What is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing is a unified, immersive, cost-effective strategy that makes the most out of your marketing budget. It relies on brand identity and storytelling to create a strong, singular message to focus on.
Multiple marketing channels are then used to communicate those messages in the most cohesive, consistent, continuous, and complementary way, otherwise known as the 4 C’s.
Therefore, your integrated marketing campaigns should have the following characteristics:
One of the most important questions to ask when conducting an integrated marketing campaign is this...
“Does each marketing channel complement the other?”
And... what’s the current state of your lead generation success rate?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, roughly 85% of all marketers are making lead generation their primary goal for the year. But not everyone can dump millions into multiple marketing channels to reach their target audience.
So... what are savvy small business owners and marketers doing to save time, money, and generate leads?
They are using integrated marketing to build consumer trust and boost ROI, and we’re about to break down this innovative strategy for you right now.
How Does Integrated Marketing Save You Money?
The secret is in its approach. Because integrated marketing relies heavily on storytelling and brand identity to create one strong singular message this saves resources that would have been wasted trying out other random/scattered strategies.
Second, it uses multiple marketing channels to communicate the brand message in the most cohesive, consistent and continuous way.
Messages conveyed in this manner are more likely to be successful.
This increased efficiency can, therefore, allow organizations to maximize their marketing reach across all channels.
On the other hand, lead generation success is ensured by the foolproof multi-step process of integrated marketing.
For example, integrated marketing communication (IMC) employs several channels to convey the campaign messages. This increases the effectiveness of activities that are used to convert strangers into prospects and prospects into customers.
This multi channel approach uses various marketing channels to engage your target audience at the right place and at the right time. This enables prospects and customers to interact with your brand via their preferred channel.
That’s why integrated marketing strategies are often called integrated marketing communications or IMC.
Communicating to your target audience consistently both online and offline increases sales.
The IMC approach was originally developed in 1989 and has continued to expand with the advent of new technologies and marketing mediums. For example, a recent Google study found that analytics tools are now critical for IMC campaign success.
Like all marketing strategies, IMC campaigns also follow a multi-step process.
Here we’ll show you five great examples of how a unified marketing strategy can take your brand to the next level.
5 Great Integrated Marketing Strategy Examples
Now that you have a good idea of what the IMC marketing approach is, let's take a look five important examples from your favorite brands:
Old Spice - Levis – Coke – American Express - Apple
1. Old Spice
Old Spice: Smell like a Man, Man campaign, also know as “Old Spice Man”
Hands down one of the best examples of a well executed integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaign.
Here Old Spice managed to go viral within a day of the first release of the TV ad. They also complemented the ad with an otherworldly social media marketing campaign and some witty copywriting and visuals to boot. This is a direct result of them defining the right audience and messaging.
Let’s just say we all smelled what Old Spice was cooking up in their marketing recipe.
2. Levi Strauss & Co
Levi’s went back to their roots to create an effective, nostalgic integrated campaign.
Their “Ready to Work” campaign reminded people that before Levi’s became fashionable, it was, and still is, the #1 industrial jeans brand.
Coca Cola’s viral “Share a Coke” campaign is one of the most recognizable and effective integrated marketing campaigns to date.
The brand used their clever campaign hashtag, #shareacoke, across all social media channels and published effective videos that transformed the phrase, into an all inclusive experience which highlighted a sense of pride and sense of personal ownership.
4. American Express
American Express’ “Small Business Saturday” program is one of the longest running integrated campaigns.
Small Business Saturday encourages customers to support their local retailers by offering special rewards every time they #ShopSmall.
To encourage even more local shopping during the holidays, American Express dedicates one day out of November to a nationwide #ShopSmall event.
Here, they take their integrated approach to the next level by distributing special Small Business Saturday marketing materials to participating retailers so they too can promote the campaign.
Integrated Website Design With An Accompanying Storefront
It’s easy to forget that your website is a critical piece of your branding identity and every marketing campaign you run.
