Communication-in-use: Customer-integrated marketing communication

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)



This conceptual paper aims at developing a customer-centric marketing communications approach that takes the starting point in the customer ecosystem.


After a critical analysis of existing marketing communications and integrated marketing communication (IMC) approaches, a customer-driven view of marketing communications is developed using recent developments in relationship communication, customer-dominant logic and the notion of customer value formation as value-in-use.


A customer-integrated marketing communication (CIMC) approach centred on a communication-in-use concept is conceptually developed and introduced. The analysis results in a CIMC model, where a customer in his or her individual ecosystem, based on integration of a set of messages from different sources, makes sense of the many messages he or she is exposed to.

Research limitations/implications

The paper presents a customer-driven perspective on marketing communication and IMC. The analysis is conceptual and should trigger future empirical grounding. It indicates the need for a change in mindset in research.

Practical implications

CIMC requires a turnaround in the mindset that steers how companies and their marketers communicate with customers. The CIMC model provides guidelines for planning marketing communication.


The customer-driven communication-in-use concept and the CIMC model challenge traditional inside-out approaches to planning and implementing marketing communication.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)445-463
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Marketing Logics and Strategizing


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