Mapping the literature of integrated marketing communications: A scientometric analysis using CiteSpace

  • Received December 31, 2021;
    Accepted March 1, 2022;
    Published March 9, 2022
  • Author(s)
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  • Article Info
    Volume 18 2022, Issue #1, pp. 152-167
  • Cited by
    5 articles

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is an effective marketing practice in the age of social media. IMC builds customer relationships and enhances brand value by integrating information from multiple channels and strengthening user interaction. The purpose of this study is to present the development process, current hotspots, and future trends of IMC research. Moreover, it explores the characteristics and patterns of IMC research. First, this paper shows the annual literature volume, leading countries, journals, and authors in IMC research through bibliometrics. Then, five hot research topics are identified through keyword co-occurrence analysis, namely IMC theory and models, brand communication, media research, customer research, and marketing strategy. From 1991 to 2020, IMC research is divided into five phases, each of which is related to the enhancement of user interaction. Future IMC research will continue to be user-centered, and IMC research will continue with social media and branding, as well as research on other topics that can further enhance user interactions. This paper also finds that the characteristics of the concept of IMC itself lead to a constant renewal of its connotations, which is one of the reasons why scholars cannot reach a consensus on the concept of IMC.

We thank Associate Professor Zhenkun Cui of Henan Institute of Science and Technology for his valuable comments during the writing and revision of this paper. The following research projects supported this study: (1) Henan Provincial University Humanities and Social Sciences Research Project No.2022-ZDJH-0099; (2) Henan Provincial University Humanities and Social Sciences Research Project No.2022-ZZJH-158; (3) Henan Province Social Science Planning Project No. 2021BZZ004; and (4) Xinxiang Social Science Federation Research Project No. 2021-167.

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    • Figure 1. Annual distribution of IMC literature (WoS and Scopus)
    • Figure 2. Country co-occurrence map for IMC literature (WoS database)
    • Figure 3. Country co-occurrence map of IMC research (Scopus database)
    • Figure 4. Co-occurrence map of journal citation
    • Figure 5. Author co-occurrence map (WoS database)
    • Figure 6. Author co-occurrence map (Scopus database)
    • Figure 7. Keyword co-occurrence map in IMC research
    • Table 1. Definitions of IMC in different periods
    • Table 2. Country contributions to IMC research
    • Table 3. The most cited journals in IMC research
    • Table 4. The most cited authors in IMC research
    • Table 5. Top 12 bursting keywords
    • Data curation
      Lingling Wu, Xuefeng Yao
    • Formal Analysis
      Lingling Wu
    • Funding acquisition
      Lingling Wu, Fuli Chen
    • Methodology
      Lingling Wu, Fuli Chen, Fenghe Zhang
    • Writing – original draft
      Lingling Wu, Xuefeng Yao
    • Writing – review & editing
      Lingling Wu, Fuli Chen, Fenghe Zhang
    • Conceptualization
      Yuriy Danko, Fuli Chen
    • Project administration
      Yuriy Danko, Fuli Chen
    • Resources
      Yuriy Danko
    • Supervision
      Yuriy Danko
    • Visualization
      Yuriy Danko, Xuefeng Yao, Fenghe Zhang
    • Investigation
      Xuefeng Yao, Fenghe Zhang
    • Validation
      Xuefeng Yao