12 Aug How to Boost Marketing Results Using Integrated Marketing
Like the phrase suggests, integrated marketing campaigns or integrated marketing communications (IMC) are an approach to marketing that uses similar messaging in several tactical forms and channels to reach a large, yet very targeted audience, with cohesive themes and messages.
In an integrated marketing campaign, no matter the channel a consumer is reached, the message, theme and brand are represented the same. Various tactics used within an integrated marketing campaign need to work together to engage and hold attention of consumers. The experience should remain the same across all touchpoints.
What is an integrated marketing campaign?
In both visual and textual elements, the messaging involved across an integrated marketing campaign needs to work together. If a brand presents itself in a fragmented way across channels, consumers struggle to remember it. People learn through repetition, so seeing the same message over and over delivered in a similar way helps with brand recall and awareness.
Common channels you could use for your campaign include emails, digital ads, billboards, TV ads, radio ads and social media, as well as a variety of inbound and earned media tactics, such as written or video blogs, eBooks or digital asset downloads, webinars, tours, press releases, media pitches and a variety of others. While there is not one specific channel that is the most effective for every audience, it is important to choose the channels that will best target your specific audience.
However, overall, email marketing has the highest ROI of all channels, so it is a beneficial to integrate email marketing into any campaign. With email marketing, you can personalize messaging, which in turn increases customer engagement. Seventy-four percent of marketers say personalization increases customer engagement. If customers have a high engagement with your brand, customer retention will also be high.
Why is integrated marketing important?
Your goal through your integrated marketing campaign is to make your brand recognizable and memorable across multiple channels. If consumers have greater exposure to your messaging, they are more likely to remember it, and therefore, become customers. According to Gartner, integrated campaigns across four or more channels outperform single or dual-channel campaigns by 300%.
Using only one platform for a marketing campaign limits your audience to only those who use that platform, so you miss out on other potential customers. Again, it is important to use a variety of channels to reach as much of your audience as possible. We saw this in just one month with the integrated marketing campaign we developed for a local law firm.
Additionally, integrated marketing works to not bore or frustrate your audience. In being able to use different channels over different periods of time, audience members will be targeted with the same messages, but they won’t have to see it repeatedly in the same space. Oversaturation in one channel can cause audiences to “tune-out” advertising (also known as “wearout”), so having exposure in a variety of touchpoints can help to ensure not all channels are tuned out.
It is also important to consider how you tie different channels together. There can be no lost communication if different people see certain channels first or in different orders. Each channel needs to simultaneously be a stand-alone message and a piece of a larger campaign.
Finally, integrated marketing campaigns are cost efficient marketing plans because you can use the same content and messaging across multiple platforms. While you may need to resize graphics and adjust copy and video ad length based on where it will be used, integrated marketing allows you to “re-purpose” content, meaning you get more bang for your buck.
How do I start an integrated marketing campaign?
Before you start on the tactical pieces of an integrated marketing plan, you’ll need to determine your brand’s target audience. Then, research what channels your brand’s target audience uses most frequently. These will be the channels you should utilize within your integrated marketing campaign.
In order to track your ROI and continuously adapt based on the results you see, set goals for each channel. How many clicks do you want to see? How long do you want people to stay on a social media page or blog post? Having set goals for these channels will help you determine if you need to alter your strategy.
The next step will be to create messaging for your marketing. Remember that although there will be content across a variety of platforms, they should all have very similar messaging. Content may need to be adapted to be slightly longer or shorter depending on the platform, but messaging should stay consistent.
After you launch your integrated marketing campaign, be sure to continuously measure how customers are reacting to each channel. As discussed, if certain channels aren’t meeting the goals you set, you may want to revisit your channel selection to optimize for the highest ROI.
Have regular discussions about the stats you’re seeing and continue to monitor results. Remember to use these findings to make adjustments on the fly (that’s the beauty of so many digital advertising opportunities), as well as in future campaigns to be the most efficient later.
Successful integrated marketing campaigns blend visual and textual elements to create messaging that is used across multiple platforms to reach wide audiences. This is important because it allows you to target wider audiences with the use of multiple channels.
Integrated marketing helps make your brand more recognizable and memorable to consumers because they are exposed in a variety of ways. The goal of integrated marketing is to turn viewers into customers.
Interested in developing an integrated marketing campaign but don’t know where to start? We can help! Or, maybe you’re in the middle of executing a campaign and need a little help with designing digital ads or developing a TV commercial. Schedule a call today—we’d love to learn more about your goals and how we can partner with you.
Abriela will be a junior in the fall of 2021 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is working toward a journalism major in both reporting and strategic communication, as well as a certificate in public policy. On campus, she is a digital news editor for The Badger Herald, and is book club chair for Badgers for Special Olympics.