In today’s globalized, digital world, firms strive to attract consumers and keep them engaged online, along with other stakeholders. To achieve this goal, organizations need to practice unified communication between all branded touch-points, which is the premise of omni-channel communications.

There is some way to go before firms fully implement the omni-channel approach, as it demands significant effort in terms of integrated communications to achieve truly personalized omni-channel content across apps, the Web, print, and so on.

Many firms are still operating from the phase that precedes multichannel communications, in which they seek to engage stakeholders by using multiple touch-points such as the Web, apps, social networking sites, email, and mass media. However, this approach presents a risk, in that it can give rise to a lack of consistency in the messages communicated by the firm due to the differing nature of the various channels used.

Other firms follow a cross-channel communications strategy, designed to ensure that stakeholders regard multiple touch-points as part of the same brand. But even though this conception of marketing communication seeks to unify the messages across different channels and thus also achieve a unified view of stakeholders for the firm, each channel nevertheless still operates as an independent silo. By contrast, an omni-channel communications strategy is designed to overcome such drawbacks, by positioning stakeholders at the heart of all communication efforts and enabling them to enjoy a seamless brand experience. This means firms must deliver an identical experience across all touch-points.

Therefore, the topic of CMC 2020 focuses on the challenges firms and organizations face in implementing a genuine omni-channel communications strategy. This theme goes a step further in addressing the issues examined in previous editions of the conference. It raises a number of relevant questions, such as:

  • How firms might make the shift from a multichannel or cross-channel communications strategy to omni-channel communications?
  • How consumer engagement and profitability are influenced by the diverse customer touch-points in an omni-channel environment?
  • How to create immersive consumer experiences; the role of mass media in an omni-channel environment?
  • How off- and online consumer–brand touch-points may enhance engagement and profitability?
  • Which is the role that integrated marketing communications (IMC) should play in an omni-channel context?
  • What is next for omni-channel IMC?

This conference will consider both theoretical and empirical papers, working papers and extended abstracts for review. In addition, ideas for special session proposals are welcomed. Successful authors will present their papers at the conference and all competitive papers accepted for the conference will be reviewed by the Editor for consideration to be submitted to the Journal of Marketing Communications (JMC) (Taylor & Francis Group).

Prizes will be awarded for the best competitive paper and for the best working paper as judged by a panel of experts. The best competitive paper will receive automatic acceptance by the Journal of Marketing Communications, subject to requested editorial revisions.

Furthermore, selected competitive papers, subjected to double-blind review process, will be considered for publication in the special issue of the Spanish Journal of Marketing-ESIC (SJM-ESIC) (Emerald Publishing).