Integrated marketing is a term that gets bandied around an awful lot these days, but what does it actually mean?
Most companies from small start-ups to larger multi-national organisations will use a variety of channels with which to communicate with their target market place. Often each of these channels are managed by different individuals, departments or even different agencies who work on campaigns and materials in isolation. The result…all the marketing materials end up looking slightly different and do not communicate a unified and consistent message. Ensuring that the same logo and corporate colours are used on marketing materials is NOT a consistent message!
Integrated marketing is about making a plan and creating a schedule to deliver specific marketing items in a co-ordinated time frame to drive customer engagement, generate leads and brand growth and reach an agreed end goal. From PPC advertising and social media through to email campaigns, press relations and the content on your website, the messaging should be consistent and each promotional activity reinforce and be linked with the others. In fact today, customers EXPECT the communications from their chosen brands to be integrated. Whatever the medium through which they interact with a brand, they expect it to be familiar and consistent.
Integrated marketing is becoming increasingly important in today’s world of mobile and 24/7 exposure to media. Every hour, of every day, people are bombarded with advertising and promotions so it’s only the most integrated and consistent brands that stand out as memorable.
But more and more in this age of social media, mobile phone apps and interactive technology, ‘integrated marketing’ is not just about integrating your own messages and communications but more importantly about integrating your customer and their preferences and views into the process. Consumers expect to be able to comment about a brand on social media and they research the web for testimonials and user reviews prior to purchasing a product. Marketing should be focused on defining customer priorities, preferences and needs and being able to respond to these across all stages of an increasingly dynamic customer journey.
To achieve truly integrated marketing, brands must listen to their customers, embrace the feedback and integrate it into their campaigns.
If you need help setting up an integrated marketing strategy, give us a call on 01189 759880 or contact us online.