Academy of Marketing Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6298; Online ISSN: 1528-2678)

Research Article: 2020 Vol: 24 Issue: 1

Digital Integrated Marketing Communication (Dimc) and its Logical Relationship with Co-Branding and Brand Values with Reference to Coke Studio

Anand Shankar Raja M, CHRIST (Deemed to be University)


Coke-studio has become very famous in the recent past attracting wide viewers across the world being very famous through the social media platform “YouTube”. This platform indeed gives an opportunity to young artists to display their talents. However, Coke-studio platform differs in the musical journey and creates a little difference among India and Pakistan; both the countries are unique in its own way. This article is just to understand the components, which can contribute to the success of Coke-studio by developing a digital IMC model considering three major variables known as: brand values, brand equity and co-branding efforts. Digital IMC and its impact on brand equity, brand values through co-branding efforts have been explained with a help of a diagrammatic work, which can be a success ingredient for Coke-studio. Through a careful content analysis the issues in traditional IMC has been analysed and a new model has been framed. This model has been suggested to Coke-studio to manage better customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty which will help to build good relationship with the end users in the digital arena. In this competitive era, making the competitors best-friends and working on “Mutual Benefits” is the success mantra. This is explained with an illustration explaining the benefits enjoyed by YouTube and Coke-studio in the light of Co-branding efforts. Online Social Media (OSM) enhances the e-brand equity because the digital consumer spends a minimum of 2 hours online increasing the brand presence for the marketer. Brand reputation builds brand equity for which new digital tools and technological platforms are needed. Thus one of the focus in this article is to build a framework to show how brand equity, brand image and brand values are enhanced through a Digital IMC. The success of communication reach is embedded through a motivational touch, which is given to the final consumers creating a sense of integrity. In the domain of Human Resource Management many theories on motivation is available. This article makes use of Vroom’s Motivational theory and model in the IMC model to show the importance of motivation to enhance customer’s loyalty and trust. This research article is a complete new package for the current Digi-economy for all the stakeholders. From the Digital-IMC model, it is understood that, variables such as memorable, likable, transferable, adaptable and protectable are very important for any entertainment service provides which can enhance the brand to a superior level. It is also mentioned that brands can join hands together which benefits both the businesses, and at the same time better brand vales can be created through unique episodes. From the article it is understood that Integrated Brand Communication model is needed rather than using just an IMC model in a traditional way. This idea has been placed in scope for future research which can be explored in a better way in the golden tomorrow. Thus, never stop with IMC but travel beyond to reach out to the customers through digital integration, which is the simple philosophy to be understood from this article. Marketing and branding are never constant, it keeps changing day to day based on the latest technology and usage of digital tools. Long gone are days where marking was only place, price and product utility but now it is much more that dealing with Digital tools and applications. The IMC loop has to have important variables such as business objectives, strategic communication plans, marketing mix, brand mix bounded with digital tools and application to create e-experience. This model is open to the universe for feedback and usage.


Coke-Studio, Digital-IMC, Brand Equity, Co-Branding, Brand Value, Motivation, Social Media, Data-Base Management.


Coke-studio creates a good platform for all those emerging music artists across the world even the transgender, mentions (Verma, 2018). The invite to the multi-cultural based music, has raised new compositions, which have become popular creating positive vibes says (Moye, 2013). Moreover, there are some negative comments and general opinion about Coke-studio that it has not taken efforts to create and spread the music awareness (Seetharaman, 2013). Despite all the issues and challenges I would say that music need not be restricted for enjoyment it can be even used to popularize a social cause message and much more, what not? Especially when the message travels through the favourite artist, it has a better reach, especially amongst the youth community. For instance the social cause can be quoted! Because talking about a social cause in a social media attracts the youth community to work for the cause (Siddiqui & Singh, 2016; Tarun, 2017). To discover new possibilities there is a need to understand the present marketing and communicational strategies used by coke-studio. This article is an effort to bring out strategies for coke-studio to have a better reach enhancing the brand image, brand values and brand equity considering the efforts of Co-branding with YouTube. Brand essence and features has to be well communicated to the end users and hence there is a need for IMC. There are considerable amount of literature reviews on IMC but not considering brand elements. Considering this as a research gap the article presents five conceptual frameworks proceeded with ample inference for understanding. It is also suggested that these models can be used by the future researchers. In this article various models such as: Simple IMC Process (Model 1), Database structure and IMC (Model 2), Social media & CRM techniques in IMC (Model 3), Role of motivation in IMC (Model 4), Incorporation of brand values, brand equity through Co-branding efforts in IMC (Model5) & Simple Digital IMC model (Model 6) are framed.

Research Motivation and Research Questions

In this light, there is a need to raise some questions, bounded with assumptions which will help the researcher to provide suitable solution with ample extensive justification. The basic assumption which sparks the research motivation is the traditional IMC model being used till date. The traditional IMC model is outdated and cannot be used in the changing technological landscape where marketing and branding have grown in leaps and bounds with the help of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things. If the trace of AI is understood in business it is quite obvious to know that AI has created an explosion of many manually done jobs (It et al., 2012; Krona & Papadimitriou, 2016). AI has the capacity to self-learn through three simple processes: sense, comprehend and act (Betaller & Harris, 2016). Robots know when to communicate, how to communicate and most importantly what to communicate (request based). There is no doubt that, there is scepticism of AI but it transforms the business to have a better reach. However the role of AI in IMC has not been discussed in detail in the past research work and models which has to be taken as a new dimension in the Digital IMC. Before framing the research questions it is important to have a deep understanding on the literature reviews. This content analysis being performed will help to know the most frequently repeated factors in IMC. Those variables can be retained and new variables can be added to frame a new model. We follow the traditional marketing concepts and marketing which is not supposed to be followed in all the cases, we have to look forward to frame new models, theories, concepts, definition and we have all the freedom to follow free-style marketing techniques. This, article is a strategic move to coin a new concept and a model work known as the “Digital Integrated Marketing Communication”. The feasibility of the model is not checked nor tested it is just framed and left open to the universe where other researchers can make use of this model in any fields. The scope of this article is restricted to one brand “coke-studio” and one-dimensional approach “framing a new model”. The following research questions raised out of curiosity will help in executing this article in the right direction.

