It seems like technology is advancing every day – and with that comes new and exciting ways of marketing to your customers. It’s not surprising that with words like integrated and omni-channel, it can become overwhelming when planning your marketing strategy. So what exactly is this mysterious integrated marketing? Is it the same as omni-channel marketing, and just how important is it for you and your business?
Integrated marketing – many channels make light work
Have you ever found yourself sitting on the train scrolling through your Facebook feed and you see an ad that’s very similar to one you saw on a billboard just two suburbs ago? That’s integrated marketing! It’s about taking advantage of multiple advertising channels to convey a consistent message about your brand, services or products. With new platforms for marketing constantly being introduced, it’d be an incredible burden on your marketing budget to organise separate campaigns for each. By unifying your marketing strategies, not only will you be saving time and money, your company will have a consistent message across all platforms. Hello brand recognition!
Further to this, integrated marketing includes a multi-dimensional approach across a wide range of communication strategies. From targeted advertising and PR campaigns to email marketing and social media.
So what about omni-channel marketing? Is it different to integrated marketing? In short – yes. Whilst both use multiple channels to promote a company, omni-channel marketing has a focus on customer experience, whilst integrated marketing is about delivering a consistent message. For example; a clothing store offering click and collect as a way to streamline a customer’s experience – that’s omni-channel marketing. A clothing store that has consistent branding across social media, TV campaigns and retail – that’s integrated marketing.
It’s worth mentioning that whilst having different focuses, omni-channel and integrated marketing should be… well, integrated. A consistent shopping experience across channels will bolster any multi-dimensional marketing strategy.
Improve your marketing performance whilst reducing costs? Why wouldn’t you opt for an integrated marketing strategy?
Picture a marketing strategy where one team organises the TV ad campaigns, another is focused on increasing organic traffic through social media and yet another team is responsible for email marketing. The teams never collaborate, share ideas or learn from one another’s mistakes. How likely do you think it is that a consumer’s going to connect all that noise with one brand? That’s not a hand I’d bet on. That’s a lot of time and resources spent on an incohesive marketing strategy that isn’t likely to bear much fruit.
Now think about a company slogan or branding that has stuck in your mind – I bet that company used that tagline across multiple marketing campaigns and a myriad of channels. They may have even taken the ‘follow the bouncing ball’ approach where one channel is reinforcing another. For example; An advertising campaign introduces the public to a new product or service, this is followed by targeted social media ads that provide interested consumers with further information, next comes email and telemarketing to close the deal.
By taking a multi-dimensional approach to your marketing campaigns, you’re reinforcing your message which is going to have a much more positive impact on your brand. Not only that, you’ll be saving money by focusing on one cohesive message, rather than designing and creating content for multiple campaigns.
Ariel said it best – “I want to be where the people are”
A company that shows up where their customers want them to be is far more likely to become a recognised and trusted brand. A marketing campaign can be as imaginative and clever as you like, but it’s not going to be successful if it’s driven through channels that only hit a small percentage of your target audience.
By projecting your message through multiple touchpoints, you’re going to connect with potential customers far more effectively than if you offered only one option. Imagine half of your existing or potential customers immediately delete emails coming from your company, however pay close attention to an SMS or Facebook ad. You’ll be shooting yourself in the proverbial foot if you don’t have an integrated marketing strategy.
Where to start
So you’re sold on the benefits of an integrated marketing strategy – but where to from here? These are some of the things to consider when kick-starting your multi-dimensional marketing campaign:
First things first – align your campaign goals with your brand
To begin a successful integrated marketing campaign, you need to ensure that all channels will be conveying the same message and that this message aligns to your brand’s values.
Choose your channels
Deciding which channels are likely to lend themselves to a successful campaign will depend on your campaign goals and target market. Identifying the buyer persona for each channel is vital in ensuring you’re hitting the mark.
Who’s the boss
It needs to be clear from the get-go who’s going to be in charge of aligning each channel with the broader campaign messaging. If there’s no one focussed on this – the integrated campaign won’t be so integrated
Assets that are fit for purpose
All campaign assets such as imagery, videos and copy need to be adaptable to each channel. Beginning your campaign with brand guidelines and assets will streamline this process
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to catapult your brand’s marketing strategy into the stratosphere. Partner with talented digital marketers like the team at Impressive to help kickstart your integrated marketing strategy.