There’s more to integrated marketing than utilizing several different channels. It requires a consistent and coordinated response to provide a unified experience for your target audience. When harnessed correctly, this powerful approach will boost your results and exceed targets.
What Is Integrated Marketing?
Boundless describes integrated marketing communications (IMC) simply and succinctly:
“Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is an approach to creating a unified and seamless brand experience for consumers across channels.”
The danger with integrated marketing is that you end up with a scatter gun approach or a mass of separate messages being blasted across many different networks. An integrated strategy aims to provide a holistic approach, providing a consistent message and sharing it across carefully targeted channels.
Purpose And Audience
Integrated marketing is no different to other marketing techniques and requires a thorough understanding of your target market and clear, precise objectives.
If you haven’t taken steps to understand your customer base, now is the time to do this. Questionnaires and surveys work well, especially if you provide an incentive. Construct questions carefully to maximize the results.
At the beginning of each campaign set out what you’re attempting to achieve. Objectives need to be specific, rather than vague or general. They need to be set against a timeline, so you’re clear on when tactics will be implemented. While targets need to be realistic, there needs to be an element of pushing your brand to achieve growth. Monitor and measure everything carefully to analyze what has worked and what needs improvement. This will provide a solid basis for future campaigns.
Online And Offline
Though a significant amount of marketing takes place in the online space, offline marketing is still important and generates substantial results. Find ways of bringing online and offline together for the best outcomes. Online newsletters receive a better response rate when complemented with direct mailouts. And research has shown that promotional products provide a good return on investment. There are lots of ways to combine this with your online activities. For example, asking your tote bag supplier to print hashtags onto promotional bags may encourage recipients to photograph products and share them on Instagram or other social media channels. This increases the reach and exposes your brand to different audiences.
One of the most important elements of an integrated campaign is being consistent with your message. This doesn’t mean duplicating everything across all channels. Specific communications have to be tailored to different environments and styles of communication. However, your core message should be consistent, and it should be recognizable whether it’s on Facebook or printed in a flyer. Study how large organizations do this. What is it that links their TV ads, tube station ads, and social media posts?
Finally, integrated campaigns provide huge scope for uniqueness and creativity. They are a great way to push the boat out and do something special. Be brave and experiment. Find ways to meet customer needs and add value. Tap into the emotional connection. Innovation will grab your audience’s attention and create a buzz, ensuring the message is spread far and wide.