nandan, 2005). In today's digital age, brands connect with consumers through social media (Edelman, 2016). It should be emphasized that the connections established by the brand should be aimed at strengthening dialogue and promoting interaction to meet the needs of customers (Henninger et al., 2017). In other words, a brand can convey a specific image to consumers through the use of various advertising messages and marketing strategies. If consumers establish a brand image through their interpretation of the company’s information, then the company’s clear delivery of the information to consumers is considered valuable. In other words, brand image and brand identity evolved from the communication between consumers and companies (Nandan, 2005). Keller (1993) defines brand image as "the perception of the brand reflected by the brand associations in consumers' memory". As far as the consumer's purchase process is concerned, the company's brand image is crucial. Evaluate the information consumers get from the brand image in order to make smart purchases. If the image conforms to the actual, ideal and social image of the consumer, a purchase will be made (Ataman & Ülengin, 2003). 2.2.1 Brand identity Brand identity can be defined as "a group of brand associations that the company intends to establish in the minds of consumers" (Moore, 2016). The purpose of establishing a brand identity is to build a unique brand by delivering uniqueness and personality to the target audience. To clarify, the brand identity comes from the company. Read Less