Research Question

1. Is technology an important platform to enhance the customer experience?

2. Is YouTube an important touch point, which helps to reach the customers for Coke-studio?

3. Are the feedback and comments posted in YouTube used by Coke-studio to revamp the strategies?

4. In the IMC model is feedback and comments (expression of emotions) hold an important position to analyze the sentiments?

5. Is Coke-studio taking efforts to win the battle against private music albums through an effective IMC?

6. Can motivational touch in IMC boost the brand values? And create better brand image?

7. Can a brand enjoy success by striking a partner relationship with an existing popular brand under the tag “Co-branding”?

8. Should marketers stop concentrating only on the traditional marketing mix and start focussing on free-style marketing techniques?

9. Should the IMC model aim in 360-degree angle communication?

Tracing the Various Meaning by Various Researchers on IMC

The new thought process to frame a new Integrated Marketing Communication model is a motivation stimulated from the article of (Keller, 2016), where the author mentions the important components of Marketing Communication. Eight Major Marketing Communication Platform variables are advertisement, sales promotion, events and experiences, public relations and publicity, online and social media marketing, direct and database marketing, personal selling and mobile marketing. These variables are very much suitable for Coke studio and its success. Keeping these eight elements as base, extra efforts have been takento add new variables to the existing IMC model. The following Literature reviews (Content analysis) have been performed to know about the IMC in various contexts until date in Table 1.

Table 1 IMC Meaning
Author/Year Discussion Variables captured
(Fehrnstrom & Rich, 2009) Marketers rank IMC as one of the most important strategy to confront the industry but most of the time they fail to adapt to the changing environment. The authors have mentioned that IMC is not driven due to a single channel but a combination of multi-channel. Advertisement, Public relations, Digital marketing and direct marketing
(Ridwan et al., 2014) IMC has been used in marketing communication in the general aspect. However, in the long-term implementation process of IMC few challenges have to be considered like selection of the right media, communicating the right message etc. IMC can also be implemented considering the various advertisement messages in the process of developing brand awareness, brand equity and brand image. Message design, media selection, audience engagement
(Mongkol, 2014) The researchers state that brand equity cannot be always enhanced through advertisements. Sometimes the customers do not choose media and hence the marketers have to use other channels of IMC. It is said that event marketing and personal selling helps to better communicate about the product/services to the customers. Advertising, Sales promotion, Event marketing, Public relations, Direct marketing, personal selling, WOM and interactive marketing
(Tafesse & Kitchen, 2017) In the process of IMC the support of the organization is needed in different ways i.e., customer Database management is necessary. In this process three variables known as Integration scope, Integration strategy and Integration modes leads to IMC outcome which is: Tactical, intermediate and strategic. A combination of the IMC outcome is Behaviour, Brand equity, Image, cognitive engagement, Customer relationship, Market share and profitability. IMC linked with Organizational objectives and goals
(Sharma, 2015) In this research, IMC is defined as the process of managing customer relationship enhancing the brand values through communication values. The researcher has stated that, a master marketing plan is needed in the process of implementing IMC. The plan includes situation analysis, planning the marketing objectives, market budget framing, tactic and metrics to evaluate the performance. Advertisement tools, Promotional tools, Integration tools and corporate objectives
(Zimuto, 2013) The researcher says that, IMC strategy can be used by SME’s to gain competitive advantage. The customer should not be getting confused due to the message/information from various touch points. Hence, IMC has to be used in the right direction.  The new trends in marketing communication have to be well understood by the management especially the advancement of internet and other technologies available to popularize information. Internet usage, New digital technology, Workshops, enhancing efficiency through synergy
(Foroudi et al., 2017) The researchers have taken efforts to study the role of IMC in higher education. They have framed a research model with two important variables: IMC Antecedents & IMC Consequences. The researchers say that, communication is all about understanding the message and hence it is important to localize the message and information based on the nature of target audience. The research even states that social media becomes one of the key antecedents of IMC and the universities have to engage in brand co-creation. This, mutual relationship will also lead to competitive advantage. Brand elements, Service attributes, Website, Social Media, and Advertising, Public relations, direct marketing are all the IMC antecedents. The IMC consequences are awareness, image, positioning, reputation and identification.
(Eberechukwu & Chukwuma, 2016) The researchers have rightly pointed that TV, radio, newspaper and other traditional advertisement medias have started to loose customer grip due to the social media widespread. It is the duty of the marketers to check and re-evaluate the brand equity and its enhancement using social media and other channels. IMC can better create brand awareness linking POP and POD. Point of Parity, Point of Difference, Customer based brand equity.
(Tibebe, 2018) A very beautiful terminology “Word of Mouse” has been spoken here where the researchers say, WOM (Word of Mouse) can influence a customer to be engaged with product purchase (Purchase involvement). Word of Mouse provides digital experience. Secondly, the researchers say that Word of Mouth (Personal Selling) has a significant impact on the product engagement.  Word of Mouth Word of Mouse
(Brindha, 2014) The organizations media targeting strategy itself has to be reworked by the marketers before choosing a media to communicate. The key ingredient is always the customer data, which has to collected, analyzed and based on the result (target audience) the IMC has to be selected. The research says that marketers can have a combination of various communication tools. Multiple marketing communication tools Advertising and PR
(Timofeeva et al., 2016) Intensification of communication capabilities by the production companies has increased due to gain competitive advantage. Openness, transparency relationships and increase in customer base is possible through a well-planned and implemented IMC. IMC is looked as a communicative strategy not only to achieve the marketing goals but also to scale the corporate goals.  In this process, the researchers mention the importance of IMC for company, customers, mediators and contact audience. Competitive advantage through IMC
Corporate goals and marketing goals
Vertical integration, Horizontal integration and external integration
(Mudzanani, 2015) In this research, the researchers have mentioned the importance of communication for spread of information to all the stakeholders. The IMC should aim at harmonizing four important messages: Planned Message Objective, Un-planned Message Objective, Product message and Service message. SMART IMC (Communication messages)

