Integrated marketing can seem like a buzz phrase casually tossed around by marketers a lot without being clearly defined. Despite the seeming ambiguity of the concept, integrated marketing is actually a widely accepted marketing strategy that can yield highly successful results when used correctly.
This article is intended to help those who are new to the practice of integrated marketing not only to understand it, but to grasp the details that need to be implemented if a company is going to run successful campaigns.
What is integrated marketing?
Integrated marketing refers to campaigns and strategies that focus on conveying their message through multiple, interdependent mediums. Some agencies create advertising campaigns and implement them through only one medium, such as direct mail or Twitter.
This can be very successful in reaching customers that happen to favor that particular medium. However, by choosing to promote its campaign through only one medium, a company limits itself to reaching only those potential customers that frequent that platform.
In contrast, other companies choose to promote their campaign over several mediums. This approach is called integrated marketing; when done correctly, it can be very successful, because it has the potential to reach a much larger pool of potential customers simultaneously.
How do companies implement good integrated marketing strategies?
Once people understand the essence of integrated marketing, they may wonder what a given firm must do to implement a strong integrated marketing campaign. The array of marketing mediums involved in such a campaign, from direct mail to social media sites, can make the process appear more complex than it actually is.
Successful users of integrated marketing organize their campaigns in four ways
1. Construct a narrative
Create a strong story about the product or brand and focus the campaign on that. Make sure it is communicated in such a way that customers will understand the story and identify with it.
2. Develop a strong message
Using the brand or product’s narrative as a framework, determine what specific message the narrative will be used to convey and make sure it’s developed in a way that will attract the interest of consumers.
3. Establish a way to interact with customers
The narrative and the message may attract customers to the brand or product, but in order to keep customers interested and integrated once they’ve understood the campaign story, you will need to respond to their probable desire to feel they can interact with the brand as well. Social media, direct mail and other methods of communication can all be used to make the customers feel like they are being heard.
4. Plan the direction the campaign will take
The campaign should remain fluid, with new elements being introduced on a regular basis in the form of contests, direct mail or other tactics. While these events should be planned to an extent, it is also important to welcome input from consumers and integrate their useful ideas into the overall strategy. This keeps them connected while also making customers feel as if they are themselves an integrated part of the brand.
Remember that the customer is always the focus
Though it is tempting just to develop an integrated marketing campaign and a calendar of events to follow within it, any firm that wants its campaign to be successful needs to keep things fluid. An integrated campaign that is inflexible may attract customers, but it will not keep them unless it is able to update itself in response to their input.
Whether a facet of the campaign involves direct mail or Twitter, it needs to keep customers interested. That will create a long-term relationship between the customer and the brand.