Apple, Domino’s Pizza and Ikea have done it. Companies ranging from entertainment to computers have done it. Brands have been built and lost doing it.
So, what are we talking about? Why, Integrated Marketing, of course!
Lest the words “integrated marketing” seem a handful, let’s define what this really means in today’s business world. Integrated marketing is an approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign through a well-coordinated use of different digital marketing methods that are intended to reinforce each other.
In other words, Integrated Marketing is a marketing strategy that stresses the importance of a consistent, seamless multi-dimensional brand experience for the consumer. This means that each branding effort – across social channels, online advertising, content marketing television, radio, print, and in person – is presented in a similar style that reinforces the brand’s ultimate message.
So, who uses integrated marketing? Well, the world’s most successful businesses do. If you’re a company that targets specific audiences, seeks to increase brand awareness and brand recognition, advertises across multiple media, cares about the data analytics and accountability of your marketing campaigns, and advertises to consumers or other businesses, then you need integrated marketing!
So, what are the tips to keep in mind when using integrated marketing to grow your business and brand locally? Well, here goes…
- Define your target audience: This seems like a no-brainer for any business, but its importance cannot be stressed enough. It is very important to know your audience. You can use both demographic and psychographic methods to do so. For example, make sure that you ask the right questions: Who are your target audience? What do they aspire to? What do they read? Where do they shop? How do they communicate? What are they talking about on social media? The list goes on, but these questions and others need to be answered before you begin building your integrated marketing campaign.
- Be consistent: Consumers or businesses visiting your website or then, reading your e-newsletter or e-brochure should notice an overarching visual connection straightaway. Contrary to popular thought, it’s not just about your logo. It’s about an overall visual and marketing identity. It’s about having a common design, style of photography and graphics and common colors and fonts. You need to be consistent, so that these immediately resonate with your audience when they see your product.
- Choose your channels wisely: You don’t need to be everywhere all the time! You should choose the most effective channels for your target audience. You may need to segment your audience and then pick the channels. For example, one segment may be stay-at-home moms who read a certain magazine that tells them about great grocery buys. Or then, bikers, who prefer magazines about racing. Similarly, if you’re talking to Millennials, you may need to choose the Internet as your preferred channel.
- Create content that can fit different media or channels: Every piece of content that you create should be able to fit into different media. So, if you write a blog post or case study, you should be able to use it in as many places as possible. For example, take a case study and use it in your newsletter, or post an excerpt on LinkedIn, or then, use it to pitch a story idea to a publication.
- Ensure that you use integrated messaging in the right way: Your message should be able to drive traffic to your ultimate target. This could be a website to drive sales of products, or then, visits to a social network like Facebook and Twitter. You should also use the same keywords and phrases throughout your integrated marketing campaign.
- Ensure that different marketing members or teams are working in sync: With multiple marketing team members, teams or agencies working on different parts of an integrated marketing campaign, it’s important to ensure that all of them are on the same page and that the message behind the campaign is consistent across all channels and collaterals.
- Track your campaigns: This is last but not least on the list. You need to use analytics to track the success and other nuances of your integrated marketing campaigns. You should also track how coupons are being used to drive sales. This is something all businesses need to do, so that they can track the Return on Investment (ROI) of their integrated marketing campaigns.
So, does this sound complicated? Well, it really isn’t…Integrated marketing is here to stay and the more you use it in the right way, the more results you’ll achieve in building your brand locally, and also eventually, globally…Do factor in integrated marketing into your overall marketing strategy and reap the benefits….Here’s to successful brand building…always!
by Bruce Worrall, Jul-12-2016