Today’s marketers are facing a fragmented challenge. With the influx of so many channels, products and markets, it is getting hard to pick which platform can work best for you. And from the consumer side, they are constantly getting desensitized by the exposure of ads everywhere.
So how can a company break through this noise?
How can a company engage with its customers without having to spend hundreds in direct marketing?
After all, not every business has the resources to spend that much on the audience. The best answer is with Integrated Marketing.
It is a strategy that reinforces all the promotion of messages with one another. Excited about how you can do it? Keep reading!
Why Integrated Marketing is Important to Any Business?
Integrated marketing is the key marketing element of the modern world because consumers are getting bombarded with countless advertising and now they want a more scalable approach. To best answer the definition, Integrated marketing is the process of merging all aspects of marketing.
This includes social media, PR influencing, advertising, automated direct mail marketing combined with using all sorts of channels, media, platforms, and tactics in a seamless-redefined way. In other words, it is a market that showcases your brand as consistent, integrated, memorable.
The term integrated marketing is not new, but it’s still very useful even if you use it today. Because there are more marketing channels available now, you can directly reach a targeted audience. A well-organized integrated marketing strategy can make your business pop out from the rest of the competition.
It will have the brand recognition of its own with one cohesive approach throughout all channels. Especially, today when customers are bombarded with so much information, integrated marketing relies on one simple message – regardless of what channel your consumer use.
How to Effectively Develop an Integrated Marketing Plan?
Now that we understand the basic definition and how it can be important for our business, let’s cover how you can effectively use it.
It is important to first understand that integrated marketing isn’t about one license that can be used on repeat on multiple channels. Modern campaigns should focus on different campaigns across multiple channels to target the wider industry. As for the marketing activities, the list includes the following:
- Digital Marketing
- Direct Mail Marketing
- Public Relations/Influence Marketing
- Corporate Communication
- Social Media
- Content Marketing
Each one of these activities has its integrated approach that should be fulfilled by the marketers.
Here are a few steps that can help you with your workflow:
1. Understanding the product and market
Businesses must first work on their product and improve its quality based on previously known suggestions and problems. Consumer attitudes play a key important role here along with your current market positioning and technological advancement. Working on the product first before switching to marketing can save you big time.
The next thing is to research the market. This includes searching for the right people for your product. Also, whether if they will buy this or not. And other cultural target marketing terms we all know and heard about.
In this phase, the marketing team follows a different approach to deliver a consistent message across all platforms. The message includes factors such as the product/service design, customer services, and experience.
Remember, the key feature of integrated marketing is “communication” so an integrated function is required for a unified force. Here’s how marketers can achieve this:
- No team should isolate their statistics/performance from one another. Everyone should know-how are things progressing
- Every task like launching a product, running a campaign, getting customer feedback, making internal changes should be discussed before implementation by each team member.
- Set goals should be achieved by each team
- The goals should be monitored and optimized at each stage
Now to help you best understand this, we’ll look at simple integrated marketing with direct mailing and digital campaigns.
One thing great about printed mails is that you can be more personalized about your consumer experience and they have an average household response rate of 5.1%. When you automate and integrate printed mails like postcards, brochures, etc., you can get a significant return on each hit with online digital marketing.
Direct mailing is tangible and when combined with digital marketing campaigns using QR codes or personalized URLs, is a good thing to get your customer retention.
Once an integrated marketing plan is implemented and published, it must be able to adapt to changes. There should be enough flexibility in the system so that every team member can more focus on customer behavior.
Sometimes, a centric trick is not suitable on all platforms. If that happens, you can immediately adjust and re-launch your campaign.
And finally, setting a feedback loop of your marketing activities. If your previous marketing campaign was a success, you can just copy/paste the requirement and launch a new one. Referring to the example we mentioned above, Apple found out years ago that their audience likes minimalistic UI and easy-to-follow features. From then, the company never really backed out and always followed what their audience mostly like.
Even if they have to introduce a feature, they let the devs work on it for months until it’s fully polished and optimized across all channels. This is what integrated marketing helps us achieve. Acentric approach, that will be always remembered by our audience.
Instead of relying on one marketing effort, an integrated approach follows a simultaneous, unified approach to the best use of multiple channels available across all businesses. It is an overall approach that can be modified as per business requirements and set motives. However, when done right, it can have a huge marketing stunt on your audience.