A strong marketing performance relies heavily on the different elements involved. A useful analogy is baking a cake. Any baker will tell you that baking is an intricate science. To make a cake or a loaf of bread that tastes good requires the right amount of creativity, mixed with the right amount of science. If you get that right, you have a fantastic bake on your hands.
The same can be said for marketing.
Can anyone create integrated marketing strategies?
I would say that it’s arguable that anyone can create a marketing campaign. Still, I wouldn’t necessarily argue that anyone can create a good campaign, let alone an integrated marketing strategy. The key to a successful integrated marketing strategy is a blended understanding of all of the different potential components, the business and product/service that needs marketing and the people who are the targets, there is both science and analytics behind it. Essentially, unless you have analytical skills, you will end up baking an unpalatable cake. This is why you need an expert in Integrated Strategies; you need a marketing geek, someone who understands and can read the strengths and weaknesses of each media channel and make them work for your business strategy.
What makes integrated marketing strategies different?
An Integrated Strategy Specialist is a rare type of marketeer. They can think outside of the box, producing creative multi-platform marketing strategies, but are also able to analyse results and decide on the right messages for the right platforms. This is what wins or loses an integrated marketing campaign.
Integrated Strategic Marketing creates a seamless, consistent and multi-dimensional experience for clients and consumers, enabling them to receive a tailored brand message that is designed to directly reflect the platform that they are reading it on.
Your customers are constantly confronted by a barrage of adverts wherever they go; browsing on Facebook, walking down the street, watching TV, they are bombarded with sales messages.
As a result, it is essential that your message is inventive, memorable and works across multiple platforms, whilst also representing your brand well.
Implementing a strategy across multiple marketing channels allows you to work towards the strengths and weaknesses that they have to offer; having someone on your team who understands those strengths and weaknesses puts you ahead of your competitors. By employing an integrated marketing geek, you will also see improved results and amplification of your brand message, without resorting to using Vanity Metrics.
Where does Integrated Marketing Work?
There were about two years in the early noughties where anyone in their twenties would greet each other with “whassup”, thanks to Budweiser, but actually more thanks to the Integrated Marketing Strategist who came up with the campaign. It literally put the word on everyone’s lips.
This campaign began through TV adverts in the early days of the internet but referred viewers to a site where they could learn to say “whassup” in 30 different languages.
Aside from winning numerous advertising awards, the sales of Budweiser went through the roof.
What can we take away from this? Well, aside from the fact that the agency created one of the most annoying catchphrases of the last 20 years, they also showed that developing a consistent message and playing with it across a variety of platforms has a high success rate when it is done well.
Here’s another example, up until 8/9 years ago had you ever really thought about Meerkats? The Compare the Market/Meerkat campaign has gone from strength to strength, making its furry characters instantly identifiable household names. They’ve moved, and evolved way beyond the initial concept of an angry Russian meerkat upset that his website comparethemeerkat.com was getting hits requesting car insurance.
The above are two massively successful and expensive campaigns, but it is possible to create a great strategy using a smaller budget.
Here are just some of the things for you to consider when creating integrated strategies:
Identify your goals and available resources
Think about it, what do you want to achieve and what resources do you have available to throw at it. By resources, I do not just mean cash money; time is an essential factor that should always be considered. What do you already have in place that can be regarded as a launch platform?
Define a target audience
Not everyone is going to be interested in what you have to offer. Think about who your ideal customer is and focus your message towards them. These are called customer personas, and we have written about them in our blog.
Analyse, analyse, analyse
Look at your metrics, find someone else to look at your metrics, someone has to look at metrics! We don’t mean the vanity metrics; we mean the important ones, the ones you set out at the beginning of the strategy to decide if this was a success. Is the phone ringing with enquiries, have people been on the website, has anyone bought anything?
Have a look at your competition
What are they doing? Are they doing it well? Is there anything to be learnt from them? (notably, GoCompare found themselves a viral opera singer soon after the arrival of the meerkats). Whilst we are referencing big brands, the same applies to SMEs. Our blog on the impact of competitors on marketing budgets might be of interest.
Make sure everyone understands
There’s no point sending out an integrated marketing brand message to the four corners of the world/county/town/universe if Bernard in accounts doesn’t understand it. He works for your business and probably speaks to customers, so he needs to be portraying the same message that your social media and mail outs are. Never forget the importance of internal communication.
Do you need a marketing strategy across multiple platforms?
If you’ve made it to the bottom, you can see we know our stuff. Contact us to discuss how we can put your business in your target market’s minds.