Definitions of Integrated Marketing and why integrated omnichannel marketing is essential to the success of your business
Without getting too Aristotelian, with marketing, the whole is most certainly more than the sum of its parts - when it's done right that is. But what is 'Integrated Marketing done right'? Keep reading to discover definitions and recommendations that will set your digital marketing strategy on the path to success in 2021!
The first definition sits closest to home. At Smart Insights, we define Integrated Marketing as follows:
"Integrated Marketing is a strategic approach to integrating communications and interactive experiences targeting defined audiences and individuals which coordinates all aspects of marketing of a brand, including:
Paid media (offline advertising, direct marketing and online display and programmatic);
Earned media (Organic search fuelled by content marketing, PR and online influencer outreach)
Owned media (including social media, on-site UX, customer service and direct messaging through email and…
Integrated campaigns are effective at balancing both short-term sales uplifts and long-term brand-building effects by combining a range of different channels
The advantages of creating a joined-up, integrated marketing communications (IMC) plan are well-documented and go back over twenty years. Even before the internet really took off businesses, brands and agencies were looking for ways to create consistency across content and media touchpoints.
Although not all campaigns have to be fully integrated (e.g. short-term guerrilla campaigns or PR stunts), brands looking to make an impression and raise awareness as part of a product launch or seasonal sales push should consider how the different elements of a campaign come together as one.
Integrated campaigns are effective at balancing both short-term sales uplifts and long-term brand-building effects by combining a range of different channels:
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A manifesto and ten-point checklist for delivering more relevant online and offline communications
To gain the best results from integrated marketing communications needs deep understanding of the multiple touchpoints that a brand has with its prospects and customers on its own sites, partner sites digital and traditional media defining paid, owned and earned media.
Requirements for effective integrated communications
In marketing, it's common to say that effective communication is about delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. That's true, but the reality in multi-channel marketing is more complex. Multi-channel communications are more complex as I show in Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation, and Practice. Essentially, what we’re trying to create using paid integrated with other media is
"A Multi-channel Communications Strategy
Customized for Individual Prospects and Customers forming different segments
across a defined customer lifecycle
It’s not about digital or traditional, those don’t exist. It’s about integrated marketing communications. Different channels do different things and that’s the point
Lots of marketers will tell you that it’s possible to build a business using just online channels but that’s just not true and most of these people are selling tactical solutions, they may be good at what they do, but be careful. They reference examples such as Facebook, conveniently forgetting that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook were all over US national television, gaining free coverage to tens of millions of people.
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Tie both shoelaces, not just one
Integrated marketing communications is all about linking these things together, recognizing that one media channel is not going to save the day and…
How do you go viral without social media?
Lost was created by Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, was produced by Bad Robot Productions, and was filmed almost entirely on location in Hawaii. The show was produced by ABC Studios and aired on the ABC network in the US. The show was also distributed across the globe with the UK showing it on Channel 4, which is where I got my hands on it. On top of it's brilliantly intricate (and often convoluted) storytelling, Lost was also known for its innovative nontraditional marketing. This came as a world-spanning alternate reality game (ARG) in 2006 called The Lost Experience.
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The game first began on May 2, 2006, in the United Kingdom, May 3, 2006, in…
Get Ahead With an Integrated Marketing Campaign
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…
Chart of the Day: A case study shows how integrating these channels increases purchase
This chart of the day is a little different from the typical insights we have about consumer and business use of digital media and tech. It fits with our current integrated marketing theme, showing how two channels can be more powerful than one. We know that is the theory of integrated communications, but you only get to see the reality when a 'hold-out' test is run for a campaign with a control group who saw one media type only. These are rarely published, so this isn't new, but the principle still applies.
Here's the test design, you can see that some of the audience of the retailer who ran the test just got to receive an email (the control group), others were served Facebook ads, but the interesting group are the combined 16% who opened emails and…
It seems you either have what it takes... or not
When speaking to businesses about their marketing, integration is a common challenge, whether that's integration of comms, technology or teams within a business.
The latest Econsultancy / Adobe Digital Intelligence briefing sheds some light on how many businesses have achieved integration. It's encouraging to see that nearly half of businesses can confidently state:
Digital Marketing permeates most of our marketing activities
Kudos to the businesses that say that digital permeates all our marketing activities or that they are 'digital first'.
It's less encouraging to see that this figure hasn't changed much over the last 3 years. What's more, integration is severely lacking in nearly one-fifth of companies say that digital marketing is 'very much separate'.
Source: Digital Intelligence 2017 briefing
Sample: 14,163 respondents globally (64% client-side)
Recommended Smart Insights resource: Managing a Digital Marketing Centre of Excellence -…
The average number of connected devices per consumer is 3.64
When we think of communicating with consumers through digital devices we know that mobile devices have become far more important in recent years with many businesses seeing more than 50% of consumers website sessions on mobile devices. This growth has led to the 'mobile-first' philosophy, yet we should remember that consumer usage is more complex than this. Many consumers and households are multi-platform, using a combination of smartphone, desktop and tablet devices.
This ownership is shown by this 2016 data which shows and average of nearly 4 devices per person. So typically that will be desktop, phone, tablet plus other devices such as connected TVs or consoles. Another survey by Pew Internet showed that 36% of Americans own a desktop, tablet and smartphone.
So a clear implication of the…
Preventing churn is key to improving revenue
For subscription-based businesses like SaaS companies, churn rate is a crucial metric that determines overall performance. Simply put, churn rate is the rate at which customers cut ties with your service during a given period. This percentage gives you a clear idea about your customer retention, which is an important factor defining a company’s success. Looking at the below chart you'll see that the lower the churn rate, the better your business is performing.
Importance of Churn Rate in SAAS
Churn rate is easily one of the most essential metrics when measuring the performance of SaaS businesses. Totango reports that the fastest-growing companies will reduce churn rate less than 5%. For SaaS companies, a lot of time and money is spent on acquiring customers. Since this investment pays off over time, the…