There is a lot of chatter about SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, and OOH marketing that many make the mistake of treating them separately. A savvy digital marketing services provider would tell you that if you want to maximize the impact of each of the strategies above, you must consider boosting them by engaging in one or two at the same time. More importantly, your strategies must be aligned.
This is the goal of integrated marketing: to keep all marketing efforts consistent across all online assets, from the brand message to the delivery of the content. Everything that is involved in a campaign must align so that customers can have the same satisfying experience when they connect with a brand regardless of the channel or platform they use.
Without Integration, Disaster Can Happen
The Internet is vast, and audiences can get content from different platforms. As a result, consumers can interact with one brand but have a different experience based on where their interaction happened.
For example, an HVAC repair and installation services company offers same-day emergency repairs for customers located within a specified location. The details of the service are provided on the website. Unfortunately, the paid advertisement the company ran on Facebook failed to mention the geographic limitation of their same-day service. So when a first-time customer who found the Facebook post first calls the company, he or she became confused (and later, angry) that they can’t provide the service as requested. The irate almost-customer left a scathing review on Facebook, and the HVAC company promptly, and respectfully replied with an explanation. Despite their correct handling of the situation, however, but the damage was already done: the company lost a potential customer and came across as unprofessional to some of its followers.
The disconnect between the different communication channels that a business uses can be damaging to buyer-seller relationships. Moreover, it can also have a lasting negative effect on the business’s image.
You can avoid these troubles by practicing integrated marketing and applying its best practices on your day-to-day operations. Here are three examples:
- Create a marketing playbook. Identify your brand’s core message and align it with the themes of your marketing campaigns. A great example of this is Dove. The soap brand nurtured its Real Beauty campaign for years. Each time it launches a new product, the marketing always centers around body positivity and self-acceptance.
- Collect and analyze data. Even the most meticulously-planned campaign need tweaking halfway through its run, and data analysis will tell you when and where adjustments must be made. More importantly, the insights from one segment of your marketing might turn out to be helpful for another. For instance, Facebook’s detailed analytics can reveal more about the profile and search behaviors of your loyal customers. You can use the information to improve your bidding and campaign strategies for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads. But data analysis can admittedly be complicated. It often takes a trained eye to find meaningful insights from numbers, charts, and graphs. So you need to find specialists who offer business intelligence implementation services if there’s no one in your company who knows how to interpret online marketing data.
- Coordinate all communication channels. If more than one person is in charge of your social media accounts, website blog, OOH ads, and in-store customer service, make sure they coordinate with one another so that the messaging on all of your marketing channels are the same.
Practice integrated marketing, and you’ll see improvements in how audiences respond to your promos and campaigns. Start with these three, and begin practicing them today.