When it comes to advertising, it's important that your ads get the greatest possible exposure to your target audience. After all, if people are never exposed to your marketing campaign, then they'll never have the opportunity to act on your messaging.
Of course, exposure is only half the battle: effective ads will contribute to key conversion factors such as top-of-mind awareness (TOMA), brand positioning, and fear of missing out (FOMO). However, an ad that is impactful on its own can be even more powerful when it fits into an integrated marketing campaign. The following information will discuss what an integrated marketing campaign is, and why it should be a top priority for your business.
What is an Integrated Marketing Campaign?
An integrated marketing campaign has been defined as "an approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign, through a well-coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other." It involves the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan of action that leverages several marketing channels to deliver one unifying message.
Integrated marketing campaigns are key to building brand consistency and keeping a company "top-of-mind" for customers. Interestingly, one survey of marketers found that 32% say a given channel is dynamically coordinated with others; however, only 28% of marketers are "completely satisfied" with their efforts at engaging customers across distinct channels at scale.
While it takes a certain level of investment to develop and deploy a truly integrated marketing campaign, the rewards could be enormous. Leading brands across all sectors of industry almost invariably leverage integrated marketing campaigns to drive business. For example, duplicate or marginally modified ad campaigns from McDonald's, Starbucks, Verizon, Apple, and other top-performing companies are regularly distributed to consumers across a range of media, from the Internet to traditional television to radio to in-store signage.
What are the Benefits?
There are several key advantages associated with the use of integrated marketing campaigns as part of a company's overall advertising strategy. Here are just a few of the major benefits to consider:
- Cost-effectiveness: The fact is, if you want to reach the widest possible audience, then you absolutely have to use multiple marketing channels. However, by taking a unified approach in terms of tone, messaging, and other aspects of ad creative, you can reduce the level of investment needed to develop and deliver your ads across different media. In the long run, this will provide your brand with significant cost-savings.
- Increased consumer trust: In today's constantly changing world, most consumers are looking for consistency in their brands. By deploying an integrated marketing campaign with a consistent message and tone, you demonstrate to your consumer base that your company is stable, reliable, and trustworthy.
- Greater top-of-mind awareness: TOMA is a huge factor in many purchase decisions. As a simple example, think about how many times two business people end up making an appointment to meet at Starbucks—not necessarily because they love the coffee there, but because it's the first brand that comes to mind. By constantly reinforcing a single message or selling point through integrated marketing, you generate and fortify TOMA among your consumers.
- Increased reach and visibility: Since integrated marketing campaigns, by their very nature, involve multiple advertising channels, you'll almost certainly be able to reach a broad demographic by executing such an initiative.
- Enhanced credibility in your category: As mentioned above, consistency can gradually win over skeptical consumers. Consistent branding efforts can also promote your company's standing as an "industry expert," which in turn will lead to an even deeper level of consumer trust in your brand.
- Improved search results: Have you ever forgotten the name of a song, but were able to find it by searching one of its lyrics? In a similar way, consumers that are repeatedly exposed to your integrated marketing efforts may eventually enter your sales funnel because of a catchphrase featured on a billboard or commercial. In other words, even if they forget the name of your brand, they won't forget your message. As an example, type in "you're in good hands" on Google; Allstate comes up as the very first result.
Why is Integrated Marketing Important?
Integrated marketing is important for several reasons. For instance, businesses that invest in integrated marketing:
- Reach a higher proportion of their target consumers
- Establish themselves as leading brands in their industry
- Receive a higher ROI from their cumulative ad spend
Of course, it takes time to develop a working infrastructure in which to develop integrated marketing campaigns. Rather than immediately "shoot for the moon," companies may need to start small by diversifying their marketing budget to include one or two additional mediums. For instance, a brand may need to expand into the online space from its base of TV and radio advertising. Once that medium has been solidly incorporated into the brand's overall strategy, then it can move on to social media, OTT advertising, etc. In summary, integrated marketing is a highly impactful and effective way to build your consumer base and grow your business.