Businesses today have an unprecedented range of tools at their disposal with which to promote themselves and their services. From all-singing and dancing websites to social media, email marketing and PPC advertising, the internet has bestowed a rich bounty upon 21st century marketers; a veritable cornucopia of methods for getting marketing messages out there.
But with such an expansive toolkit to utilise, some businesses have suffered from a splintering of their marketing messages, and have used the individual tools in isolation. This can lead to multiple underperforming marketing campaigns, diluted by their lack of common purpose and joint goals. Just as a mechanic wouldn’t depend on one specific tool to fix a motorbike, businesses would do well to consider their myriad marketing platforms as complementary tools, working in harmony towards a common goal. This is the essence of integrated marketing.
Less than an eighth of businesses fully integrate
If you’re not currently integrating your marketing efforts then you’re in good company. According to a recent report by Econsultancy and Adobe – ‘Channels in Concert: Trends in Integrated Marketing’ (http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-integrated-marketing) – only 12% of businesses are currently integrating all of their marketing activities. 43% of respondents said that only some of their campaigns were partly integrated, while 5% said that they didn’t integrate at all.
Integrating your marketing means looking at each channel as part of the same interwoven tapestry, and considering its role within the bigger picture. Here are a few practical steps towards integration:
Revisit your brand message and values
What is the overall image that you’re trying to project to your customers? A good way of thinking about this is to consider what adjectives you want to be associated with, such as “affordable”, “cutting-edge”, “caring”, “knowledgeable” or “experienced”.
Once you’ve pinned down the language and tone that will create the image you aspire to, you should ensure that this is used across all online marketing channels, from your website and email marketing to guest blogs and social media posts. Using a single copywriter or copywriting agency will help to keep your marketing on message.
Link up your marketing efforts
One of the best ways to increase a potential customer’s exposure to your brand is to link together multiple marketing channels. An example of this is installing social media buttons on your website, linking to content on your website from your social media account, and providing links to both in your email marketing. These links will be most effective if they are genuine – for example, if a link to a specific part of your website is useful and relevant to someone who just read related social media content.
Pick the right medium for the message
Each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to think about which one is most suitable for a specific marketing message. It’s generally a good idea to plan and create an overall integrated marketing strategy so you can see the full picture and tweak it where necessary. Take a look at our Content Strategy page for a helpful overview.