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.