Inference for Literature Review

Integrated Marketing Communication which is popularly spoken in the marketing communication has been looked in a traditional perspectives in the past literature reviews (Finne & Grönroos, 2013; Yeshin, 2007a; Proctor & Kitchen, 2002). From the literature, review by doing a content analysis it is understood that the primary goal of Integrated Marketing Communication is to popularise the message from the organisation as per the objectives, Vision and Mission statement. The business objectives have to be aligned in par with four important factors known as: Corporate planning, Business planning, Product planning and division plans. Organisations before providing budget Framework for Integrated Marketing Communication, through advertisements, personal interactions, salesmanship, digital media, social media, and email marketing and any other media should take into account what is the major focus of the firm whether is it going to be profit maximization or wealth maximization or service contribution to the society. The business objectives can be better communicated to the public if the right media has been identified. Example, every movie theatre plays the social cause advertisements to reduce the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. Movie hall is a place where youngsters especially visit and other age groups too. This is an opportunity to make them sit and play the video (social cause related) which has a strong influence. Influence and impact may be on a few, but there is some positive result. Thus, choosing the right media for the right message is very important. I would define this as the “Strategic Communication Objective” SCO. According to Dr. Anand Shankar Raja M (Strategic Communication Objective), is defined as the business synergy with the stakeholders to know and understand their expectations and current state of mind to better communicate the message, which will better persuade and create a positive impact. In this process, persuading the concerned stakeholders is the effective communicative strategy. Most of the traditional model framework with regard to Integrated Marketing Communication in the past research concentrates only on the marketing communication aspect and not on the internal environment of the organisation and the external environment.

I would tell that the Integrated Marketing Communication model in the past literature review is broken and it is not a full-fledged loop. When we talk about the importance of business interaction (synergy) with the stakeholders, communication model should be used in a different shape to persuade different parties connected with the business. May not be marketing based model but communication for motivation and persuading. This research takes into consideration the Integrated Marketing Communication model with reference to Coke Studio popularising the musical journey of many young artists. Coke-studio has become very popular across the world and it has left a very good impact especially for young artist who are in a position to highlight their talents. For Coke Studio the Integrated Marketing Communication model should be associated with the co-branding efforts because it is two firms, whichwork together for one success. For coke-studio business, interaction should be with the general audience and YouTube for partnership communication. That is the reason why in the definition on SCO (Strategic Communication Objectives) importance has been given to business synergy (Business Interaction). IMC has been well defined by many authors in the strategic sense. Here strategy is a well planned advertisement, brand, social media usage, salesmanship etc (Bibby, 2015).

The success of Coke-studio is because of YouTube which enhances different episodes and it is been subscribed and liked by wide end users. This is a major example for co-branding efforts and it is not the single effort only by Coke-studio. In today's competitive world the business does not operate in a single vacuum, it is all about integration and mutual understanding and the co-branding efforts. Stakeholders integrity has to be taken into consideration on one side because the business should not in in communicating the message only to the final consumers would enhance the profitability but also the different types of stakeholders who might not be directly associated with Coke-studio. (Water Integrity Netwoek, 2018), (Sunnotel, 2010) says that the role of communication with regard to stakeholders are more concerned in maintenance of a transparent relationship. This art is called the message of keeping the external stakeholders informed from the management. To enhance this relationship built with trust, communication is important. However, indirectly there are many other business units and firms, which are also responsible for the success of Coke Studio in the business environment. Business units have to market their image to the other business partners to attract them and to get mutually associated. Thus, marketing efforts in communicating the message should not be restricted only to the customers but to all the stakeholders. Marketing here is to be defined in a new way with a new meaning. According to Dr. Anand Shankar Raja M, Marketing in stakeholder’s communication is the process of sending the right message to the right person for striking the right business deal for dual benefit. In this research, I have come out with the very new model for Integrated Marketing Communication as per the latest trend and Expectations in the digital economy and the model is called the “Digital Integrated Marketing Communication Model” with reference to Coke-studio.

