If your marketing efforts are at best lackluster, you may not be maximizing the potential of both old and new forms of marketing. Many would-be clients still prefer to learn about new opportunities via their TV sets. But meanwhile, just as many won’t jump on something unless they see it on YouTube or Instagram. This is the path of integrated marketing.
Therefore, the best marketers don’t choose one medium over another to get their point across. Instead, they use the principles of integrated marketing to get the most bang for their bucks.
What Is Integrated Marketing?
According to The Balance, integrated marketing is an approach to marketing that ensures that a particular marketing campaign extends throughout all media used in that campaign.
For example, an integrated marketing campaign will tell some version of the same marketing story on social media, digital video and audio, radio, TV, billboards, etc. This latter element is important. Integrated marketing campaigns don’t repeat the same story across each medium, only a version of it.
Who Uses Integrated Marketing?
In theory, any marketing director or professional can use integrated marketing if he or she uses more than one medium to market. However, in larger organizations, this can become tricky without someone in charge of project management, such as an art or marketing director. The reason being, there may be more than one person working on the campaign. The copywriter, the graphic designer, the illustrator, the photographer, etc. will all have to understand the overall message of the campaign.
Additionally, it should be noted that each media has its own strength. For example, Pinterest and Instagram really highlight visuals above all else. For these media, a photo or illustration or even a specific quote may be how the integrated marketing campaign manifests itself in these media. For text on a website, the copywriter will have more leeway to tell the whole story by comparison.
Therefore, it is important to have someone in charge of the campaign who understands how all of these disparate pieces will fit together once the campaign is rolled out. It is also important that the project manager understands audience behavior. For example, if an advertising company creates a billboard designed to get people’s attention in a large city, then it’s important for the project manager to know that these same people will go online to look for the campaign. Marketing managers who don’t do this drop the ball when it comes to customer engagement.
3 Ways in Which Integrated Marketing Can Help Your Business
- You’ll get more sales. According to an article on the Small Biz Trends website, Millennials will make 81% of their purchases in a traditional brick-and-mortar store. However, many of these same people, about 51%, will find the deals they’re looking for by scouring the newspaper.
- Your business will meet customers where they’re at. According to transmedia storytelling expert, Henry Jenkins, transmedia storytelling, which is an aspect of integrated marketing, gives people more than one entry point in a story. Each entry point is also slightly different. For the business owner, this really means knowing where their ideal clients like to hang out: Are these people Twitter fans? Or do they prefer a much more intimate experience like Facebook?
- You won’t lose your old-fashioned customers. For industries that span many generations, this can be an issue if the business owner favors new media like social media, blogs, etc. over more traditional types of media like TV or print advertising. Additionally, you’ll know how to reach each type of customer if you add a specific code to each media form. This type of coding works especially well if you’re running a coupon campaign. Each medium should get its own code, even if the ad itself is identical across all your media platforms.
4 Tips for Using Integrated Marketing at Its Best
- Make sure that you have a project or marketing manager in charge of your campaign (if it isn’t you). You need to have someone who at least understands the different types of media that exist in the marketplace. This knowledge should include an understanding of both traditional media forms like radio and TV, as well as new media forms like Instagram and blogging platforms. Additionally, this marketing professional should also understand how each media type constrains the message. This way, each medium can be used to its best extent.
- The best integrated marketing campaigns tell a story across formats. These stories provide different entry points to the story, like a point of convergence. Additionally, marketing managers should pay attention to both outbound and inbound aspects of marketing to have a well-rounded campaign.
- Don’t neglect your brick-and-mortar business. Chances are your customers, especially Millennials, will find you online, but purchase in person.
- Online and print coupons may entice your customers to come in a spend money with you. If you do include a coupon in an ad, make sure you code each ad. Basically, you can run a similar ad across all media. But each ad should have a media-specific code printed on it. For example, an ad you create for Twitter can had the code 1A. The one you create for the newspaper can have the code 1B. Coding your ads tells you where your traffic is coming from. This is an important factor in integrated marketing.
Wrapping Them Up
Nowadays, marketing managers have more options than ever to attract new customers. This is, of course, if they use a comprehensive integrated marketing campaign. These campaigns take the best elements of all marketing media and combine them into a cohesive whole. They also meet potential customers where they’re at. That is to say that these savvy marketers find out where their ideal customers hang out on social media and they ad specific to these media. They take the same approach with their offline clients as well.
What kinds of integrated marketing campaigns have you undertaken? Were they successful? Leave your comments below.
The images are from depositphotos.com.