Since the dawn of the age of mass communication, there has never been a “magic bullet” method of reaching every audience at once and impacting them in the same way. Even when the only forms of mass media were newspapers, radios and broadcast TV, there were people who didn’t read, couldn’t afford TV, or didn’t care to listen to radio. The problem has only been exacerbated by the advent of the internet and mobile devices. However, just as technology is at the root of the problem, it is also the solution. Using an integrated marketing strategy can have a tremendous effect on the the results of a marketing campaign.
An integrated marketing campaign is strategy where marketers use multiple media forms and channels to promote the same thing. The clear main benefit is an increase in engagement. In his book, Stand Out Social Marketing, Mike Lewis stated that content published on 2 or 3 channels had a 24 percent increase in engagement. There are very few people who don’t consume any media. Publishing on multiple channels gives marketers a chance to reach just about everyone.
Forrester released a report that showed the value of multi-channel marketing. The study showed that 60% of mature multichannel marketers reported increases of more than 10% in revenue that are attributed to marketing programs and that 40% of mature multichannel marketers reported increases of more than 15% in revenue. And despite the fact that some business owners are reticent to spend the money on multi-channel marketing, 86% of marketing professionals agree that successfully integrating multiple channels under a single integrated marketing strategy is crucial to their long-term success.
The necessity and usefulness of integrated marketing can be seen through Super Bowl marketing campaigns of recent years. Even though the Super Bowl is the closest thing there is to a magic bullet in media (this year’s event was the most watched TV show in US history), advertisers still leveraged their campaigns with ad replays on YouTube, and social media tie-ins.
Integrated marketing also allows companies to attack problems from new angles. A good case study can be seen in a recent back-to-school campaign for Staples where they teamed up with Dosomething.org and celebrities to encourage kids to buy supplies for the unfortunate. The Give Back Pack campaign website, public service announcements, celebrity endorsements and social media efforts led to more than $807,000 in donated supplies and 2,831,046 teens watched the public service announcement videos posted on various channels. To be fair a lot, if not all of these items were bought from Staples so they benefited just as much as the recipients of the supplies.
What it comes down to is that integrated marketing makes it possible to focus all of the various forms marketing tactics toward one goal. This is especially important for companies that have different people or departments working on different forms of media. If the advertising department creates TV ads, the marketing department handles social media, and the PR department produces written pieces, there is a huge potential for the message to be lost. Integrated marketing complements and reinforces the overall impact of each of these communications methods, so that the message is consistent across different mediums, which in the long run is more cost efficient and better for the business’s bottom line.
Integrated marketing will continue to grow in importance as the marketers continue to find new ways to reach audiences. Since it’s ill advised to ignore emerging marketing trends, business owners need to review their efforts and strategies to ensure they are maximizing their effectiveness by using integrated marketing techniques.