Integrated marketing campaigns are vital for any business that wants to reap the full benefits of its marketing campaigns.
It can be tricky to implement for marketers and CMOs but with the right approach and proper planning, this can be achieved.
What are integrated marketing campaigns and why are they important?
Marketing communications that reach the target customer by using different mediums of communication and making them work as an integrated whole to achieve the goal of a campaign are called integrated marketing campaigns.
The different media types work in sync to give the most impressive integrated marketing campaigns.
The aim is to create a unified and seamless experience for the end-customer to interact with the brand across all the marketing channels.
The Northwestern School of Journalism defines integrated marketing campaigns (IMC) beautifully:
IMC is a strategic marketing process specifically designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are unified across all channels and are centered around the customer.
The benefits of an integrated approach can be reaped by both small and large firms.
Marketers need to examine which of their campaigns have done well and how they can improve by taking a holistic approach to campaigns. Those brands relying upon only one medium have to combine multiple media sources with the right communication mix.
Single media campaigns may not be effective as prospects may not be compelled to take action on the first touch.
If a person sees an advertisement on television and then again while browsing the internet and then there is a radio advertisement about it, there is more likelihood of him taking an action as he has heard about it earlier as well.
How to design integrated marketing campaigns?
While designing the campaign, we need to see that the consumer is kept at the forefront.
All aspects of the marketing communication like advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and social media have to be combined with their mix of tactics, media, channels and activities to create an integrated approach to marketing campaigns.
This will not only have a better impact on the consumers but will also lead to an awesome campaign.
Important points to note:
- Know your prospects – It is important to know who your target audience is, their attitudes, interests and behaviour. It will be easier to identify the best communication channels.
- Select the channels – When the prospects are identified, you can shortlist which channels will be effective. Being on all channels will be a waste of time.
- Unified messaging across channels – Once channels are identified, your messaging has to be consistent across any media type. This includes the brand’s visual identity.
- Content adaptability – When creating content for channels, make sure that it can be adapted for different mediums and yet retain the messaging.
- Integrated messaging – Remember the goal or call to action of integrated marketing campaigns when you use different channels. It should be clear and consistent across any channel that you use.
- In-house and outsourced agencies in sync – Situations may arise when a part of the campaign-related work is being done in-house and some part is outsourced to an agency. Marketing has to ensure that both the teams work in sync.
- Tracking campaigns – Like any other campaign, the tracking mechanism has to be in place for this as well and ensuring that the attribution, coupons tracking etc. is happening on a platform.
To sum it all up, integrated marketing campaigns should have a realistic approach to the different marketing channels, after factoring in points such as where the prospects really are.
For example, a campaign doesn’t have to be on all the social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and on TV, radio, print media etc.
The audience may not be on all these channels.
Keep the messaging very clear and the call to action the same, irrespective of the medium being used.