Have you heard of integrated marketing but don’t know what it is and how it works? Its advantages are not clear to you? No problem, you are in the right place! In this article, you will find out how integrating different channels and tools can help your business make the leap and what makes integrated marketing a winner.
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What is integrated marketing?
Although the name may seem high-sounding to you, integrated communication is nothing more than the evolution of the traditional marketing concept. But what’s the difference and what is integrated marketing? It is a strategy based on the promotion of services or products through the coordinated use of different marketing methods and tools and differs from traditional marketing for two main reasons.
- It gives greater importance to the customer: every decision is made and implemented only after a careful study of the target audience. The definition of the buyer persona is the starting point, and only as a second step do we analyze the 4 levers of the marketing mix: product, price, promotion, and placement (distribution).
- It integrates the different communication channels so that they work together to achieve a common and shared goal.
We have therefore moved from a limited vision in which each resource worked for itself, to a more far-sighted vision in which the various channels collaborate synergistically to reach the ideal customer together, in the moment, place, and most effective way.
How to create a marketing plan?
To develop a successful integrated marketing strategy, it is very important to, first of all, identify and define the communication channels most used by your ideal customer. Here are the main channels that you can insert and integrate into your marketing plan:
- traditional channels: television, radio, printed advertising, billboards;
- digital channels: in the context of integrated digital marketing, the main channels are the following.
it is the main showcase of your “shop”. The more curated, engaging, and full of information it is, the more it will attract customers. It is truly a fundamental business card to be known online.
it is a very powerful tool to create a direct and personalized relationship with the end-user. The newsletter is a great example!
Digital PR activities:
these are all activities aimed at monitoring and improving the reputation of your online brand by creating a network of relationships with other players in the digital ecosystem (influencers, bloggers, journalists).
search engine optimization is the discipline aimed at optimizing web pages on search engines. If you appear at the top of the Google results it is certainly thanks to a good SEO Specialist!
this is advertising on the search network or on the Google Display network, a very important and productive activity as it allows you to advertise products and services in order to reach a greater number of potential customers.
Social media marketing:
Almost everyone has a social account these days. Ignoring these meeting places would be a real shame!
To develop a good marketing plan, remember to always follow the following steps.
- Define your short and long-term goals: Without a clear vision of where you want to go, it will be difficult to structure an effective strategy. It is important to start with an in-depth analysis of the brand and from there set ambitious but realistic goals. If you are a newborn brand, you do not have sales as your first and only goal. Rather, try to make yourself known as much as possible through activities aimed at increasing brand awareness. For each phase your brand is experiencing, define precise objectives and indicate the integrated marketing channels with which you intend to achieve them.
- Identify the ideal target and study their customer journey: have you ever heard the phrase that says “if you address everyone, no one will listen to you?”. Here, this must be your mantra! You have to find your niche and study your typical customer in detail: gender, age, profession, hobbies, education, purchasing power, geographic location, marital status. Then focus your attention on his desires and especially on his problems, and from here try to understand how your product/service can improve his life. After creating a meticulous identikit of your target, you are ready to study its customer journey, that is the paths it takes online and offline to get information and buy: do you watch TV in the evening? do you read blogs? click on banners? In all the places where your customer is, you have to be there and you have to implement a communication plan winning that allows you to effectively intercept your audience.
- Develop a message consistent with your brand and personalize it according to your customers: communicating is essential and is the best way to sell today. However, it is important to always be honest and consistent with your image and values: identify your key messages and your tone of voice and maintain a clear and recognizable communication line. However, remember that being consistent does not mean serving the same content to all customers: the truly effective message is the personalized one. Analyze your target, study their behavior on the different channels you have implemented in your integrated communication strategy, and modulate everything based on customer preferences and the characteristics of the tool you are using.
Integrated communication: offline and online channels
As you have just seen, the communication channels at your disposal are many and offer various opportunities. So which ones to choose? I start by telling you that integrated marketing has overcome the traditional division between offline and online channels, preferring a holistic and synergistic approach. There is therefore no series a or series b channels, there are only the right channels for your target. Start, therefore, from an in-depth analysis of your ideal customer to understand in which direction to move! That said, online channels certainly have an edge, and not just in economic terms. In the next paragraph, you will find out why.
Integrated digital marketing
The integrated communication is a concept that has always existed, but only with the advent of digital technology has really exploded. This is because the very nature of digital channels allows for greater integration than traditional ones. Thanks to the hyper-connection of digital tools, any data can be collected, measured, and compared. And remember: data is your power, and its correct reading is the basis for planning a good marketing strategy. Here are some examples of integrated marketing where you can clearly see the potential deriving from the collaboration of the different channels and tools:
- neuromarketing tools such as eye-tracking can be used on your website and exploited to get to know the consumer in-depth;
- marketing automation: a very interesting application is that of email marketing. Thanks to the sophisticated automation systems it is possible, in fact, to send e-mails automatically based on the actions of the users;
- analysis software: essential for any successful business! Think that there is a platform that can collect the data of all the communication channels you use and compare them with each other to always have the progress of your business under control. And I’m not talking about science fiction, but Google Analytics;
- QR code on billboards: they can be an excellent tool to integrate your online and offline communication and thus offer a more complete service to the public;
- chatbot: connected to your social platforms or your website can guarantee a better and more comprehensive user experience.
Digitalis, therefore, maximum transparency and interconnection, which is why integrated marketing is total only if digital.
The benefits of integrated marketing
If you have come this far, it is because you are curious to find out how to integrate marketing channels and tools to change your business. Below you can find the main benefits of integrated marketing.
- Convey your message on multiple channels by creating a 360 ° narrative: thanks to integrated communication you can be present on all the platforms used by your client and you can create an immersive and cross-media experience.
- Presiding over the right “places” in the best moments: thanks to a careful user analysis you can be found in the right touchpoints, in the most propitious moments. Appearing with your advertisement just when the user has decided to change insurance is not black magic, but integrated marketing!
- Gain a big advantage over your competitors: by attending multiple channels you could take customers away from your competitors’ noses. Being featured (unlike a competitor) in an article by a travel blogger could get you a super booking!
- Customer loyalty: with integrated communication, you are able to be much more present in the user’s mind and this allows you to consolidate the relationship.
- Increase sales: last but not least, a holistic approach will allow you to enhance brand awareness and significantly increase turnover!
In a world where competition is at the highest levels and the user is increasingly distracted, the possibility of being there and staying in the mind and heart of the user is fundamental and this can only be achieved with integrated, multi-platform communication, engaging and personalized. Start exploiting the full potential of integrated marketing today!