‘Integrated Marketing’. We admit it, it sounds like one of those weird marketing buzzwords. You also might have heard of IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) or ‘omnichannel marketing’, but they all mean the same thing – an integrated experience across multiple touchpoints to enhance and amplify your messaging; creating a seamless (and simple!) experience for your customers, whether they’re shopping or researching on a phone, reading one of your emails or visiting you in-store.
Why should I integrate my marketing?
Maybe integrating your marketing sounds easy, or perhaps it sounds like a real headache! Perhaps at the moment, you might have different designers working on your social media graphics to the people who design your website. Or, do you have someone who writes content for your social channels, and someone else who copywrites for your website? Whether you have a team of 100 or a team of 2, it’s important that your messaging remains the same across all channels, wherever your customer or potential clients see it, and whoever generates the content.
By having a clear and consistent integrated strategy, you can ensure that all of your communications will be true to your brand and messaging, wherever they are found. This not only leads to less confusion from your prospective customers and clients, but it also helps them to retain your messaging much quicker, reducing the number of touchpoints leading to a sale.
Consistency is key
The key to a successful integrated digital marketing campaign really is consistency. It’s easy to post several times a week on social media, but if someone clicks from social media to your website – does the journey make sense? It’s important to make sure that your messaging and marketing efforts are similarly aligned across all platforms and channels.
Imagine if you clicked a link on social media because you saw a coat that you liked, but once you landed on the website, the coat was an entirely different colour and price from what you saw on social media. Or perhaps you’ve seen a pink advert for car insurance on the TV, but when you go to their website for more information, everything is green! This is what poor integrated digital marketing looks like – when the experience from one channel doesn’t match up with another, leading to a confused user and a terrible user experience!
When done right, a successful integrated digital marketing strategy doesn’t look solely at marketing channels but also includes sales promotions and offline experiences into the mix.
A really brilliant example of this is Compare The Market. They have successfully created a campaign across PR, TV, Outdoor, Social, Paid, Display and beyond with their Meerkat campaigns. Whether you visit their social channels, see their ads on the side of a bus or visit their website, you’ll always be greeted with a picture of Sergei the Meerkat and their dark blue branding. Having done this right, this campaign is one of the longest-running marketing campaigns in modern times, having run for over a decade already!
Different channels do different things
When compiling an integrated sales and/or marketing strategy, it’s important to remember the various touchpoints of the general buying process; from initial awareness to consideration and purchase. It is now widely acknowledged that it takes an average of eight touchpoints to lead to an online sale; this could include viewing organic or paid social media posts, receiving (and reading!) emails or newsletters and more.
In the digital age, we all have so much data at our fingertips that it’s almost impossible to make a purchase now without having first read reviews, seen the product or service in action or hearing about it from a friend. So. particularly in the awareness and research phases of the buying process, it’s incredibly important that your messaging is clear; whether your ideal customer or client finds you on Instagram, your website or through paid media, the messaging and your offering should be the same.
The role of paid media
Last of all, it’s important to acknowledge the role that paid media has in the integrated channel mix. Many businesses may prefer to use organic channels and posting in order to be seen, but there is a whole host of paid media out there that can get you in front of your dream clients for as low as £0.20 per click, or <£0.01 per advert view.
While creating content and getting it out there certainly has value, being able to actively push your messaging out to prospects with paid media is a really great use of marketing spend. Channel dependent, B2C businesses can benefit from targeting such as demographics, hobbies, interests, location, ‘actively searching for…’ and more. B2B businesses can reach their prospects with targeting options such as job title, job role, company size, seniority and location. Both of these methods allow you to ensure that your marketing isn’t taking a scattergun approach; and that only your perfect clients and customers will see your advertising.
At Verkeer, we love to work with clients to build their dream website. We know that while a great website is a great start, often businesses still need a little help in creating their audience and having them visit. That’s why we have digital marketing specialisms in-house, to support you and your business with your digital marketing strategy. Chat to us today about our SEO, Paid Media and Social Media expertise.