Technology has changed our world. The media landscape today is light years away from what it was 10 years ago. Things will evolve even more rapidly now that artificial intelligence is being applied to marketing.
When people talk about marketing, they often refer only to the digital realm. Online search results that pop up are articles on social, SEO, SEM, digital ads, mailings, etc.
While it is true that digital has moved from being a complementary to an essential part of communication campaigns, it does not mean that the other disciplines are no longer relevant. On the contrary, it is fundamental to approach marketing from a holistic point of view. People do have a life beyond their cell phones and computer screens.
What is integrated marketing?
It is a comprehensive and powerful strategic planning process that considers all communication tools that are relevant in reaching the target consumer with a consistent message.
How the content is delivered depends on the chosen channel. It might be packaged in different ways, but they add up to the same brand message. Broadcast, print, outdoor, public relations, web, social media, mobile, direct marketing, in-store, sales promotions, experiential – all work together to create a seamless experience for the consumer.
What does integrated marketing do for you?
- Increases the probability of reaching your audience multiple times through various channels.
- Helps your consumer understand and remember your message.
- Boosts your chances of having your target respond to the call-to-action.
- Makes you stand out. Cuts through the competing noise in the market by amplifying your communication efforts.
- Creates synergy for maximum impact.
- Develops trustworthy and long-lasting relationships
- Builds your brand with a single, unifying voice.
- Gives you more bang for your buck. Optimizes ROI. Creating campaign assets cost time and money. When you integrate efforts, you reduce costs.
Why am I a fan of this marketing methodology?
Because the alternative is not an option. If the different communication disciplines work in isolation, there is no opportunity to tap into the power that synergy creates. A diluted message confuses your audience on what you want to say. The message might not stick and gets lost completely. You can’t expect much consumer engagement if that is the case.
Instead of building your brand, separate efforts can even harm it. Investments go down the drain.
When you are developing the strategy, look at the problem holistically. First, set clear objectives. Then, define your target is. Find all the channels to reach him. Understand how he interacts with each one. Those insights will signal the roles of each discipline you would want for your marketing mix.
Select the mix of online and offline activities to achieve your objectives. Develop content catered to each channel to spread the brand message.
At campaign execution, a marketer can be likened to an orchestra conductor who sets the tempo and brings together the individual contributions to deliver a unique and satisfying experience to the audience.
Remember that effective strategies are those that are consumer centric.