You’ve probably heard the buzzwords “integrated marketing”. Heck, we talk about it all the time.
There’s a reason for that. And there two things to keep in mind to make sure your marketing strategy stays cohesive— and is worth your time.
In case you need a refresher, integrated marketing is:
An integrated marketing approach is creating a unified and seamless experience for customers, no matter where or how they interact with your brand (or business).
A truly integrated marketing strategy must include (but is not limited to): advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing (ads and coupons), content marketing (blogs, email newsletters, etc.) and social media. [Adapted from Data and Marketing Association’s definition]
An integrated marketing strategy isn’t just about finding a cutting-edge way to do business, it’s about implementing a more streamlined process that makes your goals easier to accomplish in the long run. Integration means all your teams: sales, marketing, customer experience, etc. are working together under the same philosophy, and with the same overarching goals in mind.
At every stage of planning your integrated marketing process, there are three questions you need to ask.
Is it consistent?
There are several ways to keep your marketing consistent:
- No matter what channel you’re using, the tone and content of all your communication (tweets, status updates, newsletters, etc.) should be clear, concise, and on-brand.
- Your customer (or potential customer) should have a sense of your products and services, your values, and your personality––no matter what type of content they are reading.
- The customer should be the focus of how your content, site, etc. are shared and laid out. If it’s not intuitive and doesn’t align with what they’re looking for, they won’t be sticking around.
- Everything you share should be unique “you”. Affirm (often) what makes your brand unique, and how it’s different from your competitors.
- You can certainly try different content techniques, but the look, feel, and core nature of what you share should not vary from post to post (or from channel to channel)
- Keep your timing consistent, too. A well-integrated marketing strategy shares content regularly on all channels, so users know what to expect. [A reliable online presence is a great trust-builder for your brand.]
It can seem overwhelming, listing out all your marketing channels and trying to make sure all your goals and objectives line up across the board. Lucky for us, there’s another way to do it. Try having one “big idea” goal/message for your brand for the year. Then, ask yourself:
- How will I accomplish that with [specific social media channel/type of marketing]?
- How can we work toward our central goal across the buyer journey (whether they’re browsing the website, engaging in socials, or need to complete a purchase, etc.)?
- What are some keywords, ideas, and concepts my team can make sure to keep at the heart of our message, no matter which content they’re working with?
Do my goals and objectives make sense?
A lot of marketing pros throw around terms like KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and Metrics when talking about this aspect of integrated marketing. The important thing—no matter what you call it— all your content types and channels should have goals and objectives that make sense. The SMART framework is a great tool to make sure you don’t miss the mark. SMART goals are:
Giving yourself deadlines, making sure that your expectations are reasonable, and lining everything up with your brand ahead of time is a sure-fire way to keep your marketing cogs moving, and keep your strategy on track.
Can I afford it?
It’s a good idea to make sure that your goals are within your budget. Make sure you scale your goals along with your budget as your organization grows. Knowing you have the resources to accomplish your goals goes a long way toward realizing your vision. (Is it still overwhelming? We are here to help.)
Have you tried the SMART framework? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments!