Consistency is the Key
The success of an Integrated Marketing Strategy is based on the art of developing a consistent message across multiple marketing channels. The communication with the target audience across various marketing channels creates a holistic relationship with the potential customers. The core messaging and the USP stay the same across all the channels, but the approach and the message itself might differ depending on the channel.
Integrating all the marketing channels just for the sake of it will not make much sense if the product does not fit the respective channel. Therefore, before deciding on which marketing channels to focus on, think about the main goal and the “culture” & audience of each of the channels. If presenting and promoting your service/product via that specific marketing channel makes sense and doesn’t appear as a “forced” action, that at the end results in misplacement of your message, then you can proceed with that channel.
This way integrated marketing communication can help you to build a holistic impression/experience about your brand.
“The aim of a successful Integrated Marketing Strategy is to attract a larger group of potential customers by passing a consistent message across various marketing channels.”
The proven benefits of an Integrated Marketing Strategy
1. More Effective
Consistent messaging and integrated marketing communication across all the marketing channels creates a clear image of the company in the minds of potential customers. As a result, the message will stick better (i.e. mere exposure effect).
2. Better credibility/trust among your customers
Thanks to an integrated marketing strategy and integrated marketing communication, the messaging will be consistent across all the channels. This again increases trust among the customers as they see and hear the same message.
3. Unites the teams/better team spirit
With an integrated marketing strategy, the collaboration between teams and departments increases. Working on the same messaging can strongly build up the team spirit within your marketing department.
4. Cuts costs
By implementing an Integrated Marketing Strategy, you are able to save time and cut costs by avoiding the repetition of similar work. There is only one message and one set of visuals needed (obviously formatted on the respective channel).
5. Better performance tracking across all the channels
With an Integrated Marketing Strategy in place, it becomes easier to analyse the type of marketing content and channel that works best for you, and the ones that are the least productive since the core messaging stays the same across all of the marketing channels.
What is integrated marketing communication?
Integrated marketing communication is usually a combination of several ways to achieve promotion, such as advertisement, sales promotions, direct marketing, public relations, sponsorship, personal selling, social media marketing and mobile marketing. We will take the time to detail all of these elements, it will hopefully guide you through the way you can create an appropriate integrated marketing communication for your business.
It is a paid form of communication, for instance using various media like radio, television, online or print media. It is one of the most efficient tools to reach a vast audience quickly, however, this type of integrated marketing communication can be seen as non-personal as it aims at a very large and not well defined target. Nowadays, customers are more likely to be the center of attention, with very detailed offers for each and every taste.
Promotions are a very powerful tool to give a reason to the customers to purchase. It is a very attractive offer that can be derived in various forms: coupons, discounts, samples, etc. Sales promotions are good when you need to accelerate the sale of your product.
It is the most traditional form of integrated marketing communication on this list, as it is mainly offline. It can be done by phone, mails, messages, catalogue, pamphlets or letter. One of its perks is that it allows a brand to speak directly to the end-user. On a consumer point of view, by receiving directly an offer the buying process is facilitated.
Also known as PR, its purpose is to value the company in the eyes of the market. By managing relations between the brand and the population, it is a good way to collect feedback. Public relations can be achieved through event sponsorships, news, press releases, etc.
By supporting an event with funds, the company has promotion back. The best example of sponsorship would be during sports events, like Redbull for car races. This type of promotion is a good mix of public relations and sales promotions, as it enhances brand loyalty and provides a differentiation with the competition.
Just as direct marketing, personal selling is an integrated marketing communication which brings together the seller and the end-user. This type of promotion is often successful as the salesperson can answer the customer’s apprehensions directly and can adapt its strategy to the buyers profile.
Social media marketing
It is a very efficient tool of integrated marketing communication as it reaches a vast number of people, through many channels at a very low-cost. You can advertise nowadays basically on any social media, going through paid ads, influencers, etc.
Mobile marketing is a low-cost and very traditional method which consists in sending a text message to consumers. Nowadays, mobile marketing has a lot evolved as we see the emergence of geofencing, which allows the seller to aim toward the right target.
To achieve your integrated marketing communication strategy, you have to set objectives and consider how much you will have to spend to fulfil them. These objectives must define clearly which media channel is the most relevant to the campaign and will be used, otherwise you can go through agencies if you desire to outsource. However, if you choose to go through an agency be careful as it is a very important decision and you have to choose right.
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Now that you know the benefits of an Integrated Marketing Strategy, it is time to start planning and creating your own strategy right away.
