Integrated Marketing Strategies – 6 Critical Items to Know Before You Start
What are integrated marketing strategies, and what do you need to know about them before you start building one, find out here.
Integrated marketing is a holistic approach to marketing. Marketers and business owners need to understand this approach for a more successful marketing strategy. An integrated marketing strategy makes it easier for you to reach more of your audience and communicate with them more effectively.
Integrated marketing strategies are designed in a way to increase your brand awareness, increase sales and also build loyal customers maximizing your marketing dollars.
What is is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated marketing uses various channels or media to communicate to your specific audience more consistently. It achieves this by telling a unified story with every channel possible. As such, it delivers the same message on all the channels used by your business. With this, your customers will see consistency when they interact with your brand.
- 51% of companies today use at least eight channels to interact with customers (source).
- 26% of companies have yet to take action regarding an omni-channel strategy (source).
- 16% of marketers say their marketing technology strategies are actually aligned with their business strategies (source).
- 9% of marketers can currently engage customers across channels on a consistent basis (source).
What is a Good Example of an Integrated Marketing Strategy?
This is a great question! I always find it helpful to see a strong visual example to clarify what something actually is. One of my all time favorites is the brand ‘Always’ and the campaign #LikeAGirl.
Why? Because this so clearly illustrates how a brand strengthened their brand image as well as made a significant impact on their target audience and how the nation views that audience.
If you’re not familiar with this campaign;
In 2014, Always launched a new leg of its epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence through puberty and beyond by tackling the societal limitations that stand in their way. Since then, #LikeAGirl has gone from a simple phrase to a powerful and empowering movement.
The results were incredible!
The phrase, “like a girl” hasn’t always had a real positive association with it. Well, at least until this campaign. Now 76% of girls have a positive association with this phrase – that’s up from 19% prior to the campaign launch. The cumulative impact of this campaign was much more significant in such a positive way.
The benefits of integrated marketing strategies are pretty clear. Most businesses would, in fact, like to have a solid integrated campaign in place. That being said, not all businesses are ready to have an integrated marketing strategy. So, what is it that you need to know about integrated marketing strategies before trying to launch one? Let’s find out.
Things to Consider Before Developing Integrated Marketing Strategies
Most small businesses might not see the need for integrated marketing. However, as they increase, they’ll need an integrated marketing strategy. Typically, building and running integrated marketing campaigns require a team. For small businesses, outsourcing integrated marketing services at this point will be best for their transition.
On the other hand, big businesses and B2B companies have the most capital to launch and run these types of marketing strategies successfully. So what can small businesses do to build their brands?
If you are a small business, you can make use of integrated marketing strategies if you know how to go about it. Here are 6 points of concern to address before you start.
1. Is It Something You Can Handle?
Can you develop a strategy yourself? Or do you need professional assistance? These are questions you should ask yourself before developing an integrated marketing strategy. It’ll be pointless developing a plan when you know you can’t follow through.
Integrated marketing might be difficult, especially for highly-technical B2B companies. If this is the case, a B2B marketing agency might be your best bet. With their marketing agency services, you can get improved efficiency.
They also help you get accessibility to a broader audience. And businesses need to focus on their strength. However, with the right professional help, your employees can focus more on other tasks. Also, you can save the time you would have used for trial and error strategies.
2. Think of Your Target Audience
Before developing an integrated marketing strategy, you need to consider your audience. Have a clear understanding of their demographics, location, interests, and attitude. Also, understand their approach to business. What is their age range? Do they read magazines? Are they active on social media? Where do they live?
These areas will help you determine what makes up your ideal target audience. With the information, you can develop tailor-made messages for your audience and know the suitable mediums to pass your message.
3. What are Your Objectives
Another thing to think about before developing your strategy is your objectives. If you can identify and understand your objectives, you can set your goals. Is your objective to create awareness? Or to generate leads or increase engagement? These are things to think about, and finding the answer will go a long way.
Knowing your objectives will help you maximize your reach and exposure. Also, for your objectives, you can track your progress.
4. Consider The Channels of Communication
By analyzing your audience, you might get to know their preferred communication channels. It is necessary to consider the most effective channels for your marketing. What entertains them? Will they be thrilled by images or text? What channels are they most active on?
Even on social media, different audiences have their preference and can be found on various platforms. While Twitter has its audience, Facebook and Tiktok have their own.
So it’s left for you to understand these platforms and know which ones will best convey your information. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of each platform and focus on the ones that will be more beneficial. You don’t necessarily have to use every channel available, just the ones that will boost your strategy.
5. What About Your Budget?
It is no news that you need funds to run a successful marketing strategy. Consider your budget before developing a plan, and work with what you have. Budgeting will help you prioritize your activities
6. Think of Your Human Resources and Tools
Before developing an integrated marketing plan, it’s also necessary to think of your tools and human resources. Do you have enough members on your team, or do you need to add more people?
Also, are the people on your team skilled enough to make your plan successful? If you don’t have skilled members, then consider upgrading your team or outsourcing to an integrated marketing agency.
You also have to consider your available tools. This could be your software (CRM, social media scheduling, and marketing management tool). Ensure that you have sufficient and quality tools to reach your audience and handle new converts.
Integrated marketing is an approach that can make marketing more accessible and more efficient. It combines various communication channels to convey information. With integrated marketing, businesses can strengthen their brand awareness and gain customer loyalty. This is because of the use of consistency in the message passed.
Customers and prospects can get the complete story of the marketing no matter how many communication channels they come across. Uniformed content is an excellent way of earning the trust of your customers.
But before you begin developing an integrated marketing strategy, you must think about some factors. These factors will condition your steps and guide you through creating better Strategies.
You must consider if you and your team can handle the whole marketing process. If you have an inexperienced team, you should step back and let the professionals in. Also, your target audience should be considered. Think about your audience and how you can get your message to their space.
Consider your objectives and the channels that can best help you achieve them.