INTEGRATED MARKETING: Definition, Uses, & Examples

INTEGRATED MARKETING
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Today’s marketing landscape is complex and fragmented. People aren’t paying attention to ads as much as they used to because there are so many different markets, channels, and products. So, how do companies, especially brands that sell directly to consumers (D2C), stand out? How can they bring in new customers and save time and money at the same time? Not every business has the money to spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on multiple marketing channels to reach their target audience, after all. However, integrated marketing communication is the way to do it. So let’s talk more about what integrated marketing campaigns are, and why it’s good for your business.

What Is Integrated Marketing?

Integrated marketing is a way to make sure that all of your brand’s marketing channels send the same message. It gives customers the same experience no matter how they choose to interact with a company.

If you don’t have an integrated marketing plan, you might send mixed messages or talk in a disconnected way. Customers may see this as a sign that your brand isn’t well put together.

For example, a customer should have the same experience and message whether they are viewing marketing content on a desktop or a mobile device. Also, a customer who asks questions on your website through an automated chatbot should get the same service as a customer who calls and talks to a real salesperson.

Because digital marketing channels are so complicated, integrated marketing usually doesn’t happen without careful planning and work. But the money spent is well worth it.

Why Use an Integrated Marketing Strategy?

A well-integrated marketing strategy gives you a number of benefits that can help your marketing work be more successful.

#1. Create a Consistent Narrative

We see more than 350 ads a day, but only about a third of them catch our attention for more than a few seconds. Few people will remember these ads even a day later.

One way to make sure that your ads and other marketing materials leave a lasting impression is to put them all together into a single story that can be told in different ways.

Customers are more likely to remember a billboard ad if it reminds them of an ad they saw on their favorite website. They’ll be even more likely to interact with ads that remind them of recent social media interactions with your brand.

#2. Improve Marketing Campaign Performance

Integrated marketing means that your brand’s story is more consistent, which makes your campaign do better as a whole.

Companies with the best marketing results are 1.5 times more likely to have an integrated technology solution in place that helps them tell the same story across all of their channels.

#3. Reduce Costs and Increase Value

Integrating your marketing channels can also save you money because you can use the same marketing content on different channels. For example, if your brand has a mascot, you can use pictures and videos of the mascot in both online and offline marketing.

You can also synchronize your message by giving the same talking points to sales reps in different places or at different events. Practices like these are not only more effective because they are consistent with the story, but they also help you save money.

#4. Create a Better Customer Experience

Integrated marketing plans help more than just the marketers who use them. Customers will also like how a unified brand story gives them a sense of stability and predictability.

They will find it easier to understand what you do and how you can help them if they already know you. In this way, integrated marketing and omnichannel marketing go hand in hand as ways to give customers the best experiences.

How to Create an Integrated Marketing Strategy

If you want to get the best results from your integrated marketing strategy, follow these tips.

#1. Combine Your Marketing Channels

There are many ways to connect your marketing channels. Some common ways to do things could be:

  • Putting the same visual elements to work in different ways.
  • Use the same words when you talk about your brand.
  • Using more than one method in a marketing campaign, such as combining TV ads with social media.

Choose the marketing methods that make the most sense for your goals and resources. If some of your channels are visual, like web and TV commercials, it will be harder to have everything seem the same.

Also, if some channels are interactive and others are only outbound, you should choose marketing content and strategies that work for each. When you combine marketing channels, you should also think about which stages of the buying cycle are being strengthened.

If your campaigns are aimed at getting leads at the top of the funnel, it will be most important to send a consistent message about the value of your brand and the types of solutions you offer.

Middle-funnel resources may address typical sales objections across channels. You may deliver the same message to brand-aware people who need to convert.

#2. Collect and Analyze Customer Data

Your integrated marketing plan should be based on data about how your customers act and should be updated as new data comes in. By gathering and analyzing data from all of your marketing channels, you can figure out which ones work best.

This will assist you to determine where to invest more money to clarify your communications. If one channel’s data isn’t as good as others, its messages may not be as consistent.

Depending on your business and the marketing channels you use, the KPIs you use to collect and analyze data will be different. Here are some important facts to keep in mind:

  • Exposure. How many prospects do marketing resources reach through each channel?
  • Engagement. How many prospects actively use each channel’s resources?
  • Repeat engagement. How often does the same prospect use a resource again after seeing it for the first time? Do the same conversations happen on different channels or on the same one?
  • Peak engagement periods. What times of day, days of the week, or times of the year do different channels see the most engagement?
  • The buyer’s journey. How do different types of buyers vary in how engaged they are? Are new leads talking to you more than buyers who are further along in the sales funnel?

Before you start a campaign, it can be hard to know which marketing strategies will work best for integrated marketing, so test your content ahead of time.

Some brands of marketing technology let you do A/B testing, where you can send different versions of your content to see which ones work best. For example, you can test images, colors, or product offers to see which ones get the most attention from your audience.

#3. Lean Into Inter-Department Expertise

Integrated marketing uses a lot of different resources and platforms, so it’s important to involve other parts of your business. Your marketing and sales teams are a natural choice here since they play a big role in figuring out how to carry out your integrated plan. It’s important to make sure they’re all on the same page.

Also, think bigger. Why not use your software development team as an example? They might be able to tell you what kinds of digital marketing tools you can make in the future.

Coordinating with many different people will give you a bigger picture of how you can better meet the needs of more of your customers.

Examples of Successful Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Let’s consider some top examples of integrated marketing campaigns.

