Have you ever wondered why renowned brands keep running advertising campaigns even after they are well known for the products or services they offer?
Have you also noticed that these campaigns sometimes run across different marketing channels and with different yet similar promotional content?
Well, these brands do this to reinforce their brand image in the minds of their customers and target audience in general. This also helps establish them as a credible brand that people trust to buy from.
A combination of all these marketing efforts across different channels is what is referred to as integrated marketing. Running a digital marketing campaign that will have long-term effects must be done consistently over a period of time, across multiple channels and with different content forms. This is necessary in order to get and retain the attention of your target audience.
You have to take advantage of the various platforms and strategies available that resonate with your audience in order to get the results you’re looking for and this is where integrated marketing comes in.
What is Integrated Marketing?
Just like the name implies, integrated marketing is a process that involves joint marketing efforts focused on delivering a consistent brand experience to a target audience across multiple marketing channels.
Integrated marketing was born out of the realization that customers cannot be found on only one marketing communication channel or convinced to buy the product with one advertising campaign. Rather, they have to experience the brand at different intervals and on multiple channels to take action.
Integrated marketing campaigns cover different marketing tools and platforms while passing a consistent message so that customers get to experience the brand regardless of what channel they are on. An integrated marketing strategy helps you reach a larger audience using a variety of marketing tools.
However, it is important that the message you are trying to communicate with your audience is consistent across the different platforms. This reinforces the brand image in the mind of the audience and sets them on the path to patronizing your brand and staying loyal to it.
Elements of an Integrated Marketing Strategy
In integrated marketing, your strategies across different channels should be aligned to achieve the overall goal of your brand. Your strategies should be complementary and have measurable goals that would enable you to track your progress.
Although the content should be similar across different channels, it should be created to suit the different channels through which they are being promoted. You might also have to let go of some channels that have an experience of not being effective and focus on the more effective ones to save time and resources.
To have a successful integrated marketing strategy campaign, there are different elements to be considered:
- Target Audience
Your target audience is probably the most important element of your integrated marketing strategy. No matter how good your strategy is, it becomes a waste if it does not appeal to your audience or meet their needs. For this reason, it must always be audience focused.
Working with data gotten from customer reviews is a good way of ensuring your marketing strategy is effective and will drive higher patronage. This data should drive your decisions when choosing the message form or communication channel to use.
- Message Content
Every form of content involved in your campaign should be strategic and aligned to the overall objectives of your integrated marketing strategy. It should be search engine optimized to reach your target audience and also compelling so that they are encouraged to buy the product.
You must create a message that is unique, consistent across multiple channels and stands out in the mind of your audience. The visual and textual features of your campaign message should be consistent across all platforms and easily associated with your brand whenever your audience sees it.
- Social Media
Your marketing strategy should take into consideration the various social media platforms where your customers are most likely to be. Focusing marketing efforts on these platforms increases its effectiveness when your target audience views and engages with your content. A strong social media presence is a strategy your brand must utilize to get the necessary results.
The marketing channels through which you communicate your message are an important element in executing your integrated marketing strategy. Choosing your channels is an important phase in planning your marketing strategy.
Your channels could include online and traditional media. Channels could range from emails to billboards to social media platforms and even on buses. Your website is also a good channel that should be utilized. Having your website is like owning a slice of the internet; it is best to have it optimized to meet the needs of your audience.
Communication must be effective and consistent across your team regardless of how big or small the team is. Your team must have a cohesive communication process that keeps everyone on the same page. This will guide everyone on the next steps to take such as knowing where to put in more effort, pull back on or make necessary adjustments.
You have to make sure your content team knows which messages are producing results on one channel so that they can repeat on other channels.
An integrated marketing campaign is not a sprint race but a marathon that will yield results over time if done correctly. Integrated marketing helps you to achieve what an independent marketing strategy might not achieve as it gives you the opportunity to leave your mark on different channels at the same time.
It is also important to track your marketing strategy and measure your results to know if it is effective or not. You can click here to learn how to track your communication goals.