In fact, more than 70% of businesses see their website as their primary marketing platform. That’s why your website also needs to create a fully immersive customer experience just like any other integrated marketing strategy.
A solid example to look to is Apple, Inc.
Their brick and mortar locations look nearly identical to their website, and that’s exactly the point. Apple has a fluid brand identity that fully integrates both their physical locations and online presence. So they’re able to maintain their signature customer experience, whether a customer is browsing online or in-store.
So before crafting your marketing strategies, conduct a thorough audit of your website to make sure you have the right website elements for your integrated marketing campaign.
Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications
Sure, an IMC utilizes different marketing platforms to make an impact, but in the end, return on investment (ROI) is everything.
How can you possibly save money by using multiple marketing channels?
Great question! For starters, having a clear, consistent message for your campaign means you don’t have to create a stockpile of images, press releases, and more media than you need. You only have to produce the materials you need and publish it across your chosen channels.
Therefore, the content you produce for the print advertising wing of your campaign can just as easily be used for the social media portion. As a result, you spend less time strategizing since you develop marketing communications around one core campaign message.
IMC campaigns also boost sales, as senior marketers report an average revenue increase of 10% from integrated marketing efforts, a number that’s only expected to increase exponentially.
Most importantly, integrated campaigns are exactly what the public wants and craves from brands.
That’s why they’re more likely to strike a chord with consumers and go viral.
72% of consumers prefer integrated marketing campaigns
according to the annual Consumer Insights Survey.
Moreover, content and media published on at least two different marketing platforms receive 24% more engagement than media shared through only one channel.
This helps both small businesses and corporations alike build trust with their target markets, and that’s priceless.
Why You Need A Marketing Communications Mix
Integrated marketing campaigns need a logical mix of marketing communications to work. Marketing communications are the channels you use to effectively communicate your campaign’s message to a target audience.
But not any type of marketing communication will do.
A critical part of strategizing your IMC campaign is to select the most logical and measurable marketing channels for your campaigns, otherwise known as your marketing communications mix.
For example, your campaign’s marketing communications mix may include the following:
- Press release
- Limited-time-only coupons
- Campaign hashtags
- 3-part web commercial published over time.
- In-person demos in select retail locations
- Social media product giveaways
- A microsite or landing page with exclusive offers
- Website automation to email campaigns
- Search Engine Optimization for campaign keywords
- PPC campaigns to promote landing page
- Retargeting for those who didn’t convert the first time around
Remember that more than 70% of millennials still shop at brick and mortar retailers, so don’t put all your eggs into social media marketing for example. Market research will save you lots of money on wasted marketing communications.
To ensure your marketing communications mix is streamlined properly throughout the campaign, make sure you have strong management protocols in place so each department is on the same page.
How Do I Develop a Successful Integrated Marketing Strategy?
Here is how integrated marketing helps align sales and marketing:
Integrated marketing ensures efficiency.
With integrated marketing, all business processes and formalities are streamlined. This way, there is less complicated campaigns and other activities that consume the organization’s resources.
This level of attention on what really matters increases efficiency and boosts sales.
Improves Company Culture
Integrated marketing involves bringing together campaign teams and having them work on the standard course of promoting the business. This level of cohesion creates a sense of belonging among the staff and keeps them motivated to work towards a set of common goals and organizational initiatives.
The whole integration idea, therefore, creates trust in the brand and boosts sales at the same time.
Integrated marketing is more efficient.
Integrated marketing often involves establishment and use of a variety of communication channels where the messages are communicated easily with sufficient consistency. In the long run, the uniformity of the information conveyed will create more trust and brand awareness.
When customers are thinking about your business more than your competitor’s, sales are set to go up drastically.
Importance of consistent branding
A consistent brand builds trust and affinity with your customers and that is why it cannot be underestimated.
