What is Integrated Marketing? How to build a powerful campaign?

Due to Philip Kotler, in his book Marketing Management (2014), today companies must integrate communications tools to present to existing and potential customers, because individual communication has not been successful for a long time.

That’s totally true. According to Kantar, integrated and customized campaigns are 57% more efficient than non-integrated ones. So, is there a term for this strategy? Yes, we have. It’s integrated marketing. What is integrated marketing? Why is it so important for every brand at the moment? Let us walk you through this interesting marketing approach in this article.

Table of contents

What is integrated marketing?

“Integrated Marketing combines both outbound, traditional marketing with inbound marketing and other tactics to promote accelerated success in businesses,” says Mark Schmukler, the CEO and Co-founder of the Sagefrog Marketing Group

Integrated marketing is a marketing approach, in which marketers place customers as the center of their whole campaign and attempt to deliver a consistent message to customers through marketing channels’s synergy.

Integrated marketing strives for a consistent message
Integrated marketing strives for a consistent message

Let’s say you come across a poster showing a campaign of a local organic food brand while browsing around a supermarket. Coincedently, you are a fan of organic products and decide to scan the QR code imprinted on the banner to visit the online store. Right after landing on the store, you see exactly the campaign shown on the supermarket’s banner. - This is an practice of integrated marketing, in which every touch point of customers with a brand deliver the same message.

About its origin, integrated marketing is a concept of marketing communications (marcom), which is a combination of tools allowing marketers to deliver messages or interact with prospects in order to affect their purchase behaviors. So, there are many marketing channels, and customers often hop from one to another channels. Also, do you know that each of us gets bombarded with more than 1,700 banner ads per month? And, who knows how many ads can we remember among them.

Therefore, integrated marketing was introduced with the idea of increasing the chance that one customer could notice your brand through the brand message’ repetition.

To summary, you can think of integrated marketing as this formula: Repetition + Channels (customer journey) = Result

How to build an Integrated Marketing campaign: Step by Step

Define your goal

A goal helps you to clarify what your business desires to achieve, focus your marketing tactics on the purpose and avoid going around in circles. When setting a goal for your integrated marketing campaign (e.g., get in front of customers, broadcast a new message, or increase sales), remember to make it SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely).

Choose appropriate channels

After defining your goal, it’s possible to have a clearer idea of which channels through which you will deliver your brand message. For example, if your goal is to increase sales as soon as possible for the sales campaign, you may not necessarily do PR. On the other hand, if you are rolling out a new product line, using influencer marketing might help you to get your new product to approach the targeted audiences more easily.

Choose the suitable marketing channels
Choose the suitable marketing channels

Create detailed customer personas

This step parallel with customer segmentation step, which allows you to deliver precisely messages and avoid wasted coverage on people who fall out of the segment. With integrated marketing, it’s necessary to specify audiences for each channel because each marketing channel targets a specific buyer persona.

Although there will be overlaps, it’s important to intuitively know how to best reach and speak to different groups of audiences on each channel and how you can craft those specific assets to be successful.
These are steps you will need to take to create buyer personas that actually want to buy from you:

  • Carry out audiences researches (learn who already buyed from you to find out a group of potential buyers)
  • Find out their paint points (you can try engaging in social listening)
  • Identify their goals
  • Understand how your products/services can help them
  • Convert your researches into buyer personas

Once you complete humanizing your customer groups, you can now tailor your content to talk to them effectively.

Decide the person in charge of each channel

At this point, you have already determined who you are going to persuade and in which channels you got the touchpoints, then your next step should be choose the manager for each channel. Why should you do that? The first reason is, through this step, you can choose an expert in one channel and let them in the driving seat. The second reason is that putting someone on charge of many channels may be overwhelming and cause possible disruptions. Ideally, with one person - let it be one or two channels.

Create content with its repurposing

Now that your integrated marketing plan has been loaded for around 80%, it’s time to rock your creativity! This is the part that copywriting and design come into play! In integrated marketing, you should keep in mind that you could repurpose your content to be used on different channels.

Integrated marketing allows you to repurpose your content
Integrated marketing allows you to repurpose your content

Let’s say the emphasis of your campaign is a short video with demonstrable customers reviews about how your products have helped them with their lives. You then could repurpose this video into:

  • A trailer video on your homepage’s banner
  • An instagram post with still images
  • A facebook ad
  • A blog post
  • An email Also, as you develop your content, always remember to keep them aligned with your brand guidelines. The focus of integrated marketing lies in consistency.

Run and measure your campaign

Everything’s in place! Now you can launch your campaign. And don’t forget to track your metrics each period of time to evaluate your performance. As we all know that there are many factors around our business that are changing every minute, on the one hand, we cannot project the future, on the other hand, while you can keep track of your progress, when the difficult situation comes, you can manage to overcome it!

Integrated Marketing communication channels

As mentioned previously, integrated marketing is a combination of different marketing channels, therefore, you are free to pick out the channels that work for your purpose.
Learn more: What is Integrated Marketing Communication?

