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Appears in:
Pages: 3421-3428
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS (HEIS) AND INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC): AN ODD COUPLE?

At the present time, we are experiencing an increasingly frequent application of the managerial logic to fields and sectors that were considered to not be dealing with business and financial logics, such as health, culture, research, etc. Nowadays, an extremely competitive and complex market environment is fostering the deployment of business tools to be applied to the management of these sectors that, in most cases, are addressed to provide public services to citizens.
Education is also being affected by this trend and a strong “marketization” of higher education is taking place. Universities are facing important challenges to better compete in the global and turbulent market and, in this new context, higher education institutions (HEIs) are implementing marketing activities that were exclusive for business organizations so far.
The literature suggests that marketing had once been a term that could be spoken only in the most hushed tones in academia. However, during the last few years, this resistance to the concept of marketing seems to be decreasing in universities and prominent academics are focusing their studies on how HEIs are applying marketing and communication efforts to adapt themselves to the dynamic environment.
In this process, the most experts agree about the crucial role of marketing communications in the management of these types of organizations, since they need to create strong relationships with their stakeholders in order to build a favorable image and reputation in their minds. This position is supported by influent organizations, such as the European Commission. In fact, they suggest that a better management of communication activities is needed, since an efficient and effective communication of the value they offer to the society is paramount if they want to gain more visibility nationally and internationally.
During the last two decades, the paradigm of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) has attracted the attention of academics and practitioners. However, the literature review reveals that only few studies analyze the adoption of this approach by universities and how they manage the process of integration.
The literature suggests that the benefits arising from the application of this new paradigm in other sectors have made IMC a crucial strategic element and it may be a sustainable competitive advantage to those universities that implement it successfully.

Therefore, this paper attempts to fill this gap in the literature by opening the debate about the role of communication in universities and, more specifically, about the implementation of an IMC approach and how it may help to enhance the performance of HEIs.
This study provides theoretical insights that are likely to reinforce the theoretical bases (almost inexistent to the date) about the implementation of IMC in HIEs. The theoretical analyses developed here open the way for future qualitative and quantitative empirical research that can shed light on how to deal with the measurement of the degree of integration and its impact on brand performance, image or reputation.
Moreover, this article has important managerial implications for the practitioners and professionals involved in the process of “marketization” of HEIs and for university policy makers.
@InProceedings{PORCU2012HIG,
author = {Porcu, L. and del Barrio-Garc{\'{i}}a, S. and Rodr{\'{i}}guez-Priego, N. and Crespo-Almendros, E.},
title = {HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS (HEIS) AND INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC): AN ODD COUPLE?},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {3421-3428}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Porcu AU - S. del Barrio-García AU - N. Rodríguez-Priego AU - E. Crespo-Almendros
TI - HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS (HEIS) AND INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC): AN ODD COUPLE?
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 3421
EP - 3428
ER -
L. Porcu, S. del Barrio-García, N. Rodríguez-Priego, E. Crespo-Almendros (2012) HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS (HEIS) AND INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS (IMC): AN ODD COUPLE?, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 3421-3428.
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