Authentic Integrated marketing isn’t new. It isn’t even a new focus. Businesses have been talking about integrated marketing strategies for a long time.
First with the introduction of the internet as another marketing avenue, and then with the popularity of social media, followed by the proliferation of different social media platforms.
In this new era of integrated marketing, you need to think about and balance a lot more consumer demands. It’s more than just having a good logo and trying to get brand recognition.
Today’s successful marketing campaigns are integrated yes, but they need to do more than get their information in front of consumers. A good integrated marketing campaign will help you alter and control customer perception.
How can you do this, and why is it important? That’s what this guide is here to answer.
Goals of Successful Integrated Marketing Campaigns
Old marketing campaigns depended on brand recognition. Burst style ad campaigns counted on being able to get the brand in front of enough people, with enough repetition, to convince some to become customers.
But, the problem is, customers are saturated with competing marketing ads all day. It’s not just listening to the radio, watching TV, and reading a newspaper. Every time your customers open Facebook on their phones they’re being exposed to marketing campaigns.
One of the results is that brand recognition isn’t enough. Today’s consumers want to have a relationship with the companies they support. They want to have a sense of company identity, and they want to be able to identify with a brand in a way that makes them proud to be a customer.
This is where customer perception comes in. With so many ads and marketing campaigns competing for attention, people depend on word of mouth, user reviews, and other indications that your company’s product or service is a good option for them.
Messagely has put together a good article on how customer perception works, and why you need to pay attention to it in your marketing campaign.
Because of that dependence on good customer perception, you need different goals. You need to develop a cohesive and consistent brand identity. People should know who you are as an organization, and what core values you represent.
Across all the platforms in your integrated marketing campaign, from your main website to TV and radio ads, to your social media presence and even customer service, you need to present a consistent character and story. Human beings identify with stories. It’s how humanity learns, passes down new information, and how we express ourselves for the world to see.
Your company needs to do the same.
Therefore, one of your goals needs to be selling the company as much or more than the product or service.
An Example of Selling the Company As Much As The Product – Apple:
Apple users don’t buy an iPhone because it’s the best phone on the market. Frankly, some phones might be better for some users. Especially now that the smart-phone market is more diverse. Die-hard Apple users have that brand loyalty because Apple presents themselves as cutting edge, unique, driven, and intellectually focused. It’s not just product quality.
People who identify with those traits are more likely to buy Apple products, even if the details behind those products aren’t very different from competing offers.
They’ve also developed a very distinctive ad style. That style mirrors the aesthetics of their website, which mirrors the minimalist design of their products. That cohesive design is absolutely part of their integrated marketing.
By presenting one consistent look, so that people can immediately identify what they’re looking at as an Apple product or ad, they use integrated marketing to further their message.
They also avoid conflicting messaging. While Apple takes advantage of the strengths of different platforms, they don’t release anything that conflicts with what they’ve released in another area.
Why Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing today includes social media, TV, radio, word of mouth, and more. Once upon a time, you could release a marketing campaign targeted at a specific demographic group. There were only one or two key ways to target that group, so you could release an ad across a couple of platforms and expect a reasonable amount of success.
That style of marketing is much less successful now.
Customers Look at Multiple Sources of Information:
Today, demographics are more spread out across different media platforms. Your customers are also more used flipping between multiple platforms and sources of information before giving their business to any one company.
For instance, Sally sees an ad for Bill’s Best Dog Biscuits on Twitter. She’s a dog owner and is interested, so she clicks on the ad, which takes her to the business’s Twitter page. But to order the treats, Sally has to go to the company website. She clicks that link, but because she cares about her dog and wants to make sure she’s getting only the best treats, she also pulls up Yelp and searches for user reviews.
Ultimately Sally decides not to buy the biscuits. The Yelp reviews are okay, but once she’s started shopping she discovered that the website doesn’t talk about the high-quality ingredients and small-batch manufacture like the ad did.
It’s not that Sally isn’t interested. But the story that initially sold her on the product wasn’t consistent, so she couldn’t trust it.
This imaginary company did well on a couple of things. They had a story, they had multiple sources of information, and they guided Sally toward making a purchase. But they failed to fully integrate their marketing campaign so that there was a consistent message.
Integrated marketing allows you to provide information across multiple platforms, building trust and helping your customers decide that your product really is a good option for them. That multi-platform integration also reinforces customer perception.
The more places your customers get the same message, the same story, the same promise, the more they think that you’re genuine and really mean what you say.
Different Strengths and Weaknesses:
Another reason for integrated marketing is that no marketing platform is perfect.
For instance, Instagram is great for creating a visual image and culture surrounding your brand. But it’s not so good at providing a written message. Twitter is great for customer engagement, and word of mouth which is a fantastic way to influence customer perception. But it’s not a good platform for complicated messages.
Using multiple platforms also lets you tailor your content and your ads more closely to your customer base. You can use polling, activity metrics, and other data about your customers to create ads that feel more personal and real to your customers.
The result of a good integrated marketing campaign is a promise, a story, and an identity for your brand. Your customers will know who you are as a company, what drives you and why you do what you do, and will identify with the positive traits your story and identity embody.
|Matt Harris is part of the product team at Messagely and is fanatic about providing the best user experience possible. When he’s not working on Messagely, chances are good that you’ll find him in the kitchen creating a tasty paella. He’s very much into cooking and spanish food.|