There are more marketing channels than ever now. So although integrated marketing isn’t a new idea, it’s becoming more and more important that businesses work out how to send an integrated message. Put simply… you need to be operating from a single marketing perspective across your organisation.
What is meant by an ‘integrated marketing approach’?
Start-ups and small businesses often just have one person dealing with their marketing. That person knows the messages, the voice and the branding… intimately. But what happens when more than one individual or department gets involved? The messages, voice, and branding can splinter and begin to fragment if a business isn’t careful. Inconsistencies start to creep in. Departments get used to following their own thinking; and therein lies the path to disaster.
Taking an integrated approach means that the messages, voice, and branding pulls back together as one. Sounds simple, but it still needs doing.
Why is integrated marketing important now?
It’s always mattered, to be honest, but the digital world has injected steroids into marketing and it needs to be controlled. No longer can you count the number of channels to choose from on your fingers. Now it’s coming at you in different media, across different devices, via different means, every second of every day. Advertisers, marketers, social media platforms, business contacts, and even your friends. You may think you’re just B2B, but there are touchpoints everywhere.
But all that just makes it sound as though you should implement an integrated marketing approach purely to hold on to the coat tails of your competition. And that is not so. There are many ways a business can benefit by shifting stance.
How will you benefit from an integrated marketing approach?
You become more efficient
If you stick to a core set of messages, every piece of communication that goes out and every connection you have with an individual has increasing impact. And it’s in a cost effective way too. Just think… each time you create an image, eg. an infographic, it can be used across multiple channels without having to be reinvented for every instance. A piece of copy may only need a small amount of tweaking to be usable in multiple ways. And one digital marketing agency can manage all your channels for you without needing to be briefed each time. This will save you costs in fees, costs in time, and speed up the whole process of your marketing into the bargain.
Your brand is significantly strengthened
A consistent approach gives clarity and boosts your brand exponentially. Your audience will connect with your messages and their loyalty will grow because what they liked in the first place will be reinforced. Very soon, your customer base gets to know exactly what you stand for and that gives them comfort.
Repetition breeds results
It’s unlikely your audience took much notice of your brand the first time they came into contact with it. Probably not the second, third, or fourth times either. But if they receive the same messages each time they do hit a touch point, the more likely it will stick in their minds. When they finally come to making a buying decision, you will be there flagged as a consistent supplier. But this will only happen if you pursue an integrated approach across everything; blog articles, social media posts, advertising, and email marketing etc.
A final word
In essence, your marketing becomes very targeted. By having a clear idea of your messages, you can segment your audience and reach different groups specifically… always keeping the underlying sound bites consistent. You can address the needs of your target market and connect, engage, and inspire them… again and again… however, and whenever, they come across you.