Advertising

Advertising is creating content around your brand to promote a specific product, campaign or service. It will always be a part of your marketing strategy as it breaks through the clutter and noise of everyday life and sticks out for their attention. There are several types of advertising accommodating your business goal: display ads (search engines, social media); outdoor advertising; radio, TV & podcasts; direct mail & personal sales; magazines & newspapers, etc.

To choose the effective ads types, you have to diligently examine your target audiences and know exactly where they frequently go (online and offline), what they want to hear and see. Only when you truly understand your customers, you can tailor messages related to their lives.

Public relations

Public relations, purely means its name, aims at creating trust form audiences, brand awareness and reputation. While PR is used in different sectors including politics, finance, environment, health, it is also largely used in business. If you haven’t known how to apply PR into your e-commerce store, just learn about influencer marketing - this is a practice of PR with the umbrella term of product public relations.

Influencers can have several impacts on customer purchasing behaviors
Influencers can have several impacts on customer purchasing behaviors

Beside influencer marketing, there is one more resource that you can work with to expand your brand awareness, it is the media. Media relations means informing the public of your mission, policies, practices or changes in positive and credible ways. So, instead of paying a large amount for advertising, you still can improve your brand image in the mass media.

Direct marketing

Direct marketing is actually a form of advertising in which you promote your products directly to your target audiences which are selected based on any factor. This method emphasizes on the focus (high segmentation & targeting) which then helps you to craft sufficient personal messages and optimize your marketing budget. If you are considering using this strategy, learn about direct email marketing. By doing this tactic, you might take advantage of your already customers, improve their commitment and encourage future sales.

Learn more: Direct Response Marketing

20+ Best Direct Marketing Examples

Personal selling

If you are in the B2B sector, this method might be a popular term. Personal selling is focused on helping prospects to find their desired products rather than selling at them. By doing this, salespeople develop a solid connection with the prospect and make way for possible purchases. There are two types of personal selling, inside sales and outside sales. In the digital era, inside sales can benefit a lot from customer relationship management tools,which allow salespeople to better prospect, nurture, follow-up and improve sales. Learn more: Pros & Cons Of Personal Selling

Digital marketing

For most people, the transfer from offline to online is now a more natural manner than ever. That means whenever someone is seeing or hearing about something offline, they probably go to find it online. Digital transformation has brought about an information ocean that provides customers with whatever they want to know about your brand.

Digital marketing is vital for every brand today
Digital marketing is vital for every brand today

Digital marketing is an umbrella term including many tactics: search engine optimization, search engine marketing, content marketing, pay-per-click marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing. Even though each of these methods requires a significant number of efforts, in integrated marketing, you can align all tactics with your consistent message.

Learn more: Digital Marketing: 10 Trends You Should Look Out For In 2020

Social media marketing

Social media can be listed under digital marketing list, however, social media is really a broad spectrum, so we split it into a separate tool. Over the past few years, social media networks (Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin marketing, ect) have literally exploded. As a result, businesses join these networks to expand their presence, grow audiences and drive sales.

If you haven’t tapped into the social media world, then you are missing out on connecting with your prospects and audiences. Not just being a place to share content, social media also allows you to understand your audiences, evaluate your brand image and navigate/monitor the social opinions.

Events and sponsorship

Event marketing can be divided into two types: offlines and online events such as conferences, trade shows, seminars, ceremonies and galas, product launches, VIP events, and webinars & live streaming. Each of these types are used for typical business types and goals. Beside event marketing, sponsorship is a great way to attract your ideal customer through what they care about. When your brand appears on the sponsor list of any event attracting your targeted audiences, you will have a chance to introduce your brand/products, shape consumer positive attitudes, boost brand awareness and ignite sales.

Packaging

Packaging can be a part of your integrated marketing
Packaging can be a part of your integrated marketing

Do you remember the definition of integrated marketing? It’s the combination of different channels, and of course, includes packaging. Packaging not only protects your products, represents your brand logo, colors, slogan, but also tells your customers stories about your brand. Seriously, if packaging is one of integrated marketing tactics, so create one that can deliver your message, making each “unboxing” experience an exciting and emotional one.

How to evaluate/measure integrated marketing performance?

When mentioning integrated marketing strategy, we all should emphasize the synergy among tactics. This synergy is the backbone and ensures the progress of the campaign.

However, because of that synergy, the evaluating process of integrated marketing campaigns can be a bit of a murky area. Therefore, you will need some metrics to recognize and measure the effect that integrated tactics has on your business:

  • Referral traffic: if you find that referral traffic coming from specific channels increases while you boost activities from other channels, then it may be a sign that there has been a synergy derived from your integrated marketing tactics.
  • Email engagement: if your content/message is delivered to your audiences sufficiently, then people should be familiar with your brand, product or services. So, if you see a positive trend in your email click through rate, there might be an indicator that you are doing things well
  • Social media engagement: take a look at important engagement social media metrics such as shares, mentions, messages received, CTR, etc,. They are all good indicators to assert the performance of your integrated marketing efforts.
  • Landing page performance: in this context, landing page can be any online destination that you aim to lead customers to. That can be any page from an actual event landing page one your website, to the Google Form where customers are surveyed. Look at key metrics such as traffic, unique page views, bounce rate, average time on page, etc.