#1. Coca-Cola’s 2014 “Share a Coke” Campaign

The “Share a Coke” campaign that Coke ran in 2014 is one of the most well-known examples of successful integrated marketing. The Coke bottles were the center of the campaign. Coca-Cola took off its famous logo from the 20-ounce bottle and put 250 well-known names there instead. Then, people were told to look for their names or the names of their friends on Coke bottles and post about it on social media.

The #shareacoke hashtag for the campaign went viral. During the first year of the campaign, Coca-Cola customers posted more than 500,000 photos with the hashtag #shareacoke. Furthermore, Coca-Cola also got about 25 million more people to follow them on Facebook. I think the campaign to be Coca-most Cola’s most successful one ever.

#2. Apple’s In-Store Experience

They always name Apple as one of the best brands in the world. Furthermore, Apple stores are easy to distinguish because they look like their products and website.

Apple wants to make sure that users have the same experience at every step of their journey. Also, the company’s products, ads, and even stores all have a similar look and feel that makes them easy to spot. This helps people remember the brand and recognize it.

#3. Old Spice’s 2010 “Smell Like a Man” Campaign

This well-known campaign started with Isaiah Mustafa as the now-famous Old Spice Man in a TV commercial. As the Old Spice Man YouTube videos gained popularity, the company developed more TV advertising.

People started to tweet at Old Spice Man, and he answered their questions and comments right away. His answers, which were always filmed from the same shower set, kept getting more and more people interested.

The campaign was a huge success. In the first three months, sales of Old Spice products went up by 55%. Because the campaign was interactive, it lasted for a very long time. In the fourth month of the Old Spice campaign, sales jumped by 107%.

Examples of Counter Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Not all campaigns use integrated marketing work. Even the most successful companies have campaigns that don’t work. Here are a few examples of integrated marketing campaigns that didn’t work in recent years, along with what you can learn from their mistakes.

#1. Walkers’ 2017 Selfie Campaign

Walkers is a British company that makes snacks. Their potato chips are very popular in the UK. In 2017, Walkers started the Walkers Wave, a social media campaign. As part of a contest, the company asked people to post selfies with the hashtag #walkerswave. In fact, the winner would get tickets to the final game of the popular soccer tournament in the UK, the UEFA Champions League.

It sounded like a good plan. But when people found out that Walker’s wasn’t keeping an eye on the entries, they sent in a lot of fake ones using the #walkerswave hashtag. The integrated marketing campaigns quickly went in a different direction than what was planned.

Walkers called off the campaign and apologized to the public. Social media engagement is important, but you also need to keep a close eye on what’s going on at all stages of your campaigns.

#2. The Department of Education’s Twitter typos

Even the Education Department of the United States has to sell itself. In 2018, the Department of Education’s Twitter feed got a lot of attention because it sent out a few tweets with spelling mistakes.

First, the Department of Education tweeted a quote from the civil rights hero W.E.B. Dubois that was meant to be a source of inspiration. There was a misspelled word in the tweet.

Later, the department sent out an apology tweet, but the word “apology” was misspelled.

When you are trying to sell yourself, the details are important. Always double-check and triple-check everything you make. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or coworker to look over what you’ve written.

#3. U2 and Apple’s Mandatory Download

Apple has had a lot of success putting together music and technology. But in 2014, the company automatically added Songs of Innocence, U2’s most recent album, to their users’ music libraries. People who used Apple were upset, and the whole thing made people doubt the company.

Because of social media, word quickly got around about the forced download. People came to think that the company made a rare marketing mistake with this event.

Apple’s mistake is a good reminder to keep in mind that customers have the right to choose. There is a thin line between personalized marketing and making people feel like companies are forcing their products on them. Therefore, asking other people what they think is a great way to make sure you’re not going too far or forcing something on your audience.

Integrated Marketing Communication

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is the process of combining marketing communication elements like public relations, social media, audience analytics, business development principles, and advertising into a brand identity that stays the same across different media channels. It lets businesses and organizations in the public and private sectors give customers an engaging and smooth experience with a product or service, as well as improve their image and relationships with stakeholders. Professionals with experience in integrated marketing communication may be able to find work in many areas of marketing and communications, such as social media marketing, digital media, journalism, market research and consulting, public relations, non-profit and government, entertainment, television, radio, and other related fields.

Integrated marketing communication is a field that combines practices from both old and new media. Integrated marketing communication, as the name suggests, is a marketing strategy that looks at marketing strategy in the bigger picture of an organization’s goals and needs for business growth and maintenance. That is, instead of having separate teams or efforts for marketing, advertising, public relations, social media, and consumer/audience analytics within an organization, integrated marketing communication encourages these disciplines to work together to make a more powerful and coordinated approach.

Using IMC theories and strategies, marketing specialists, public relations directors, brand managers, digital media associates, social media marketers, and other media professionals can create, execute, and track multi-channel advertising and communication messages that target and influence specific audiences. IMC can be seen in internet display ads, business blogs, SEO, newspaper editorials, outdoor billboards, and magazine ads.

Why Go for Integrated Marketing Campaigns?

You might think your marketing plan is the best in the world, but if most people only see it once, they will quickly forget about it and move on with their lives.

If you want your message to have a longer-lasting effect, you need to combine it with other ideas and drive it home on more than one platform.

It is very important to have different integrated marketing campaign plans that focus on a key theme across all media. This is why it’s so important to have the same message across all mediums.

FAQs

What are the 5 forms of integrated marketing communications?

Integrated marketing communication forms are advertising, direct marketing, internet marketing, product promotion, and public relations.

What are integration strategies?

Integration strategies are ways for businesses to improve their competitiveness, efficiency, or market share by spreading their influence into new areas.

What is integration business?

Business integration is a strategy whose goal is to match the goals and cultures of IT and business, as well as to make sure that technology is in line with business strategy and goals.

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