5 Proven Ways to Develop a Successful Integrated Marketing Strategy
Before we get into the concept of a truly integrated marketing strategy, let’s acknowledge a truth or two. In today’s marketing world where digital marketing is taking over the landscape, marketers and brands are having a hard time creating sustainable marketing plans for their businesses. Why? Because the choices they have in front of them are overwhelming – making it difficult for marketers to decide on which marketing channels to best promote their products and services.
What Choices Do Marketers Have to Make?
There are lots of choices for marketers, such as web-based marketing, social media marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, direct marketing and of course, traditional marketing.
With these marketing channels available, it’s not always easy to develop a successful integrated marketing strategy, because what works for Warren Buffett might not work for Mark Zuckerberg, so to speak. So let’s find out what integrated marketing is all about.
What is Integrated Marketing?
Integrated Marketing is a method or process of establishing a unified and flawless experience for communicating with your prospects and customers.
It encircles all areas of marketing communications, which includes sales promotion, advertising, public relations, social media, etc.
Thus, creating a unified communication strategy with your consumers is paramount to your marketing success, because it will ensure that all work together as a team.
Further, it will also make certain that all messages and communication campaigns are consistent across all marketing channels, and are centered on your consumers.
How Can You Develop a Successful Integrated Marketing Strategy?
Here are 5 amazing ways to develop a sustainable integrated marketing strategy and take your business to the next level.
1. Have a Clear Understanding of Your Target Audience
It is of great importance that you clearly pinpoint your targeted audience in terms of geo-location, demographic, and so forth.
- Where are they located?
- What are their interests?
- Their attitudes and behaviors?
- How do they approach business?
These are some of the areas you want to look at when trying to identify your target audience.
Addressing these questions will help you figure out who makes up your ideal target audience and prospective customers by understanding their wants, needs, interests, etc.
The collected information is key to helping you develop outstanding messages that are tailored to your prospects, as well as enabling you to figure out the best medium for communicating with your clientele and audience.
To back this up, here’s what the Digital Marketing Manager of TranslateMedia said:
Ask yourself, or your marketing team: “Who are your target customers? What are their motivations? How do they like being communicated to? Which newspapers or magazines do they read and which sites do they visit regularly? Which channels are they using? [And] if they’re using social media, what are they talking about? All these questions need to be answered before developing your integrated marketing strategy.” – Yusuf Bhana
2. What are Your Objectives?
Another area to look at when creating an integrated marketing campaign is to identify your objectives. Just as you identified your targeted audience in section one, you also need to figure out your objectives for an integrated marketing campaign.
Specifying your objectives will enable you to have a clear goal for a successful marketing campaign.
So, what are your objectives? These could be:
- To create awareness
- Reach a wider, more targeted audience
- Increase engagement
- Generate leads
The concept is for you to have a clear goal and focus on that which will help you determine the “who, when, where, and how” for sharing your content for maximum reach and exposure.
Remember, you’ll have to measure your objectives at the end of the day to know what worked and what didn’t! This will help you create a more effective marketing strategy.
3. Choose the Right Channel of Communication
When you analyzed your audience, you might have found that they’re in various marketing channels. A consumer may be using a number of avenues to communicate.
In social media for example, some might feel comfortable with Twitter, while others prefer Instagram, and yet others, Facebook. Therefore, you must find out where they like to be and choose your communication channels accordingly.
When choosing your marketing channels, first be sure to find out its strength:
- How effective is it to your marketing strategy?
- Is it going to help you achieve your goals?
Ensure that you do not spread yourself too thin, but rather, pick the best channels that are most effective for your marketing strategy.
4. Map Out Your Strategies and Tactics
The objectives you established earlier (as discussed in section two) enable you to have a focus that helps you create an effective integrated marketing communications strategy (IMC).
In a similar way, you have to devise your strategies or tactics that will help you realize and achieve your goals. These are simple and specific actions on how you intend to implement your campaigns.
5. Have a Consistent Message Across Channels
Consistency is essential to the success of all business strategies, including IMC strategy. So, make sure that your content and messages align, or are consistent with all channels of communication.
Here’s what Andrew Stanton, president of Altitude Marketing, said about having a consistent message across channels:
“Every piece of content you develop – a blog post, case study or video – [should be able to be] used in as many places as possible.” For example, you could craft a case study and “use it in your newsletter; post an excerpt on LinkedIn; tweet a series of informational nuggets from the piece.” – Andrew Stanten, President, Altitude Marketing
This sort of integrated marketing strategy can be extremely effective.
Put an Integrated Marketing Strategy to Work for Your Business
When you successfully develop integrated marketing tactics, your business will be recognized, because you were able to establish a consistent brand message across channels.
Take time to study the marketplace, your audience, and set goals and objectives. This way, your brand message will definitely attract more prospects.
Ensure that you follow these tips, because they will help you establish a unified and stable marketing strategy that will take your business to greater heights.
Please read this article on A Look at Integrated Marketing Communications in the 21st Century if you haven’t already. It’s the perfect companion piece to this one.
How will you use these tips to develop or complete your own integrated marketing strategy? Have thoughts or questions about the process? Please share in the comments!