Integrated marketing campaigns bring different channels together to deliver a message that helps the customer to properly identify the brand or product being promoted.
One of the best examples of an integrated marketing campaign done right is from Compare the Market and their meerkat. By creating a toy that customers could own, the campaign went far deeper than a mere advertising campaign on TV or the internet.
The fun and friendly characters have helped turn insurance into something that even children can connect to and after a year, the campaign had helped to increase the market share of Compare the Market by 76%.
According to David Pickton and Dr Amanda Broderick, authors of Integrated Marketing Communications, there are four essential C’s that need to be followed in order to craft an integrated campaign. For anyone looking for ways to create a successful strategy of their very own, this can be a great way of getting started.
A successful marketing strategy must have a coherent approach. Without this, there is no chance of properly identifying your target audience, or which market is best suited for your campaign.
Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi wrote in the HBR that:
“A company becomes coherent only when its capabilities system is consciously chosen and implemented to support a focused strategic purpose, or way to play, and is aligned with the right product and service portfolio.”
Not only do obvious channels such as PR and advertising need to be considered, it’s essential to consider which other platforms can help meet the campaign objectives.
It’s vital you coordinate a plan that coincides with the message you want to deliver to your target audience. Think carefully about who you want to reach, how you’re going to create value for your customers and how you’ll deliver this.
Coherency involves thinking logically about your decisions and identifying how you can draw together different channels to deliver one, consistent message.
One good example of this in practice is the John Lewis Partnership model. By treating employees as ‘partners’ who receive a share of overall profits, staff are encouraged to continuously demonstrate genuine customer service throughout every aspect of the customer’s journey.
It’s important that everything in your marketing strategy reiterates the same brand message. Having consistency to tell the story of your brand or product is crucial.
Not only do you need your marketing to portray the right message, you want it to appeal visually too. Using brand colours and elements that customers associate with you will reinforce the message and help consumers link different channels to one another.
You must work closely with your team to develop and devise a voice that will be delivered across multiple channels. The messages you create should be easily understood and relate back to your target audience. In every aspect of your campaign, people must understand what you’re selling and why it’s beneficial to them.
Over time, your campaign may change and this is fine provided you keep a continuous style throughout. Commit to making a mutual understanding with your audience and you’ll find they will remain loyal to your brand.
Being able to connect all pieces together across multiple platforms will mean your audience understands what to expect from you. If you end up with a campaign that looks and feels all over the place, your audience may become confused and ultimately lose interest in what you’re selling.
To make sure you meet expectations, hold regular strategy meetings that focus directly on the continuous interactions with your audience. This will help make sure all channels remain effective and that everyone in your company understands the identity and values of your brand.
You need to understand how to produce a balanced communication process, constantly thinking about how things will come together.
Figuring out how different channels will work alongside one another is an important factor in creating an effective campaign. By allowing channels to complement one another, you’ll build momentum and help the campaign gain a wider audience as more people are likely to see it on at least one of your platforms.
One good example of an effective integrated strategy is Moneysupermarket.com’s ‘You’re So Moneysupermarket’ campaign. Whilst the general theme may vary, the message is consistent throughout.
From the very start, the bizarrely amusing #EpicDanceOff theme was complementing different channels. Users were encouraged to engage with the advert on social media using the conveniently provided hashtag and also to visit the brand’s website in order to vote for their favourite dancer.
Not only did the advert win Campaign Live’s Campaign of the Year in 2015, it also helped to give Moneysupermarket.com the most traffic to their website they’d ever received and a 38 percent business growth.
Whilst we don’t all have the extravagant budgets that Compare the Market and Moneysupermarket.com have, there are definitely some valuable lessons to be learnt from these two market leaders.
Find a way to make different platforms meet and join forces and then discover who your audience is and what makes it tick. Build upon this knowledge as the foundation for your big idea and your integrated campaigns will work cohesively.
Think through your strategy carefully so that everything is pinpointed and mapped out properly. By making sure you stay on brand and deliver something that is unique and will impress, you will be on the right path to creating a campaign that will reach your audience effectively.
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