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Integrated Marketing -- What Is It?
What is integrated marketing, and why should you be using it for your business? Integrated marketing is the strategy and implementation of combining different marketing activities. In short, integrated marketing is a combination of all different forms of marketing that you may be employing, so that there is more consistency. The purpose is to complement and reinforce each different type of marketing with another, creating a more effective overall marketing strategy.
As more and more technologies become available to us, so too does our dependence on them grow. And while we may only be starting to realise this now, this dependence provides limitless opportunities for brands and companies. While 50 years ago, marketing and advertising was limited to print and television, the evolution of the Internet, and the role it plays in people's everyday lives, has given us the opportunity to explore and change how we market and advertise to our target audience. In short, we have the ability to market across television, print, digital and social, and two of these hardly existed less than ten years ago.
So what does it mean for marketing? While brands have the opportunity to use these media platforms in anyway that they deem necessary, history has shown that the most effective strategies have been those that have implemented integrated marketing strategies. Which does not necessarily mean using the same tagline for each different platform.
Instead, integrated marketing means employing a form of communication that has a consistent identity from message to message, and medium to medium, even if that means changing the tagline, actors or colour palette.
Integrated marketing can be an incredibly difficult endeavour to undertake, as it involves not only the identification of a powerful, yet simply, strategy, but also the ability to use it into every aspect of the marketing efforts; from SEO to social media, print advertisements to radio, customer services to sales. However, if you have the time, money and resources to undertake an integrated marketing campaign, then the results will make it worthwhile.
[Screen flow: http://garethcase.com/the-fully-integrated-marketing-campaign This is an example of an infograph of an integrated marketing campaign]
So what are the benefits of integrated marketing? Overall, when pulled off successfully, integrated marketing creates uniformity and discipline across all mediums. While the rise of social and digital media has provided new opportunities for businesses, many fail to utilise them correctly, or create them simply 'for the sake of it'. An integrated marketing campaign allows you to have focus with your message, so that each platform you use is chosen with a specific purpose in mind.
Furthermore, the combination of a single strategy across multiple platforms has a more powerful and lasting message in a consumer's mind.