Times are changing. With the rapid development of new technology, marketing professionals are now faced with thinking outside of the traditional TV box. Thanks to the advancements with the World Wide Web and cellular devices, mediums like Facebook and Instagram are now ruling the marketing airwaves. Thus, marketing and advertising strategies had to adapt to fit in with how society is now consuming content - online and at an extreme rate.
This is where integrated marketing comes in to save the day. Now, integrated marketing is not a new technique, but the benefits will blow your mind. In fact, you might have heard of integrated marketing as omni-channel marketing, cross-channel marketing, or marketing orchestration. In order to understand the power of integrated marketing communications (IMC), let’s get past the jargon and define what it actually means.
Definition: What is IMC?
So, what does integrated marketing communications mean? Data & Marketing Association defines Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) as the "approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.”
Solid definition, right? Let’s break it down into plain English. Integrated marketing is a strategy used to provide your target audience with a consistent experience with a brand, across the multiple mediums. For example, an integrated marketing campaign might consist of advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and the Google Display Network - all of which must have similar tone, voice, and messaging to create that seamless brand experience. Similarly, the creative assets are consistent and use the same type of messaging whether the ad is on Facebook, Instagram or the Google Display Network.
Why IMC is important?
Utilizing integrated marketing on both traditional (e.g.: TV, radio, billboards) and non-traditional (e.g.: social media, online) mediums provides a great value to consumers and businesses. More importantly, IMC allows your business to ensure that you’re capturing your target audience’s attention by being on the same channels they are on. By utilizing all of the target audiences' preferred channels, your business is reinforcing its messaging, helping to generate brand awareness, and ultimately encouraging consumers to take action.
In addition, having consistent messaging and a seamless consumer journey helps brands generate brand loyalty, strong customer relationships, and increase sales. This type of journey sets the stage for stronger customer relationships that will lead to loyal advocates and repeat customers.
Integrated marketing can also help businesses reduce their creative marketing costs. By using the same images and making small changes to copy, your company is able to save money by reducing copywriting, design and photography costs.
Here are a couple examples of the benefits to running a cross-channel marketing campaign:
• 86% of marketing professionals believe that successfully integrating multiple channels using one omni-channel strategy is critical for long-term success.
• When content is posted on two or three channels it saw a 24% increase in engagement.
• 60% of multichannel marketers reported increases of more than 10% in revenue, which can be attributed to marketing efforts.
• 40% of multichannel marketers also reported increases of more than 15% gains in revenue due to marketing efforts.
Why mediums should be integrated?
With people consuming content and media on multiple mediums or sources, the best strategy is to reach your audience on their favorites. This strategy also helps to generate more touch points. Marketing works best when you’re communicating consistently on various channels because this helps reinforce your message. In fact, when lead management campaigns integrated 4 or more digital channels they found the campaign outperformed single or dual-channel campaigns by 300%.
It’s also important to strategically pick which channels your brand will utilize. Using more channels will help amplify your brand, but this doesn’t mean your brand has to be on all of the channels. When it comes to picking your channels consider doing audience research.
Not to mention, this is what your customers want! 72% of consumers want to experience an integrated marketing approach. Now in order to become top of mind within a buyer’s consciousness it takes a minimum of 7 touchpoints within an 18-month time frame. Running an integrated marketing communications campaign is just plain smart if you want to see results from your marketing efforts. Another reason to consider running more integrated marketing campaigns is only 30% of companies are using integrated marketings cross-functionality, however 67% of your competitors are prioritizing integrating their marketing activities. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, your business should start utilizing omni-channel marketing.
46Mile helps businesses stay ahead of the curve by conducting research. In our research, we look at audience behaviors, consumer channel consumption, and create messaging architecture that is bolstered by personas. All of this helps, clients smartly create consistent messaging that is placed where there target audience are most likely to see their advertising.
Storytime: Take a look at a successful integrated marketing campaign.
When you’re trying something new, it’s always helpful to take a look at how another how other companies did it successfully. So let’s take a look at how GoPro did a stand out job utilizing multiple channels for a campaign.
GoPro used different mediums in the “Be a Hero" integrated campaign such as, print, digital, in-store displays, and out of home. Although, GoPro used multiple channels, but messaging never changed. It always said, “This is your life. Be a hero.” Although, their photography changes their branding doesn’t it’s still displays the different levels of thrill seekers who would resonate with living their life in an impactful manner.
To check out more of the advertising collateral take a look at this page. Here’s an example of GoPro’s print ads.
In addition, take a look at GoPro’s online branding.
Why your business needs integrated marketing?
In the current marketing and advertising landscapes, advertising on multiple channels is becoming more important to see success. By running omni-channel campaigns, marketers and advertisers are able to create consistent messaging and creative assets, which helps to build and keep brand integrity. Campaigns that utilize three or more channels outperform single or dual channel campaign. With more noise being out in the world, marketers need to generate at least seven touchpoints for a customer to take action within about a year. In fact, 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience.
Today’s consumers are on various channels and expect that brands keep up. Consumers now also need to see more marketing at various times from the same brand in order to consider making a purchase. Integrated marketing helps solve for how consumers have changed.
If satisfying your customers isn’t reason enough to try integrated marketing, how about multi-channel campaigns have better performance and can generate over 15% more in revenue. On-top of that, running integrated marketing communication campaigns tend to be cost saving because you’re not coming up with new messaging and creative collateral for each channel.
We hope that now you know the definition of integrated, as well as all of its benefits, that you consider using this tactic on future marketing campaigns. It’s a strategy that holistically helps your business, brand, and marketing effectiveness.