Christian Grönroos, Hanken School of Economics Finland
Åke Finne, Hanken School of Economics Finland

In spite of the exponentially growing opportunities to use customer-specific data for communication purposes, integrated marketing communication (IMC) is claimed to remain inside-out oriented and driven by the use of communication instruments. In this project the purpose is to study how IMC can be turned into a customer-driven, outside-in oriented concept. Communication is viewed as a service created by the customer as receiver of communication messages, which should render value-in-use of communication. The role of the marketer is to facilitate the customers’ (and other stakeholders’) message integration and sense-making process, in order to support the formation of valuable communication-in-use for them. One of the implications of the service logic approach taken is that branding is made a customer-driven process, where brands are not built by the marketer but emerges in the customers’ (and other stakeholders’) minds. This process takes place in the customers’ ecosystems and is facilitated by the marketer.


Finne, Åke and Grönroos, Christian (2016): Communication-in-use: Customer-integrated marketing communication. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 50 (forthcoming)

Finne, Åke and Grönroos, Christian (2009): Rethinking Marketing Communication: From Integrated Marketing Communication to Relationship Communication. Journal of Marketing Communication, Vol. 15, No. 2-3, pp. 179-195