As the marketing decision maker for your brand, you’re familiar with the concept of effective marketing that wins customers is marketing that reaches them, consistently and effectively. You’ve undoubtedly realized that to reach your audience, you need to run omni-channel campaigns, however, you may not understand the need for an integrated marketing approach, or what that really looks like. Curata.com reports that, 70% of marketers still lack a consistent, integrated strategy, while, according to the E-tailing group, 72% of consumers want to be marketed to using an integrated marketing approach.
Integrated marketing is not simply the latest jargon in an area that’s constantly evolving and constantly redefining its terminology to encompass the scope of the ever broadening digital landscape. In terms of a quick definition, integrated marketing is a marketing strategy that synchronizes brand message, deals, offers, content, and tone across all of your marketing channels, from new platforms like burgeoning social media and internet radio to the standards such as print advertising and in-store signage. In today’s post, we’ll discuss the benefits of integrated marketing and what they mean for your marketing strategy.
1. Develops Brand Trust
If you’re surprised this is at the top of our list, then perhaps this is the most important section of this article to read. The consumer journey is fragmented, parsed into micro-moments of brands vying for customer attention, so it should be no surprise that a seamless customer experience will drive brand loyalty. To be sure, different audience segments need to receive information about your brand in the way that’s most appealing to them, however, your brand message and the experience you offer must be consistent across all channels. When 80% of local searches are completed via mobile and 73% of those searches result in in-store purchases, it becomes a little more clear why consistency is key.
What a customer sees on each marketing channel needs to reflect what they see everywhere else, including in-store. Information provided via social media (whether it’s a special offer or customer service) needs to be meaningful when facing a store representative just as much as the hours listed for your store on your website need to match the hours posted on your door. To do otherwise only increases customer frustration and decreases the likelihood that they’ll follow through on future engagement or purchases.
2. Integration Makes Your Marketing More Effective
The concept of effective frequency isn’t going to go away any time soon, and more likely than not, neither will the argument over what level of frequency is best. However, once you’ve gathered insightful data, you can analyze how often your audience wants to hear from you on each channel. This will either simplify how you determine frequency or make it more complicated.
The frequency at which your customers should be exposed to your message needs to be measured across all channels. Frequency influences the willingness and ability of consumer behavior and helps graduate potential consumers to intersect their willingness and ability to act. Repeating your message consistently familiarizes consumers with your value proposition and product/service offerings.
A cardinal rule of thumb in advertising is the rule of seven which says that potential customers usually need to see the name of a product or brand seven times or more before they are motivated enough to even think about making a purchase. Research has shown that consumers need to see an advertisement about three or times before it becomes effective.
Say, for example, that your brand is running a contest, and information about that contest and ways to enter it are spread across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Your audience is very likely to be exposed to the message about your brand on each of these channels, not just one of them. One time on each channel means they’ll be exposed to it four times, just by having looked at their social feeds. Now add in your brand’s newsletter, direct mail, and traditional advertising methods. That brings you to seven separate impressions about your contest.
This highlights the importance of using a singular message. If you run the contest information poorly across channels, the information will be disjointed at best, and dismissable at worst. But if you position your information well, using each channel to its advantage, you’re much more likely to see the results of our next point.
3. Motivates the Buyer
Message clarity leads to conversions, and that isn’t limited to leading customers to complete direct calls-to-action. The customer needs to understand why your brand is unique, what your brand offers them, and why they should turn to your brand in the moment they have a question or desire related to your industry. Audiences respond to familiarity, and it takes hearing a message multiple times before they’ll act on it. By pushing your unique perspective in an omni-channel way, by constantly and consistently presenting them with your message and unique selling proposition (USP) no matter which platform they’re using, you improve their odds of taking action.
Remember, the actions you want your customers to take aren’t always limited to purchases. You may want them to engage, and you want them to share different types of content.
4. Allows You to Spend Resources Wisely
Yes, each marketing channel requires a slightly different way of telling your brand story—you wouldn’t use Instagram in the same way that you use Facebook, after all, nor would you use Twitter the way you use either of the others. However, an integrated marketing approach means your resources don’t need to be dispersed constructing multiple, separate campaign or branding elements. It should also lead to fewer meetings and planning sessions, since the unified campaign is operating with a single message and core imagery.
Synchronicity is a strong force in life, but it isn’t luck—it takes hard work. By shifting to an integrated marketing approach, or by better applying it, your brand can better reach and exceed its goals through each and every campaign, and the benefits of integrated marketing remain clear. In fact, integrated marketing for cross-channel success is one of the growth trends expected to be seen this year, polling ahead of even something equally important (segmentation and targeting). It’s time to audit your marketing strategy and take a look at which areas can be integrated more effectively.