Why can integrated marketing be your marketing strategy in 2020?

Integrated marketing can be called a combination of traditional and modern marketing with the usage of various tactics such as print ads, direct mails, event marketing, personal sales, social marketing, email marketing, content marketing, SEO, etc. When combining all these elements together, you can see the synergistic effect.

To be specific, integrated marketing will benefit you in several ways:

  • Take advantage of contextualized content: when you have multiple-channel approach, you can shape the content
  • Wider reach: your message can be delivered to more people in your target audience
  • Higher trust: when customers see a consistent message from your brand, they will have a better reason to trust you
  • Better control: it ensures that you can join the dots between all your marketing tactics, so that you can better control your campaign performance
  • Cost-effectiveness: you can repurposed marketing assets for different channels because they are in tune with others
  • Improved results: when every channels present the same message, customers will remember it better and this might result in sales

    Integrated marketing Vs Omnichannel marketing

Are integrated and omnichannel marketing the same?
Are integrated and omnichannel marketing the same?

You probably hear about omnichannel marketing and may wonder what are differences between omnichannel marketing and integrated marketing. Do they seem to be the same with the combination of different marketing channels? So let’s look at these examples.

Let’s say you are a local traditional handicraft e-store selling bamboo toys for children. And you want to run a campaign in order to:

  • Grow your profile among a group of parents who have children under 6 years olds.
  • Increase sales and revenues - the supreme goal

What will you do through omnichannel marketing? (to seamlessly move customer between channels until they finish their purchase)

  • Employ remarketing for anyone who has visited your site with display advertising connected to an event landing page
  • Send cart recovery emails to remind them to finish the purchase
  • Send SMS messages to remind customers about the campaign with a link to the event landing page

What about integrated marketing? (and how it delivers a consistent message across channels)

Integrated marketing, on the flip side, starts the campaign with a hybrid approach, which means you will deliver your brand story around the targeted audiences.

  • Co-organize and sponsor events at local children’s amusement center or bookstores at the weekend (because you know that your segmented customers frequently take their children there)
  • Distribute giveaway items (branded balls, t-shirts, accessories, etc) to generate excitement and foster positive connections between parents, kids and your brand.
  • Print QR codes on your distributed toys to let parents have a look at your website/event landing page
  • Create an educational series on your Youtube channel to engage children in learning new things and playing with bamboo toys
  • Open a Facebook group to get parents involved in one community, in which they can share tips, raise awareness about environment-friendly toys, etc.
  • Run a contest on Instagram invite parents snap selfies with their kids while create something with your toys to win the prize
  • Present all of those activities on your (event) landing page so that whoever visit them are fully acknowledged of what you are doing

As you can see, omnichannel marketing focuses on the seamless purchasing experiences, on the other hand, integrated marketing aims at delivering a consistent brand message, (i.e., in this example, the message, perhaps, is “let your children play in the beautiful nature with bamboo toys”

Examples of integrated marketing campaigns

So, how have brands actually applied integrated marketing into their marketing strategy? If you are just a small brand, can you still do this marketing strategy? Yes, you can. Integrated marketing can be anything from a small tactic to a huge campaign one, in case you haven’t known.

Let’s see!

Lush Cosmetics posted Youtube video about the environment

Lush is a famous natural-originated and handmade cosmetic company. On the occasion of Greta Thunberg gained international recognition with her moving speech about the environment, Lush has uploaded a video “Green Power: CA Celebration of Greta Thunberg and the Global Climate Strikes” on their Youtube channel. In this video, it raised the awareness of responding to the climate crisis like an emergency situation. Through the video, Lush delivered a message that action coming from individuals and communities are vital for the environment. Under the video, it’s description leads you to their “Charity Pot” page.

A Youtube video directs viewers to Lush’s page
A Youtube video directs viewers to Lush’s page

Key takeaways: don’t limit your brand with content related to your product or services, think about the concerns that your targeted customers might have and show them that you are willing to share ideas about that concern. This effort will bring potential customers closer to your brand, motivate them to explore and understand your brand. And possibly, they will buy your products soon!

Festina Profundo - a watches brand packaged their products in water

Packaging is a splendid tool of integrated marketing
Packaging is a splendid tool of integrated marketing

This brand promised their “water-proof” quality with their water-filled packaging. This was such a striking and convincing solution that visualized their implementation: seeing is believing.

Key takeaways: together with content marketing, advertising, PPC, SEO, etc. packaging can make a huge difference if you want it to. Do you see how this brand delivered a consistent message about their quality through their packaging? You can totally do this with your packaging, just need to add a little creativity!

Are you ready?

We have talked to you about integrated marketing from its definition to detailed examples that even a small shop can follow and create your own amazing campaigns. It’s obvious that not every brand’s purposes are the same, however, the idea that integrating marketing obtains will surely take you a long way to build a solid brand awareness, strengthen the brand image and create loyal customers. One more thing, never forget the true value of your brand while developing the plan with its consistent messages, it will be the forever fountainhead of your marketing journey.

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