Simply put, no jargon, no hype, integrated marketing is delivering unified messaging across an appropriate mix of media channels. It reinforces a brand’s value proposition using various touchpoints. What are those touchpoints? This is where strategy, research, and creativity come into play. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Analyzing company goals, campaign objectives, and budgets is the first step in conceptualizing what the campaign will look like. However, it is critical to thoroughly research your desired target audience, know what motivates them, and understand how they consume content.
Is the audience more desktop or mobile/tablet consumers of content? Or do they read magazines and, if so, which ones? What social platforms are they on? What are their television (broadcast, cable, or OTT/CTV) and radio (terrestrial or digital) habits? And what percentage of the outreach should you allocate to the different delivery platforms?
Let’s not forget about search, experiential, out-of-home, direct mail, influencer, public relations, product placement, branding, the list goes on and on—you can even advertise in the metaverse. And to add to the complexity, in addition to the multitude of paid media outlets, there is earned media, which is coverage in the news, word of mouth, and social mentions and shares, and owned media such as blogs, websites, and social media posts. Nowadays campaigns can start to look like organized kaleidoscopes with their designs perpetually changing and shifting.
Monitoring each component is so important in maintaining the correct balance of individual facets. The advent of more sophisticated reporting dashboards allows for real time analysis. This ability to see the data and make changes can greatly increase success. Gone are the days of regretting a decision and not being able to do anything about it except suffer the consequences. Social media channels can be interchanged, taken down, or added to with ease. Even media buying is a fluid exercise, non-performing spots can be moved to more productive channels.
Integrated marketing has come of age in these days of awesome technological advances. Every day new and exciting programs, SaaS platforms, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence are being created and launched. The science is intriguing and very powerful in a marketer’s storehouse of tools.
In the end, whether your goal is to entertain, educate, or inspire, integrated marketing is about consistent messaging. Know your audience, define your message, leverage the marketing channels that best achieve your goals, and never stop optimizing.