Integrated Marketing Communications

Integrated Marketing Communications

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What Is Integrated Marketing?

More than a common tagline, consistent colour palette or pretty logo, Integrated Marketing is a marketing strategy built on a simple philosophy: that the marketing whole is greater than the sum of its fragmented parts.

By unifying marketing efforts across all channels, an Integrated Marketing campaign can present a consistent, connected and cohesive brand message to customers. That will enable it to improve the effectiveness of marketing teams and their ability to communicate a message about a business’s brand, products or services.

Once defined by traditional mainstream media channels such as broadcast and direct mail, Integrated Marketing has undergone rapid change since the American Association Of Advertising Agencies first coined the term back in 1989. Nowadays, new technologies are continuing to disrupt these aging stalwarts of the marketing world. This has given rise to an ever-increasing number of digital, mobile and social networking channels.

As a result, marketing teams are now vying for the attention of a connected customer who is exposed to as many as 247 commercial messages a day across a diverse range of media channels. Day in. Day Out.

This meteoric rise in digital channels can be attributed to a number of prevailing factors in recent years:

  • The increasing difficulty for a standalone message to make an impact in an oversaturated market.
  • A decline in the audience for traditional media formats including TV, radio and print.
  • A move towards digital channels given the accessibility of internet services and the rapid mass-market adoption of mobile and connected devices.
  • The reduced cost of storage and the resulting cost-efficiency of database marketing.
  • An increased focus on marketing spend and budgets.

The continued fragmentation of the customer base means new technologies and the marketing channels they provide are playing a crucial role in the success of modern marketing campaigns. This leaves marketing teams to manage numerous additional elements if their campaigns stand any chance of reaching the same-sized audience they once did.

Integrated Marketing Elements

The Components Of An Integrated Marketing Campaign

Integrated Marketing’s holistic approach sees it utilise a wide variety of both traditional and nontraditional media and promotional methods to effectively deliver its core campaign message.

Advertising

Paid advertising is a mainstay of modern marketing campaigns. And while the focus on traditional media advertising channels has shifted in recent years, new technology has given rise to a far more diverse range of digital and online advertising channels.

Common Advertising Methods

  • Traditional broadcast media including print, television and radio.
  • Outdoor channels such as billboards, vehicle and transit advertising.
  • Online outlets including blogs and websites.

Advertising In Action In An Integrated Marketing Campaign:

  • Online or web advertisements that are run on select sites to target a specific segment of the online audience.
  • Broadcast advertisements that direct customers to specialised websites, landing pages or social media accounts.

Marketing

Integrated Marketing utilises existing databases of current and potential customers to engage with them directly, delivering a tailored message that drives them to action, whether this be visiting a website, signing up to a newsletter or making a purchase.

Common Marketing Methods

  • Direct mail including letters, catalogues, offers and coupons.
  • Telemarketing and direct selling.
  • Branded products and assorted goods.
  • Email and newsletter campaigns.

Marketing In Action In An Integrated Marketing Campaign:

  • Promotional material including catalogues, pamphlets or coupons that encourage a response such as visiting a website.
  • Email campaigns and newsletters that rely on value-driven content and calls to action.

Public Relations (PR)

Public Relations (PR) provides marketing teams with an effective outlet to quickly and effectively build good relations with customers, as well as increase the business’s overall corporate image and standing within the local and greater general public.

Common PR Methods

  • Special events including publicity stunts and community events.
  • Press coverage including interviews and features in both web and print media publications.
  • Press releases and conferences.

PR In Action In An Integrated Marketing Campaign:

  • Press releases and announcements delivered via local, national and international online news outlets.
  • Public or community events that build good will, brand recognition and drive interest.

Social Media

The continued rise of social media is providing marketing teams with the unique ability to cut out the middle-man and connect, communicate and interact with customers directly. As a result, marketing teams now have far greater control over how their message is communicated. This involves customers as an active participant in the sharing, communication and amplification of a marketing campaign’s main message.

Common Social Media Methods

  • Social communication platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Google+
  • Video and image sharing services including YouTube, Vine, Instagram and Snapchat
  • Professional networks such as LinkedIn
  • Social sharing platforms including Foursquare and Pinterest.

Social Media In Action In An Integrated Marketing Campaign:

  • Twitter campaigns that utilise unique hashtags and call for community involvement.
  • Instagram competitions that invite customers to submit their own content (images) that relate to the core campaign message.
  • Video content via YouTube or Vine.
  • Inviting customer feedback and participation, especially in the case of a re-brand or product re-launch.

