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True Synergy for Real Effects: How to Control Integrated Marketing Successfully

Prasad A. Naik / Kay Peters
  • Professor of Marketing, Business School, University of Hamburg, Germany, Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing, GSM, University of California, Davis, U.S.A.
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Published Online: 2015-04-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gfkmir-2015-0005


In integrated marketing, the effectiveness of each activity depends upon all other branding activities when synergies are sought. Synergies arise from each of the following four areas: combining different media types, scheduling their inphase or out-phase timing, using consistent formal designs and creating integrated content across media types. Using a proper mix of multiple media and synchronizing their spending patterns over time are more important than creating and designing advertising content when generating media synergies. In some cases, the effectiveness of one medium increases because of repetition of the brand’s message in a different medium. In other cases, synergies occur because the target segment gets to read, understand and elaborate on the advertised content, thereby reinforcing the brand’s message. Synergies not only influence the effectiveness of advertising but also the budgeting. As synergy increases, the optimal total media budget increases, as well, and the proportion of the media budget allocated to the more effective medium decreases, while that allocated to the less effective medium increases. Sometimes the effects of synergies are surprising, and individual activities need to be seen in a completely different light when combined with others. Managers are welladvised to monitor synergies of their activities and reflect them in their budgets.

Keywords: Crossmedia; Synergy; Advertising; Online and Off-line Media; Integrated Marketing; Advertising Effects; Media Planning; Budget Allocation


  • Naik, Prasad (2007): “Integrated Marketing Communications: Provenance, Practice and Principles,” in: Ambler, T./Tellis, G.: Handbook of Advertising, Sage Publications, pp. 35 - 53.Google Scholar

  • Naik, Prasad; Peters, Kay (2009): “A Hierarchical Marketing Communications Model of Online and Offline Media Synergies,” Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 23 (4), pp. 288 - 299.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Naik, Prasad; Raman, Kalyan (2003): “Understanding the Impact of Synergy in Multimedia Communications,” Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 40 (November), pp. 375 - 388.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Raman, Kalyan; Naik, Prasad (2004): “Long-term Profit Impact of Integrated Marketing Communications Program,” Review of Marketing Science, Vol. 2 (1), Article 8.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2015-04-23

Published in Print: 2015-05-01

Citation Information: GfK Marketing Intelligence Review, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 34–41, ISSN (Online) 1865-5866, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/gfkmir-2015-0005.

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© 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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