What is Integrative Marketing?
With marketing, the whole is most certainly more than the sum of its parts – when it’s done right that is. That is the essence of integrated marketing – that by coordinating messages across channels, the results from increasing brand awareness, familiarity, and conversion intent are far higher than when taking a fragmented approach.
Integrated Marketing has several different definitions, but my favorite is defined by the DMA:
“Integrated Marketing is an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.”
This definition stands out, because not only does it encompass the integration of your digital marketing tactics, but it also emphasizes the personalization aspect of what makes integrated marketing so effective. Not only are you delivering your messages and communications in a seamless fashion across all your digital marketing channels. but you are also using data to further target your users and customers on a more personal level.
Why is Integrative Marketing Important?
Integrative marketing is important to both your business and your customers. With an integrative approach to marketing, you allow your business to grow its brand awareness, increase engagement and conversion rates, and ultimately, increase your ROI. Research shows that having one constant message across a multiple channels can improve a consumer’s purchase intent by as much as 90% and brand perception by nearly 70%. Integrative Marketing achieves this with consistent messaging and a unified voice. This approach reaches a wider audience through multiple channels, illuminating potential customers throughout points in the buyer cycle, and most importantly, providing valuable analytics.
Consistent messaging is key to successful integrative marketing. A consistent message across multiple platforms increases the likelihood your target audience will take action in ways that you intend. Consistent content helps your prospects understand and remember you, boosting your credibility while allowing trust to build easier through your consistent messaging. People want to buy from brands they know and (more importantly) trust.
Different channels have different strengths and weaknesses, and different types of content suit different channels better – Twitter is good for short, witty and pithy messages, whilst Pinterest is great for content related to design, and visual content works best on Instagram.
So why not play to each individual channels strengths and design marketing for that channel specifically, rather than attempting to integrate all channels?
The answer is: customers don’t care enough to pay attention to all your different messaging, and by not using one clear communications strategy to amplify your brand, your message will simply be lost in the constant stream of content that all consumers are subject to every day. For example, the brand storytelling report showed that 85% of consumers couldn’t name a memorable story told to them by a brand.
That means all of the thousands of brands storytelling efforts were completely forgotten by over four out of five people. You may think your marketing is the best thing in the world, but the reality is pretty much everyone is going to forget it very quickly. To make an impact you have to coordinate messaging. Without it, your message will fail to make an impact and you will just be yelling into emptiness. To see the scope of the immense amount of digital tools and channels, see the chart above.
Digital technologies have changed every aspect of our lives, at home and at work, and how we communicate with each other. In the last three years, digital tools have allowed brands to hyper-personalize and define the customer experience. There are several tools available to conduct social listening, A/B testing, and content testing, that can help you build integrative campaigns to personalize the customer journey. Read more about personalization for the digital buyer here.
When used effectively, integrated marketing can help optimize your ad spending by helping you to put the right amount of money toward the most effective approaches or channels that yield the best results. Using an integrated analytics approach can help achieve tremendous success in your conversion rates. In a study contracted by Google from Forrester Consulting found Marketers using an integrative analytics approach are 39% more likely to see improvement in their overall marketing programs.
B2C & B2B Integrated Marketing
Integrative marketing has been a staple to success for B2C (business to consumer) companies, but its B2B (business to business) counterpart has not been so swift to adapt this trend. What most B2B companies fail to realize is that their customer is also a B2C consumer who has grown accustomed to the digital experience. According to a report by Accenture, 94% of B2B customers do research online at some point during the buying process, and more than 70% of customers use three or more channels when researching a purchase. Buyers no longer learn about products and services through a single channel or follow a defined path through the sales funnel. Because of this, it is more important than ever to develop an integrated approach to marketing as the foundation of any B2B strategy.
With all of the digital tools available and multiple channels we consume digital information on daily it makes sense to approach your marketing in the same way. The great thing is that most of these tools integrate together and to create a more seamless process of applying your strategies and analytics.
There is a wealth of knowledge out there to help you start, create, launch, and analyze an integrative marketing solution but if you need further assistance, have questions, or just want to talk about your marketing, contact us or schedule a meeting. If you are looking for more research about marketing, check out our new website solely dedicated to educating you on digital marketing to web design and social media.