What is Integrated Marketing?
It’s the end of September, and the weather is gradually cooling down from the usual 25-degree summer weather. You’re walking down the street after work and are about to cross the road to your bus stop. You then notice on the busy street corner a billboard that advertises the “PSL” (pumpkin spice latte).
Not thinking much of it at the moment you go home. You’re then on your phone on Instagram after dinner, that same night, only to notice your feed promoting the exact same “PSL” product. We all have likely experienced this sad adieu of summer.
This individual was likely experiencing the beginning of an integrated marketing campaign.
Integrated marketing is the process of creating a customer journey where multiple mediums are used to convey a specific message. Though digital marketing channels are known via social media and online advertising, integrating plans involves the offline aspects that are communicated through radio, television, print, PR and grassroots. This is similar to multichannel marketing, however, an integrated marketing campaign encompasses an overall message.
Your offline and online mediums are to maintain the brand look and feel throughout the entire campaign and work to support one another. The strategic use of different marketing channels affects the experience, interaction and sentiment one has with your brand as each medium is meant to serve as a point of contact.
With demographics in mind, the implementation of this “marketing mix” supports a brand's overall goal of reach and awareness. Just because someone sees your ad at a bus stop does not mean that they will see your ad on social media. Different strokes for different folks!
Why an Integrated Marketing Campaign?
There are some caveats for integrated marketing strategy. Some organizations simply do not want to pursue this due to lack of experience, expertise and creativity in implementing a strategy. Business silos play a huge factor and can get in the way as clashes of opinions are common within departments or teams.
The return however is much more fulfilling than it may seem. Not only does it increase brand visibility with its larger reach advantage but it’s also more worthwhile and easier to run than campaigns based on individual mediums.
72% of people surveyed in fact prefer an integrated marketing approach as this also creates a better relationship between the brand and audience.
There are many notable benefits when it comes to utilizing an integrated approach.
An integrated marketing campaign is meant to deliver one message through multiple mediums. When all mediums carry the same message there is a sense of cohesiveness. Similar to a puzzle, when the pieces are assembled an overall comprehensive image emerges. A focused campaign can support a marketing department as everyone is set out to achieve the same goals.
SEO & PPC
Search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) efforts are just as important. Keywords are a great way to measure online presence and if they're campaign-specific efficacy will be measurable. If similar campaigns were run prior knowing what to avoid is handy and testing for the next one becomes easier.
While PPC is a short term strategy it is quick to improve organic SEO traffic to a website. With that in mind a ton of benefits can come from SEO and PPC as its great way to connect keywords to content. Especially with brand mentions and potential backlinking that can increase authority on Google’s search rankings.
Recognition & Trust
Humans on average are exposed to an estimated 5,000 marketing messages throughout the day so brands need to stand out on their own and easily be recognized. An integrated marketing campaign allows organizations to increase awareness and build their brand image by mixing their personal branding elements with ones that suit and complement their campaign.
Organizations with strong branding will maintain specific recognizable elements that will enable a person to easily identify each time they encounter your brand. Thus contributing to an enhanced customer journey.
Trust will also contribute to awareness during the customer journey. Maintaining a consistent message throughout eliminates confusion. This allows for more trust as the audience will understand what it is you have to offer. Relationships will likely improve as 64% stated that their brand trust and loyalty comes from the values shared.
Cost & Revenue
With a specific goal to focus on the cost for integrating marketing remains relatively low. Content can be repurposed for every medium throughout, minimizing time and reducing the amount of bandwidth (people power) needed. This includes imagery, graphics, videos, audio, captions and copywriting.
Fans or superfans can help promote a campaign as well through their social channels while public relations (PR) can discuss and promote through their own media channels such as blogs or editorial publications.
The amount of exposure can support an organization's revenue stream because people are driven to familiarity. Your brand will be the first they think when they need a particular problem solved.
Best Integrated Marketing Strategies and Practices
Ok, so we know the what and why. Now we want to be mindful of the best practices needed before implementation.
Avoid Fragmentation and Silos
Make sure everyone in your marketing department is on board and has a clear understanding of business objectives and what is needed to achieve that.
Consider the Mediums
This involves your audience in relation to your channels because each medium has its own purpose along with its own demographics. Not everyone will have an instagram account and not everyone has access to a television. In fact some don’t have either!
Consider the User Journey
Contemplate how an audience will interact with your brand and what steps they would take, going from one medium to the next, before considering a conversion. Your branding elements will need to be consistent throughout so be mindful of the “little things”.
Elements such as themes and tonality from your current campaign should be noticeable on your website’s stand-alone landing pages and media, thus providing an easier and more efficient transition across webpages and content mediums.
The most important step of all. Knowing what the KPI’s are for each medium will help you determine your measurements for next year's campaign.
Now that you know how to focus the spotlight on your brand, it’s time to start working on getting the most out of your time in the limelight. Below you’ll find more details, advice, best practices, and how-to guides for creating, boosting, and improving your digital marketing and eCommerce initiatives:
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- Tool: Search Engine Optimization Planner
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- Article: 14 Must-Have eCommerce Marketing Features To Sell Online Courses
- Article: 4 Easy Marketing Tactics Your Business Needs To Boost Online Growth
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