Getting the attention of customers in the modern digital era is more challenging than ever before. We’re moving into a time where a few large players dominate, and everyone else is having to pick up the scraps. It’s hard.
It turns out though that the average business has a potent way to fight back. It’s called integrated marketing. And it’s a secret weapon that smart firms are using to grab attention and convert their audiences.
So what is it, and how does it work?
What is integrated marketing?
Today’s marketing landscape is complex. We have in-person advertising, such as trade shows, billboards, and posters. Then we have the traditional channels, such as TV and radio. And now, we also have the digital world, including search engines, paid ads, content, and more.
Integrated marketing is the process of bringing all of these channels together as a cohesive whole. Ideally, you want your brand experience to feel the same, no matter how a customer interacts with you.
Integrated marketing is not the same as omnichannel approaches. The latter is merely a description of the fact that you use different channels to get your message across. It says nothing about the consistency of that message or whether people in your organization are on the same page.
Why is integrated marketing such a powerful tool?
Integrated marketing provides businesses with a host of benefits unavailable through a single channel. And the reason for this comes down to synergy.
Remember, most customers don’t distinguish between the channels that they use. They don’t care whether they’re interacting with your brand through a bus-top poster on a remarketing ad on a website. What matters is the brand persona. It should feel the same.
For this reason, customers will often flip-flop between channels, expecting consistency of experience throughout. But, strangely, only a few brands seem to be able to take advantage of channel overlap. Those that aren’t are missing a trick.
For example, let’s say that you make QR code posters for public display. Here, you’re not just creating a form of real-world visual advertising. Instead, you’re linking the digital world to the physical. Customers can just point their phones at the poster and then get forwarded to the landing page, where they can take action. It’s way more direct than the old method of hoping that they’d just remember your poster. And it helps you avoid endless SEO to make yourself visible online.
There’s another reason that integrated marketing works so well. It also allows you to present a unified front to your customers. Yes – you’re benefiting from synergies. But you’re also harmonizing your touchpoints, building trust. Customers are much more likely to buy from brands with a consistent public image than they are from those that chop and change all the time.
If you’re not using integrated marketing yet, give it a try. You’ll be surprised just how effective it is when you start capitalizing on the links between various channels. And if you’re struggling with digital marketing, in particular, it can turn the situation around.