Digital and Mobile

Digital and mobile marketing channels continue to grow at breakneck speed. In fact, nearly two-thirds of American adults – some 64 per cent – now own a smartphone. Which makes the inclusion of digital and mobile channels a must for any modern integrated marketing campaign that needs to get results.

Common Digital and Mobile Methods

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Pay per click
  • Companion mobile apps
  • Interactive media

Digital and Mobile In Action In An Integrated Marketing Campaign:

  • In-app advertisements and calls to action that lead to specialised landing pages
  • A fully-featured online presence and responsive mobile website
  • Companion apps in the form of resources, tools or games
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO), online visibility and brand recognition
  • QR codes and other interactive media that leads to specialised websites or landing pages.

Integrated Marketing Campaign

The 4Cs Of An Effective Integrated Marketing Campaign

Effective Integrated Marketing Campaigns are built around four major governing principles — principles that ensure marketing teams are able to maximise the impact of every marketing channel at their disposal.

1. Coherence

Integrated Marketing’s strength lies in its ability to deliver a strong, focused brand message across a range of diverse marketing channels. It’s only able to do this as long as every channel utilised is communicating a coherent message — one that’s working towards the same overall marketing goal.

2. Consistency

Consistency across all marketing channels is crucial to the success of any integrated marketing campaign. Like a house of cards, a message communicated by one channel can’t be contradicted by that of another, or the entire campaign falls down, and the illusion is broken.

By maintaining a consistent look, feel and message across all media, marketing teams are able to ensure that customers receive the same core message, irrespective of the platform, media or marketing channel they’re receiving it on.

3. Continuity

Modern marketing campaigns are highly fluid things, progressing and evolving over time as marketing teams analyse what works, what doesn’t, and where changes can be made to increase their effectiveness. Continuity ensures that these ‘next steps’ follow a logical progression, always keeping sight of the core campaign message.

4. Complementary

Not all marketing channels are created equal: what works for one marketing campaign may not work for another. By identifying complementary channels that account for the strengths and weaknesses of the others, integrated marketing campaigns are able to more effectively deliver their message.

Where Is Integrated Marketing Going?

Predicting the future of integrated marketing doesn’t require a crystal ball. In fact, the steps it’s taken over the previous five, 10 or even 15  years are an accurate indicator of just where integrated marketing’s future lies.

Driven by the increasing rise of new technologies including wearables and the growth of the Internet of Things, an already scattered customer base is set to become more fractured as time passes.

As a result, marketing teams will be required to cover more ground in less time to remain effective, monitoring campaign results, identifying new channels that offer real value and making informed decisions as to which of these are worthy of investment. This is a crucial step in ensuring marketing teams are ahead of the curve and keeping up with where their customer base is headed.

The likes of account-based, content marketing and inbound marketing are offering companies lucrative new options. Yet while traditional marketing methods such as radio and television were often outsourced to third parties in the past, these new channels are increasingly managed in-house. This stretches already busy marketing teams that much thinner.

Account-based Marketing

Account-based marketing takes a personal, customised approach to marketing in contrast to the ‘one size fits all’ methodologies of traditional marketing methods. Identifying and then targeting a specific set of user accounts, marketing teams treat these as a ‘market of one’. They then tailor their message to specific accounts, clients and customers in much the same way Integrated Marketing tailors its message to the channel being used.

A key technique in business-to-business marketing, the success of account-based marketing hinges on access to — and analysis of — a range of data to help identify the most lucrative accounts that will provide the highest return on investment (ROI).

Content Marketing

With the continued growth of online and digital channels, content marketing is increasingly becoming a major pillar of successful marketing campaigns, as it’s one of the most effective methods of increasing online visibility and brand recognition.

Content marketing is built on the idea of providing value to customers first and foremost, resulting in the creation, distribution and marketing of value-driven content that is consistent with the goals and objectives of the integrated marketing campaign as a whole.

Inbound Marketing

Rather than leading a horse to water, inbound marketing is aimed at drawing customers in rather than seeking out and obtaining them. The philosophy behind this? Simple: Build it — and market it effectively — and they will come.

A key extension of content marketing, this natural acquisition method is achieved through the strategic use of content and search marketing, increasing the overall online and brand visibility of a business, its content and its message.

Integrated Marketing Cloud

What Is An Integrated Marketing Management Platform?

