With a constantly changing business landscape and the introduction of new marketing channels, our marketing strategies must evolve to accommodate these changes. And it’s not just about sharing content across different channels, though this is certainly part of it. It’s about understanding and responding to changing needs and behaviours. And it’s about utilising the many different aspects of marketing communication and bringing them together with a consistent message.
The Data and Marketing Association describes integrated marketing as:
‘an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a unified force.’
Understand Your Audience
Audience is, or should be, at the centre of any marketing campaign. Therefore you need to research your target market thoroughly. Be as specific as possible. Rather than identifying your core audience as women aged 22 to 50, think about their attitudes, interests, and behaviours. Where do they live? What are their hobbies? Typically what jobs do they do? What motivates them? What magazines do they read? Which social media channels do they use? When are they most active online? If you have a large target market, establishing marketing personas is a good idea.
Establish Clear Objectives
Before you begin, it is important to establish clear objectives to understand exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve. This refers to your wider marketing plan and specific campaigns. Objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound). So, if your goal is to establish your brand, outline exactly how you are going to achieve this, quantify, and state when it will be delivered and how you will measure it.
Select Your Channels
Integrated marketing does not equate to a scatter gun approach. This is where market research plays an important role. If your customers don’t use Snapchat, it’s pointless allocating funds and resources to this channel. Be specific. Find out exactly where your customers hang out and target those channels.
Don’t restrict your efforts to online channels only. The most effective campaigns incorporate several different approaches which include online and offline methods. Find smart ways to integrate online and offline. For example, through combining email newsletter campaigns with direct marketing. In a frequently digital world, research demonstrates that customers appreciated physical materials. They also state that printed marketing literature builds trust. Opt for an experienced and reputable print company such as Gh Cityprint.
The key aspect of an integrated marketing campaign is consistency. No matter which channels you’re using, which methods and tactics you’re utilising, your core message should be consistent. This includes visual identity as well as message. Create content that can be adapted and repurposed for different channels but which delivers the same consistent underlying message.
When reviewing your marketing plan and making updates for the year ahead, ensure your strategy is consistent and fully integrated.