What is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing is the idea of unifying all of your marketing and advertising efforts so that they work together and complement each other. That is, developing and implementing a solid marketing strategy where all tactics and marketing tools work together toward the same overall goal and objective with consistent brand messaging.
Integrated marketing is a way to align your marketing efforts, both traditional and non-traditional tactics, so that every piece of marketing works together and reinforces one other. It makes sure you have everything your business needs, in place and ready to support the same end goal.
How to Embrace Integrated Marketing
Once you really understand integrated marketing and the many benefits it offers, you’ll run to implement it and wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. This integrated approach creates efficiencies across your marketing.
Have you heard of the term “fragmentation?” In today’s busy and noisy world, with the consumer being bombarded with ads right and left, and every business trying to get attention, fragmentation is very commonplace.
In relation to marketing, fragmentation means that your different advertising, marketing and communication pieces aren’t working together. They’re working separately, on their own, in silos. Integrated marketing helps eliminate fragmentation by bringing it all together, ensuring a consistent message across all components and that each piece complements the other, so that your message is stronger, brand awareness is greater and goals are met like never before.
To fully embrace integrated marketing in your organization, follow these best practices:
- Understand your customer. Learn everything about your customer. Who are they? Why do they need your business and its products or services? Using this information and more, you’ll be able to understand your customers at a deeper level. This understanding will help you know where and how to reach them. An integrated approach supports reaching them across multiple media and through different channels.
- Build a plan with goals. What do you want to accomplish? Set objectives and goals. You’ll then build your approach and plan around these. Everything you do in your marketing should be tied to achieving your goals and objectives as laid out in your plan. By developing a plan and sticking to it, you will see more alignment in your marketing efforts, and ultimately, higher brand awareness.
- Eliminate fragmentation. Traditional and non-traditional media must work together seamlessly. Failure to do so will fragment your marketing and affect its overall effectiveness. For example, if a customer sees your magazine ad, which calls out a URL to visit your site, make sure that your website matches that ad. This way the consumer knows they’re in the right spot, plus it will further strengthen and reinforce your message.
- Measure and track. What do you want to accomplish with your integrated marketing efforts? Generate leads? Increase brand awareness by X percent? Garner X completed contact forms on your website? An important part of integrated marketing is tracking and measuring to determine the success of your marketing. Through measurement and tracking you can drill down into individual pieces, like a direct mailer or online ads, and see what’s working and what’s not. Integrated marketing services in Atlanta can help you take it to the next level with tracking and measurement to make sure your marketing dollars are working at maximum capacity.
Further reading on Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) Integrated marketing on Wickipedia.