Integrated Marketing Strategy: What You Need to Know
“Integrated Marketing Strategy” is a phrase that is tossed around in many discussions about marketing and advertising. But what does “integrated marketing” really mean?
Is it using more than one medium to distribute your marketing message? Or is it using different promotional methods that work in unison? Or is it multiple messages distributed through multiple channels that all relate to each other? The reality is that integrated marketing is all of these…and more!
While it may be difficult to create one all-encompassing definition of integrated marketing (Wikipedia has 3 different definitions), having a general understanding of what it is, why it’s important to have an integrated marketing plan and how to create the best integrated marketing strategy are essential to marketing success for your Washington DC area business.
How can we describe integrated marketing?
Since it is a difficult term to define, let’s start by discussing the opposite of integrated marketing: fragmentation. One of the biggest marketing mistakes we see here in the Washington DC area is fragmentation. Since there are so many different marketing options available in today’s world, many advertisers find it difficult to select which media best fit their advertising and marketing needs. Additionally, integrated marketing takes time and patience, luxuries many marketers don’t have. The lack of time and patience is the biggest reason for fragmentation in marketing. For tips on how to avoid fragmenting your advertising, check out this article we recently published: An Effective Marketing Strategy Isn’t Cheap!
Why is having an integrated marketing plan important?
Technology and consumerism are ever-changing. And that creates a necessary evolution of your company’s integrated marketing. The relationship you want to build with consumers also changes as their needs, wants and desires evolve. Consumers now want to be more engaged and have more interaction with your company and brand. General marketing, customer service, reputation marketing, and sales are morphing into one big beast that needs to be tackled and tamed. All departments of your company, especially any that are client-facing or that interact with consumers, should be communicating one consistent identity that is the face of your company.
How can you create the best integrated marketing strategy for your business?
Integrated marketing is more than creating one slogan and sending it out through every channel that you THINK will reach your target audience. The key to integration is creating one identity and communicating it from message to message and from medium to medium. As Business Week says, "it [integration] requires not only the identification of a powerful, unifying strategy and compelling voice for your brand, but the discipline to roll it into every aspect of your organization—from advertising to sales, customer service to customer relationship management programs (and beyond)."
Want to learn more about creating the best marketing strategy for your Washington DC area business? Download this free eBook today: