Integrated marketing is the holistic approach to communication in marketing.
It’s making sure that you are being consistent in your marketing both online and offline. Consistency is key in making sure that consumers understand your marketing message, the consistency in that message will lead to better results on getting them to take action and ultimately impact your return on your investment. Integrated marketing helps by optimizing the spend whether online or offline and will assist you in putting the right number of dollars towards the most effective approach that yields the best results.
In previous years, we looked at marketing in two segments — online and offline. Marketing is shifting and you will find the most optimum result by utilizing an integrated approach. Technology has required that shift with access to and the use of real-time data that we are able to collect. Consumer behavior has also shifted they expect more information and they are more concentrated on purchasing from companies that they have a relationship with even if that relationship only exists in the digital realm via social media.
Let me share an example with you:
A few years ago there was a billboard in the area — a man proposing to a woman. Truthfully, it wasn’t a real proposal, it was a jewelry store creating buzz which it did, and in my opinion, the campaign failed.
It failed because people would see the billboard and then go online searching for news on this “billboard proposal.”
Do you know what they found?
My personal website talking about the proposal — actually commenting on how I hope the young lady being proposed to saw it because we consumers have developed slight billboard blindness.
A few weeks later they posted another billboard — same location. The billboard read “This guy proposed on a billboard, regular men go to <name of jewelry store>.“
Ok, clever — kind of.
If the agency had created an integrated campaign, they could have taken this campaign much further — getting more bang for their buck and attracting, even more, exposure and visibility. The concept needed to add more to the user’s experience in my opinion. Perhaps an integrated campaign would have looked like this:
- Billboard with faux Proposal
- Blog or website optimized for search for this proposal, so when people searched they found a website sharing the faux story.
- The blog or website could have told the story of how they fell in love and perhaps even some include some online video.
- The website is used to create that user experience and drive the message home. Perhaps at the end of the story — an online commercial for that jewelry store appears discussing why regular men go to <name of jewelry store>. You engage the user, create some emotion and it sticks in their mind even longer.
Do you see how integrating your marketing message and using both online and offline tactics for a campaign can increase visibility, yet increase cost in a minimal way? Let’s say that the billboard costs $10,000 per month — you could have gained online traffic for a minimal cost, told a story and captured your market by increasing the user’s experience and visibility.
There is great value in an integrated campaign that uses both traditional (e.g. billboard) and non-traditional (e.g. social media) marketing channels. The different channels reinforce the message and will often strengthen the outcome by increasing the chances that a consumer will take action. The unified marketing approach delivers numerous benefits by increasing brand loyalty, cultivating consumer relationships and boosting profits by increasing sales. An integrated approach is something that consumers desire according to a report by the 4th Annual Consumer Insights Survey where 72% of consumers stated they wanted an integrated marketing approach
Integrated marketing puts the focus on ensuring that your messaging is consistent, regardless of the channel that is used as the vehicle to share the message.
That’s why integrated marketing is important.