5 Steps to Integrated Marketing Success

26th August 2016

Integrated Marketing

What is integrated marketing? Why is it important? And how do you measure success?

The DMA Integrated Marketing Community describes integrated marketing as follows:

“Integrated Marketing is 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. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.”

Many people believe that integrated marketing is about adopting a variety of different channels. But this is only partly true. There’s much more to it than that. As you can see from the definition, true integrated marketing is about unifying and bringing together cohesively, all types of marketing through various marketing activities and channels. When done well, it can bring about significant ROI.

So what steps can you take to ensure your integrated marketing is successful?

1. Know Your Audience

When asking customers about their target audience, they often talk in broad terms. For example, “women aged 16 to 69”. This is a massive demographic, comprising countless segments. Trying to appeal to such a wide audience would be extremely difficult for the majority of businesses. A 16-year girl is likely to shop at different stores, read different magazines, watch different television programmes and use social media in a different way to a woman who is 69. You need to narrow down your audience and be specific. This is where creating marketing personas can help. Personas help to visualise and understand the people you’re trying to attract through your marketing efforts. Download a free planning template from Hubspot.

Using marketing personas can help you better understand your customers, identify their needs and wants, understand where/how they spend their time, and develop new or improved products and services as a result of your research.

2. Be Clear on Objectives

Be really clear on what it is you are trying to achieve. Set specific objectives and identify how to monitor success. Make sure your objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed). Each time you set a new goal make sure you indicate how you will measure its success. If your aim is to increase visitors to a landing page on your website, what would be a realistic target? How will you know when this has been achieved. Tools such as Google Analytics help you track visitors and their behaviour on your website.

3. Choose the Right Channels

Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can select the channels that are relevant to them. Why waste valuable time, money and resources on building a Facebook campaign if your audience don’t use it and are elsewhere? Find out which channels your customers are using and focus on those.

4. Be Consistent

Consistency is important when it comes to integrated marketing. You must ensure that your message, visuals, branding, artwork, photography, style, etc. are all consistent across all channels. This is relevant for online and offline methods, whether you’re creating a social media add or custom wristbands etc. Without a consistent approach, your campaign will lack cohesiveness, and you will miss out on the opportunity to increase brand recognition.

5. Monitor and Measure

As with any campaign, it is important to monitor actions and measure results. Did you meet your objectives? Use this information to inform future campaigns. Repeat/tweak what was successful. Even failures are valuable. Understanding where you went wrong and what doesn’t work for your audience will help you make wiser choices in the future.

The starting point for integrated marketing is planning. You know the saying, “Fail to plan, plan to fail”? This is certainly true. Setting up a detailed plan will allow you to establish a firm strategy, set objectives and then work out specific tactics. Ensure everyone working on the campaign is clear on your objectives and make sure your message is consistent and customer focused. Effective planning leads to a cohesive and consistent approach, and allows customers to engage effectively with your brand.

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