August 04, 2021
Have you ever had someone tell you that you “can’t see the forest for the trees"? That usually means they're telling you to look at the larger picture instead of getting bogged down by the details. The takeaway from that learning experience, if you've ever had it, is to give singular things plenty of consideration, but also understand that each component serves a larger purpose.
Marketing has the same dilemma. Standalone campaigns can be beautiful and sometimes even be effective. However, if your marketing isn't serving a larger purpose and your individual efforts aren't pieces of a larger puzzle, then you're selling yourself short every single time, no matter how much you invest in a campaign. That's precisely where integrated marketing comes in.
At its core, integrated marketing is a principle that serves to create a complex and seamless marketing campaign with multiple pieces, serving multiple channels, and capturing a wide audience. When done well, an effective integrated campaign will boost your brand awareness to heights you haven't yet seen. Let's explore why.
Integrated Marketing is Customer-Focused
You can't help but walk in the shoes of your customer when constructing an integrated marketing campaign. Integrated campaigns are thoughtful, clever, and speak directly to your audience. However, you're not just speaking at your demographic; you're taking them on a journey, trying to generate a lead, and ultimately trying to create a loyal customer base.
Integrated campaigns use what we call a "lead funnel". Meaning, they start wide and narrow as the customer goes along. Like a funnel, the campaign is meant to flow seamlessly, going from one channel to another. When you serve your customer, your customer serves you. It's a mutually beneficial relationship and your marketing should reflect that.
Integrated Campaigns Have More Space for Creativity
Creativity can be found anywhere. However, when you're running an integrated campaign, you have much more room to flex your creative muscles. A typical campaign of this magnitude could encompass direct mail, social media, email, and many other methods of outreach. When you have multiple canvasses you have plenty of room for fun and it will show in your marketing.
Customers love brands that appear coordinated, consistent, and meaningful. This level of sophistication can't help but elevate your brand and give it a sense of quality.
Consistency is More Effective
Have you ever walked into a building you’re unfamiliar with and you can't figure out where to go? Maybe multiple signs are directing you in multiple directions. Your frustration grows as you can't find what you want, but you also feel betrayed by those sign makers; are they trying to get you lost?
Now imagine creating that same feeling in your customers with a disjointed marketing campaign. Maybe you had good intentions; you just didn't coordinate your messaging well. Whatever the case, you'll leave a bad taste in your customers' mouths regardless.
An integrated campaign is all about consistent messaging despite being spread out across multiple channels of communication. That's the beauty of it; you're capturing the attention of your audience from multiple corners of their world, all while communicating a focused message. Your brand can be whatever you want it to be but if it's not consistent, it's not much of anything.
Marketing On Multiple Channels Puts Your Brand Everywhere
While consistency is great, so is ensuring your messaging covers a wide radius. Even the most thoughtful, most consistent campaign is instantly diminished if it's not seen or heard by your audience.
A good integrated campaign puts your branding all over. If the message is clever, thoughtful, useful, or all three, then no one will even mind. Soon enough, you might even find your business becoming ubiquitous to your customer base. It's easy to forget that common words in our vocabulary were once or still are actual brand names; Kleenex, Xerox, Velcro, and even Band-Aids!
As Consumer Expectations Evolve, Integrated Marketing Steps In
The truth is, the modern consumer is a tough crowd. We have high expectations when it comes to how we're communicated to. We want something concise but clever, pervasive but not nagging. More so, we want to actually interact with our favorite brands.
Integrated marketing campaigns check all of those boxes. They are thoughtful, prolific, and engaging. Even if your customer reads about you via a piece of direct mail, with an integrated campaign they can log into their favorite social media platform and give you a shout-out (and receive one in return.)
Brand Awareness Hinges on Word-of-Mouth
You can shout about your business as much as you want. However, there's always a limit to that method of marketing. At the end of the day, you need your audience to interact with you and pass your message around to become ingrained in the broader consumer consciousness truly.
An integrated campaign is exciting. It should pique the interest of your audience, take them on a journey, and give them something to talk about. Once you have customers talking you can sit back a bit, relax a little, and let forward momentum take your brand to new heights. In the end, that's the true essence of an integrated campaign; to give your brand a certain sense of autonomy, to give it legs and let it work for you, rather than the other way around.