Integrated marketing is the strategic fusion and coordination of digital, traditional, and experiential marketing channels to create a seamless, consistent customer experience.
It develops an unmistakable brand identity and voice that permeates all sales, marketing, and communications. It is the defined purpose of a broader perspective and objective. Integrated marketing helps your audience see the forest through the trees, and serves as the master plan for your brand’s communications.
Fluent translation of the brand’s message to many different channels is critical in a world of fragmented audiences, and virtually limitless advertising opportunities.
The Benefits Of Integrated Marketing
An integrated marketing strategy will better align business goals to marketing activities, and maximize the value of each interaction. It builds long-term brand equity and grows sustainable revenue by strengthening the core of each process. There is efficiency and effectiveness in each communication.
Integrated marketing leads to an enhanced collaboration between sales and marketing at an operational level. This collaboration creates a greater understanding of both employee and customer needs to amplify acquisition, drive acquisition, and increase retention.
Integrated marketing will help you better determine goals, objectives, and responsibilities. This creates an opportunity to share ideas that:
- Improve internal protocols and software.
- Create better web content and sales materials.
- Acquire and analyze data to make better decisions.
These critical elements have a company-wide impact. They are a catalyst for a better customer service and a higher level of employee engagement.
“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.”
Mattie Stepanek, Poet
On the campaign level, integrated marketing leads to a consistency and clarity in all brand communications. It brings organization and clear purpose to your marketing efforts. It establishes a process for each step of the buyer’s journey that improves over time.
Integrated marketing helps in synchronizing everything from social media and event promotions, to lead nurturing and CRM software. It allows you to place a QR code on your direct mail, so customers can take part in your remarketing campaign.
The real potential of a brand is achieved by creating the best customer experience possible.
GoPro: An Example of Integrated Marketing At Its Best
Kevin Woodman was selling shell jewelry and belts out of a van before his idea became a billion dollar brand. He knew taking on behemoths such as Canon and Sony would require tremendous effort and a brilliant consumer engagement strategy.
Fifteen years later, GoPro remains one of the best examples of a successful integrated marketing strategy with user-generated content, online advertising, and strategic partnerships.
By harnessing the power of social media, SEO, and content marketing, GoPro gained a competitive advantage on much larger brands, who did not engage consumers as well on these channels. In addition, PPC advertising attracted targeted leads and drove qualified buyers to their website.
GoPro fostered brand engagement by promoting user-generated content and hosting sponsored events. This built a brand awareness and loyalty that led to strategic partnerships with over 130 athletes, musicians, and Marriot International.
A Nielsen survey reported that 92 percent of consumers want companies to create advertising that feels like a story.
GoPro is able to meet and exceed this consumer need through the strategic use of user-generated content that showcases their product across many channels.
Over 6,000 GoPro-tagged videos are uploaded to YouTube each day. On Twitter, @GoPro serves up visually stunning videos and imagery for over two million followers. A GoPro channel now streams content on Xbox and Virgin Airlines. This positions them to become a user-generated media content provider that goes beyond a tangible product and sells an experience.
GoPro continues to expand on their targeting of kayakers, climbers, snowboarders and outdoor enthusiasts. They are now broadening their marketing efforts to attract adventurous families, drone owners, firemen, and other well-defined audiences.
With over five million subscribers tuning in on YouTube and an impressive level of customer engagement, they have set a high standard for integrated marketing campaigns of the future.
Integrated Marketing Strategies On A Smaller Scale
Integrated marketing is not exclusive to global brands or large corporations. In fact, small and medium-sized businesses have many advantages over regional and national organizations when it comes to implementing an integrated marketing campaign.
There are fewer decision makers and barriers to entry. Investments in software and advertising do not require corporate approval. Smaller brands can be more flexible, efficient, authentic.
Improving the customer experience is a daunting task, but it is one that can maximize ROI and brand potential. This process should start with a brand discovery that reveals valuable insight and becomes a user’s manual for future communications.
Steps to Brand Discovery:
- Define goals and objectives
- Perform a competitive analysis
- Admit strengths and weaknesses
- Assess each customer touchpoint
- Analyze data and determine KPIs
- Gather resources and brand assets
- Perform an SEO, PPC and content analysis
- Identify channels with the best return
- Address inefficient internal processes
- Update marketing collateral and communications
- Implement software and automated technologies
- Coordinate digital, traditional and event campaigns
- Reveal opportunities for growth
- Explore strategic partnerships
Take the time to research, brainstorm, collaborate, and question everything – this will lead to a higher return on investment and more precisely aligned brand strategy.
This is how brand equity is built, and a brand image is defined. It is how communications are coordinated effectively and synchronized efficiently. This is how integrated marketing increases revenue and maximizes brand potential.
An integrated marketing strategy beautifully merges the digital, traditional and experiential channels to form a unique, enjoyable and memorable customer experience. This defines the brand image. In the process, a stronger identity, message, and vision are achieved. Clear communication and effective collaboration become inherent. An organization is better prepared and empowered to deliver on the brand promise.
As a result, both the business and consumer gain a better understanding of each other. Each interaction is given purpose and value. Employees are equipped with the tools and technology to succeed. The full potential of a brand can be realized. This leads to a measurable increase in awareness, engagement, loyalty, and ultimately, revenue.