You’ve probably heard the phrase, Integrated Marketing (IM).
You’ve probably heard that it is one of the most effective marketing and branding strategies for businesses. You’ve probably wanted to know how you can use it to promote and grow your business. That’s great, but what exactly is IM?
Well, according to the American Association of Advertising Agencies it can be defined as, “an approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign through a well-coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other”.
In other words, when you’re advertising, marketing, public relations, promotions, and branding work together to achieve a common goal, it’s called an “Integrated Marketing System”. This results in a consistent, seamless, and multi-channel brand experience for the consumer.
However a full integrated marketing campaign can be far from cheap. Be prepared to pay a lot for a successful integrated marketing campaign. So, what do you do if you’re a small business owner and want to use IM to grow your business? Here’s what you need to know and understand BEFORE you create an IM strategy for your business, big or small…
1) Understand your product and market: Before you come up with an integrated marketing strategy, you need to delve into everything about your product and market. Ask yourself the tough questions like, who is my product for, what is the market size for my product, how does my product fulfil an existing need, and so on. Once you have these answers, it will help you create a successful integrated marketing strategy for the long-term.
2) Understand consumer attitudes towards your product: You need to thoroughly understand your consumer. Again, you need to ask whether your consumer is aspirational and if so, how. For example, does your customer aspire to a car, or maybe, a refrigerator? Also, what do you’re existing and potential consumers think about your product. How can you find and convert potential consumers into actual consumers of your product? Once you understand your consumer, you will be able to position your product and brand in a way that appeals to them.
3) Understand your competitor positioning: To use a cliché, you need to understand your closest competitors even better than you understand yourself. Study what your competitors are doing, especially if they are successful and learn from them. Don’t repeat their mistakes, but do try to understand their successes and failures. In this way, you can come up with an integrated marketing strategy that is true to yourself, your product and your company, and beats your competitors.
4) Understand the technological advancements in your industry segment / domain: Leveraging technological advancements in every industry segment are the name of the game. Keep abreast with the advances in your field and domain and craft an integrated marketing strategy that takes these advances into consideration. If you are in a rapidly changing industry, try to understand what’s going on not just locally, but also globally. Once you’ve done this, crafting an IM strategy will be easier and tailored to your business and domain.
5) Understand your brand, corporate culture and identity: Before you can create a successful integrated marketing strategy, you need to thoroughly understand what your brand stands for and where it’s going. You also need to understand your corporate culture and how it’s different from other similar businesses. And maybe most important of all, you need to have a clear corporate and brand identity.
So, you have it…Understand and follow these tips and you will have a great start at creating a successful Integrated Marketing program.
Here’s to creating an effective integrated strategy for your business and seeing it grow, by leaps and bounds.
If you’re a business owner, you can get the expert help you need to create an Integrated Marketing Strategy for your business, by clicking here: https://managed.intellasphere.com/
by Bruce Worrall, Sep-2-2016