Prospective clients feel more compelled to take action because their values align with your brand’s message. This means your brand resonates more and therefore becomes more dependable.
Gold Mind Integrated Marketing System
Our integrated marketing system is made to help your business grow by attracting targeted website visitors, convert hot leads and turn customers into evangelists and brand advocates.
We follow a four step process: Define, Assign, Integrated, Track (DAIT) that ensures your business incorporates the correct marketing channels to drive success towards your main business goal.
1.DEFINE | Define Buyer’s Persona + Market Fit
Buyer’s persona – it is a perspective way of doing and thinking about your prospective customers, your larger audience. To successfully define a buyers persona, you first need to know your target audience and market fit!
Analyze your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This is commonly known as a SWOT analysis.
Strengths –The business has an advantage against the competitors concerning trustworthiness.
Weaknesses – The business is a little disadvantaged by the fact that it lacks the financial muscle enjoyed by the rivals.
Opportunities – The business can exploit the gap that is not being filled by rivals with a succinct marketing strategy.
Threats – some situations can cause trouble to the business, including local regulations authorities.
Develop a Tripwire Offering
The best premium tripwire offers are based around your core offering and are targeted to your audience’s specific needs. Ideally, you need to offer a low-cost item that is highly desirable to the buyer.
A tripwire will help you turn prospects into clients that will be more likely to buy your core offering.
2.ASSIGN | Set SMART goals
SMART goals help a project manager outline their expectations. When used alongside a robust strategy, SMART goals help organizations perform better because everyone knows what to do at each stage of the marketing campaign.
Broad Goal: I want to give my business more online presence
Specific: I will build a website and establish social networks for my business to gain new clientele
Measurable: I will layout task completion dates, starting with my website build
Attainable: I will begin with website planning this week
Relevant: Establishing a solid online presence will increase my lead generation and client base
Time-based: My online campaign will be completed within 6 months time
Define roles and responsibilities: Here you want to assign both channel managers and campaign level directors to oversee the day to day activities and campaign level milestones.
Budget: Usually between 5-35% (hyper-local to regional franchises) of revenue depending on company size, goals and expected return on investment.
3. INTEGRATE | Integrate Your Marketing Channels
There are several approaches to this. You can start off with a few mandatory channels. Test those channels for a period of time. For example 6 months.
Once you gather the data, you can make macro-level campaign changes such as adding more channels or completely remove a underperforming channels.
- Website Design + Content Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC) + Retargeting
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) + Conversion Rate (CRO)
- Social Media Marketing (Free + Paid) + Email
- Sales and Marketing Automation
How this all works together
The great thing about this approach is that it allows you to focus on the most profitable channels. The obvious goal here is to be in as many profitable channels as possible so that you can meet your prospects wherever they are in the purchasing cycle.
4.TRACK | ROI + Campaign Reporting
Analyze and Evaluate your campaign results. This is the most crucial aspects of an IMC campaign. You know the say “What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done”? This especially applies to an integrated strategy.
- Define your success Metrics, KPIs and Outcomes. See step no.1
- Pick a measurement cadence at a channel level (Micro) and at a campaign level (Macro)
- Continuously test and measure against these metrics to ensure your campaign is moving in the right direction.
Your Integrated Marketing Conclusion
In a nutshell, you need to do integrated marketing to earn profits and remain relevant in the marketplace. An integrated marketing campaign (IMC), therefore, is the only sure way to increased sales, boost revenues and building brand awareness.
If you’re not integrating, you’re not truly converting.
Do you need help establishing an integrated marketing strategy?
In your assessment, an integrated marketing specialist will:
- Audit your current marketing activities and look for easy wins (Low hanging fruit)
- Define your target audience and market fit
- Assign your marketing budget and goals
- Integrate your marketing channels to generate more traffic, leads & sales
- Show you how to track your progress and help you improve your Marketing (MROI)
Why wait? Speak with a consultant today to fast track your way toward a profitable business.