An increasingly popular and powerful management concept, integrated marketing communications are intended to make all aspects of your marketing strategy work together as a unified force. Using advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and your website, the most effective efforts will be those most dramatically integrated with one another.
These days, successful marketing programs require more than a few ads, some literature, a trade display. For one thing, there’s the internet - offering you a powerful, new arsenal of marketing tools. Marketing communications no longer rely solely on media advertising or printed materials.
It’s time to consider integrated marketing as the “holistic” approach to promote buying and selling in today’s world by combining both online and offline marketing channels.
More than ever, consumers are getting the information that impacts their decision-making process from multiple sources. Traditional methods – print advertising, direct mail, literature, out-of-home, broadcast – are still valuable. But now, end users are also responding in increasingly greater numbers to more specialized media that are focused on specific target audiences through interactive communications: e-marketing campaigns, search engine optimization, pay-per-click.
Moreover, the really successful campaigns these days will be comprised of those that feature creative combinations of both methods, such as a sales promotion delivered through (and fulfilled by) an online e-marketing campaign in concert with advertising, direct mail and literature, or a periodic newsletter distributed and tracked for results online, or an ad campaign that sends customers to your website to view a demonstration of your products.
Why do you need integrated marketing? It’s true that you can still reach your customers in the traditional ways…and you should. But increasing and widespread internet availability and usage has put market control in the hands of the end user. Buyers now have unlimited access to information about what they want (whether it’s from you OR your competitors) – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – not only at their homes and offices – but also in the mobile world of laptops, phones and handheld devices.
The good news is that you now have the ability to reach those same people…24/7…wherever they may be by exploring the ways that traditional methods can work with interactive, online techniques to produce more customer contacts and more sales.
It used to be that the power of integrated marketing depended on creating and sustaining a single look or message in all elements of a marketing campaign. That’s still a preferred strategy. Consistency develops brand awareness, buyer recall and loyalty.
Today, though, the power of integration, namely - sales success – will likely come from creatively combining the tried and the true with the new and innovative. This new form of integration derives its power from its ability to reach, inform and motivate not only the broadest possible array of potential customers, but also those targeted prospects who may already be interested in what you have to offer.