Start creating your own Integrated Marketing Strategy with these easy steps
The following simple steps are a preparation before drafting your own Integrated Marketing Strategy:
1. Specify your USP, positioning in the market and target audience.
2. Define your main objective and sub-objectives (if needed).
3. Decide on your budget and the marketing channels to be used.
4. Think about the marketing tactics you would like to execute.
5. Determine your monitoring and tracking methods before launching your Integrated Marketing Strategy.
6. Work on a joint overall messaging according to marketing channels & the respective tactics.
Once you have defined these six important points, it is time to create your Integrated Marketing Strategy plan.
Integrated marketing plan examples
In case you do not want to outsource your integrated marketing communication strategy, here is an integrated marketing plan example with a quick case study. As your campaign may last several months or years, the integrated marketing strategy has to be crystal clear to be able to achieve your goals. An integrated marketing plan has to have planning, implementation and a clear view to be able to have a complete control over it and coordinate everything. The overall challenge in making an integrated marketing plan is triggering the buying process in the target’s mind.
You basically want to divide your integrated marketing plan in 3 categories that you will have to master before launching your campaign:
Know your goals
We will never say it enough, but know what are your objectives: market shares, ROI, sales volume, awareness ? Depending on your objectives you will have to choose, according to the hierarchy of effects theory, what tool will leverage your goals. For instance, advertising is a very good way to increase awareness and give information on a product.
Build brand awareness
It is not a surprise that your message must be adapted to your target. Ask yourself what may the customers be interested to know about your product. Have you heard of the unmet need ? The customer’s unmet need consists of market opportunities that have not been explored yet, the customer really wants a solution but it doesn’t exist yet. This is the key to any good integrated marketing communication: the customer doesn’t know yet that he needs your product, make this magic happen !
And finally the 3Ms
Most importantly, money, as you must have the resources to plan, implement and control your integrated marketing strategy. Then media, choose the right channel to touch your potential customers. And finally measurement, to know what was a success and what wasn’t to then improve it.
There are various marketing communication methods put together, when applying an integrated marketing strategy. As it incorporates the globally of the marketing mix for promotion towards the end-users, you have to position your communication at the right place and the right time to raise awareness as much as you possibly can. Your integrated marketing communication plan must include a summary of your target market and how you intend to promote the product to the customers.
It must be clear to the end-user that you have a unique selling proposition and that it is communicated as clearly as possible, so that you will be in the best light against your competition. Make sure that you capture your end-users’ and stimulate their interest. To know why you are a better fit than your competitors, you will obviously have to look at what they do well and what they don’t: always keep an eye on their activities ! Finally, don’t forget to update from time to time your SWOT analysis to put into light your weaknesses, strengths, opportunities and threats.
Inspiring Integrated Marketing examples
Here are some integrated marketing examples that worked really well, and that some of us might recall.
You’ve probably already seen this viral advertisement from Always, a famous brand of feminine hygiene products. This integrated marketing communication campaign has traveled around the world with a blend of traditional media, TV advertising and social media through the virality of the hashtag.
Another good integrated marketing example is the domino’s pizza case. This famous pizza chain has proposed to its customers to order as easily as possible, by sms, tweet, smart watches, etc… This service was called Anyware and has been promoted through press and television, but also widely on social networks. Their goal was to encourage people ordering online, and they achieved it quite well, with more than half of their yearly orders made online.
Derek Jeter is a legend in baseball, after playing 20 seasons in his club, he is at the origin of the success of the New York Yankees. The retirement of such a star is usually accompanied by a commemoration or other sorts of goodbye, but Nike decided to launch a campaign with the hashtag #R2SPECT and an inspiring video. Used on television, in newspapers and also on online networks, it has reached more than 44 million people.
An example of an Integrated Marketing Strategy plan and where AI can assist
We have prepared for you an example of an Integrated Marketing Strategy plan.
As a Use Case, we created a strategy for an E-commerce shop that exclusively sells haircare products that cannot be found in regular supermarkets or drug stores. The target audience is B2C clients. All objectives are grouped at the marketing funnel stage.
Use Case: The Integrated Marketing Strategy for BeautifulHair Ltd Target audience: B2C women
Artificial intelligence can assist you with building Integrated Marketing Communication on each level of the marketing funnel.
We hope that this example of an Integrated Marketing Strategy plan was helpful! And that you got an overview of how and where AI can assist you, while executing your next Integrated Marketing Strategy plan for your business.
Learn more about ”One Metric That Matters” concept in Marketing “!