Integrated Marketing is the act of aligning your marketing, advertising, personal relations, and branding, etc. to aim for one clear objective. Many of these strands will have general cross-overs but by coordinating each component, you can expand the reach and effectiveness of your message. Not only does integrated marketing provide the consistency required to solidify your message and reinforce your brand image, it also can make for a more cost-effective way to generate sales and enquiries for your business.
Many large businesses use integrated marketing very well, some examples being John Lewis every year at Christmas, and Coca Cola with their Share a Coke campaign. However, this is not to say that integrated marketing cannot work well for businesses with a smaller budget too. Marketing is on-going and so having a continuous message across all aspects of your business will complement the message you are trying to promote. For a small business, making a statement and making it very clear who you are and what you do will be more memorable for your target audience – a great way to build up your brand image in the long run.
The best way to start out is to create a plan, which is something you’ll need to work hard on this as this is the part where the real nitty gritty work is. Once you have done all the research and thinking required to formulate the plan, the implementation should come fairly easily provided your team can collaborate effectively. You can use the below structure as it is or adjust it to fit your business but these are the areas which are key to creating a successful integrated marketing campaign:
What is the purpose of your campaign? What do you want it to achieve? By setting this out at the start, you can have a clear goal and ensure that everything else works collaboratively to achieve it.
In this section, you need to specify and quantify the objectives required for you to achieve your goal. This gives you targets that you can base the rest of the campaign around. For example, if your purpose is to increase the sales of a new product, your objectives might be to raise awareness of the product by 50% or to generate 20% of sales through social media, both within 6 months.
Quantifying the objectives in this way means you can track the success of the campaign, as you’ll read about later in the plan. Remember to make the figures aspirational but also realistic for your business – you’ll need to do your research here!
Who is your audience? Have you got a specific target market? The narrower the market, the more specific and therefore effective your message will be so you need to ensure that you spend enough time planning this section. Once you have confirmed your target audience, you need to learn as much as you can about them: How old are they? What is their economic background? What career do they have? Etc. There are so many online sources for discovering information about your desired audience’s demographics so you can really develop this section for a defined target market.
At this stage, you need to establish the message you will use across all your platforms. How can your product or service benefit your audience? The story you tell on each platform needs to be consistent and should transfer well across them. Confirm a headline and image to use across your marketing campaign also as this will become something your target audience will recognise throughout the duration of the campaign.
The strategy is the big idea and the general theme of your plan. What is the stance you’ll take to achieve your objectives? Following on with the earlier idea of generating sales for a new product, your strategy may be to use social media and experiential advertising to raise awareness and to generate sales. You may find that you need to go back and edit your objectives as you write this section to keep your plan coherent.
Tactics are the specifics of how you will implement the strategy. To continueour example, your tactics here may be to arrange a series of experiential events and to have a hashtag displayed around the event to get people using it in order to get the conversation going on social media. You could also create a geofilter (a location based overlay) for Snapchat that is only available at the locations of each event to further promote your brand. Your list of tactics will most likely be the longest and most detailed part of your plan – and as always, the more detail you include when planning, the easier the implementation.
The only way to track how your efforts are paying off is to measure the results of the campaign. If you choose objectives that are easily measurable, then this part will be easier for you. Agree with your team which areas you will measure – views, clicks, conversions, follower counts, engagement, etc. and then keep track. Remember to refer back to your objectives in each review – are you on track to complete them within the time-frame set in the campaign?
For any questions regarding Integrated Marketing or your online Digital Strategy, please contact WNW Digital today.