Sociological Aspects of the Marketing Communications Theory

Author: Mariya A. Malykhina, Lidiya E. Ukolova

Communicology. 2017. Vol.5. No.5
Maria Alexeevna. Malykhina, Cand. Sci. (Soc.), assistant-professor of the Public Relations and Mass Communications Chair, Department of Foreign Languages of the Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), e-mail:;
Lidia Evgenievna Ukolova, Dr. Sci. (Phil.), professor, Head of the Public Relations and Mass Communications Chair, Department of Foreign Languages of the Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University). Moscow, Russia. E-mail:

Abstract. The article describes the sociological take on the fundamentals of the integrated marketing theory and practice evolution as a part of sociology of management and sociology of communication. The first driver is “the focus on customer” approach. Secondly, all marketing functions are treated as marketing communications, requiring centralized management. Third, the evolution of IMC theory involves expanding the list of items/ marketing functions considered as communications calling for an integrated approach. Fourthly, the outlook on target audiences of marketing communications is expanding. If initially at the center of theoretical models were consumers, then the range of target audiences expanded significantly (customers, employees, partners, suppliers, competitors, shareholders, government, opinion leaders, journalists, general public and society). Therefore, from a sociological point of view, the IMC theory in the course of its development, is avoiding the focus exclusively on the business interests (“marketing myopia”), turning the company to face the general public needs. As a fifth base of theoretical and practical formation of the IMC, the author proposes to consider the idea of marketing integration.
Integration process is one of the trends that influence not only marketing, but the vector of society development as a whole. It is the social trend of today’s world, presupposing the broad sociological view to be understood. It pushes marketing to integrate in the society on the basis of the public interest.
Three main stages of marketing communications theory development can be distinguished on the basis of the research: (1) Integrated Marketing Communications (marketing communications are considered mainly as a promotion mix, the consumers are the main target audience, the degree of integration is relatively low); (2) Integrated Marketing (all 4P or 7P of marketing mix are considered as communications; target audiences are expanding: consumers, potential customers, employees, competitors, partners, suppliers, competitors, the media, public authorities; the high degree of integration: marketing integrates with other business functions);
(3) Holistic Marketing (the list of items is expanding due to the social marketing and relationship marketing, the target audience includes the society as a whole; the degree of integration is as high as possible and involves the company’s integration into the society).
Marketing communications are presented as reception and transmission of messages at the interpersonal and mass level and are considered as socially conditioned by market relations between social subjects. The author attributes marketing communications to communicative systems that implement a special type of social communication, characterized by special features of the purpose (i.e. information about the brand, which is transmitted most often to the general public and refers primarily to mass communication, with the exception of personal communications), various transmission channels and various types of systems: natural, artificial and mixed.

Keywords: sociology of communication, integrated marketing communications, integrated marketing, social marketing, integration

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For citation: Malykhina M.A., Ukolova L.E. Sociological Aspects of the Marketing Communications Theory. Communicology. Vol. 5. No. 5. P. 74-85 DOI 10.21453 / 2311-3065-2017-5-5-74-85

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