In today’s world, advertising – whether physical or digital – exists everywhere you look. You are greeted by a marketing email as soon as you open your inbox in the morning. Your social media delivers sponsored posts. You see billboards on every corner or bus stop or train station during your commute.Brands need to figure out a way to reach their audience amidst this bombardment of advertising. I argue that a successful marketing campaign is one that is cohesive from day one. In this article, I will lay this idea out step-by-step, and provide tips on how you can integrate your marketing mix. I invite you to think beyond just the advertising within your marketing strategy and consider other departments in your organization that can support your brand’s marketing efforts. Let’s jump right in!
Why You Need to Integrate Your Marketing Mix
People are Immune to Ads and Skeptical of Marketing in General
Have you ever felt bombarded by ads or said “ah, that’s just a marketing gimmick?” Audiences have developed defense mechanisms against advertising, either consciously or subconsciously. Their brains automatically categorize any information that your brand tries to convey as sales-driven and therefore not as genuine. Even if they are receptive, their attention timespan is extremely short.
It Takes 6 to 8 touchpoints to Make a Single Conversion
Even without these defense mechanisms, it is hard to get a single lead. You have to impress the target market at every touchpoint. In addition to that, during the process, your audience is easily distracted by competitors. Research and product comparison are easy to do and this gives more bargaining power to the customers. This whole experience throughout the buying journey plays a vital role in conversion. With cohesive marketing plans, brands can maximize each touchpoint to move the target market down the funnel.
A Single Conversion is Not the End of the Customer Journey
When you think about building your brand, you have to look beyond a single transaction and encourage loyalty or even advocacy in every customer who converts. You have to take into account a customer’s lifetime value and determine whether the cost per acquisition (i.e., the amount you spend for all touchpoints) is worth it. Ultimately, marketers should think about developing brand loyalty and advocacy instead of focusing solely on a single sale. All efforts in doing integrated marketing will be paid off by the loyal customers you earn.
Brands that Thrive are Brands with Consistent Value and Messaging
Research shows that integrated campaigns are 31% more effective in building brands. Without a consistent value and message, there will be no single strong point that your customer will remember. Without substantial brand equity, establishing your brand will be much harder; your target audience may ignore your brand, switch brands or buy your product only when there is an incentive (read: discounts).
Marketing is More than Just Advertising
Most people think about advertising whenever they hear about marketing, as advertising is the most common way we encounter brands. However, there are a lot of other things going on behind the scenes, like market research, product development, brand strategy, etc.—all of which you must consider when creating a successful marketing plan.
How to Build an Integrated Marketing Strategy
Always Align Your Initiatives with Your Foundational Strategy
Let’s go back to the fundamentals of any basic marketing strategy: segmentation, targeting, and positioning. From the get-go, your brand should develop a robust STP model (Segmenting, Targeting, Positioning). A brand that would like to launch a campaign before figuring out its value proposition is like a baby that would like to run before it can crawl. To create a strong brand identity, your initiatives and campaigns should always align with the chosen target market, and your value proposition must be central to every touchpoint.
Choose Your Channels Wisely and Be Flexible with How You Convey Your Message
As marketers, you need to examine not only which platforms your customers use, but also their particular behavior on each one. Therefore, a consistent message across the board is not enough. Instead, a certain level of customization is necessary to make sure you are delivering your message in a way that will resonate most with your audience on every single platform.
Build a Conducive Company Culture
Unfortunately, the biggest challenge to incorporating an integrated marketing strategy often comes from your internal team. Competition between channels within companies still exists, especially in big corporations where each channel has its own siloed goals and initiatives. Moreover, company culture, budgeting and appraisal systems that are built solely around each team’s performance will hinder collaborative culture within the company. To be successful in your integrated marketing efforts, you’ll need to do your best to integrate your teams.
Develop Internal Processes that Promote Collaboration
There are two main centers in a company: the revenue center and the expense center. In most cases, departments like marketing and sales are considered as revenue centers since they directly contribute to the company’s revenue and profit. Other departments like R&D, human resources, finance and IT support usually belong to the expense center. All internal processes and department goals within both centers should be aligned with the company’s ultimate goals to create the most successful marketing campaigns.
So, we have seen a few reasons why integrated marketing is not just a buzzword, but a key to the success of your brand development. I recommend developing a plan to cut through the bombardment of advertisements your audience is faced with by starting from your STP and 4P principles (product, place, price, promotion) to identify opportunities for collaboration among departments. With an integrated marketing strategy built from there, your brand stands a better chance to reach its target audience because you will ensure you are delivering consistent value and messaging to your customers. —Need help integrating your marketing strategy? Hit us up! We’re ready to chat.