IMC Process

The below diagrammatic representation mentions the chronological process which has to be followed in IMC by the business firms where, level 1 gives importance to organizations objectives, stakeholders integrity and the core expectations. Level 2 gives importance to the “Synergy approach” which in simple means the process of working together. Level 3 mentions the complete loop of IMC where, the feedback can be used to modify and rectify the mistakes which will further improvise the firm’s decision making strategies. Here each level of execution communication plays a major role. The loop is closed when the feedback is considered for improvising the business strategies through better decision. It is a very simple model but when applied in practical business functioning will give positive outcomes in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Simple IMC Process

Integrated Marketing Communication Matters a lot for Coke Studio’s Success

Communicating the values with more clarity and being more informative becomes important for an entertainment platform like Coke-studio. The survival of Coke-studio is due to its fan base (Listeners/Consumers). These consumers seek variety because it is a common consumer mentality. There are no much campaigns or advertisements to promote coke-studio. Coke-studio in Pakistan has become famous because of its unique song variety, which has been popularized by young budding artists. In case of India Coke-studio is known by people but not preferred. This is because of the Indian population not being aware of such a musical platform called Coke-studio and the demographic factors. The demographics cannot be blamed all the time it is even due to the mundane music episodes by the Indian Coke-studio. YouTube comments can be used to perform a sentimental analysis to know about the expectations of the end listeners. The new market is all about usage of digital tools, Artificial Intelligence and marketing analytics to analyze the customer segments and provide the best as per their expectations. We have to introspect on why the marketers take so many efforts to popularize their marketing strategies to attract customers. Is it only to increase the profitability position of the firm? In addition, the answer to this question is No! It is much beyond that. For a longer run, importance has to be given to brand value. There are many strategies to enhance the brand value of a firm’s product or service but in this article, importance is given to “Co-branding”. Thus, the usage of Integrated Marketing Communication as a base to enhance the brand values in association of Co-branding strategies (Luxton et al., 2015) is the theme of this article. The theme is simple and clear but defining a unique model for the emerging market trend is unique and creative.

Why is this Model Unique?

In the changing business environment empowered by social media and technology there is always a need for new strategies to sustain in the cutthroat competition (Sisodia, 2010). Every Integrated Marketing Communication model Mihart, (2012), Kliatchko, (2008) and Yeshin, (2007b) in the marketing arena is outdated and cannot be used at present for the emerging digital market. Before framing the new Digital Integrated Marketing Communication model, it is important to know the traditional model being used until date. The evolution of the new concept and variables in IMC shade is important. The following content analysis will help to trace the new additions in the recent years. Bilal et al. (2013) says that IMC is important to enhance customer satisfaction, loyaltyand to enhance the profitability of a firm. Thus, the traditional way to enhance CS and CL was to provide the best Customer Experience (CX) (The Customer Experience : A Road Map for Improvement, 2011), (Verhoef et al., 2009), (Wecksell et al., 2003). These authors speak about the importance of transformative process where high customer experience is applicable when operations meet the customer expectations. Customer Experience is the latest IMC strategy in the evolution trace of the IMC concept says (Polonsky, 2006).

Customer Experience through the Digital Platform

In this process usage of technology and information are the two major important components. In the shade of Coke-studio a best experience can be created when the operations (Musical episode) meets the customers through the help of a technology “YouTube” or mobile applications which makes use of internet and makes it easy for the listeners. Thus, enhancing Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty through (CX) is applicable through technological platform. Customers have started to interact through various touchpoints using various channels and media (Lemon & Verhoef, 2016). Best customer experience has to be created by Coke-studio especially by making use of technology and touchpoints. Customer Experience is scarce (Gentile et al. 2007); it has to be tapped by the marketer through modern means. Not only the customer satisfaction and loyalty play an important role for any business firm, but also the usage of the feedback and comments for improvements. Customer experience is enhanced through technology and digital platform but are they given an opportunity to re-communicate their grievances? In addition, this question has not been answeredby the traditional IMC. Fundin & Bergman (2003) says that, with competition heating up in all the sectors, the feedback on customer experience, perception and expectations are becoming crucial, because the customers expect the best from the sellers and service providers. Various options are available to provide the consumers with a new digital experience such as Social Media Contest, SEO & Private blogging, Email automation, Landing pages, usage of banner and pop-up advertisement etc (Anand et al., 2018). Experience is not just product experience or service experience but even the experience in providing information and making them aware of the brand, features, product availability, service uniqueness etc. is an experience criteria. Coke-studio is capable of conducting new contest for the concerned target audience, which may keep them in joy, get the feel of being connected, which will somehow help Coke-studio to raise the audience base. Social media contest has always been very successful because branded social media campaign spreads wide message and creates additional touch points (Althuizen, 2008), opportunity to understand audience likes and dis-likes (Siddiqui & Singh, 2016) and enhances trust through effective and continuous communication (Hajli, 2013). Coke-studio can also establish its own blog pages, which attracts the youngsters to know more about the music concerts. Website establishment, posting the lyrics, musical notes, and details about the artists performing in various episodes will keep a great link with the audience community. Since we speak about the importance of social media, landing pages can be linked to it where Coke studio can use Click-Through Rates. This will also be useful to understand the new audience who are actually showing their enthusiasm to listen/view Coke-studio musical episodes.

