Blow Your Competition Out of The Water With Integrated Marketing Communications
As technology evolves, it’s important that your retail marketing strategy evolves with it to embrace digital channels that will boost awareness and increase revenue. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon more traditional forms of marketing.
In fact, an integrated marketing approach that includes tools such as direct mail, social media, email marketing, and traditional forms of advertising will give your business the potential to get better results from your campaigns, according to Chron.
“I absolutely believe the real integration opportunity, and way [for] most small business owners to blow their competition out of the water, is the intentional blending of online and offline tools and tactics around a single marketing strategy.”
– John Jantsch via Stephen Zoeller’s Marketing Blog
Let’s explore 4 ways an integrated marketing approach will save you money and get results:
Boost Marketing Effectiveness
Integrated marketing campaigns utilize the same communication tools to reinforce each other—like pieces of a puzzle that when combined together form one cohesive, pleasant image—thereby boosting marketing’s effectiveness. When you communicate the same information in press releases as you do in feature articles, for example, you fortify your advertising messages.
Red Oak Marketing illustrates the concept beautifully using the example of a small lodging property located in an area with a lot of great wineries. Let’s say the owner decides to write an in-depth post on the “The 5 Best Wineries in Local Town, USA You Must Visit”.
The blog post contains very unique information, along with a perspective someone couldn’t find anywhere else. It’s a great piece of content that will be a big help to people who’ve never been to the area, plus the owner can use it for loyal guests wanting to learn more, too.
The lodging owner then uses this blog post in their next email marketing campaign, with a link back to the blog. Then he posts the same
article to his Facebook page, shares a photo on Instagram, and Pins it on Pinterest. Additionally, the next time someone asks about the best places to go while at the lodge owners front desk, he refers them to the blog.
Because the article features some great wineries, it’s pushing business their way through the owner’s website. In return, the wineries are promoting the lodge owner’s property to their customers.
This is just one example of how a single message can be integrated into other aspects of marketing, each platform working together to increase brand visibility.
Create Brand Consistency
Using an integrated marketing approach focused on a consistent brand message across all media channels effectively reaches consumers with the intended message, suggests Stephen Zoeller. This stimulates awareness and eventually achieves brand loyalty for your products or services.
Integrated marketing will help your business create a strong brand by projecting a unified voice. Consistent messaging prevents confusion and reinforces your brand with consumers, making your products or services top of mind when it comes time to purchase.
Consistency isn’t just good for your brand’s image, it’s good for your business’s bottom line, too. When you use the same content and graphics for different media, you can reduce copy-writing, design, and photography costs.
If you’re working with a creative supplier outside your company, you may be able to reduce agency fees by working with a single firm that offers integrated communications services, instead of several different agencies offering specialty services.
Cater to Customers
“Integrated marketing communications is a way of looking at the whole marketing process from the view point of the customer.”
— Philip Kotler via Stephen Zoeller’s Marketing Blog
Investing in integrated marketing communications gives you an increased ability to affect positive change in consumer awareness, customer attitudes, and customer experiences at every touch point, according to Stephen Zoeller. Integrated marketing also makes your messages more consistent which, in turn, makes them more credible, reducing risk in the mind of the buyer.
Essentially, with integrated marketing communications, you’re “wrapping communications around customers”, as Elzeno points out, to help them move through the buying process. This helps to create a bond of loyalty with customers that will help shield them from an onslaught of marketing from your competitors.
Integrated marketing campaigns also help reach and cater to customers on platforms they prefer to use. Potential and current customers can tell you how they want to receive product information and promotions from your business (via email, direct mail, text message or by telephone), and your integrated marketing campaign will make sure that customers receive the same information in all communications.
Plus, you can meet the needs of customers conducting online searches by integrating your website design and content with other marketing messages.
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) can help you get better results from your marketing campaigns and reduce costs.
By integrating advertising, direct mail, social media, email, and other promotional tools, suggests Chron, you deliver clarity, consistency and maximum communications impact to potential and current customers. Integrated marketing also helps you establish and send a strong brand message that communicates credibility to your desired audience and helps them make the desired purchasing decisions.
If you’re looking to gain a distinct competitive advantage in today’s modern retail environment, as well as enjoy significant financial benefits, start integrating your marketing today!