Before the Internet became ubiquitous, advertising was fairly simple. Companies used the phone book as a primary means of advertising, and those who were more ambitious would turn to television and radio ads. Billboards sometimes played a role as well.
With the advent of the Internet, however, eaching customers transformed dramatically. In order to best handle this new complexity, many companies are turning to integrated marketing. Here is a basic outline of how a company might develop an integrated marketing plan.
One of the keys to integrated marketing is to establish a certain identity, more commonly referred to as a brand, in the minds of those who see or hear advertisements. A logo is crucial for establishing this identity, and a certain voice is necessary for branding purposes. A color theme might help bring different advertising elements together, and a visual motif might be useful as well. Before proceeding, it is important to establish this identity and to keep it consistent—many companies have fallen victim to rebranding errors.
2. Create the Graphics At Once
It is often best to hire professional graphic artist, but some people may be able to create their own advertising material. Try to create all the art that will be used in integrated marketing at the same time, to establish what you are trying to do up front. Further, try to stick with the same graphic artist; he or she will be able to reuse elements in different media. Remember that graphics will look different on television than they do on websites, and complex designs may fail to translate on TV. Try to make sure your graphic artist understands the nuances of creating images for different media.
3. Create a Source Script
With integrated marketing, you will want all your advertisements to have a cohesive message. The exact words used to convey this message, however, will differ depending on the medium used for advertising. To simplify this process, make a source script from which you will derive your scripts in different media. This source script should be written as simply as possible; those who create it will want to bear in mind that this source script will not be used without translating it for a particular medium. Armed with this script, it is fairly simple to create effective radio, television, newspaper, direct mail, and Internet advertisements.
4. Determine Which Media Will Be Emphasized
After creating graphical and text elements, determine whether you would like to primarily target a particular advertising medium. Today, many people want to prioritize the Internet, as Internet marketing is generally more affordable and flexible than other types of marketing. That said, integrated marketing relies on using different media to establish a brand name in customers’ minds, and it is essential that as many media are used as possible. While it may be tempting to divide a budget evenly across all media, some may be more effective than others. If possible, rely on previous analyses to determine if a particular advertising medium should be emphasized.
5. Track Progress
Integrated marketing should be approached in a flexible manner; you may want to change which media are emphasized at different points in time. While it can be difficult to track progress in some fields, try to get customer feedback to find out how they heard about your company. It should be noted, however, that integrated marketing can make this challenging; since the point of integrated marketing is to target potential customers with ads on different media, it may not be obvious which one compelled the customer to consider your business.