Better Database Management to Analyze the Sentiments in IMC

Coke Studio, which has now become popular breaking geographical boundaries and inviting all nations through music (Collier, 2014; Shankar & M, 2019). It has received many feedback and comments on its musical journey, which is a can be used to analyze the expectations of the active listeners. Promotional strategies, continuous communication and advertisements also improve the brand value of a product, service or any entertainment. The field of communication is never constant; the spiral loop keeps changing from time to time creating new values. Based on the feedback large number of customers follow and will want to put them into the purchase action, which others are following in the normal marketing sense. This is called the bandwagon effect in consumerism. How is the bandwagon for Coke-studio increasing? How to know what other customers think about Coke-studio? The answer for these two questions is very simple. The customers look into the various feedback and comments posted in YouTube on various music episodes, which they come across. This is a platform to post their sentiments (Positive, negative or neutral). These feedback and comments have to be noticed by Coke-studio and based on the expression of various sentiments new strategies has to be framed and executed. Thus, the modern Integrated Marketing Communication should be one way but a dual way of recommunicating based on the received feedback and comments. Though feedback and comments may give a positive appeal to the viewers/readers/customers advertisements provide better cues to attract the customers. From the below chart, it is clear that, database management has to be shown as a separate component in the modern IMC as it renders several uses to the marketer. Creating a chamber of music (all the associated parties to Coke-studio) through properly managed contacts will help the Coke-studio to maintain close relationship with the prospective parties. Importance has also been given to sentimental analysis (analysing the sentiments of people by segregating the comments into positive, neutral and negative outcome). Sentimental analysis is a tool (qualitative tool) which is performed from the feedback being received. Thus, the loop in IMC is complete in Figure 2.

Figure 2 Sentimental Analysis

Digital Advertisements in the Integrated Marketing Communication

Various advertisement strategies have to be used in the IMC (Kareh, 2018), (Allen, 2017) to popularize coke-studio which will popularize the music episodes. Long gone are days when advertisements were only seen in television, heard in radio, and read in the newspapers and magazines. The present world moves towards digitalization and importance is given to web advertisements. Marketers use various modes of web advertisements such as social media advertisements, pop-up advertisements and banner advertisements to attract the customers (Standberry, 2019). For an entertainment series (Coke-studio musical episode) advertisements are needed otherwise, the reach would be less. The popularity of Coke-studio is stagnant in India and many people do not know about it. Recognition of the coke-studio as a brand becomes important through advertisements. Thus, Coke-studio can look forward to enhance the popularity of the musical series through effective mass advertisements. To be honest! If Coke-studio can make of proper advertisements this would be a good business (sister business) for coke which would fetch high profits. Though we speak about modern advertisements, Coke-studio has failed in simple means of advertisements such as Television advertisements, radio advertisements and print advertisements. The failure of Coke-studio may be because of advertisements too. Thus, the latest IMC model has to focus on digital and internet based advertisement. In case of Coke-studio dual advertisements can be used for various reasons.

The Application of IT in Enhancing the Role of Social Media & CRM in IMC

Application of Information Technology (Lucenko, 2012) for Coke-studio is much needed. The data captured from social Media platform YouTube can be well used by the Coke-studio to capture the feedback and comments and a database can be maintained. For that fan, base (Fan club, frequent listeners) extraordinary offers and schemes can be given by tracing their willingness. Thus, rethinking the business strategies and extending a better relationship with the end users is important. Customer Relationship Management becomes more focused through customer engagement (Ang, 2011). Thus, IMC has to have an extension towards CRM and database management. CRM & Information Technology can be used for various reasons. For example propensity modeling can be used to optimize the target customers; history of the customers can be traced to check the future usage, increase in customer response rate, and automate the service delivery, better sales/service pitch (Srivastava, 2012). Customer Interaction Metrics (Sigala, 2018), Application of behavioral psychology (Duncan et al., 2017), Social Media interaction and relationship management (Paliouras & Siakas, 2017), (Dutot, 2013) are all the various new applications of CRM to be an extension to the existing IMC model. Valos et al. (2017), says that social media has been widely used and hence there is a need to integrate social media factors with IMC. In this, light four important variables known as: Social Media Engagement, Social Media Agility, Social Media Reach and Social Media Listening have to be considered. In addition, the database structures help in maintaining customer contact, which enhances the CRM. It is clear that these factors will help the marketers not only to communicate but also to make a positive change in the loyalty factor. Moreover all these factors lead to “Loyalty Lead” (A & M, 2016) a new terminology given in this article. Thus, the application of Information Technology in (e-marketing) (Hamidi & Safabakhsh, 2011), (Trainor et al., 2014), (Reddick, 2011) is used for popularizing through social media and usage of Database management for better CRM.

Marketer Loyalty

According to Dr. Anand Shankar Raja M, The ultimate aim of any marketer is profit making but also to win the hearts of the consumers being loyal. Marketers Loyalty is equally important to Customer Loyalty. When a Customer is preferred, given importance, been provided with needed products/services/information the marketers are taking efforts to be loyal and this is called “marketer loyalty”. The marketer’s loyalty will satisfy the customer’s needs and wants and will lead to customer loyalty. In the absence of marketers, loyalty there is no Customer Loyalty. Thus, IMC should also focus on Marketers Loyalty (Expression of loyalty driven factors) in Figure 3.

Figure 3 Role of Social & CRM Data Base in the IMC Model

The concept of motivation in IMC is a triple layer cake

1. Framing strong strategies to achieve the outcome (Outcome objectives).

2. Instrumentality to achieve the objectives as per the framework.

3. To achieve the objectives through instrumentality efforts communication is needed to influence the customers (Motivating, influencing, convincing) the customers.