Modern marketing teams are now required to meet campaign goals and objectives, while at the same time creating, launching and managing marketing campaigns across a far wider range of disparate channels than ever before.

Technological advances are quickly outpacing the capabilities of marketing teams the world over. This has left many feeling as though they don’t have access to all the tools they need to effectively achieve the marketing goals set by businesses and internal stakeholders.

But there is an answer.

With the introduction of a cloud-based Integrated Marketing Management Platform, marketing teams the world over now have access to a modern toolkit to help them meet the challenges they face on a daily basis.

With this, marketing teams are able to run more effective marketing campaigns in an increasingly digital age. They are better able to create, manage and launch multiple integrated marketing campaigns from a single, unified platform, all while maintaining 100 per cent visibility across every aspect from budgets to teams, agencies, conversations and results.

Integrated Marketing Advantages

The Advantages Of An Integrated Marketing Management Platform

Cloud Based And Web Access

The increasing number of marketing channels has placed more balls in the court for marketing teams to juggle, managing communications across internal teams and external partners that are all involved in delivering a successful campaign.

With an Integrated Marketing Management Platform, all team members can work together effectively within a single, unified cloud-based workspace, irrespective of their location, whether they’re in the office, at home, or on the move.

The Benefits of Integrated Marketing Management

Marketing Team Management

Marketing teams are finding it increasingly difficult to track every element of their integrated marketing campaigns, which can lead to confusion over who has signed off on campaigns, or whether they meet all legal and compliance requirements.

With the single, unified work environment of an integrated marketing management platform, marketing teams can more effectively work and communicate together, maintaining complete control and visibility of timelines, and ensuring objectives, plans, resources, activities, budgets and metrics are properly aligned and co-ordinated across the entire team.

By doing so, marketing teams are empowered  to create, collaborate on, and execute successful marketing campaigns on time, within budget, and on-brand.

Marketing Resource Management

An integrated Marketing Management Platform makes the management of resources including digital assets and team members across all channels and departments easier than ever, streamlining the workflow and providing marketing teams with far greater speed and control.

Marketing Budget Management

Marketing teams are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve the desired marketing outcome while also remaining within budget. With the help of an Integrated Marketing Management Platform, it’s never been easier to set and distribute a marketing budget across all areas. This ensures marketing campaigns achieve maximum possible results within budget.

Increased Marketing Efficiency And Effectiveness

Providing easy access to every element of an integrated marketing campaign, Integrated Marketing Management Platforms increase the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing operations. This has been shown to make marketing campaigns more effective, improving marketing team performance, and increasing returns on investment by between 15 and 25 per cent.

Easy Tracking And Analytics

Easy access to results and data is critical to the success of any marketing campaign. But new channels have resulted in an explosion in data and metrics that marketing teams are expected to track, analyse and manage.

Taking the guesswork out of successful marketing, Integrated Marketing Management Platforms provide easy access to all data sets, enabling marketing teams to use this information to make informed decisions about what works, what doesn’t, and how to shape current and future marketing campaigns.

Six ways to smash the silos that plague marketing

What Can A Marketing Performance Management Platform Do For Integrated Marketing Communications Teams?

Marketing Performance Management platforms help marketers be more agile and effective by tracking the processes and campaigns that work well and providing the data that can enable efficient processes and campaigns to be identified, optimised, and repeated.

Go-To Playbooks

The extensive data provided by a Marketing Performance Management Platform informs more than just marketing campaigns past and present. By identifying which elements provide real results, marketing teams are able to create go-to playbooks that allow them to easily repeat successful strategies that have been proven to work, and to minimise activities that aren’t aligned with core objectives.

Process Automation

With a wealth of data at their fingertips and easily accessible playbooks at the ready, marketing teams are able to automate large portions of the marketing process, letting technology take care of the detail and tasks while they’re better able to invest their time and attention where it’s needed most.

As customers and the channels marketers reach them through continue to change, having easy access to the data that matters most can prove critical in ensuring the long-term success of any given integrated marketing campaign. With a Marketing Performance Management platform such as Simple, marketing teams are able to easily access and visualise data sets from a range of different media all in the one place.

Through this, marketing teams are able to gain critical insights, analyse data and make informed predictions. By actively monitoring statistics and data in real time, marketing teams are able to react accordingly, creating an agile marketing environment where individuals and teams can work together to create, run and manage marketing campaigns that work.

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