The What, Why and How of Integrated Marketing
What the heck is integrated marketing?
At the most basic level, integrated marketing strategically connects all of a brand’s consumer touch points. Sounds simple, right? Sure, until you realize that all those touch points include advertising, promotions, search, sales, web, mobile, social, point-of-sale, direct marketing and even public relations.
If it’s so complicated, why do it?
The benefits of integrated marketing are well documented. A recent report from Forrester Research revealed that integrated marketing increases marketing ROI, shortens sales cycles and raises consumer engagement. Done well, it also increases customer satisfaction and boosts revenue. Seems like the only thing it doesn’t do is whiten your teeth.
So, how do you make it happen?
Start by getting all the right people at the table – marketing, sales, public relations, customer service, your web team and even IT. Frankly, this can be a huge challenge. Be diligent, be diplomatic, and keep reminding everyone of the bottom line benefits you’ll all share credit for. (If all else fails, mention how integrated marketing whitens teeth.)
Once you get the right people on board, take a good long look at:
- Your brand’s promise and position in the marketplace. Make sure everyone agrees on where you stand.
- Your organization’s business and marketing goals – these will guide your objectives and help you set up measurements.
- Your customers. Find out how they interact with your brand across digital, social, mobile and offline channels.
- Your sales cycle. Identify important milestones your customers experience within the cycle -- then think about how you can influence and track them.
- Your current marketing, communications, promotions and sales initiatives.
This will help you begin to get a better picture of how customers actually interact with your brand, where current initiatives overlap and the opportunities you have to integrate efforts. All that’s left is the plan itself, and this means collectively:
- Setting goals
- Establishing messaging
- Deciding on tactics
- Securing media – paid and earned
- Determining what to measure
- Developing creative
So start putting it all together – and watch the blog for more integrated marketing tips. You’ll be connected before you know it.