Expectancy is the length between efforts taken by an individual and the performance. In the context of consumer behaviour expectancy is the efforts taken by the customer to get involved in the purchase activity. In this research, there is no purchase activity but to get involved with the Coke-studio musical episodes. Coke-studio, though being in the open forum (YouTube) the management earns through an increase in the fan-base, subscriptions etc. Seeing Coke-studio musical episodes can be a desired action which can arise of own interest by an individual (Accidental Search), or through WOM or by the efforts taken by the marketer to popularize Coke-studio. Coke-studio under the parent of Coke has to take more effort to persuade the customers to make them last with Coke-studio for a longer span of time. YouTube has become a hub to display individual talents and hence many new private albums have become famous in the recent times fetching likes, subscriptions and views. Purchase desire can be a casual or it can be a forced one. Expectancy, desire and purchase action are simple terms but in the light of consumer behaviour the stimuli to get involved in the purchase action is understood through the efforts taken by the brands to interact with the consumer. There is a need for a strong IMC model where communication is not just bound with sending the message to the desired target audiences but to motivate/stimulate them to get involved in action. When there is a need to get involved in action there should be a change in behaviour. This change in behaviour can be due to various cues, which arises from various medium of communication. Emotional Cues and Cognitive cues which works in a unique combination to persuade the customers to be consumers. Though the efforts are seen from the consumer’s side considering the value for money, usage, post-purchase service, post-consumption satisfaction the initial efforts to stimulate the behaviour is the availability of the product. Identity should not be a closed one it should be in the open platform. Sellers of a product or service have to be motivated to ensure the information and availability of the product or service reaches the target customers. It is always on the debate platform about the motivational traits and in simple motivation should be a component of achievement for the marketers and the consumers. Motivation in consumer behaviour is a dual-layer cake where the first layer belongs to the marketer and the second layer belongs to the consumer. In reality, the dual-cake layer follows a top-down approach and to state this in a simple way we have to understand that the information about the product until and unless it reaches the consumers there is no sales. Thus, in the IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication), the seller plays a predominant role in communicating the product information. Long gone are days where Coke-studio was just an entertainment but at present, it is a real life platform for many to show their talents, sense of popularity is the base for Coke-studio. In the context of Red-ocean strategy, every institution has to be competing with other institutions with rival efforts. Coke-studio cannot get into the blue ocean, as it is not unique. Until and unless a new clause associated with a special cause is found to be unique and new, the remaining insurance policies may be under the same umbrella. However, there may be alternatives and substitutes in the market the usage and end purpose will remain the same. The (Valence) in the context of marketers is the profit value and wealth maximization to be the “Preference”. The expectancy is the outcome, which is the growth and sale. Expectancy is always a probability situation and this is true in case of entertainment industry because there are many alternatives available. In simple Coke-studio can work on three strategic mantra’s efforts/performance/ rewards which is shown in the below diagrammatic representation in Figure 4.

