Hitting that moving target: what is integrated marketing?

Posted by Penquin on April 27, 2017 at 8:00 PM
What is integrated marketing .jpgAn integrated marketing strategy communicates your messages over different platforms in a carefully chosen, customer-facing way and cuts through the clutter to entice and engage consumers.

The field - and future - of marketing is changing rapidly as businesses and marketers strive to create brands that people know and trust. For stronger brand awareness and equity, it’s vital to employ an integrated marketing strategy that communicates your messages over different platforms in a carefully chosen, customer-facing way.

As digital platforms continue to grow and evolve, it can be overwhelming to sort through the marketing options to find the perfect mix that works for your brand. Social media, email marketing, search engine optimisation, content marketing, as well as traditional marketing approaches, all offer channels to reach your customer, but unless an integrated campaign is created that brings these tactics together seamlessly, your message can get lost in the clutter.

 

The bottom line matters and for brands this means generating tangible results from a marketing campaign. There are a few steps that your business can follow to get maximum ROI from your marketing and advertising campaigns:

The importance of research

Knowing your audience is the foundation of an integrated marketing strategy. You need to identify who your audience is: their buying habits, their interests, the way that they consume media and how they use your product or service.

Put a face to your customer

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers, and can be used to create a virtual map that charts out how your customer interacts with your brand at various touchpoints. Buyer personas are built from research generated by talking to customers about their experiences, as well as surveying and interviewing your sales and marketing team.

 

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Make sure your strategy is solid

Different media channels are more effective in different stages of the buyer’s journey. Likewise, different media platforms are more effective for reaching different audiences. Once you have determined who your two to three most important buyer personas are, the next step is formulating a strategy to reach these personas at various stages of their buyer’s journey. Your strategy will need to address how to reach the personas, the most appropriate channels to communicate with them and the messages that need to be delivered. To be effective, your strategy needs to incorporate SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based) goals.

Consistency is the key to success

To generate trust and establish rapport with your customers, you must keep your messages clear and consistent through every point of contact with your business, from marketing to billing. Many businesses fail to achieve the growth they desire is because they lack consistency in their brand’s messaging. Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, authors of The Three Elements of a Strong Corporate Identity, write: “The problem is one of incoherence: In their run for growth, companies often wind up serving so many different customer segments and so many different needs with disconnected product groups, capabilities, and strategies that it’s impossible to define what the company is really about. And although such companies may be OK at many things or may have been great at a point in their growth, their lack of focus creates a struggle to be truly excellent at anything in the long run”.

Don’t try and be all things to all people

Although you want to reach as many prospects as possible, you do not need to market on all channels, especially if your customers are only using specific channels. Identify the ones most relevant to your customer and develop your strategy around these.

Look inwards as well as outwards

All your employees - no matter which department they’re from - must be engaged in the marketing campaign prior to its start. Keep your team motivated and allow them to voice their opinions through every marketing campaign to create buy-in. This makes the marketing and communication process much easier and ensures that customers get a consistent experience when they interact with your employees for whatever reason.

Measure what matters

You can only get feedback around what works if there is some measurable conversion metric in place for every aspect of the marketing campaign: for example, sales, number of emails sent or amount of phone calls made. This will change depending on each campaign and its desired outcome, but these are some of the metrics that can help you keep track of the effectiveness of a campaign:

  • Revenue: How much money/profit did your campaign make? Track this all the way to the sales funnel
  • ROI: How much did you spend relative to the revenue earned?
  • Conversions: How many people responded to a call-to-action?

This information will help you track the effectiveness of a marketing campaign and how best to spend your marketing budget.

A flawlessly-executed integrated marketing strategy is difficult to develop and requires expertise, creativity, and experience. Working with the right partners who understand what it takes to craft a powerful campaign can make all the difference.

 

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Topics: Strategy

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