Figure 4 Marketer’s Motivation in the IMC Model

Marketer’s Motivation

A Motivational touch in Digital IMC Enhances Brand Values and Brand Success

Brand managers continually attempt to gain advantage over competitors and endeavour to achieve larger market shares and profits for the brands they manage. Advertising has very much become a part of our lives, with the market glutted with endless brands of products and huge product lines. Innovations and creativity are important to keep the customers happy. All these efforts have to be communicated effectively. Raja & Kumar, (2014), say that if there are steps taken to resolve the problem the retention of customer will be more and this will satisfy most of the customers increasing value of the service. New customers and the existing customer have to be informed now and then about the brands new efforts. Coke-studio is from Brazil but it has left its footprint in Pakistan by creating musical series, which holds an international franchise to feature and promote the artistic work of many singers, and instrument players across the world throughout the season with its amazing studio recorded music series. The best example can be the famous singer and vocalist Jaffer Zaidi from Pakistan who is known for his musical work such as Choti Khushiyaan, "Tere Pyar Mein" and album Gunkali (WikiVividly). Coco-cola officially introduced the Coke studio in the year 2008 in Pakistan, which has become very popular across the world with its own USP to create loyalty amongst all the connected parties and active listeners and viewers (WikiVividly). Following the success and welcoming amongst the Pakistani people with active Indian fans, the Coca-Cola Company and MTV India, officially began the Coke studio in India during the year 2011. An article by (Musings, 2010), says that the musical platform fuses Pakistan’s diverse musical influences and gives a lot of variety with a new taste to the active fans and followers such as eastern classical, folk, qawwali, bhangra, sufi and contemporary hip-hop, rock and pop. Much other community shares a musical culture who has migrated from the nearby places (countries) and who have settled in Pakistan in the later years and hence Coke-studio Pakistan is always on the expectation platform. Cohen, (2013) says that, North India shares a common thread with Pakistan and little is shared by nearby places such as Kashmir, Punjab as a few have migrated and have settled in Pakistan, thus it has to be understood that musical expectation has increased from India. Based on the expectations and demographic features Coke-studio in India had a variety of seasons for promoting musical series in the domain of Folk, Carnatic, Hindustani and contemporary hip hop, rock and pop music as per the expectations of various groups. However, the concept was created in Brazil, India with filled cultural aesthetics and cascade of various traditions has been very successful in adapting and accepting the coke studio culture. Most of the cars and I-Pods in India have a collection of coke studio songs in the jukebox. Each season features different musical artists and singers and gives importance to a cluster of language to promote linguistics. Coke studio website has the MP3 version of the songs being mastered in the coke studio concert and YouTube has been a powerful mechanism to take the show to the international level. There has been much controversy in comparing India with Pakistan in terms of music, but it has to be understood that, music is a common universal soul and it has to be enjoyed rather than looking into the domain from which it originated. Coke-studio and its success in India are not easy to digest because Indians do not have an easy mentality to accept new things until and unless it is very comfortable to them. It has to be understood that homogenized Bollywood and the harmed music scene in India is one of the reason for the success of coke-studio in India. Musical bands have become very popular amongst the talented youngsters in India, who also take the help of many experienced artists to make sure the band is comprised with traditional and modern artists to take the musical journey to the international level. Independent artists and bands across India have used YouTube to popularize their musical exploration and the next nearby achievement is to perform with coke-studio. India’s Bollywood monopoly denies aspiring young bands and hence Coke-studio has given a better platform for the musical exposure and successful experimentation. With regard to Pakistan, opportunity to budding musical artists is not monopoly and that is the main difference between Pakistan and India with regard to coke-studio exposure. Any artist with deserving appreciation is given prime importance in Pakistan and hence this is one reason for the better success of Coke-studio in Pakistan when compared with India. India has Bollywood, music shows/channels and has huge audience. Therefore, there were alternatives in India to the concept of Coke Studio. While Pakistan does not have too many music shows and so Coke Studio became primary show after its inception. Coke Studio is a huge hit and attracts most talented singers in Pakistan. The Pakistani singers and songs did not have audience in India and other countries and now they are discovering hidden talent in Pakistan. Rohail Hayatt created a very good music show that has been replicated in many countries. In 2008, First Pakistan’s Coke Studio was released Rohail hayyat produced things from scratch and made cokes studio at this incredible stage. After the success of Coke studio India started its own Coke studio in 2011 but they failed to produce that magic like Pakistan. There are now many coke studios like Arab Coke studio, Philippines Coke studio and Brazil Coke studio etc. Indian coke studio is still stuck in Bollywood theme, low lyrics, low music variations, average voices that is kind of Bollywood theme. Commerce and commercialization concept should not be used in art and music. Coke- studio Pakistan encourages a variety of musical experimentation for the success of the brand “Coke-studio Pakistan”. This fact has to be compared with the ideal term “brand perception and brand choice”. Coke-studio is a brand and the sub brand is Coke-studio Pakistan. For attracting the listeners and viewers, Coke-studio Pakistan has a variety of songs and musical series such as Qawwals, Balochi folk music, some great collaborations and unexpected combinations of vocalists. Since these available options are held high the brand CSP has perceived a greater commitment, has taken the responsibility to sustain in the leadership position, and enhances the quality of the musical series. Post experience of the musical zest has motivated the Pakistani fan followers to look forward for more variety and new musical series. The R and D mantra is always kept strong amongst the CSP. Understanding the standard business practice in the musical industry is very important because, the investment involved in promotion and other expense has to be retaken through innovative thinking and active implementation. Like how product sample is quite a popular technique in marketing, the same has to be used even for the success of a new musical series. A very successful implementation will lead to thirst creation amongst the listeners and leads to loyalty. Ramesh, (2016), in their case study have clearly stated that the success of Coke-studio is a major contribution of social media where Facebook, twitter, Instagram, YouTube have helped to spread the message across and to bring the international and local musicians together for a musical performance. Thus, giving importance to content marketing, Coke-studio has not been a one-way communication strategy it has been an open platform, which has also invited social media users and fan followers to express what they have felt on improvisation.

Brand Elements are Associated with Coke-Studio Success

Self-proclaimed obsessions for the upcoming musical artists in India, who are not bestowed with a musical chance in the Indian film industry, try to establish themselves through this well-established platform. After sailing through a couple of chances, which were un-successful, a few musical artists join and form their own band and give a fancy name, which is quite attractive. The brand taxonomy for brand name is actually applied here. Brand element is given importance where brand meaningfulness is accounted carefully to build awareness by being attractive. In-order to make the brand richer in visual and to induce in imagination certain names is associated with art of likability. To contribute to the brand equity across the geographical area and to have wide spread fan followers transferability is given importance without having any inherent meaning and this might even become legendary without any discrimination. The musical band makes sure to keep the viewers and fan followers updated by adding considerations to adaptability by making the name, logos and the characters to appear more modern and relevant.

Integrating Marketing Communication to Build Brand Equity

Although YouTube is good social media platform to popularise the brand awareness and the musical creativity of various musical artists, communication options play an important role in the marketing program to contribute to build the brand equity (Davis, 2010). All the musical artists of Coke-studio have their own well established like pages in Facebook on which the user community write comments and requests. The tweets from the musical artists on the next project create an enthuthiasim amongst the fan club. These social media platforms can also be sued to analyze the feedback through a sentimental analysis (Ram & M, 2019), which is very useful for the musical artists to rectify their mistakes and to perform better as per the expectations of the followers. Thus by getting involved in the persuasion process the artists look forward to give importance to six aspects such as exposure, attention, comprehension, yielding, intentions and behaviour. The below model explains how information processing model of communication works for Coke-studio.

Brand Value for Coke-Studio

The Coke-studio has been very successful in recent times and has created a good impression amongst the Indian community (Ravi, 2019; Amarnath, 2012). It has to be understood that it is all about the brand values, which the brand creates for itself. It is not just one element, which adds to the success of the Coke-studio (India), it is a series of various efforts taken by the brand to establish its uniqueness amongst a new heterogeneous community. Coke-studio in India has been performing a series of unique musical shows such as: (to name a few), Bichua - Sunidhi Chauhan, Mousam Gogoi giving importance to Hindi fusion, Vethalai - Kailash Kher, Chinna Ponnu a combination of Hindi and Tamil folk, Katyayini - Bombay Jayashri, Ustad Rashid Khan amazing Carnatic fusion. Thus, Coke-studio India has almost 4 dedicated seasons for a series of myriad musical series. International artists and bands are also a part of Coke-Musical studio India that energises the young musicians to perform their creativity and musical innovation.

Co-Branding with Coke-Studio

Any new brand, which is emerging in the market and get its association with an established brand through brand extension strategy and this concept is called the co-branding concept (Vavra, 1999), (Washburn et al., 2000) and is very well followed by new artists and their individual musical brand. It has to be understood that even a person can be branded and in that case there many musical artists who have their own unique identity. Their close community calls this concept brand alliance because, through the band brand, musical artists are not popular across the world in the initial days they were well aware and hence now they look for a brand alliance to establish their brand name with the well-established brand name in Figures 5 and 6.

Figure 5 Brand Based IMC for Coke-Studio Developed

Figure 6 IMC Model


Coke studio is an international brand, which has now become very popular amongst the Indian community. Coke-studio’s success is a long way since its inception in the country of Pakistan. Pakistan has a well organised and well talented musical portfolio, whereas in India the general talk and assumption is that, Bollywood has an influence on the musical series of Coke-studio and only a very few innovative songs or musical concerts are being performed. To certain extent, this is true because a few songs and music, which has been composed during the past long years, are now revamped into a new musical series and is being re-made to attract the Indian community. The brand name of Coke-studio is losing its charm every day. Coke-studio and YouTube are already in a mutual understanding enhancing the business of each other but still the brand value of Coke-studio is scattered. Coke-studio has to promote its musical episodes in a better way for which it has to understand the vision and mission of Coke-studio being established. If this is well understood then the execution process is very smooth. As shown in the model Coke-studio has to frame strong objectives, vision, mission, and work hard to satisfy the expectations of all the stakeholders. Moreover, there should be a lot of creativity, transparency with coke-studio. New musical journey series has to be established with young artists from various parts of the world highlighting their talents. Brand value and image has to be measured and most importantly, brand equity has to be calculated.


Concluding Remarks

Everyone hears music in a different way and there is no point in criticising a musical band or musical series. Each nation has its passion and its own uniqueness. Coke-studio musical series is a very good initiative to bring out the musical talents of many young artists across the world. Various models highlighted in this case let after detailed review is to highlight how Coke-studio can take its musical series to a better position. The concept of Coke-studio was new, unique, exhilarating & exciting to the Indian community and for the Pakistani Community. It is all about the musical lovers to accept the musical treat. Music is something, which has to be appreciated and cherished with memories. Let the musical journey be from any country and artists. It is all about humanity and the way we respect music. Music should not be seen in the eyes of Politics or should not be discriminated based on the demographic constructs. Music is a common thread, which connects all the human hearts. The paper has thrown light on some key important consideration for a business unit and service provider. It is not just attracting the new customers (hunting) but farming the existing customers and keeping them happy and loyal is the hardest achievement. Through this article the importance of communication has been explained considering the technology synergy with business to provide the customers e-experience and digital experience. The world is moving towards mass technology usage and hence the marketers cannot depend on the traditional IMC model and strategy which may not be suitable. Thus, a complete IMC model has been mapped with new variables. For coke-studio brand image, value, equity, loyalty is important for scaling the pinnacles of success and hence the IMC model for Coke-studio has to consider IBC (Integrated Brand Communication). More than marketing it is branding efforts which are needed to have a better reach.

Scope for Future Research

The future research can focus to construct a framework on Integrated Brand Communication (IBC), which will be a new framework in the domain of branding. Though the same model may be available, Digital IBC can be built with some new perspectives. Marketing communication for products are different from services based on the value attainment and other factors. Henceforth the future researchers can concentrate on IMC model for products and services and contrast both. IMC has to be tested by conducting an experiment among the sample respondents (Control group and experiment group) to check the outcome. This experiment can consider some important variables such as Cognitive engagement, Emotional engagement, post-purchase feelings because these factors are affected due to IMC efforts. Moreover this experiment can be conducted with various products and services. Example for insurance IMC model has to strong focussing on communicating the importance of future loss stimulating fear. For products like gold and gold jewellery, creating an emotional impact is important and hence IMC model has to concentrate on empathetic communication (Angayarkanni & Raja, 2015). Thus, based on the product and services the IMC objective has to be unique. In simple IMC has a lot of future scope to be explored in depth. There are vast literature reviews on IMC and hence the future researchers can trace the evolution of IMC through a Systematic Literature Review method (Bala et al., 2019).

Glossary and Operational Definition: Coined by the Author

Digital experience

Digital experience can be defined as a business synergy bounded with two important factors known as technology and customer experience which leverages the customers trust and enhances profitability position of the firm.

E-experience/Electronic experience

E-experience can be defined as the business efforts to provide the customers with state of art technology (ease of use/speed) to boost the shopping experience and morale.

Digital-Integrated Marketed Communication

DIMC can be defined as the business strategy bounded with four important variables known as: Corporate plan, Marketing plan, Branding plan and Societal Plan executed through technological support.


Integrated Marketing Communication is the strategic process of achieving the firm’s objectives through a motivational communication using various digital and non-digital platforms to persuade the end customers.


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